The HM Forces Railcard offers a 1/3 off the price of UK rail journeys. Service personnel should note that the provision of Railcards is a concession provided by UK train companies under the administration of Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and should not be regarded as a condition of service.
This guidance is to provide pertinent information regarding HM Forces Railcards. This does not supersede policy contained within Defence Instructions and Notices 2016DIN01-102 or related Defence policy.
Use of Rail Cards
The use of a Railcard is subject to the conditions of use printed on its reverse, and on the Photocard. In addition, all Service personnel and entitled dependents must abide by the formal Conditions of Issue (as amended) contained on the product website. Railcards must not be used to obtain tickets for duty travel nor for regular journeys between an individual’s residence and place of duty, work or education.
Railcards are valid for 12 months from the issued ‘Valid From’ date stated on the Railcard.
Lost, Stolen or Damaged Railcards/Photocards
Service Personnel are to contact their Parent Unit HR staff if a Railcard and/or Photocard of themselves or dependent(s) is lost, stolen or damaged.
The following individuals are eligible to be issued with a HM Forces Railcard:
- All members of the Regular Forces.
- Spouses of Service personnel who are Personal Status Category (PStat Cat) 1. This includes civil partners of those eligible Service personnel who have registered a civil partnership.
- Dependant children of Service personnel including:
- A son or daughter of 18 years and over, certified by a medical authority to be suffering from a physical or mental infirmity, who is normally resident in the household.
- A son or daughter of 18 years and over who for compassionate reasons is acting as the housekeeper within the household.
- A son or daughter over the age of 18 but under the age of 25 who is normally resident in the household and in full time education.
An individual may possess another type of Railcard, for example a Young Persons Railcard, as well as a HM Forces Railcard. However, no more than one valid HM Forces Railcard is to be held at any given time.
How to Apply
Individual will require both a HM Forces Rail Card and associated Photocard. For re-issue of Railcards, it is not necessary to apply for a new Photocard unless it is damaged or the photograph no longer reflects a true likeness of the individual. Individuals are to apply for Railcards and Photocards using the format specified at Annex E and send the completed form to their Parent Unit HR staff. A template for Annex E can be found here.
If a new Photocard is required, the Railcard will not be valid unless the following steps have been taken to complete the Photocard before issue:
- A recent full-face photograph of the applicant must be secured in the space provided. The dimensions of the photograph should not exceed 41 mm x 50 mm. Applicants must provide their own photographs, which may be colour or black and white.
- The applicant’s title, name and initials are to be printed in block capital letters in the space provided at the bottom of the Photocard.
- If the applicant is a dependant child, the date of birth is to be entered in the space provided.
Individuals are to be advised that there is a charge per Railcard issued and that the appropriate deduction will be made from the Service Person’s pay account on completion of the application form.