Military veterans of every generation will soon benefit from discounted rail travel, Transport Secretary announced today, as he presented Captain Sir Tom Moore with the very first Veteran Railcard.
Targeted at supporting veterans’ post-service, the newly unveiled Railcard will provide up to a third off all peak and off-peak fares, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children.
This forms part of the Government’s pledge to make this country the best place to be a veteran, helping repay the debt we all owe to those who have served.
Captain Tom, who served in World War II and raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the Covid-19 outbreak, was presented with the card in his home in Bedfordshire.
The card pays tribute to the Royal Nay, RAF and Army, using the colours featured on the Veterans flag. An estimated 830,000 veterans, who are not eligible for existing railcards, will now be able to get up to a third off rail travel from the 5th of November.
The new card will be on sale at an introductory price of just £21 until 31st March 2021.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: “We have an eternal debt of honour to those who have served our country, and this railcard is part of marking our gratitude. For veterans looking to re-enter the world of work and connect with friends and family, it will cut the cost of travel to open up new opportunities. Delivering this Manifesto promise will improve lives for veterans and their families across the United Kingdom.
“I am also delighted to present Sir Captain Tom Moore with the very first railcard. Through his service and his inspirational fundraising, he has shown the selflessness and indomitable spirit of all those who have served.”
Captain Sir Tom Moore, Captain Tom Foundation, said: “This is a wonderful occasion to accept the first Veterans rail card.
“It is a rare opportunity to show thanks and gratitude to Veterans and this rail card is a necessary recognition and investment in Veterans, giving them the ability to re-connect and combat loneliness, something that we promote and support at The Captain Tom Foundation.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “Providing discounted rail travel is a fantastic way to underline the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have served.
"For younger veterans, it will also help boost employment prospects, allowing more flexibility in their travel to work or job interviews."
Robert Nisbet, Director Nations and Regions at Rail Delivery Group said: “Britain’s train companies are proud to support those that have served in the UK Armed forces and their families by offering a third off rail fares with the new Veterans Railcard which is now on sale.
"We’re delighted to have worked with the DfT, on behalf of the rail industry, to help make rail travel even cheaper for veterans and in doing so, connect them to job opportunities and training, as well as to their family and friends."