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Author Topic: Millennial 26-30 railcard to launch nationwide  (Read 1267 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: March 12, 2018, 02:50:45 pm »

From the BBC:

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Millennial 26-30 railcard to launch nationwide

A nationwide trial of the so-called millennial railcard begins on Tuesday but card numbers will be limited.

The one-year railcard for 26 to 30-year-olds will cost £30 and offer a third off most fares in England, Wales and Scotland.

Only 10,000 will be released - enough for one in 500 of the eligible population - and the cost of some peak time travel will not be reduced.

The nationwide launch follows a trial across the Greater Anglia network.

Another 10,000 railcards were sold during that trial.

The new discount card was announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget in November, but received a mixed response from its target audience.

Railcards were first introduced as a way for train companies to help fill seats during off-peak times. The card for 16 to 25-year-olds has existed in one form or another since 1974.

Anyone applying for the railcard will need to pay by card, have a proof of age, either through a driving licence or passport, and have a digital, passport-style photo.

Applications should be made on the 26-30 railcard website, and holders will need to download an app before they can use the card.

The discount for some during the morning commute is limited as a minimum fare of £12 applies to all journeys made before 10am, Monday to Friday.

The Rail Delivery Group said discounts were not given on season tickets, but a weekly or monthly season ticket could still be the cheapest option for those in this age bracket who commuted frequently by train.


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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 01:01:53 pm »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43384908

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Millennial railcard website crashes

Demand for the new millennial railcard has crashed the website on the first day of nationwide sales.

The one-year railcard for 26 to 30-year-olds will cost £30 and offer a third off most fares in England, Wales and Scotland.

It first went on sale nationwide at about 07:30 GMT but "exceptional demand" has caused the website to fail.

Only 10,000 railcards are being released during the trial, and it is only available to buy online.

"This morning, when the 26-30 railcard trial began, the National Railcard website was receiving 12 times the normal number of visitors. We were prepared for demand to be similar to that of previous trial launches," said a spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train companies and Network Rail.

I'm really not surprised at the high traffic and the Rail Delivery Group shouldn't have been surprised either. 

Dear Rail Delivery Group, you launch to a massive group, nationwide, with just 10,000 available.   You do it all online rather than through multiple routes.  You give it wide publicity. And you're not prepared for a high demand.  Someone hadn't given this any proper thought or done a proper risk assessment  Grin
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 01:33:25 pm »

You should see the complaints on twitter this morning....
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 01:56:36 pm »

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"This morning, when the 26-30 railcard trial began, the National Railcard website was receiving 12 times the normal number of visitors. We were prepared for demand to be similar to that of previous trial launches," said a spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train companies and Network Rail.

Taking a further look, I'm actually surprised it was only 12 times the normal number of visitors at a launch - if asked ahead of time, I would have suggested they would need to be able to handle at least 100 times the normal traffic for such a day.   Of course, the "12 times" may well refer to the number who actually got through ... goodness knows how many more failed to connect.

Now lets see how forgiving we can be ... if something goes "belly up" with GWR our traffic increases, and if the whole thing went belly up - or if (for example) gwr.com got redirected to gwr.passenger.chat for some reason, we would have trouble coping. However, that's a considered risk - the chance of it happening if low, the damage done within what we do wouldn't be all that catastrophic, so it's a risk noted and taken.  I would hear of server load issues within 10 minutes via an alert system, and have a status / time to return page up within 15.

The big difference between the Railcard scenario and ours is that they had encouraged and planned for extra traffic, whereas we would be reacting to an unexpected / unscheduled event.

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 01:07:03 pm »

An update, from the BBC:

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Millennial railcards sold out despite technical problems



A new millennial railcard has sold out despite strong demand crashing the website on the first day of sales.

The National Railcards website apologised for the problems and said "we will consider carefully" the high demand when more cards are issued.

The railcard for 26 to 30-year-olds cost £30 and offers a third off most fares in England, Wales and Scotland.

Only 10,000 cards were released on Tuesday under a trial, but big demand caused website problems for hours.

A spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train companies and Network Rail, said: "This morning, when the 26-30 railcard trial began, the National Railcard website was receiving 12 times the normal number of visitors. We were prepared for demand to be similar to that of previous trial launches.

"Due to the unprecedented demand we have been working with our suppliers throughout the morning to further increase the capacity on the website to create a better experience for our customers. We recommend that customers continue trying the National Railcard website, and keep an eye on @_Railcards Twitter and Facebook pages for updates."

Some passengers have been expressing their irritation at the problems.

The limited number of the one-year cards - enough for one in 500 of the eligible population - went on sale on Tuesday following a trial across the Greater Anglia network when another 10,000 railcards were sold.

One of those struggling to buy a card was Helen Coffey, deputy head of travel at The Independent. It is her 31st birthday on Wednesday, so this is the last day that she would be eligible to buy the card. "It is today or it is never," she told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I don't know if it was the hype that made me want to get one, but I have this one shot, and it seems impossible. They were a bit naive to think it would not be flying off the shelves."

Virgin Trains, always quick to spot a marketing angle, tried to lighten the mood by linking the website woes with one of the millennial generation's favourite foods - avocado. Between midnight and next Tuesday, any 26 to 30-year-old who didn't get a railcard can get a third off the price of Virgin West Coast train travel if they present an avocado instead. But as you would expect, the Avocard comes with terms and conditions.

David Sidebottom, passenger director at watchdog Transport Focus, said: "The nationwide trial of the 26-30 railcard should be welcome news for passengers facing stagnant or falling incomes but they will be extremely disappointed that they are unable to access the website."

The card does not cover all travel. The discount for some during the morning commute is limited as a minimum fare of £12 applies to all journeys made before 10am, Monday to Friday.

The Rail Delivery Group said discounts were not given on season tickets, but a weekly or monthly season ticket could still be the cheapest option for those in this age bracket who commuted frequently by train.


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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 05:23:08 pm »

I think we can safely assume that a goodly number of our forum members were not in the queue for THAT particular railcard. Grin
Concessionary bus tickets in Lancashire have the words Lancashire Elderly writ large in the middle of the ticket...do you suppose the programmer couldn't spell concessionary or couldn't fit it into the space available.....while those in Derbyshire have the capitalised letters DOAP which I presume means Derbyshire Old Age Pensioner !!. It could be worse !
I don't think our dear old ( oops, accidental ageism) CfN could pass for under 30 on a bright sunny day,even with dyed hair, sunglasses and a following wind !. The pootling along at 30mph in a Mercedes Sprinter would soon confirm him as a fully paid up member of the NWOBR ( Nailsea Waitrose Old Boy Racer Club !)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 05:39:54 pm by chuffed » Logged
richwarwicker
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 09:01:42 pm »

Kept trying but failed. I hit 30 in 10 days time.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2018, 03:16:05 pm »

From The Mail Online

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The student railcard scam driving up the cost of YOUR tickets: Our 29-year-old reporter poses with a discount card for under-25s to prove how easy it is
* Fare-dodgers are using a simple trick advertised on the web to obtain discounts
* People aged 16 to 25 qualify for the £30-a-year discount railcards
* But a loophole means older travellers can also benefit from the perk

OK - it's agains the law / rules to claim false age to get a 16-25 railcard when you are over age an no longer involved in education either so we cannot condone this practise.  However, now that there's a 26-30 card, all be it in far lower numbers than the number of people who want one, I really wonder if the Mail Online is going a bit over the top. 

As and when the current 26-30 trail is complete and these railcards are available to all qualified people who want the, posing as younger is going to be close to pointless anyway, and any reduced income to the railways far less that would be needed to "drive ticket prices up". It could even be argued that having "scammed" a loyalty card that they're not entitled too, this huge number of naughty people in their late 20s will be using the train and paying 2/3 of the normal rate where otherwise they would not be travelling by train - that's the point of a loyalty system - so that are helping to fill the railway's coffers and keep fared down!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2018, 04:41:10 pm »

Not over the top at all. The same fraud can be used to obtain a Senior Railcard when not eligible. I'm no fan of that particular newspaper, but they've highlighted potential fraud and reported in it. Good, honest, investigative journalism.

The over the top response came from the Rail Delivery Group. Initially threatening to prosecute the Daily Mail.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2018, 05:34:42 pm »

They ought to require scans/mobile photos of passport/driving licence be attached to the online application & the file reviewed for name/DoB  at least.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 08:48:28 pm »

They ought to require scans/mobile photos of passport/driving licence be attached to the online application & the file reviewed for name/DoB  at least.

That requires additional human intervention. I suspect the online Railcard application process is almost fully automated. Cost savings.

I also suspect that the RDG can't or won't access the DVLA driving licence database electronically to confirm applicant details. Two reasons. First, they need to ask the licence holder's permission to access their information. That requires the licence holder to make an online application to DVLA to generate a check code to pass to the RDG. The RDG then have to manually use that check code to gather the information. Second, the RDG need a genuine reason to gather the information. Confirming date of birth is, I suspect, not a good enough reason in isolation.

At the moment I suspect the Railcard online application process is automatically checking the date of birth that is contained (albeit jumbled up) within a persons driving licence number. With no secondary check with DVLA, that number is easy to spoof, producing a false date of birth that easily fools the checking algorithm.

Same goes for the information required from a passport. The date of birth information is contained within the alphanumeric information from your passport that you have to enter when applying for an age restricted Railcard online. Again, I suspect there's just a simple automated check algorithm with no secondary check with the Passport Office.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 09:17:20 pm »

I don't think our dear old (oops, accidental ageism) CfN could pass for under 30 on a bright sunny day, even with dyed hair, sunglasses and a following wind !. The pootling along at 30mph in a Mercedes Sprinter would soon confirm him as a fully paid up member of the NWOBR ( Nailsea Waitrose Old Boy Racer Club !)

Hmm.  Two points from me, if I may?

1. I am now (as of earlier this month) aged 59 - and I have never tried to pretend I was younger than I am;

2. If I could get my under-powered /speed restricted Mercedes Sprinter van to do anything much above 30mph, even on the open road, I would be absolutely delighted.

CfN.  Lips sealed
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
rogerw
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 09:21:09 pm »

Not long before you can get your own railcard then
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bobm
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 09:22:18 pm »

1. I am now (as of earlier this month) aged 59 - and I have never tried to pretend I was younger than I am;

Donít need to. Still look younger than me!  Grin
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