Hello and welcome to the online home of The British Transport Pensioners’ Federation. The BTPF provides a voice for everyone who has retired from our great railway industry and has been doing so since 1948.

There are fifty branches around the U.K. and Ireland, and members of other branches are welcome to go to their meetings, events and visits (booking may be required). Please check the BRANCHES list.

Please also note that all BTPF Branch, Council and National Meetings, Events and Visits, are all covered by our own Public Liability Insurance.

Please visit the NEWS pages for latest BTPF and Branch news. Also see the INDUSTRY NEWS page for the latest British railways news for various media. See below for links to these pages.


BTPF Chairman’s comments

The Met Office has told us that we are now in their version of Spring even though the “official” date for the start of Spring is 20th March – the Spring equinox. We have been through some very strong winds recently so let’s hope that the weather settles down a bit and we can enjoy some warmth.

Change is happening all around us. The House of Lords did not like the Brexit Bill and want changes – this will ultimately change our relationship with Europe. There is a change on Road Fund Licences with a new way of calculation this tax from the 1st April. The level of change is increasing all the time and it is happening with the BTPF as well. In a few days time at our AGM (on the 16th March – a revised date) there is a change to the people who act as our Officers. We need to appoint a new Secretary as our current Secretary has told me that he wishes to stand down this year. This is after several years of exemplary work keeping the Federation on the right track and we wish him well for the future. He will be a hard act to follow.

We are continuing to keep our eyes on Travel and Pensions – benefits that we all enjoy.

On the website you will find details from the Branches and we are setting all members a new competition – a Photo Quiz, with a £20 Gift Voucher as the prize. The theme is Railway Stations – both new and old – all you have to do is let us know the name of the stations where the photographs are taken. Let us have your answers by Friday 30th April – see the item for full details. It is free to enter.

Do keep going along to your Branch meetings and give them your support – it is greatly appreciated.

Les McDowell.


Autumn Statement Briefing November 2016


Keep the Bus Pass!!

From: Andrea Stanton <andrea.stanton@gmail.com>

Please sign and share as widely as possible



Dear Friends,

I just added the petition “Keep the free bus pass“.

It would mean a lot to me if you took a moment to add your name because:
The bus pass, entitling older and disabled people to free off-peak bus travel anywhere in England, was introduced in April 2008.  Now in its tenth year, the concessionary pass – official title ‘The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme’ (ENCTS) has had huge quality-of-life benefits, not only for millions of older and disabled citizens, but also for their families and the communities they live in or travel to.

The benefits of the scheme to society, e.g., in savings to the NHS, have been calculated as three times greater than the cost.

In 2014, we at Walsall Pensioners’ Convention, with the support of the National Pensioners’ Convention, launched the non-partisan ‘Love the Bus Pass’ petition requesting exactly the same pledges as now: it attracted huge interest and over 200,000 pen-on-paper signatures from every corner of England.  These were delivered to 10 Downing Street in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, and the political parties did indeed pledge to retain the scheme fully intact. Hundreds of correspondents at that time described the scheme to us as an ‘absolute lifeline’. We say ‘Amen to That’!

We now urgently need to achieve the same result in the sort time available to us: without categorical pledges and with no clearly stated policy position, the pass will be at serious risk, and incoming Government especially if bolstered by a safe majority, could well feel entitled to fragment, dilute or destroy the bus pass.

No pledges – no safety!

This is SO important not just for pass-holders, but for all of us – don’t forget that younger people are tomorrow’s pensioners and communities and the nation generally all benefit in many different ways from the existing scheme.

Please sign up and encourage friends, families and your community generally to sign up NOW – 9th June will be too late!

Andrea Stanton
Richard Worrall
2017 England Bus Pass Petition Organisers


Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in.  Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue.

After you’ve signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others.  It’s super easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:




About The BTPF

BTPF - Chiltern Railways - Marylebone Station

The BTPF is the only recognised organisation which protects and maintains the well being of Railway People in retirement.

Latest News


Head to the News Page of the website to get the latest National and local branch news from the BTPF. Go to Industry News for the latest railway-related news.

Les McDowell

Hello. My name is Les McDowell and I have been privileged to be the Chairman of the British Transport Pensioners Federation for the last two years.

Hello. My name is Les McDowell and I have been privileged to be the Chairman of the British Transport Pensioners Federation for the last two years.

David Hughes

David Hughes

Hello, my name is David Hughes and I was nominated for the position of National Secretary at the AGM in 2017. I look forward to serving the BTPF family to the best of my ability.

John Harrison

John Harrison

My name is John Harrison, and I was delighted to be elected National Vice Chairman of the BTPF in March 2012.

Mike Speagell

Mike Speagell

As the Membership Secretary I deal with all enquiries made to the BTPF via their website and applications for membership that may come by post.

Top table at 4-monthly meeting 12th July 2016The top team looking thoughtful, as viewed from the floor at a National Four Monthly meeting.
Left to right: Roy Sheridan, Secretary; Les McDowell, Chairman; John Harrison, Vice Chairman;
Chris Jago, Treasurer; and Mike Speagell, Membership Secretary.


The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas (near Lichfield) in East Staffordshire is our national site of remembrance.  It was inspired by a visit to the Arlington Cemetery in the USA.


Memorial Service

On Monday 22nd May at 14.00 the BTPF will be holding a Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas. We hold this service every year and you are more than welcome to come along and join us in this simple service to remember all those who have served the Railway Industry.

The service will be led by Ralph Coleman, the Railway Chaplain, followed by the laying of a wreath.

The Arboretum has recently undergone a multi million pound refurbishment and new facilities have been provided. It is well worth a visit and you can easily spend several hours there. Refreshments are readily available at very reasonable prices.

Les McDowell
BTPF Chairman.


The picture below shows a 84xx Pannier banking a Blue Pullman up the Lickey Incline in April 1964, Alan Spencer one of our Derby Branch members was the Fireman on the Banker.  Alan started his railway career as an Engine Cleaner at Bromsgrove.  The train shown in the picture was a Swansea FC to Birmingham City FOTEX.
Click on the picture to enlarge

Blue Pullman in 1964

Blue Pullman in 1964