Staff Travel News

STAFF TRAVEL NEWS


Change of FIP identity for the Railways of North Macedonia

From 1 January 2020 the FIP identity of MŽ-T Makedonski Železnici Transport (Macedonian Passenger Railways) is being renamed ŽRSM Železnici na Republika Severna Makedonija (Railways of the Republic of North Macedonia).

RST will issue coupons showing ŽRSM where the outward travel date is 1 January 2020 or later.

FIP International Reduced Rate Cards issued by RST which show a discount is available on MŽ-T services will continue to be valid for a discount in North Macedonia until these cards are renewed in December 2020.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  2nd December 2019

Staff Travel Restrictions for Winter 2019-20

The Staff Travel Restrictions for Winter 2019-20 valid from 15 December 2019 to 16 May 2020 have been published on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

GWR acceptance of SWR staff passes during industrial action

GWR have confirmed that they will accept active and retired SWR staff passes during industrial action on certain routes as below, except on the following dates: 15th, 16th, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th December.

Bristol Temple Meads – Salisbury via Warminster (except on trains shown in the Staff Travel Restrictions booklet)
Salisbury – Portsmouth Harbour/Havant (except on trains shown in the Staff Travel Restrictions booklet)
Yeovil Pen Mill – Salisbury via Castle Cary and Warminster
Exeter – Paddington via Newbury (but not via Bristol Temple Meads)

SWR active and retired staff passes are not valid on any other GWR services.

SWR active and retired staff passes are not valid on any GWR services on 15th, 16th, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th December.

All holders are staff passes are reminded of these rules from the Staff Travel Restrictions, particularly where services may be more crowded than usual during industrial action.

When travelling using your staff travel facilities, priority should be given to fare-paying passengers. Whenever possible, cardholders should travel on lightly-loaded trains. If a train is crowded, cardholders should allow fare-paying passengers to take seats. Specifically, Active Staff and dependants must vacate seats on request in First Class accommodation where fare paying passengers are standing. Although Retired Staff and dependants may be asked to vacate their seat in First Class accommodation they do not have to.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  29th November 2019

Change of FIP identity

From 1 January 2020, we are changing our FIP identity from ATOC/GBPR to GB National Rail.

FIP International Reduced Rate Cards were last issued by RST in December 2018 to cover 2019 and 2020. These are branded with ATOC/GBPR and will not be updated until the main renewal of all cards scheduled for December 2020. They remain valid for discounted travel on all FIP member services during 2020.

FIP Coupons issued by RST for travel on or after 1 January 2020 will be changed to show GB National Rail.

All FIP members have been briefed about this change, so there should be no issues with ticket inspection in Europe by staff working for FIP members.

FIP International Reduced Rate Cards and Coupons issued by the 42 FIP members will be updated starting from 1 January 2020. However, this update is likely to take around 2 years for all members to complete, so visitors to Britain using FIP facilities may still present some which show ATOC/GBPR, and these remain valid on TOC services in Britain.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  28th November 2019

Industrial action affecting SNCF in December 2019

There is industrial action planned by SNCF employees to start in December 2019. There is an SNCF webpage in English relating to this disruption here en.oui.sncf/train/greve.

This action will also affect Eurostar services. There is a Eurostar webpage relating to this disruption here www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption/service-update.

Rail Staff Travel has no additional information on which services will be affected and is unable to assist with specific journey enquiries.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  26th November 2019

Applying for FIP coupons from your 2019 allocation

You are able to apply for unused coupons from your 2019 allocation to use up to 31 March 2020. All applications must be received by RST by no later than 15th December.

When you fill in the International Coupons Application forms XX09c or XX09b, RST will only take the coupons from your 2019 allocation if you put the outward date of travel as 31 December 2019 (even if your actual travel date is not until a date in 2020).

Where an application has coupons for more than one FIP member, if any are not available from your 2019 allocation RST will take them automatically from your 2020 allocation.

Coupons from your 2019 allocation have a final travel date of 31 March 2020, even if there are spare boxes left or the last date entered is 31 March 2020. They are not valid for any travel from 1 April 2020 onwards.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  25th November 2019

Status Pass maps for the London area

New maps have been added to the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page. These show the availability of status passes in the London area including the inter-available routes on London Underground services. The notes with each map show how stations which can be passed through but not used for entry and exit are highlighted.

A map is in preparation which will show Staff Travel Card availability within the London area, and will be published as soon as it has been finalised.

The maps are available on-line only. Rail Staff Travel is not making have hardcopies available. The maps are strictly for personal use only by staff travel facilities holders and may not be published in any form, including images of them uploaded to internet and social media sites.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  9th November 2019

Gold and Silver Status Passes – West Midlands Trains update

Both the Gold Status Pass and Silver Status Pass have been issued as SmartCards are expected to operate the gates at Smart-enabled stations.

As the roll-out of Smart-enabled gates across the national network continues additional stations will be enabled that will allow holders to operate the gates using their Status Pass. The current situation is that the majority of London in-boundary TOC stations should be Smart-enabled allowing the Status Passes to operate. In addition, gates at outboundary stations on Greater Anglia, c2c, Southeastern, South Western Railway, Northern, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), East Midlands Trains, Chiltern, Great Western Railway (GWR), Transport for Wales (TfW) and West Midlands Trains (WMT) stations will operate with further TOCs being enabled over the next few months.

A definitive list of stations that are Smart-enabled is not currently available as this list changes frequently.

Please remember that you can still use your Status Pass as a “Show and Go” Pass at all valid locations that are not currently Smart-enabled.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  5th November 2019

Buying FIP discounted tickets and reservations for SNCF services

From 1 January 2020, FIP ticket sales and reservations for all SNCF TGV and Intercités services within France and some international TGV services operated solely by SNCF will no longer be available to travel agents. This change affects all rail staff in Europe, not just those in Britain.

SNCF offer FIP fares and reservations at SNCF ticket office counters in France or from their French contact centre which is open 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm (French local time).

The telephone number for the SNCF contact centre is 00 33 1 84 94 3635 (international call rates apply). The SNCF website shows the typical busy times when call wait times are extended www.sncf.com/en/service-client nous-contacter/telephone

The contact centre phone introduction is in French and lists various options. If you remain silent, at the end of the introduction it will say “For this service in English press #85”. Entering #85 on your phone will connect you to an English-speaking operator.

To save a lengthy and expensive phone call, please check the latest version of our Travel Tips for Europe guide before you call them. It is best to have planned your journeys and know the specific train services you want to book before you call. Remember that FIP facilities are not available on Ouigo or Intercités 100% Eco services. These low cost operators sell tickets through their own website only, and fares may be cheaper than the FIP discounted fares on equivalent SNCF services. The SNCF contact centre is unable to quote or sell you fares on Ouigo or Intercités 100% Eco services.

To make a booking, you will need to quote the FIP International Reduced Rate Card numbers for every person in your group to the SNCF agent. We have no information on the SNCF contact centre transaction fees or ticket delivery options.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  18th October 2019

Buying FIP discounted tickets in France for Eurostar services

From 9 November 2019 it will no longer be possible to book FIP discounted tickets at SNCF ticket offices in France. Eurostar have put in place alternative arrangements which are described in the Eurostar Leisure Fares documents on our Current Offers and Concessions page.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  14th October 2019

Changes to the availability of upgrades on Eurostar services

Eurostar has confirmed today that it has changed its policy on upgrades on staff discounted fares. Holders of Standard Class Staff Travel Cards or 2nd class FIP cards will not be permitted to purchase discounted tickets for travel in Standard Premier accommodation. Upgrades for holders of discounted Standard class tickets to Standard Premier accommodation will also not be permitted.

This arrangement is effective for tickets purchased, or upgrades sought, from 3rd September. For tickets already purchased for future travel, these will be honoured with no requirement to pay any additional sum.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  3rd September 2019

Booking Caledonian Sleeper tickets and berths at Virgin Trains stations

We have had confirmation from Virgin Trains that the technical issue with their ticket office machines has been resolved, and that all Virgin Trains ticket offices are now able to book staff travel facilities on Caledonian Sleeper services.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  30th August 2019

NSB rebranded as Vy

On 24 April 2019, NSB – Norges Statsbaner (Norwegian State Railways) was rebranded Vy.

From 1 January 2020 the FIP identity will be Vy Group. RST systems and documentation will be updated from this date and FIP coupons issued for Norway will reflect the new branding.

Until 1 January 2020 NSB coupons and FIP cards endorsed for discounted tickets remain valid on Vy rail services as they did before the rebranding.

FIP reduced rate cards issued to employees and dependants in Britain which are valid until 31 December 2020 will not be updated with the new identity until the next major renewal in December 2020. The NSB endorsement will be accepted for the purchase of discounted tickets on Vy services during 2020.

There has been some confusion about the availability of FIP facilities on Regiontog and Lokaltog trains in the Oslo area. Vy Group has confirmed today that FIP facilities are valid on all regional services in the Oslo area operated by Vy including those which serve the airport.

We remind you that FIP facilities are not valid on the Flytoget Airport Express to and from Oslo Airport. They are also not valid from Oslo Airport on the long distance Trondheim to Oslo service which stops to set down only at the Airport station.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  23rd August 2019

Taunton to Bishops Lydeard service

There are no staff travel facilities available on the summer Saturdays only services which are provided jointly by GWR and West Somerset Railway between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard. All staff must pay the public ticket cost.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  23rd August 2019

Plym Valley Railway

We are now able to confirm that, from 1 August 2019, on presentation of a TOC Priv Card or Staff Travel Card, priv rate tickets may be purchased on Plym Valley Railway services. Priv rate tickets are available on all normal running days, but will not be available on special event days or on North Pole Express services.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  29th July 2019

Rail Staff Travel on Grand Central

We are now able to confirm that Rail Staff Travel facilities are available for use on Grand Central services between London and Sunderland and also London and Bradford.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  1st July 2019

Rail Staff Travel on Grand Central

We are now able to confirm that Rail Staff Travel facilities will be available for use on Grand Central services from London to Sunderland and London to Bradford.

The acceptance of Staff Travel facilities will start on Monday 1 July 2019.

If you attempt to use Rail Staff Travel facilities on Grand Central services before 1 July they will not be accepted, and you will be required to pay the full public single fare for your journey.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  19th June 2019

Blue Status Pass maps

The TOC Priv Cards for Non-Safeguarded Staff and Dependants valid until 30 June 2020 have been distributed as below:
• they were sent out by second class post to home addresses on Monday 17 June.
they will start to arrive from Wednesday 19 June onwards.
• if you do not receive them by Wednesday 26 June, you should contact RST in writing. Please do not report non-delivery to RST until after Wednesday 26 June.
• if they arrive and are damaged in the post, you should report this to the Post Office and submit a claim to the Post Office for compensation before contacting Rail Staff Travel.
If you do not report non-delivery by 19 September 2019, you will have to pay for replacements.

The cards have some new features this year:
• the front has holographic images on gold foil for the validity dates and the BR double arrow symbol.
• the rear is covered with a holographic laminate sheet.
there is no longer any requirement to sign the TOC Priv Card.

From the Rail Delivery Group –  Updated 18th June 2019