Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

  • I am over 25 years old and in full time education – can I apply for a Railcard?
    Yes. We define full-time study as attending college or University (in the United Kingdom) for 15 hours or more a week for at least 20 weeks a year.

    You can apply at a rail station or via the 16-25 Railcard website. To apply online you will need to complete the 
    mature student application form including the "Mature Students Only" section and ensuring that it has been signed by either your tutor, head tutor, head of department or University/Collage administration staff member. Please note that students on home study and distance learning courses are not eligible. Please allow up to 5 working days for your Railcard application to be approved. 

    If you are applying at a rail station please pick up a 16-25 Railcard leaflet and complete the mature student application section

    You will also need to provide either a NUS card or a College/University photo-id card to confirm that you are in the current academic year of study.

    If you are now 26 years old and have an expiring Railcard that was bought online, you will not be able to renew this Railcard. Because of limits to our current system you will need to register a new account using a different email address.

    This information must either be shown at a station or scanned in and uploaded if you apply online.

  • What Universities and colleges are able to endorse Railcard applications?

    Any place of study that is on the database of the Department for Education for England and Wales, or included in the Scottish Executive's list of all maintained and independent places of study, or that holds Highly Trusted Sponsor status from the UK Border Agency or is on the list of establishments accredited by the British Council.

    Please click on this link to download the mature student application form

  • Why can't mature students buy 3-year 16-25 Railcards?
    A: People who are older than 25 years of age can only buy and use a Railcard if they are in full time study. We therefore require mature students to demonstrate that they are still in full time education each time they buy or renew a Railcard.

  • What provision do you make for Open University students?
    A: Because the vast majority of Open University (OU) students do not attend an academic institution to study full time, they are not eligible for a 16-25 Railcard. However, OU students who are studying full time courses at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes are eligible as they physically attend the campus to undertake their courses.

Can't find an answer? Get in touch

If you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, or if you have comments about the Railcard service, call or email us. You can also write using the postal address. We're open from 0700hrs to 2200hrs everyday except Christmas Day.


Tel: 0345 3000 250

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.


National Railcards
PO BOX 6616
DD11 9AR


Train Companies

If you have any questions concerning rail ticket prices or journey planning National Rail Enquiries will be happy to help you.

If you have any comments about a specific rail journey please contact the train company that provides the service. You can find their contact details by clicking on this link train company list.


Transport Focus

If, after contacting us, you remain unhappy with any aspect of our service you may want to contact the independent transport watchdog, Transport Focus. Contact details are shown below:


Phone: 0300 123 0860

Transport Focus
PO Box 5594
Southend on Sea

0345 3000 250

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

National Railcards
PO BOX 6616
DD11 9AR


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