In the UK, the Network Railcard is a rather handy railcard for people travelling off-peak in the "South East" (FSVO South East being rather broader than you might expect!). You generally only need to make a few off-peak journeys each year in the area bounded by Exeter / Salisbury / Oxford / Banbury / Bedford / Cambridge / Colechester to make it worth buying one.

On the Network Railcard Terms and Conditions page, it lists the card as being valid on East Coast with "some restrictions", without being specific

I was just on an East Coast trains service from London to Stevenage, as part of a larger (post-10am!) journey on a Network Railcard discounted ticket. During the ticket check, the guard said that the railcard discount wasn't valid on that train, but he'd let me off. The odd thing is, I not only had a ticket, but I also had a seat reservation for that train, so clearly the website selling me the ticket thinks it was valid!

Does anyone know the actual rules on Network Railcard validity on East Coast Trains services, and hence know if they are or aren't valid on London to Stevenage services on East Coast trains? (FCC run more trains on the route, but they're a tiny bit slower, and don't have free wifi)

  • The only restrictions I can see are the usual 10am and within the boundaries. On the terms and conditions page - all operators that travel outside the boundaries are marked however some that also travel outside the boundaries are unmarked. I've contacted East Coast and I'll post a definitive answer here.
    – Ashley
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:41
  • East coast have some particular restrictions about arrival and departure times into and out of Kings Cross when travelling on an off peak ticket. eastcoast.co.uk/travel-information/train-ticket-information/… could you post your full journey details, as I am interested in the answer Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 16:59
  • I was on an Anytime ticket, so there are no restrictions on the ticket itself. The supposed restrictions was on the use of the Railcard discount on an Anytime ticket, I'm trying to find out if it was a confused guard or a real restriction
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 17:28
  • @Gagravarr is the answer below adequate?
    – Ashley
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:50

2 Answers 2


I contacted East Coast directly and below is the response:

If a Railcard cannot be produced at the time of purchase or at any ticket examination then the full undiscounted fare will be payable as if no ticket or Railcard were held. In addition to this, a valid Railcard must be held for the full duration of both the outward and return portions of period return tickets

The Railcard is not valid if the holder boards any train without having a ticket when the ticket office was open. In this situation, the customer can only buy the full Single or Open Return on the train with no discount. Accompanying children pay the normal child fare. On pay trains or when the ticket office is closed customers can buy tickets on the train at the appropriate discounted fare. In Penalty Fares areas customers should purchase a permit to travel before boarding the train

Network Railcards are not valid on the following:

  • On Eurostar services.
  • On any train barred to holders of the equivalent full-price ticket.
  • On any shipping or ferry services (except as shown above to/from the Isle of Wight)
  • On Rail-Air Coach Link services.
  • On London Underground services, including Oyster pay as you go EXCEPT:
    • Off-Peak Day Travelcards (Zones 1-6);
    • Anytime Day Travelcards (bought as part of a ticket to London from outside London Area Zones 1–9)
    • Through Train Company journeys across London on tickets routed ‘Via London'
    • On journeys outside the Network Railcard area.
    • Oyster pay as you go.

The Network Railcard validly map can be found by following the link below.


This discount applies to tickets purchased for travel at or after 10:00 on Mondays to Fridays, on trains scheduled to depart before 10:00 but which actually depart later than 10:00 from the joining station for any reason and on certain trains where an easement is shown in the table or at any time on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Please note, the 10:00 Monday to Friday time restriction applies to all ticket types.

The response appears to contradict itself with regards to Oyster PAYG but I hope the other information is of use.


Thanks for your clarification.

Looking at a combination of the east coast, network card, and national rail websites I believed that the restrictions that east coast impose as you referred to are time related.

You linked to this page http://www.network-railcard.co.uk/terms/ which shows that east cost trains might have restrictions, I then reffered to the east coast website which has time restrictions on off peak arrivals and departures from London Kings Cross. http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/travel-information/train-ticket-information/off-peak-ticket-terms-and-conditions/

In your answer to my comment you clarified the query.

The guard questioned the validity of an anytime ticket purchased with a Network Raicard.

Elsewhere on the network railcard website http://www.network-railcard.co.uk/tickets-types-min-fares/ you will see that anytime tickets can be purchased with the discount.

The confusion probably came about because anytime tickets are just that. Valid anytime. However you can get the discount on an anytime ticket, as long as you then abide by the extra terms and conditions that are overlaid by the railcard, in this case the 10.00 am time restriction, and a minimum of £13 fare cost.

I suspect that it is reasonably rare to see an anytime ticket purchased with a Network Raicard, because when you use it, you have already avoided the morning peak so it is likely you will purchase the off peak, or super off peak ticket, all you need to do then is avoid the commuter peak in the evening.

With all the different tickets and railcards that are now available, it's not supprising that the guard doesn't instantly know all the combinations.

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