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14 March 2018, 03:22 | Kelvin Horton
GETTY NATIONAL RAIL
COMING SOON The railcard is launched tomorrow morning
Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget speech a year ago that the railcards would give 4.5 million more young people a third off their rail fares.
If you're approved, your new railcard will be available instantly.
In a message to the National Railcards Twitter account at 7.48am, youth worker Josh Booth, from Leeds, posted: "Been trying to get 26-30 railcard since 7am, your website crashing and been on hold on the phone since then".
"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".
Some saw a amusing side, with one person tweeting: 'Wonder if the plan is to make us wait until we're too old to use them for the 26-30 railcard'. Meanwhile, purchasing the railcard over the phone is also proving hard - The Independent has been on hold for more than 40 minutes at the time of writing (with no end in sight).
Tom Drury, from London, wrote: 'The launch of the new railcard is a shambles'.
This new card costs £30 per year and will only be available digitally, meant to be used on smartphones.
The card is aimed at leisure travel, and will not be applicable to season tickets.
The card has to be bought online as it is only available as a digital ticket.
An RDG spokesman said: "The trial of the 26-30 Railcard is part of the rail industry's long-term plan to change, improve and boost communities by enabling more people to travel by train".
But with only 10,000 available on the first day it is easy to see how travellers might get frustrated.
The wider rollout today follows a trial on the Greater Anglia network, and anyone applying for the railcard will need to pay by card, have proof of their age either by a driving licence or passport, and have a passport-style picture on hand.
Between 04:30 and 10:00 Monday to Friday, a £12 minimum fare will apply.
The railcard is a digital-only card.
If you are aged 30 at the time that the Railcard is purchased, you may still travel at the discounted fare throughout the validity period of the Railcard, even if you become 31 years old during that time.
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