Moors 100% boosts reciprocal travel scheme

One of Britain’s longest and most popular heritage railways has increased its support for a scheme offering free and discounted travel for staff and volunteers from heritage railways up and down the country.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, together with the Great Central Railway, Dean Forest Railway and many others, has decided to provide free travel to everyone taking part in the Heritage Railway Association’s Privilege travel scheme. The Pickering-based line has increased its discount to 100% following the relaunch of the scheme – the biggest of its type in the world.

The change means that working volunteers and staff from more than 100 heritage railways and tramways taking part in the scheme will be able to enjoy complimentary travel on the NYMR for the first time. The scenic line to Grosmont and Whitby has joined an increasing number of railways providing a full 100% discount to holders of the HRA Privilege travel pass.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Chief Executive, Chris Price, said: “We know how hard volunteers and staff work to keep the show on the road at heritage railways up and down the country. So, we wanted to make sure that everyone with an HRA Privilege card was welcomed to the North Yorkshire Moors with open arms.”

“This reciprocal travel scheme is the biggest and best. Our volunteers really value it and it contributes so much to the wider heritage rail movement. That’s why we’d also encourage anyone from another railway who is visiting the NYMR from another railway to go out and buy a HRA Privilege pass too - it’s the only way you can guarantee free travel for you and a friend or colleague.”

HRA Privilege is the new name for the scheme that has been providing free or discounted travel and entry for heritage railway volunteers and staff on more than 100 railways, cliff railways and tramways across the UK for more than 25-years, providing a valuable opportunity to visit and learn-from other railways, and make new contacts and connections across the sector. 

HRA Privilege passes can be bought from just £35.00 per year for a two person pass by working volunteers and staff from participating railways and tramways.

Formerly known as InterRail, the scheme - operated by the HRA - is the biggest scheme of its type in the world, covering 113 railways and museums, most of which generously offer free travel to HRA pass holders, with the remainder providing substantial discounts.

The new name has been accompanied by a new online presence that allows working volunteers and staff to purchase the HRA Privilege pass directly online, as well as through their own railway. All passes are still sent to railways for distribution and are available to purchase at  

Heritage Railway Association Policy and Communications Manager, Mark Pearce, said: “It’s great to see that the NYMR have decided to move to a full 100% discount for HRA Privilege card holders. We believe firmly that this reciprocal travel scheme offers huge benefits to staff and volunteers, and it also helps railways by making it easier for everyone involved to visit, and learn from, other lines.

“We’ve launched HRA Privilege with its new online purchase options to make it easier than ever for volunteers and staff to take part in the scheme. I’d encourage everyone eligible to take full advantage of this great value opportunity to see more of Britain’s heritage rail network.”

Originally set-up to support some of the HRA’s work, the scheme still funds significant parts of the organisation’s engagement, advocacy, communications and business support work, meaning that all HRA members benefit significantly from the scheme. 

Far from extracting revenue at the ticket office, research has found that more than half of visits made using the reciprocal travel arrangements would not have been made at all if the scheme didn’t exist. It also found that the average secondary spend by a pass holder in catering and retail outlets is £13 per visit.   

A full list of participating railways is available here together with more information on how to buy a HRA Privilege pass, either directly or through a participating railway. All working staff or volunteers at participating railways are eligible for the HRA Privilege pass. 

Buy your HRA Privilege pass now