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Are you a frequent rider of the Rail? If you said yes then you probably know that your train ridecan seem like a never ending trip when it is packed to the roof with children who are never well behaved or quiet and you are so closely confined that you can feel the breath of the passenger three seats behind you on your neck. Well there is a little known trick that will allow you to move from the Standard Class to an upgrade in First Class carriage FREE of charge.

There is only one condition that is required for this to take place and that is that Standard Class has to be full. And being able to charm the socks off of someone with your personality, wit and smile doesn’t hurt either.
In the National Rail Conditions of Carriage regulations book has a section that is highly recommended so pay close attention.

Section 1G, Part 39
If you have a standard class ticket (other than a Season Ticket), no standard class accommodation is available, and ticket staff on that train give their permission, then you may travel in first class accommodation (or the equivalent) where this is available without extra charge.

On-train ticket staff will not give you permission to use first class accommodation (or theequivalent) unless they are satisfied that it is not required by anyone with a first class ticket andthe standard class accommodation on the train is full. This permission may be withdrawn if aperson holding a first class ticket requires the accommodation during your journey or standard class accommodation becomes available.

So to put it simply, if Standard Class Carriage is full to capacity, with the permission of the Conductor (this is where your charm would come in to play) you can be upgraded for freeto First Class Carriage! I thought this sounded way too easy and there must be a catch to it somehow, but I have tried it on 7 occasions, 6 of which resulted in an upgrade. The first attempt probably would have resulted in an upgrade too; except for the Conductor said he had never heard of such a thing. So each trip on the railways since then I have made sure to have a copy of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage regulations book with me for reference.

So next time you are going to ride the railways, don’t despair at the idea of knocking knees with the throngs of other passengers, you have a trick up your sleeve. Have your National Rail Conditions of Carriage regulations book handy.


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