►► The German “50% off” railcard called the BahnCard 50 ◀◀

British rail passengers have welcomed the new national railcard launched on 3 March 2014 which allows two people travelling together to save 30% on train fares.

The £30-a-year "Two Together Railcard" can be used on journeys after 09.30 on weekdays and all day at weekends by two named and photographed people.

It is the first new national railcard to be launched for 30 years and comes more than 10 years after Railfuture showed that a national railcard would have attracted more passengers and more revenue.

For years, rail passengers in Germany and Switzerland have been able to buy cards giving much bigger discounts.

In Britain, the Association of Train Operating Companies was convinced revenue would go down because existing passengers would use the card, ignoring the fact that many more people would be attracted to rail travel.

Now any two people can apply to buy the new railcard – whether they are a couple, relatives, colleagues who regularly share a trip or commute, or two friends who regularly travel together, but the discount will apply only to journeys they take together.

A Two-Together railcard was successfully piloted in the West Midlands area, in response to complaints that the majority of people do not qualify for a senior railcard or a young person's card.

Single people are now complaining that they are being discriminated against by the new card.

Steve Lyden-Brown, founder of the Single Tourist Action Centre, told The Independent: “This amounts to a penalty for people travelling on their own.”

If the singles succeed in putting on enough pressure, a national railcard could be the answer.

Until 5 September 2014, you can buy the new Two Together railcard with a £3 discount by going to the railcard website and entering the promotional code ONLINE.

Railcard website

National Rail Card research