Millennial railcard website crashes amid scramble for discounted train travel

A website selling new millennial railcards crashed due to high demand as just 10,000 went on sale.

Passengers across Britain aged 26-30 are eligible for the discount card for the first time.

But the website selling the cards was unable to cope when they went on sale on Tuesday morning.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget speech in November that the railcards would give "4.5 million more young people a third off their rail fares".

But only 10,000 are initially being made available while the scheme is trialled to assess the impact on revenue and passenger numbers.

The cards cost £30 each year and save a third off most fares.

A spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies, said: "We're sorry to those who have been unable to buy a trial 26-30 Railcard this morning.

"This is due to the exceptionally high volume of traffic on the 26-30 Railcard website.

"We are increasing the capacity on the website to better manage the high level of traffic.

"Railcards are still available to purchase and people should keep checking @_Railcards Twitter and Facebook pages for updates."

Many passengers took to social media to express their frustration at being unable to buy the cards.

Emily Thomas, from London, wrote on Twitter: "Getting a 26-30 railcard is worse than getting a Glastonbury ticket. Sort out your website to make it fair!"

Mike Forsyth, from Manchester, posted: "What a farce trying to buy a 'millennial railcard' has been."

Those lucky enough to get hold of a railcard expressed delight.

Daniel Amity wrote: "The struggle is over! After tapping f5 for over an hour and trying to get through on the phone for 55min I finally got my railcard. #railwars."

Collette Naden said: "Just got a 26-30 railcard and I am so happy - it saves me thousands a year."

The card must be downloaded on to a smartphone and is aimed at leisure travellers.

There are no discounts on season tickets and a £12 minimum fare applies to all journeys between 4.30am and 10am, excluding weekends and public holidays.

The card was previously only available to a limited number of people in East Anglia.

Passengers were hit with the largest annual fare rise in five years on January 2, with average ticket prices across Britain increasing by 3.4%.