please empty your brain below

Thanks for this. The change isn't as bad as I first thought.
Hover travel? There are still public hovercraft?
Who knew?!!
By chance, are they about to make the Network Railcard more useless at the same time?
Two great posts today - this time congratulations for the concise and straightforward presentation.
Hmmm. Though there is a clear element of taking with one hand as they give with the other.

One correction (I think), sorry, inevitably - it's not possible (as far as I know) to get Oyster PAYG/daily caps using a Network Card, as that, unlike a Gold Card, can't be referenced on an Oyster Card. It was explained to me the reason for that is that the Network Card, on Monday-Friday, has a minimum fare of £13 (higher than most of the daily caps).

The Gold Card has no such minimum fare associated with it - this is only the case for the Network Card at weekends.

Still, confusing much?
@Andrew Bowden I hope not, but there has been past form at doing that :-(

However I'm hopeful the extended Network Railcard Area will apply to the Network card as well. I'm also pleased to see it now includes Hovertravel, as I use them a few times a year. @Dan Yes they are still running and it's the quickest, most frequent, fun and (in my experience at least) most reliable way to cross the Solent. Certainly far better than Wightlink!
As the Gold card benefits are not as widely advertised as they might be, there must be many people who are paying more than they need to when travelling with friends or making trips beyond their season ticket validity.
Indeed, I have just realised that I could have bought my student son (whose travel is almost entirely in the Network Railcard Area) a Network Railcard for £1, instead of him buying a 16-25 railcard for £30.

On the other hand, there are some savvy enough to buy a cheap Annual Season ticket they have no intention of using, simply to get the Gold Card benefits.
Indeed, the Island Line is about to lose a nice little earner, as the extended range of the Gold Card Zone means that the cheapest Annual Season will no longer be the £160 "ticket to Ryde" between the Esplanade and St Johns Road - apparently they sell a significant number.
The cheapest I have found in the enlarged zone is £108 (at current prices) between the two stations in Lichfield.
(You can buy both these season tickets on line, so there is no need to go to Ryde or Lichfield - nice though both places are)
@ Dan - there's a regular hovercraft service from Portsmouth to Ryde, IoW. It's quicker than the Wightlink passenger ferry and goes all the way into Ryde, rather than dumping you half a mile out on the sea end of Ryde pier.
But using the Wightlink does get you a ride on a 1930s art-deco design icon thrown in for no extra charge

The Hoverport in Not-Really-Portsmouth (i.e Southsea) is also nearly a mile from the station.

The hovercraft is more exciting though.
The 16-25 railcard has some benefits over the network railcard, though - and why not buy a 3-year one?

As someone who is turning 27 soon, my 16-25 railcard will no longer be valid. However, as I am unlikely to spend £318 on Oyster off-peak and rail tickets within the area, a Lichfield season is probably not worth it. A 2 together card may be.

Does anyone know whether for 2015, travel after 0930 in London (all day non-working days) will still have a railcard discounted __cap__ despite being subject to the peak cap?
"1/3 off Oyster Off-Peak pay as you go fares and Oyster Off-Peak daily price cap"

I must admit I'm not fully up to date on the TfL fare changes, but wasn't the off-peak fare cap effectively being done away with in January?
@Rogmi There will still be a Z1-9 off-peak Oyster cap from January 2015.
Ah, thanks.
I probabbly ignored that one because I didn't know anybody who would actually be using Z1-9 :-)
The emerging view seems to be that the system will still calculate off peak caps for those who have a railcard discount set on their Oyster card. There is a poorly worded phrase on TfL's website about the 2015 Fares which says that discounts on off peak caps will still be available. It is assumed, but not yet confirmed, that the railcard cap will be 1/3 off the new daily cap prices. Disabled Railcard holders will have discounted peak and off peak travel and caps from 2 Jan 2015 on TfL rail services. I think we'll only know for certain when TfL publish updated fares tables.

Looking at the new caps then the railcard discounted cap would be £4.30 for Z12, £5 for Z13, £6.20 for Z14, £7.30 for Z15 and £7.90 for Z16. This only applies for travel after 0930 MF and at weekends. Note this is my guess and is subject to what TfL decide and then publish.

I expect travel prior to 0930 will be charged separately at peak rates and then the eventual running total will be compared against the daily cap (does it exceed it or not?) and the peak fare paid plus the railcard discounted cap for travel after 0930. This is the same logic as used today to determine the cheapest overall charge for the travel made.
Apart from Z1-9, there will be just one cap, which will be set somewhere between the levels of the two existing caps (or in Z1-2 and Z1-3, actually below the existing off-peak cap)

@JQ - he did indeed buy a 3-year one, so it will be 2017 before we can take advantage of the discounted rate.
I wonder whether there will still be the £2 offpeak return ticket for a child travelling with an adult holding ANY valid ticket. Indeed, it is difficult to find any reference to it now on any TOC website, apart from that of Southern Railway. I have been able to buy one elsewhere, but only by insisting on it!
Bob: this is in dg's list: the £2 fare is being replaced by a 60% discount on child fares, which brings the Gold Card into line with a standard Network Railcard.
"Up to two children aged under 5 travel free of charge"

Don't they do so anyway, regardless of the ticket held by the adult escorting them? (Although when, at the age of 13, I was travelling with my 4-year old brother, we both had to pay child fare)
I don't think the Network Railcard area is changing at all.

The extension almost certainly applies to the Gold Card area only - just because the areas are the same this year doesn't mean they have to be the same next year?
It's worth noting that the "Buy another Railcard for £10" equally applies to the Gold Card holder if they qualify for one of the other Railcards as well.

As for the child flat fares, those (as far as I know) will still apply where TOCs (Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink) offer them outwith the Gold Card scheme, it's the Gold Card flat fare that is being changed to bring it into line with other Railcards.
There is already a through ticket available including Hovertravel and the connecting bus which results in a substantial saving. By public transport, it's actually quicker and cheaper from where I live in northern Southampton to almost anywhere on the Island outside Cowes to take the train to Portsmouth, the bus and the hovercraft rather than the Southampton car or passenger ferry.
Should I buy an annual season ticket?

I live in Z3 (or bus to Z2 - usually buy Z1-2 monthly) and commute to Z1. Any train journeys I make are usually from London to beyond the Gold Card area. I'd be making any train journeys with my partner. Obviously there's still a saving, but is there any major drawback? Any thoughts welcome.

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