To allow sufficient time to develop the marketing and advertising campaigns, the decision was made to re-run the
‘Kids Out Quids In‘ promotion for the summer of 1986, right through until Sunday 28th September. This
had two advantages -
- The established and fairly loyal ‘Kids Out Quids In‘ market could be targeted with incentives to switch to Network
Card after September.
- There was already going to be considerable marketing activity connected with the launch of Network SouthEast on
10th June 1986, including the launch of one new ticketing product, namely One Day Capitalcard. It didn‘t make
sense to confuse the market with another new product as well.
was launched on Monday 29th September 1986. It was priced at £10
for adults and £5 for
the over 60s and valid for twelve months. The card holder could also select a second holder who could use the card
on their own. The second holder was entitled to exactly the same discounts and entitlements.
The Network Card holder (or nominated second holder) was entitled to 34% discounts on Ordinary Singles, Returns, One
Day Capitalcards (minimum fare £2) and Network Savers. As an introductory offer there was a 50% discount on
Cheap Day Returns, this reverted to 34% from January 1987. Discounts were also available on Red Funnel ferry services
to the Isle of Wight.
Up to three other adults travelling with the card holder (or second holder) were entitled to the same discounts and
children (5 to 15) travelled for just £1 each. The reduced fares were available after 10:00 Mondays to Fridays,
anytime at weekends and over the bank holidays. The total party size could be up to eight people, up to four adults
and four children. No photocards were needed. Passengers could upgrade to 1st Class travel on the weekends and at
bank holidays for just £1 each.
There were of course a few caveats. For instance, discounted tickets could not be used on (InterCity) Gatwick Express
or Rail/Air Link Coach services.
A special offer was made to passengers travelling on the ‘Kids Out Quids In‘ promotion during August
and September 1986. They were given £5 discount vouchers off the price of a Network Card. They only had to
be make two trips and their Network Card was free! A total of 40,000 Network Cards were issued in exchange for
these vouchers before 29th September.
A major advertising campaign ran from Sunday 28th September 1986, lead by the ‘Love Train‘ TV commercial
and supported by national and local press advertising, a major poster blitz at stations, leaflets and flyers. A novel
new media was to advertise Network Cards on milk bottles delivered to doorsteps by Unigate and Coop Dairies
throughout the NSE area.
Network Card formed the foundation of the Network SouthEast marketing drive for 1987 under the umbrella of the
‘Summer of Fun‘ campaign. Activity started with a Network Card Day on Saturday 11th April. This allowed
Network Card holders to travel anywhere for £1, children went free. The promotion generated some 15,000 new
The main aim of the advertising and publicity for 1987 was to show committed and not so committed leisure travellers
the big savings possible for families and friends with Network Card. The advertising also stressed the card‘s
flexibility and suitability for groups of different sizes. An imaginative point of sale display was displayed in ticket
offices which showed local examples of the savings that could be made instantly
with Network Card. This had a
useful effect and encouraged many impulse purchases of Network Card. Customers were also given a Leisure Pack which
included the new Network SouthEast Leisure Map and a Network Leisure Savings Book, both designed to give idea for
future trips by train. A competition was also run for Network Card holders with prizes of trips to Venice by V.S.O.E.
returning by Concorde. Runners up won Golden Rail short breaks.
The database of Network Card holders was set up and used to mail customers with renewal reminders.
Extensive market research was undertaken in 1987. This indicated that 90% of holders had never held another
railcard, 83% felt that it was good value, with 85% likely to renew. 81% of journeys were being made on Cheap
Day Returns and One Day Capitalcards. In the month prior to interview card holders made an average of 1.65
journeys (1.1 journeys by nominated ‘second‘ holders), with an average fare of £9.50.
27% of all journeys were conversions from car trips. 6% were entirely new, ‘generated‘ journeys
(i.e. would not have been made had there not been the reduced fares that Network card offered).
Similar marketing, advertising and publicity campaigns to the 1987 activity were run in 1988 and 1989.
In 1988 Network Cards were made available to holders of Young Person Railcards at half price (£5).
The communication was adjusted slightly to place more emphasis on the 34% discount available on Network Savers
(later re-named Network Away Breaks) for ‘stay-away‘ trips and also to the £1 First Class
facility at weekends. The 10:00 starting time restriction on Mondays to Fridays was relaxed back to 09:00 during
July and August. Special offers with holiday operators and visitor attractions were mailed to Network Card holders
to give more ideas of places to go using discounted rail fares.
The advertising and publicity for 1988 and 1989 was similar to the 1987 campaign but without the TV commercial.
Further Network Card Days were held on Saturday 16th April 1988 and 22nd April 1989 giving card holders the chance
to go anywhere within the vast NSE area for just £1 (increased to £3 for 1989). The over 60s were
targeted with a special £3 Network Day on Saturday 10th September 1989 and a major poster campaign featuring
DJ Tony Blackburn under the theme ‘You don‘t need to be young or retiring to get a third off with a
Network SouthEast‘s promotion of Network Card carried on until March 1994. In a memo to the House of Commons
Transport Select Committee, September 2001 the South Hampshire Rail Users‘ Group wrote -
‘Chris Green brought
affordable off-peak travel to the populous South East through the Network Card‘