Privacy Policy

April 2018

About the RCTS

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) is Britain’s leading organisation for people interested in all aspects of railways past and present and is highly respected by both professional railway people and enthusiasts, a position it has held since its formation in 1928. Run entirely by volunteers, nearly 2500 members enjoy a range of services that give them a greater understanding of the railways of today, and an insight into the railways of times past. There are 30 branches covering the geographical area of England, Scotland and Wales and membership gives access to all the branches and their activities, and overseas membership is available. The RCTS is sometimes referred to in this document as the Society. You can find out more about what we do on the RCTS website

The RCTS is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and has the charity registration number 1169995.

What data do we collect?

We collect a minimum amount of personal data from you in order to provide membership services. To become a member we ask for your name, address, telephone number and email address if you have one. If you wish to pay your membership fee by direct debit then you will need to complete a direct debit form that will give sufficient details of your bank account to enable payment to be made. We may need to ask for your date of birth but only in the event that you have applied for a life membership as there is a minimum age limit for this benefit, or if you are under 18. We do NOT routinely collect any other personal information from you. If we ask for any other personal information from you at any time, we will explain why we need it.

We may, for reasons of health and safety, occasionally ask about health and mobility issues for example when arranging outside visits to a railway installation to make sure that it is safe for you to access, and we may ask about special dietary requirements to ensure that meals included in an event are suitable for your needs. This additional information is held separately with the event details and is not matched with your membership details. You do NOT have to provide this additional information but you would need to take personal responsibility for any issues that arise as a result of not providing it.

What do we do with the data?

We use your data to provide you with membership services such as providing the Society’s monthly magazine The Railway Observer (RO) which is included in your subscription; access to the Society’s website including exclusive members’ pages; and access to branch activities and major Society events such as the AGM, the Members’ Weekend and all the other benefits provided by membership of the Society.

We only share a limited amount of your data with a third party specifically in order to be able to post out hard copy ROs and to post out any Society publications where these are purchased from the RCTS website rather than at a branch meeting or at an exhibition. Electronic ROs can be accessed via the members’ pages of the RCTS website. We may need to share limited information about you with a third party as detailed above with regards to mobility issues or special dietary requirements for outside events. You do NOT have to provide this additional information but you would need to take personal responsibility for any issues that arise as a 2 of 2 result of not providing it. It is only shared with a third party with your permission and where it is strictly necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

You will be allocated to a branch covering your local area and they will have your details in order to provide you with branch services such as details of branch meetings, branch newsletters, outside visits and other information of railway interest. The branches will NOT share your information with any third party unless you agree to this.

We do NOT sell or rent out your data and we do NOT carry out any sort of profiling.

How do we collect your data?

We ask you to complete a membership application form when you join the RCTS. If the Society has arranged a major special event or meeting, you may need to complete an application form to enable you to participate. In this case you will be asked to provide relevant information about any special needs eg mobility and special dietary requirements as already explained. You will only be asked for this sort of information if it is strictly necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

How do we protect your data?

We protect your data by limiting who has access to the information which is only provided to specific people within the Society on a ‘need to know’ basis so that we can provide you with membership services. Any additional data from participation in specific events is kept separately from other membership information. Where information is held electronically, it is protected by appropriate software.

Retention of Data

The Society retains a limited amount of data of past members. If you decide not to remain as a member and you do not want us to retain your data, please let us know when you leave.

What are your rights with regards to the data that we hold?

You have the right to ask what information that we hold about you and you have the right to check and correct any mistakes in that data. You have the right to ask us to remove any data that we hold on you but it should be understood that a minimal amount of personal data is required to provide membership services as detailed above. In the first instance please contact the membership secretary if you have any queries about your personal data that we hold at

General information

We may need to change the data that we hold from time to time and the way that we process it. If we plan to make any changes we will let you know.

This policy will be reviewed regularly and may be updated from time to time.