Your Rights When Trains Strike

What does it mean for your travel plans when rail workers strike? Here's what you need to know.

Train Carriage

Update: The rail strike planned to take place between 6th - 10th April has been called off after National Rail challenged it in the High Court.

Unless an agreement is reached over the weekend, strike action will run between 6am - 10am and 6pm - 10pm on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 10th April, 2010.

Services scheduled to run over the Easter weekend will not be affected.

Which rail networks will be affected?

As both signalers and maintenance staff are striking across the UK it's looking likely that all rail companies will be affected to some extent. Eurostar services should go ahead as planned, however.

Will my train be cancelled?

Again, this depends on when and where you were planning to travel and which rail company you booked your ticket with. You can find out whether your train is running by checking the revised schedule for your train company on National Rail's website.

Will I be able to claim a refund if my train is cancelled?

You will receive a full refund if any service (outwards or return) you had made a reservation for is cancelled. You should claim a refund from the company you booked with, be it the train company providing the service, the railway station booking office or a third party website (for example thetrainline.com).

Unfortunately, however, it's unlikely you'll be able to claim anything back in the way of booking fees if you paid on credit card.

Season ticket holders are likely to receive refunds in the form of additional credits.

Will I be able to travel on a different train if my journey is cancelled?

If your train is cancelled you will be able to travel on a different train without exchanging your ticket. You can choose to take a different train on the same day, or travel on a different day between Saturday 3rd April and up to 7 days after your original journey was valid.

Some normal ticketing conditions will apply so if you had booked an off-peak ticket you will need to take your alternative journey in off-peak hours. Similarly, if you booked an on-peak train ticket you will need to travel during peak hours. Passengers with Anytime tickets will be able to travel on any service running on a strike day.

If you had booked an Advance ticket you will be able to travel on any service running on the day of a strike or, if you choose to travel on a different day, take a train that departs within an hour of your original travel time (or the nearest available service to this).

Will I be able to claim a refund if my train is delayed?

If your journey is due to go ahead as planned then normal ticket conditions and restrictions will apply. However, you may be able to claim for compensation if you experience a delay. Make sure you contact the train company you booked with to ask for compensation within 28 days.

Bear in mind that each train company has a different policy on what constitutes a delay, some will pay out for delays over 30 minutes, while others will only pay out compensation if you experienced a delay of an hour or more.

Will I be able to claim a refund if I choose not to travel?

You are not automatically entitled to a refund if you choose to avoid the disruption, don't use your ticket and make alternative travel arrangements on a strike day. Instead it will be down to your train company's discretion so check their website to find out what their refund policy is.

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