When can you get a full refund?

If your journey is cancelled for any reason, you can get a full refund from the train company you were due to travel with.

You need to keep your unused train tickets and claim within 28 days of the date you were supposed to travel.

What if you choose not to travel?

If you change your mind about a journey you have already booked, you may still be able to get a refund on your tickets:

  • If your service will be delayed: You can get a full refund if your journey is due to be delayed, or your seat reservation is not available.

  • If your service is running normally: You can get a refund but you may have to pay a 10 cancellation fee. Advance tickets and some special offers may not be refundable, so check the terms and conditions of the train operating company.

When can you get compensation?

If your train is delayed by more than 1 hour, you can claim 50% of the ticket price.

The National Rail Conditions of Travel entitle you to a compensation of:

  • 50% of your ticket price for a single ticket

  • 25% of your ticket price for a return ticket

  • 50% of your ticket price for a return, if you are delayed both ways for over 1 hour

If you are delayed by more than half an hour, you could get some money back by contacting your train provider as soon as possible.

You cannot claim if the cause of the delay was not your train operator's fault.

For example, you could claim for delays caused by staff shortages, but not for delays caused by bad weather.

What is Delay Repay?

This is a voluntary scheme that lets you claim more generous compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. The train companies signed up to Delay Repay include:

What you can claim for and how much you get depends on your train company. But most operators offer money back for delays outside their control, like bad weather.

You must apply within 28 days of your delayed journey, either by post or through your train company's website. You will also need to send photographs of your tickets.

What about poor service?

You can also claim for problems on your journey, like:

  • Broken toilets

  • Dangerous overcrowding

  • No WiFi, when you were told there would be

Keep a copy of your tickets, and take photos of any problems you experience on your journey. Then email them to your train company's complaints team, by searching their contact details on their website.

The amount you get is down to the train company's discretion, and they aren't legally obliged to give you a refund. But you could still get money back as a good will gesture.

What about season tickets?

If you are more than an hour late to your destination, you can claim back 20% of the price of a weekly season ticket. There are two main types of compensation:

  • Renewal discounts: If you have a monthly or annual season ticket, you will get a discount at renewal if your train company has not met its performance targets. This varies and depends on your route, so check with your operator.

  • Delay Repay: You can claim for compensation if your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes. Speak to your train company, as the money you get back will be based on the price of your season ticket and your journey times.

What about train strikes?

You can still get a full refund if any part of your train journey is cancelled due to strike action. You will also be given the option to travel on a different train, without changing your ticket.

You can choose between:

  • A different train on the same day

  • A different train, up to 7 days after your journey was cancelled

The travel conditions of your original ticket will still apply, so if you have an off peak ticket you can only travel at off peak times.

Most train companies put on replacement services during strikes. This means you can only claim for delays to your journey if your replacement travel is affected.

How are claims paid?

If your claim is successful, your train company will pay the money by paying it directly into your bank account or by cheque.

You have the right to demand cash for train delays and cancellations, so don't be fobbed off with vouchers.

What if your claim is rejected?

If you are unhappy with the response you get from your train company, you can log an official complaint with them. Here is how to write a complaint letter.

If you are still unhappy, you can escalate your complaint by contacting Transport First or the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).