How to claim refunds for train delays and cancellations

Delays can be annoying but you can often get your money back straight away at the station ticket office. We explain how you can make a claim after leaving the station.

spread the word
email & print
Delay repay

Southern revised timetable

The Government has allowed Southern rail to temporarily axe hundreds of services under an amended timetable in response to months of disruption.

During the amended timetable, you will be able to claim compensation against trains cancelled in advance or against delays experienced on the day either against the normal or the amended timetable.

1 Claim train delay repay 

Delay repay is the national scheme that most train companies use to compensate you for delays and cancellations.

You should find all you need to make a delay repay claim on the website of the train operator you were travelling with. 

Need to Know

Delay Repay?  Companies signed up to the Delay Repay scheme pay compensation regardless of the reason for the delay. 

Companies that don't use delay repay won't usually pay compensation if the problem is deemed out of their control. 

But, it is still worth asking them for compensation as some may pay out.

Strike  Sometimes an emergency timetable will be put in place when a strike happens. In some cases this means you can only claim compensation based on delays to services on the emergency timetable.

Demand cash  Don't get fobbed off with rail vouchers, train companies are legally required to offer you cash compensation.

To help you find the information you need to make a claim, we've provided a breakdown of what compensation is available from each company, along with a link for more on how to claim on their website.

Select the train company you're claiming against from the following list:

Abellio Greater Anglia
Arriva Trains Wales
C2C
Chiltern Railways
CrossCountry
East Midlands
First Hull Trains
First Transpennine Express
Govia Thameslink Railway
Great Northern
Grand Central
Great Western
London Midland
Merseyrail
Northern
South West Trains
Southern
Southeastern
Virgin (East & West coast)

The table below shows you what compensation levels train companies offer and how you can make a claim.

Train delay compensationHow to claim

Abellio Greater Anglia

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or 50% of the cost of the affected journey of a return ticket.

60+ minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or affected portion of a return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Claim compensation on the Abellio Greater Anglia website.

Arriva Trains Wales

30-59 minute delay
20% of the cost of the affected journey.

60+ minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensation is based on performance.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Arriva Trains Wales website.

C2C

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Find out how to claim compensation on the C2C website.

Chiltern

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60+ minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Chiltern website.

 

CrossCountry

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Find out how to claim compensation on the CrossCountry website.

East Midlands

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Find out how to claim compensation on the East Midlands website.

First Hull Trains

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Claims assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Find out how to claim compensation on the First Hull Trains website.

First Transpennine Express

30-59 minute delay
100%  the cost of a single ticket or 50% of a return ticket.

60+ minute delay 
100% the cost of a single ticket or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensation is paid in relation to performance.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Claim compensation on the Tanspennine Express website.

Great Northern & Thameslink Railway

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Claim compensation on the Thameslink website.

Grand Central

60-119 minute delay
50% refund on a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120 minute+ delay
75% refund on a single or return ticket. Increasing to 100% for delays of over three hours.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Grand Central website.

Great Western

The level of compensation offered is dependent on the route you're travelling.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Great Western website.

London Midland

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Find out how to claim compensation on the London Midland website.

Merseyrail

30+ minute delay
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

Weekly ticket
A percentage back of the total cost.

Season and trio tickets
A refund of 5% or 10% of the purchase price depending on performance over the duration of ticket.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Merseyrail website.

Northern

60+ minute delay
50% the cost of a single ticket or a return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensation is based on performance.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Northern website.

Scotrail

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Scotrail website.

Southeastern

30-59 minute delay
50% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected journey of a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Find out how to claim compensation on the Southeastern website.

Southern

30-59 minute delay
50% refund on a single ticket or a 25% refund on a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay
100% refund on a single ticket or a 50% refund on a return ticket.

120 minute+ delay
100% refund on a single or return ticket.

Claim compensation on the Southern Rail website.

South West Trains

60 minute or longer delay
100% the cost of a single journey or 50% the cost of a return journey.

Season ticket holders
Compensation is based on performance.

This company does not use delay repay and will not usually pay compensation for problems deemed out of its control. But, it is worth asking for compensation as it may pay out in some cases.

Claim compensation on the South West Trains website.

Virgin Trains (East Coast and West Coast)

30-59 minute delay
50% the cost of a single ticket or a return ticket.

60-119 minute delay 
100% of the cost of a single ticket or the affected portion of a return ticket.

120+ minute delay
100% cost of your fare whether you have a single or return ticket.

Season ticket holders
Compensated per journey the same as above, but with extra compensation in the case of sustained poor performance.

Claim compensation on the Virgin Trains website.

Table last updated: 11/02/2016

If the train operator you wish to make a claim against isn't included in the list above, then visit the operator's own website. 

The terms of their train delay repay scheme should be clearly set out with instructions on how to make a claim. 

Renewing your season ticket?

We've heard reports that some passengers have been able to haggle a reduction in the cost of their season ticket as a result of persistently poor service. 

If you're travelling on a regularly delayed route you may be able to take advantage of this.

2 Write to the train company

Write to the customer services department of the train company you were travelling with. 

Explain to them what happened, give full details of your journey and include your tickets (take copies first). 

Many train companies now provide online forms on their websites to do this. 

In most cases you'll need to contact the train company itself (e.g. First Great Western). For journeys on London Underground and London Overground, this will be Transport for London.

For underground services in Merseyside, Tyne and Wear and Glasgow, go to the local Passenger Transport Executive: Merseytravel; Nexus (Tyne and Wear); Strathclyde Passenger Transport (Glasgow) respectively.

3 Take your complaint further

If you're not happy with the response you get from the train company, or don't receive the refund you think you're entitled to, try contacting:

  • Transport Focus if your journey was outside London or if your complaint is about the National Rail Enquiries Service;
  • London TravelWatch if your journey was within London and surrounding areas (including those on London Underground or London Overground).

Explain the situation to them, and include copies of the response you have received from the train company.

4 Raise a second complaint

If you're unhappy with the response of Transport Focus or London TravelWatch, get in touch again and raise a complaint with them about how your complaint has been handled.

5 Contact the ombudsman

If you're still unhappy with the way your complaint has been handled, you can take it to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (for Transport Focus), or the London TravelWatch Chief Executive.

And, if you're still unhappy with London TravelWatch you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Rail delays megaphone
0

Join our campaign
& help us reach 50,000 signatures

Last year 47 million rail passenger journeys were cancelled or delayed by more than 30 minutes. We found only 34% of passengers who may have been entitled to a refund said they actually claimed. The rail regulator’s investigation found a situation much worse with 80% of passengers not claiming. We’re calling on the regulator to keep the pressure on train companies to ensure passengers get the refunds they deserve for rail delays.

Find out more about Rail delay refunds on Which? Campaigns

Thank you for signing our campaign

Help us spread the word by sharing our campaign

#RailRefunds

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.