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Getting money back for delayed or cancelled trains

We’ve all been on a train that’s been delayed, but have you ever bothered to claim compensation for your train being late? Here are some things to help you find how late your train was and how much you can get depending on how delayed you were on your journey.

How late does my train need to be?

The majority of train companies use a system called Delay Repay. If yours does, then as long as your train is more than 30 minutes late, you’ll always be able to get some money back.

To make things a little more complicated though, train companies have different guidelines for how late a train needs to be before they’ll offer you compensation. And if they don’t use the Delay Repay system, your train might need to be later than 30 minutes to qualify for compensation.

On the flip side, some will offer compensation for delays of less than 30 minutes.

We’ve put together a chart at the bottom of this article for you to check yours.

How do I know how late my train was?

Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t know exactly what time your train is meant to leave the platform, let alone what time it pulls into the station. Plus, if you’re late, or in a hurry, or just want to get to where you’re going – it’s easy to lose track.

And that’s where these websites come in. They log the departure and arrival times for trains up and down the country, so you can check exactly how long your delay was going back weeks and even months.

Recent Train Times

Realtime Trains

Raildar (you’ll need to create an account to use this website)

How much will I get?  

This varies from company to company as well, but typically if your train was 30 minutes late, you’ll get 50% of the cost of a single ticket, or 50% of the cost of the relevant part of a return ticket.

If you’re unlucky enough to have a 60 minute delay, you’ll get 100% of the price of a single ticket.

For return tickets, there are a few more rules. If your delay is between 30-59 minutes, normally compensation is 25% of the full fare, over 60 minutes that goes up to 50%, and if the delay is 120 minutes or more you could get 100% of the return ticket fare back.

Season tickets – so tickets for travel over a month or longer - are different again. Most will let you claim for delays on a particular journey, but not all. You’ll need to check what is offered on your ticket and how much you can get.

Don’t forget, you can now get your compensation in many forms, not just railway vouchers. So that means you can get bank transfer, cheques and refunds to your card.

How do I claim?

Normally it’s just a case of going to your train company’s website and filling out a form with your journey details. The table below has all the train companies and the links to their compensation pages.

Always take pictures of your tickets – you’ll need to send them off with your claim.

You’ve only got 28 days to make your claim, so act fast to make sure you’re not losing out.

What if I don’t travel?

If your train was delayed or cancelled and you then don’t travel, you can get a full and immediate refund. You can do this at the station, or go to the train company’s website. If you have a season ticket you normally can’t get refund if you didn’t travel.

Below is a list of UK train operators and the minimum time you need to be delayed by before you're eligible for a partial refund. Check the links for full terms and conditions. 

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