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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 claims, 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.

Train company

Minimum delay time

Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia

30 minutes

Arriva Trains Wales Arriva Trains Wales

30 minutes


15 minutes (2 minutes if you are a Smartcard holder and have Automatic Delay Repay)

Chiltern Railways Chiltern Railways

30 minutes

Cross Country Cross

30 minutes

East Midlands Trains

30 minutes

Great Western Railway – High Speed (formerly First Great Western services)

60 minutes

Great Western Railway – London & Thames Valley (formerly First Great Western Link services)

30 minutes

Great Western Railway – Regional (formerly Wessex Trains services)

60 minutes

First Hull Trains Hull Trains

30 minutes

Grand Central Grand Central

60 minutes

Grand Central Great Northern (formerly First Capital Connect)

15 minutes

Island Line Trains

15 minutes (contact them to get a form)

London Northwestern Railway

15 minutes

London Overground

30 minutes (need to create an Oyster account first)

London Underground

15 minutes (need to create an Oyster account first)


30 minutes


30 minutes


30 minutes

South Western Railway

15 minutes


30 minutes


15 minutes

TfL Rail

30 minutes (need to create an Oyster account first)

Thameslink (formerly First Capital Connect)

15 minutes

Transpennine Express

30 minutes


30 minutes

Virgin Trains East Coast

30 minutes

Virgin Trains

30 minutes

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

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