Rail passenger rights

On 23 October 2007, European Regulation - EC Regulation 1371/2007 was introduced to deal with Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations and came into force in December 2009.  The Regulations was created as part of the development of the Single Market and was designed to safeguard passengers’ rights and the quality of the transport.  The Regulation however provides for Member States to exempt certain types of services, such as:

  1. Purely Domestic Services for three 5 year periods up to a maximum of 15 years;
  2. A permanent exemption for urban, suburban and regional services;
  3. Rail services that significantly operate outside the European Community can be exempted for 5 years and this can be renewed.

However, certain obligations and rights cannot be excluded, such as:

  1. Article 9 – Rules on ticketing;
  2. Article 11 – Liability to passengers & their luggage;
  3. Article 12 – Minimum level of Insurance for Railway Companies;
  4. Article 19 – The obligation to transport passengers with reduced mobility;
  5. Article 20 (1) – Information on the accessibility of rail services;
  6. Article 26 – Obligations on passengers’ personal security.

The Department for Transport has created a scheme which is applied by all train operators in the UK called ‘Delay Repay’.  This scheme is designed to compensate the rail traveller who has been subjected to delays to their journey.  A review of many of the schemes reveal that compensation can be claimed for all ticket types for delays of 30 minutes or more.

Compensation can range from 50% for single tickets to 100% for return tickets depending on the period of delay. It appears that all train companies allow you to make a claim online but you should do so within 28 days of the delay taking place.

In order to make sure that you are claiming correctly, it is strongly recommended that you visit the website belonging to the train company or speak to them via the booking office to make sure that you are using the correct claims procedure and timeframes as it is possible that each will have variances!


  • How can I claim?
    • Were you ill or injured on holiday in the last 3 years?
    • Do you believe you booked a Package Holiday?

    If you can answer yes to both questions, you may be able to bring a claim under the Package Travel Regulations!

    Don't worry if you cannot answer yes to both questions; if you think you booked your travel independently, you may be able to make a claim against your travel provider or supplier!

  • Other Holiday Problems;
    How can I claim?
    • Have you suffered with failures in your holiday or flight contract?
    • Does your complaint against your holiday company arise in the last 6 years (UK Only) (flights 2 years)?

    If you can answer yes to both questions, you may be able to bring a claim against your travel provider or supplier.

  • What compensation can I claim?

    Whatever type of claim you have, the level of damages you can hope to get is based on a number of factors. Firstly you have to prove your case and then an assessment is carried out to determine the level of damages.

    Read our guide on damages....

  • Why should I claim?

    You have worked hard for that precious two week holiday in the sun! Holidays are the same as any other Consumer product - if it goes wrong, you have a right to claim.

    Read more about your rights ....

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