How to win money back for train delays

Who hasn't had a horrible train journey? Whether it's the wrong leaves on the track or engineering works, we've all been delayed at some point. Here's how you can get compensation for those miserable hours spent sat on stationary trains.

Being a Northerner in London I make frequent trips back to Yorkshire to visit family. This means regularly braving the trains and hoping I will get to York station on time without suffering too much in transit. And most of the time I am.

But recently when I had a hangover and was looking forward to two hours sleep on a train I was launched on the journey from hell.

Fallen cables meant no trains out of Kings Cross so hundreds of people were told to jump on trains from St Pancras instead. No extra trains were laid on so I spent three hours stood nose-to-armpit in an incredibly cramped carriage. Not great for the hangover.

Despite repeated apologies from the train staff they never once mentioned compensation. But thanks to my job I know about Delay/Repay.

It’s a refund system that pays you back if you are more than 30 minutes late. The longer the delay the more you get. I got a full refund of my ticket as I was three hours late.

The only downside is your refund is in vouchers. These can only be spent in stations so you can’t use them for cheap internet fares. Still, owt’s better than nowt – as we say in Yorkshire.

Your Comments

I travel often with Southern and even though it sometimes takes forever to get a refund on Delay/Repay,, I have sent the vouchers back and asked for a cheque as I book all my tickets online and they have sent one in itsplace.

I was also told by someone at Southern earlier this year that they were intending to put a gizmo online sometime later in 2011 to enable customers to deduct refunds on a voucher code system, but whether this will happen or not remains debatable. If supermarkets such as Tesco and John Lewis can operate a system like this on their websites, surely it can't be beyond the wit of the train companies
to do this?