Get a rebate on your train fare

17 March 2008

Whether you're commuting to work or taking a cross-country trip, you could be eligible for a rebate if your journey is disrupted. Follow our five simple steps to making a claim.

1 What am I entitled to?

The criteria for compensation differs between train companies, so check individual company websites. The type of refund also varies - some offer cash refunds, while others reimburse you with vouchers; some cover for delays of 30 minutes, while others have you waiting an hour before they refund. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet the criteria, claims are often considered on an individual basis.

2 When to claim

Make your claim as soon as possible after the incident to heighten your chances of receiving a rebate; most train companies must receive applications within 28 days of the ticket's expiry date. You can claim an immediate refund from the ticket office at the station if you decide not to travel because your train is cancelled or delayed - often subject to an administration fee.

3 Are train firms always liable?

Compensation is usually only issued if the reason for the delay is within the control of the company, so if extreme weather conditions are to blame you may not be eligible for a claim.

4 What about season tickets?

If you hold monthly or annual season tickets and are subject to repeated delays you could be entitled to a discount. Each train company has punctuality and reliability targets - so if your route has consistently been below that target you can get a rebate.

5 How to make a claim

Get as much information as possible about the cancelled or delayed journey and make the claim in writing to the train company concerned. Download a form from the company's website (Transport for London's is at - you'll often be asked to supply tickets and receipts, but be sure to keep a copy for reference.

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