If things go wrong with your journey

Occasionally there may be a problem during your trip. This page tells you your rights and how to claim compensation.

Our local Train Operating Companies (First Great Western, South West Trains and Cross Country) have compensation schemes under which you may be refunded all or part of your fare if your journey is delayed because of issues within the control of these companies or Network Rail. Examples would be a broken down train or points failure. They won’t normally compensate you for delays from events outside their control, such as lines blocked by snow or landslides, although in such circumstances ticket restrictions may be waived (e.g. tickets valid only on a particular day may, in certain circumstances, be valid for use on a different day. Always check with the appropriate train operating company). Click on the highlighted links for each company for more information about their schemes.

The schemes vary in details – FGW has different (inherited) schemes for main line as opposed to local services. Always send supporting times and length of delay to prove your claim.

You will need to fill in a compensation form and send this and your ticket(s) to the train operating company who operated the train on which you were delayed (regardless of which company sold you the ticket). So if you are travelling from Exmouth to Birmingham, and are delayed on a Cross Country train between Exeter and Birmingham, you should claim from Cross Country rather than FGW.  The operator will process your claim and refund you if it falls within their scheme – generally by sending you vouchers which can be used to purchase rail tickets. Please note that these cannot be used to purchase tickets from a machine, and it is currently not possible to use them to purchase tickets on-line. However, you can exchange them at any ticket office (for example, I recently used a voucher issued by FGW to purchase a ticket at York station).


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