Traveling by train

February 28, 2024

Right to information – rail companies and station managers must inform passengers about their rights. Rail companies must also keep passengers informed about any delays or disruptions to international rail transport services, and may also provide information on train offers and tickets.

Assistance for persons with disabilities/reduced mobility – rail companies and station managers must provide assistance to passengers with reduced mobility or a disability when boarding international trains. The passenger should provide at least 48 hours’ notice of the intended journey, using the communication tool indicated by the rail company (e.g. by phone or via a certain website). Assistance should also be provided at connecting stations and the passenger’s destination.

Reimbursement and rerouting –  if a delay of more than 60 minutes is anticipated in reaching the final destination, passengers must be offered a choice between –

  • reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket for the part(s) of the journey not made, AND for the part already made if the journey no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plan
  • continuation or rerouting, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at the earliest opportunity
  • continuation or rerouting, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destinat ion at a later date of convenience to the passenger.

Compensation – passengers are entitled to compensation if their train arrives at least one hour late at the final destination, provided the cause of the delay was within the control of the rail carrier. Compensation is calculated as follows –

  • 25% of the fare paid for delays between 60 and 119 minutes
  • 50% of the fare paid for delays of more than 120 minutes

Payment should be made within one month of the passenger’s submitting a claim.

Assistance in case of delay/cancellation – passengers must be kept informed of the situation, including the estimated departure time and estimated arrival time, as soon as such information is available. In the case of a delay of more than 60 minutes, passengers should also be offered –

  • meals and refreshments, if they can reasonably be supplied
  • hotel or other accommodation, including transportation between the station and same
  • where the train is blocked on the track, transport from the train to the railway station or to the final destination of the service, where and when physically possible.

Rail carriers must organise alternative transport services for passengers where the railway service cannot be continued any more.

Advance payment in the case of death or injury – where a passenger is killed or injured in a train accident, the rail company which was performing the transport service must make an advance payment that meets the costs of that passenger’s immediate needs and those of his or her dependents. Such payment must be made within 15 days of the establishment of the identity of the natural person entitled to compensation. In the event of a death, payment shall amount to at least €21,000.

Right of complaint – rail carriers must have a complaints mechanism available to all passengers. As a rule, complaints should be made to the rail company which issued the ticket. A claim may also be submitted to any other rail company involved in the transport, and/or to the authority responsible for the enforcement of the passenger rights Regulation in your country.