Thousands of South West Trains commuters hit by disruption at Waterloo station are on track for refunds worth £100s after a U-turn over compensation.

South West Trains passengers who have a season ticket for a month or more can claim 10 days of refunds for the Waterloo upgrade work from this Saturday (26 August).

Passengers had been told they wouldn't be able to claim compensation for upheaval during the work, as a reduced timetable had been announced far ahead of the upgrade.

But transport group Stagecoach, which was in charge of the South West franchise until Sunday 20 August, has now declared passengers can claim compensation for 10 days of the work. New operator First/MTR, which has changed the company name to South Western Railway, does not plan to offer enhanced compensation for the remainder of the work.

Martin Lewis
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How do I claim?

Stagecoach has declared Monday 7 to Friday 11 August and Monday 14 to Friday 18 August as 'void' days, meaning passengers can claim compensation as long as they have a valid season ticket - even if they decided not to travel during the disruption.

The compensation will be the cost of a single ticket each way, worked out as a proportion of your season ticket. For example if you have a monthly season ticket from Basingstoke to Waterloo you should be able to claim about £24 per day, so just under £250 in total.

You can claim at a ticket office or via the customer service centre from Saturday, up until the point your season ticket expires.

You can opt for cash compensation (although if it's for a large amount you may be offered a cheque) or a discount on your next season ticket.

South West Trains season ticket holder? Here's how to claim a 10-day refund for Waterloo works
South West Trains passengers who have a season ticket for a month or more can claim 10 days of refunds

What if I have a TfL Travelcard?

If you use a TfL Travelcard you will be eligible for the refunds – you'll need to claim via the customer service centre from this Saturday.

You'll need to include the expired rail season ticket or a copy of the Oyster travelcard, journey history and proof of travel on the South Western Railway network (though not specifically on the 'void' days), your home or work address and the details of your journey.

What if I don't have a season ticket?

Those who don't have a monthly or longer season ticket can only claim for delays based on the advertised timetable.

Until Monday 4 September South Western Railway is operating the old-style 'passenger charter' compensation scheme, which means you can claim:

  • Single ticket – A full refund if you're delayed 60 minutes or more.
  • Return ticket – A 50% refund if you're delayed 60 minutes or more on either leg of the journey, or a full refund if both parts are delayed for over an hour.
  • Seven-day ticket – A 10% refund if you're delayed 60 minutes or more on either leg of a journey, or a 20% refund if both parts are delayed for over an hour.

From Monday 4 September, South Western Railway will operate the Delay Repay scheme, meaning you'll be able to claim for delays of 30 minutes or more regardless of what caused the problem.

How long will the upgrade work last?

The work began on Saturday 5 August and will last until Monday 28 August, with services reduced by up to 75%. See South Western Railway for more information.