MSE News

Train strike refund rights as Northern, Southeastern, Thameslink and more set for week of disruption

Rail users in England, Scotland and Wales face disruption over the coming week as workers across multiple train operators, including Northern, Southeastern, Thameslink and more, take strike action and refuse to work overtime. See below for more info and to find out what your refund rights are.

  • Train drivers at 16 companies walked out on Saturday 30 September and plan to do so again on Wednesday 4 October over pay disputes.
  • They also took industrial action short of a strike by refusing to work overtime on Friday 29 September and plan to do so again from Monday 2 October to Friday 6 October.
     
  • Tube drivers had also planned to walk out on Wednesday 4 October and Friday 6 October, however, this strike action has now been cancelled after an agreement was reached over job losses and pay. This means Tube services will run as normal on these dates.

We've listed changes to individual rail companies' timetables over this period below. It's worth noting that services are often disrupted the day after strike action, so make sure you check your operator's website for updates.

  • Company-by-company train strike info

    Strike action by rail company

    Train company Affected journeys and planned action

    Avanti West Coast

     

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Avanti website for updates

    c2c

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the C2C website for updates

    Chiltern Railways

    - 29 Sept &  2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Chiltern Railways website for updates

    CrossCountry

     

    - 29 Sept &  2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the CrossCountry website for updates

    East Midlands Railway 

    - 29 Sept &  2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the East Midlands Railway website for updates

    Gatwick Express

     

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Gatwick Express website for updates

    Great Northern

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Great Northern website for updates

    Great Western Railway

     

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: full timetable expected to run

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - Check the Great Western Railway website for updates

    Greater Anglia

     

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Greater Anglia website for updates

    Heathrow Express

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Heathrow Express website for updates

    London North Eastern Railway (LNER)

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: full timetable expected to run

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - Check the LNER website for updates

    London Northwestern Railway

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the LNER website for updates

    Northern

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Northern website for updates

    Southern

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Southern website for updates

    South Western Railway

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 October: reduced service

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: significantly reduced service

    - Check the South Western website for updates 

    Southeastern

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: full timetable expected to run

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Southeastern website for updates

    Thameslink

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the Thameslink website for updates

    TransPennine Express

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the TransPennine Express website for updates

    West Midlands Railway

    - 29 Sept & 2, 3, 5 & 6 Oct: some trains may be cancelled at short notice

    - 30 Sept & 4 Oct: no service

    - Check the West Midlands Railway website for updates

    Season ticket holders will usually need to claim for a refund via the Delay Repay scheme 

What are your rights if your non-TfL train is CANCELLED due to the strikes?

For single-use rail tickets if you still want to travel:

  • Due to travel on Saturday 30 September? You'll be able to use your ticket on Friday 29 September or up to and including Tuesday 3 October, but be aware that there's an overtime ban on some of these dates so services may be disrupted.

  • Due to travel on Wednesday 4 October? You'll be able to use your ticket on Tuesday 3 October or up to and including Friday 6 October, but again, there is an overtime ban on these dates.
  • Due to travel on a different day? There's no extra flexibility as only official strike days count for that – but you may still be able to get a refund if your train is cancelled or rescheduled.

For single-use rail tickets if you no longer want to travel:

  • You can get a full refund if you cannot travel. Generally, if your train is cancelled or rescheduled, you are entitled to a full refund from the firm you were due to travel with for any ticket type, including advance tickets (see how to claim your money back). This includes where the train is cancelled due to strike action.
For season tickets: 
 

You can claim compensation for each official strike day (Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October) through the 'Delay Repay' system – the amount you can get depends on your train company's policy and you'll need to apply for it directly (see the links in the table above).

What are your rights if your non-TfL train is DELAYED due to the strikes?

For single-use rail tickets: 

If you have paid for a single-use ticket, be it an advance ticket, off-peak ticket or anytime ticket, you should be eligible for a partial or full refund if your train is delayed due to the strikes. 

The amount you can claim depends on how long your train is delayed for. The majority of train firms now operate the 'Delay Repay' system, which means they pay out regardless of whether the delay was their fault. While there are some variations to how it works from company to company, in most cases it's as follows:

  • If it's delayed by 15-29 minutes you'll get 25% back (12.5% off a return) 
  • If it's delayed by 30-59 minutes you'll get 50% back (25% off a return) 
  • You'll get 100% back for 60-119 minutes (50% off a return)
  • You'll get 100% back off a single or return for delays of 120+ minutes

To see which companies offer Delay Repay, and how they operate it, see our Trains delays guide.

For season tickets:

Most season ticket holders can also claim for individual delays, but the rules vary and it's also worth checking if you can claim for continual delays. For full info, see our summary of season ticket rules.

How to claim for non-TfL cancellations and delays

While the rules around refunds for train delays and cancellations are complicated, submitting your claim is usually straightforward and quick to do. Just follow these five steps to claim for delayed AND cancelled trains (providing you didn't use your ticket on another service):

  1. Look up the train company running the service and find out how much you can get back. See our list of individual firms' policies.

  2. Make a note of the delay and the reason for it (if you can't remember the length of the delay, use the Recent Train Times tool). Fill in the claim form – you can find it online (see a list of firms' websites) or request one from the station or by phone.

  3. Keep hold of your tickets – you'll need to take a photo of them, or scan them if applying online, or post them to the train company if claiming that way. You need to claim directly to the train company, even if you purchased your tickets through a third party reseller.

  4. Apply within the time limit of 28 days.

  5. If you're rejected for compensation or a refund but still think you have a case, complain – you may be able to escalate your case to the Rail Ombudsmen or independent watchdog Transport Focus. See more in What to do if your claim's rejected.

Tube and other TfL services: You CAN'T get a refund for delays caused by industrial action

You can't get ANY refund for any delays or cancellations on London Underground, London Overground, DLR or Elizabeth Line caused by strikes or other industrial action. This includes those using pay-as-you-go services and those with weekly, monthly or annual season tickets. 

However, TfL does pay out for other delays – for full info, see our Tube delays guide.

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