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Travelling by train
When buying a rail ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
Your rights as a railway passenger generally apply to all rail journeys and services within the EU.
European countries can decide whether or not these rights also apply to domestic trains (urban, suburban, regional, etc.) and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU.
Cancellation or delay
If your train is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate information about what is happening while you are waiting.
If you are told you will arrive at your final destination with a delay of at least 1 hour, you are entitled to:
- cancel your travel plans and request an immediate refund of the cost of your ticket (sometimes in full, sometimes only for the part of the journey not made). You may also be entitled to a return journey to your initial departure point, if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip, or
- be transported to your final destination at the earliest opportunity (or a later date of your choosing). This includes alternative transport when the train is blocked and the service is suspended.
- meals and refreshments (proportionate to the waiting time)
- accommodation – if you have to stay overnight
If you decide to continue your journey as planned or to accept alternative transport to your destination, you may be entitled to compensation of:
- 25% of the ticket fare, if the train is between 1 and 2 hours late.
- 50% of the fare, if the train is more than 2 hours late.
You will not receive compensation if:
- you were informed of a delay before you bought your ticket
If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the railway company, which must reply within 1 month.
If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in your country.
Lost or damaged registered luggage
If your registered luggage is lost or damaged during your trip, you have a right to compensation, unless it was inadequately packed, unfit for transport or had a special nature.
- Up to €1,300 per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents.
- €330 per piece if you can't prove the value.
If a passenger is killed or injured in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation for lost or damaged hand luggage (registered or not) up to a maximum of €1,500.
Injury and death
If a passenger is injured or killed in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation, with an advance payment within 15 days of the accident to cover their (or their dependants') immediate needs.
In the event of death, this advance payment is at least €21,000 per person.