How to claim money back if your South Western Railway train is late or cancelled

A LATE or cancelled train can really spoil your day, so make sure you’re claiming any compensation you’re due.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 3:29 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 3:31 pm
South Western Railway. Picture: Victoria Jones/ PA Wire

Here’s all the information you’ll need to lodge a claim with South Western Railway.

How late does my train have to be before I can make a claim?

If you’re travelling with South Western Railway, you can make a compensation claim for delays of 15 minutes or more.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

South Western Railway. Picture: Victoria Jones/ PA Wire

Read More

Read More
How to claim money back if your Southern Rail train is late or cancelled

What if my train was cancelled?

If your train was cancelled and you had to take a later train, you can claim if your journey was delayed by 15 minutes or more - even if this later train was running on time.

How much money could I get back?

It all depends on how long you were delayed for.

For delays of 15 to 29 minutes, you can claim a quarter of your single fare, or 12.5 per cent of a return ticket.

For delays of 30 to 59 minutes, this increases to half your single fare or a quarter of your return ticket.

For delays of an hour or more, you can claim the full cost of your single ticket, or half your return ticket.

Any delays of two hours or more (and you have our sympathy...) mean return ticket holders can also get a full refund.

Does it matter what caused the delay?

No, South Western has signed up to the national Delay Repay scheme, which pays compensation regardless of who was to blame for any delays.

What if an emergency timetable was operating?

Then any delays will be measured against this emergency timetable, not the original timetable.

How long do I have to lodge a claim?

Don’t hang about - you must make your claim within 28 days of your delayed journey.

How do I make a claim?

You can claim online at

Alternatively, you can pick up a Delay Repay form at a local station.

Do I need to keep my ticket?

Yes! Don’t let it get swallowed up by any automated ticket gates. Instead ask a member of station staff to let you through. You will need your ticket to prove you were travelling that day.

How will I be paid?

People applying online can choose between card payment, BACS transfer or rail vouchers.

All paper claims will be refunded in rail vouchers.

I travel using a season ticket. Can I claim compensation?

Yes, you can claim a fraction of your season ticket price back. What fraction this is will depend on the season ticket you hold and the delay you’ve suffered.

I used an Oyster card or contactless payment to travel, what do I do?

You should still be able to claim.

The company’s Passenger Charter says: ‘If you have paid by Oyster card or Contactless payment, we know you won’t have a physical ticket to scan or return to claim compensation.

‘We will need to see either your Oyster season ticket: a receipt showing the date of purchase, the price paid and the zones covered by the Oyster card.

‘Or, if using Oyster pay as you go or Contactless payment: a print-out showing where you touched in and out and the cost of your journey. If your card is registered, you can obtain a statement by visiting’

How long will they take to pay out?

South Western Railway says it aims to process claims within 15 working days.

Rail operators should make a decision about a claim within a month.

Official figures show South Western resolved 70 per cent of claims within 20 working days during the first half of 2018/19.

What if I decided not to travel?

Then it’s a different process. If you decided not to travel because your train was cancelled or delayed, you can claim a full refund on your ticket by returning it to the original retailer. Under the National Rail Conditions of Travel, this applies to all tickets, including those sold as non-refundable.

What if the disruption left me out of pocket in other ways?

Delay Repay won’t give out compensation beyond the cost of the rail ticket.

If your delay caused you to miss a concert, for example, you can instead try claiming compensation under the Consumer Rights Act. But this would only work if the train company had caused the delay.

My journey wasn’t delayed but I was unhappy with the service for a different reason - can I make a claim?

You could certainly try lodging a complaint with its customer services team and seeing if they would offer you something as a goodwill gesture. They’re on 0345 6000 650.

What can I do if I’m unhappy with the decision about my claim?

The new Rail Ombudsman service, set up in November 2018, aims to sort out unresolved customer complaints. Phone 0330 094 0362 or visit