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European Passenger Rights

In December 2009 European Regulation EC 1371/2007 came into force across the EU. This regulation titled "Rail Passenger Rights And Obligations" provides considerable legally enforceable rights for rail passengers. Until December 2014, as the Irish Government had exempted Irish Rail from all elements of EC 1371 which apply to domestic rail journeys the regulation applied only to cross border travel. From December 2014 these rules apply to ALL services.

Single/Return Tickets

Under article 17 of EC 1371/2007 at a minimum passengers are entitled to the following levels of refund:

  • 25% refund for delays 60 to 119 minutes
  • 50% refund for delays of more than 120 minutes

The railway undertaking may offer more favourable terms, e.g a 25% voucher at 30 minutes delay but this does not replace the right to the refund as set out in the regulation. EC 1371/2007 mandates that a refund be paid in cash form if the passenger so requests.

An obligation exists to allow you to alter your journey or to return to your start point if the delay was such as to make your journey useless. Also if you are delayed such as to miss the last connection of the day an obligation exists to provide hotel accommodation.

For tickets issued by Irish Rail download this form, for Translink issued tickets you must obtain a form from an Enterprise station (Newry, Portadown, Lisburn, Belfast Central). If you wish to have the refund in cash you should make this clear on the form "EC 1371/2007 Refund In Cash". Rail Users Ireland has requested Irish Rail and Translink to provide a single cross border refund form but the request has been ignored.

Monthly/Annual Ticket Holders

Holders of season tickets are entitled to compensation under the same terms as single and return ticket holders.

Under article 17 of EC 1371/2007 season ticket holders who experience recurrent delays and/or cancellations are entitled to compensation. Neither Irish Rail or Translink have provided the legally required definition of the meaning of recurrent delay. The compensation formula has not been made public.

When Performance Fell Below Acceptable Level

To assist you in making a complaint, we have drafted a letter for you to send together with a copy or the original of your ticket. You should always keep a copy of all correspondence sent, it will be essential if you appeal the response of the railway company as Irish Rail have so far refused all such requests an appeal is likely.

You should address your complaint to the railway company from which you bought your ticket.
Irish Rail Issued Tickets
Translink Issued Tickets.

More details see Irish Rail performance results.

Appeals

If a passenger cannot resolve the matter to their satisfaction with the railway undertaking a course of appeal exists to the national enforcement agency.

Passengers with tickets issued by Irish Rail should file any appeal with the National Transport Authority. Full details here

All complaints filed with the national agency should include copies of all correspondence sent and received from the railway company.

Delay Compensation

All journeys

In cash

  • More than 60 minutes, 25%
  • More than 120 minutes, 50%

Cross Border

In vouchers (or to credit/debit card if booked with Irish Rail)

  • More than 30 minutes, 25%
  • More than 60 minutes, 50%
  • More than 90 minutes, 100%

Domestic

In vouchers (or to credit/debit card if booked with Irish Rail)

  • More than 60 minutes, 50%
  • More than 120 minutes, 100%

Questions

Railway Blame Third Party

EU courts have ruled that the classic 'Force Majeure' (beyond/outside our control) excuse is not acceptable and that the railway undertaking is wholly responsible. The passenger is entitled to compensation regardless of the cause of the delay Opinion Of Advocate General.

Taxsaver Scheme

A significant complication arises as a result of the fact the majority of season tickets are sold through the tax saver scheme as a result any refund is subject to tax. Since the ticket was purchased by the employer and not the employee this further complicates matters.

As it stands there is no legal means to pay cash to a tax saver ticket holder. That being said the EU regulation states 'compensation' and not refund. Passengers at the very least are entitled to a voucher which may be used to purchase another railway ticket. In this way while the passenger receives a benefit it is limited to the original purpose, to travel by train.

Documents

Last Updated: May 24 2015 12:29:59
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