This page will hopefully guide you through how to squeeze a refund out of Iarnród Éireann. Unknown to many if you are badly delayed you may be entitled to a significant refund if the fault lies with Iarnród Éireann under the passenger charter.
The passenger charter is kept well hiden on the http://www.irishrail.ie homepage, it instead requires a trip to http://www.irishrail.ie/index.jsp?p=115&n=156. The lack of visibility of the charter means the majority of passengers have no clue that it exists.
While the charter is extremely poor in what it offers the passenger, Rail Users Ireland encourages everyone to invoke their entitlements under the charter since it puts pressure on Iarnród Éireann to improve.
Refunds are possible under several separate conditions:
- You purchased a ticket but did not travel
- Refunds owing to delays, cancellations etc.
- Refunds as a result of failure to honour a seat reservation, in seat catering ...
If you bought the ticket on the day of travel a full refund will be possible from the booking office from where you purchased the ticket. If you are unable to use the ticket you may be entitled to a refund less 10% charge subject to suitable proof that you were unable to travel. It appears such refunds are on a case by case basis. You need to complete a ticket refund form.
- Generic refund form
- For Dublin Sligo/Rosslare/Waterford/Belfast/Maynooth/Northern line/South Eastern line and Waterford - Rosslare
- DART services
You purchased a ticket online
To be eligible for a refund of a ticket purchased online you must cancel before departure time, full details can be found here
Delays due to Iarnród Éireann
If you are delayed for reasons within the control of Iarnród Éireann you are entitled to a refund if you arrive at your destination more than an hour late. Train failures, on train faults, track faults, points, signalling, overhead wires, over running maintenance work are all examples of faults which are within the control of Iarnród Éireann. It should be noted that failure of the electricity supply should not halt services since emergency generators are provided for this contingency.
For 1 to 2 hours late you are entitled to 50% of the value of the of the fare for your single journey in discount vouchers. Passengers with weekly monthly or annual tickets will receive a fraction of the value of their ticket based on dividing the face value by the number of journeys per month Iarnród Éireann think the average passenger makes which we believe to be 420.
For greater than 2 hours you are entitled to a full 100% refund in discount vouchers. Rail Users Ireland will be pressing for this to be changed to a far more useful cash refund.
Where a ticket has been purchased online or by phone the refund will be made directly to the credit/debit card used.
Passengers with annual tickets should receive a docket which is exchangeable for cash at large stations, e.g. Connolly, Heuston, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
A more stringent set of standards apply to Enterprise services between Dublin and Belfast, while the normal condition applies that only delays within the control of the railway companies are entitled to a refund. Despite our best efforts we have been unable to find the most recent version of the Enterprise Customer Charter, Connolly, Drogheda and Newry could not produce a copy upon request. Iarnród Éireann never published it online, and Translink have an out of date version online. Unlike other services you have a legal right under EU law to a refund on Enterprise and a refund in cash should you so request it. Be sure to state 'cash refund as legislated for by EC/1371/2007', when sending in your claim.
Length of delay:
- 30 minutes and over 25%
- 60 minutes and over 50%
- 90 minutes and over 100%
Refunds for failure to honour a seat reservation
If you reserved a seat and Iarnród Éireann are unable to provide you with a seat and no other seat of similar standard on the same service is available for you. You are entitled to a full refund of the single fare, you are advised to get the guard or ticket checker to initial your ticket as proof. However actually claiming this refund may require considerable patience.
In seat catering
If in-seat catering is not provided in Citygold or first class where indicated by the timetable you are entitled to a refund of €7
These forms are supposed to be available at stations however in the experience of many Rail Users Ireland members the forms are rarely to be found particularly at smaller stations. Only in recent months did these forms appear on the Iarnród Éireann website.
The forms are quite badly laid out, the basic question of where you boarded the train is not on the form or you end destination is, remember its an hour late at your destination so if you miss a connection at say Limerick Junction because the train you where on was delayed for some reason it appears you are entitled to a refund as you will be waiting some time to complete your journey.
Since this page was first published back in July 2006 Iarnród Éireann have put a new section online on their website. This was a direct result of Rail Users Ireland putting this information online. However this page remains the only page to explain the enterprise standards and the non delay related refunds.