In many countries, it is much more efficient to travel by train when compared to travelling by other means of transport such as cars or buses.  Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 protects you by providing you with various rights. This regulation applies to rail travel through all EU Member States, Norway and Iceland.

If you would like to know more about your rights or you have an issue with the service provider, you can contact our Centre for further information. 

The basic information that you must receive before the train travel is:

  • General Terms and Conditions of the Agreement;
  • Schedules and conditions for the fastest routes and the lowest fares;
  • Boarding, disembarking and boarding facilities for travellers with bicycles, disabilities, or reduced mobilities;
  • Availability of seats in smoking and non-smoking compartments; first- and second-class seats; couchettes and sleeping carriages;
  • Situations that may delay or disrupt the Service;
  • Availability of onboard services; and
  • The procedure for recovering a lost luggage or lodging a complaint.

During the trip, you have the right to be informed on the following:

  • The services on board;
  • The next station;
  • Any possible delays;
  • Important connecting services;
  • Any security issues.
  • Check connection times, especially when the station needs to be changed. Note that the train company cannot be held liable for delays in public transport systems;
  • Before departure, check the conditions of use of the tickets, such as registration at the train station, ticket validation and the presentation of the payment card used to purchase the ticket during check-in;
  • Always keep your passport or ID Card with you. Police officers and customs may carry out checks during the trip. A valid identity document must be kept on you also for minors with an official authorisation to leave the country when not accompanied by one of their parents;
  • You must collect non-electronic tickets from the train station;
  • If you purchased the ticket from the airline, check-in with the airline not to be considered a ‘no show’.

The railway companies and service employees must ensure equal access for persons with a disability or with mobility issues have the right to travel with the same ease as other people at no extra cost.

If you have a disability, free assistance should be given when going on and off the train. You must request this service from the railway company at least 48 hours before the trip. The railway company will then indicate the time and place where you can register for assistance. The time provided may not be more than 60 minutes before the departure of the train. If no time is provided, you must register no later than 30 minutes before the departure.

You may request the following information from the railway companies:

  • The accessibility of trains
  • The conditions when you get on and off a coach
  • The facilities onboard

Where the train is expected to be delayed for more than an hour, you can choose:

Refund

  • Of the ticket of the entire journey; or
  • For the part of the trip you couldn’t travel because of the delay and the cancellation; or
  • If the delay disrupts the original travel plan for that part of the journey you have completed. Here, you are entitled to a return service free of charge to your departure point as soon as it is possible.

Continuation or Re-routing

  • On similar transport terms to the final destination as soon as it is possible; or
  • On similar transport terms, at the passenger’s request to the final destination on a later date.

The minimum financial compensation is:

  • 25% of the ticket price for a delay between 60 to 119 minutes; or
  • 50% of the ticket price for a delay of 120 minutes or more.

However, this right to compensation cannot be applied if the delay, cancellation or missed connection results from force majeure or if you are informed about the delay before purchasing the ticket.

In case of a train accident, you are entitled to compensation if you suffer physical injury, death or loss of luggage.

  • Meals & Drinks in reasonable quantity because of the delay;
  • Accommodation and communication methods to inform relatives of the delay or cancellation if such delay or cancellation prevents same day continuation of the trip. These are not due where the delay or cancellation is the result of force majeure or are at the traveller’s fault or any other party;
  • When the train stops in the middle of the track, you are entitled to transport by other means to the nearest station.

Unless you entrust your luggage to the railway company, you bear full responsibility for the luggage.

Luggage is presumed to be lost after 14 days, and compensation can only be claimed after this period has elapsed. The value has to be proven and is limited to:

  • 80 units of account (about €92) per kilo; or
  • 1,200 units of account (about €1380) per piece of train luggage

Where you cannot prove the value of the lost luggage, the compensation is limited to:

  • 20 units of account (about €23) per kilo; or
  • 300 units of account (about €345) per piece of train luggage.

The carrier must also refund the costs related to the delivery of the luggage.

Where the luggage is delayed, and the value of the luggage is proven, your compensation is limited to:

  • 80 units of account (about €1.01) per kilo; or
  • 12 units of account (about €15.10) per piece of train luggage

Where the luggage is delayed, and you cannot prove the value of the luggage, the compensation is limited to:

  • 14 units of account (about € 0.18) per kilo; or
  • 80 units of account (about € 3.52) per piece of train luggage

Note that such compensation is payable every 24 hours during the delay. The delay is subject to a maximum of 14 days, after which it shall be considered to have been lost. Moreover, you can claim compensation, if your luggage has been damaged.

  • Label your suitcases and hand luggage
  • Take photos of the contents of the suitcases
  • Avoid putting valuables in the luggage that will be placed away from your sight
  • Keep an eye on the luggage during stops
  • Contact the lost and found department at the destination station when you forget something on the train
  • In case of theft, file a police complaint at the police station.
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