Response to claims about compensation during bad weather

Responding to claims about the payments train companies may receive during poor weather, a spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group said:

“These payments are overseen by the rail regulator which says that they keep costs down for taxpayers and farepayers, and they are completely separate from the money customers rightly receive for delays. The payments compensate train operators for lost revenue when fewer people travel due to disruption and they encourage rail companies to work together to improve punctuality.  The industry is changing and improving how compensation for delays is paid which is why people received £74m last year, five times more than five years earlier.”

Further information

  • The payments system is designed to encourage rail companies to work together to improve punctuality.
    • Train delays and/or cancellations are attributed to a cause: they are generally attributed to Network Rail in case of infrastructure failures and delays caused by external factors (such as weather) and attributed to train companies for issues such as mechanical faults with their trains.
    • The minutes of delays and/or cancellations are then aggregated by cause and measured against a performance benchmark set by the regulator, the Office of Rail and Road. 
    • Compensation payments are made (by Network Rail to train companies) when aggregate performance is worse than the benchmark level and bonus payments are received (by Network Rail from train companies) when aggregate performance is better than the benchmark.
  • The government publishes information about the compensation paid by train companies to passengers. You can find out more about compensation arrangements by train company on the National Rail enquiries website.

Contact Information

Rail Delivery Group Media Team