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Getting a Train ticket refund or amendment

So, you’d like a train ticket refund. Maybe you’re not able to travel, or maybe you just fancy a lie-in that day! It’s not a problem. Here’s our handy Railsmartr guide to refunds and amendments.

Can I get a train ticket refund?

Great question! It very much depends on what sort of ticket you’ve bought and what’s happened. Let’s take a look at when you can get a refund with each ticket type.

Off-Peak, Super-Off-Peak and Anytime tickets
  • You can refund these if you decide not to travel for any reason. Railsmartr won’t charge you any admin fees, either
  • You’ll need to send the refund claim to use no later than 28 days after you were supposed to travel.
Advance tickets
  • These tickets aren’t normally refundable. If you decide not to travel, you’ll only be able to amend them (see further down the page for more details)
  • If you decide not to travel because of service disruption, then you’re able to claim a refund. Your train will need to have either been cancelled or delayed by at least 60 minutes

How do I claim a train ticket refund?

Not collected your tickets yet? Purchased an eTicket? Just email our refunds team with your booking reference. There’s no need to attach your eTickets – we can access all the details.

Collected your ticket already? You’ll need to get in touch with our refunds team with your booking reference number and images of any unused tickets you’d like refunded. You’ll also need to cut your tickets diagonally through the centre before taking a photo so they can’t be used.

If you’d like a train ticket refund for half of a trip (so if you’ve used the outward part of your return ticket) then we’d give you the difference between the equivalent single and the return fare. If there’s no exact equivalent, then we’d use the nearest one.

Once we’ve responded to your refund claim, it’ll take around three to five working days for the payment to return to your account. Changed your bank card since you bought the tickets? We might need to give you a quick call, first.

I’d like to amend my Advance ticket

While you’re not normally able to get a train ticket refund for Advance tickets, you can certainly amend them. So long as it was bought through us, we can do this for you.

This means you’ll be able to exchange it for another Advance ticket with exactly the same journey details for a different date or time. Simply book your new journey, send us the details and we’ll refund your original booking within two working days. It really is as simple as that.

How do I amend my Advance ticket?

If you know when you’d like to travel instead, then that’s great. Let’s get you on your way. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Book your new train ticket. Apart from the date and time, the rest of the journey needs to be the same. So if your original ticket was between Newcastle and York, then the new one still has to be between Newcastle and York
  • Send us an email. We’ll need both your original and your new booking reference numbers
  • Already collected your ticket? We’ll need an image of that, too. Make sure you cut it diagonally so it can’t be used
  • Do you have an eTicket or you have not collected it yet? You don’t need send us it, we’ll have all the details we need.

Is there anything else I need to know?

There are some terms and conditions that you’ll need to know as well, so that we can process your amendment smoothly:

  • We can only amend your Advance train ticket if the original booking was made through Railsmartr.co.uk. Booked somewhere else? Just get in touch with them directly
  • As we mentioned above, your new journey should match your original journey exactly apart from the new date or time. It also needs to be the same type of ticket. You’re not able to switch from an Advance ticket to Off-Peak, for example
  • Your ticket must also be for the same route and train operator (eg. ‘Avanti West Coast only’) 
  • You’ll need to make your new booking before your original train is scheduled to depart
  • We’ll refund the cost of the cheaper ticket. So if your new Advance ticket costs less than your old one, we’ll refund the cost of your new one
  • You can book any class of accommodation (First Class or Standard Class) regardless of your original booking
  • Railcards can be applied to either booking. Either way, we’ll refund the cheaper ticket.

I’d like to get a train ticket refund due to disruption

If you have an Advance ticket and you’ve decided not to travel due to disruption, then you can still get a refund. Simply contact us with your booking reference and your ticket (if you’ve already collected it).

Just let us know that you weren’t able to make the journey due to disruption and we’ll double check the details for you before getting a train ticket refund sent to you.

During industrial action, similar rules will apply. If we’re made aware of any changes to your journey after you book through us, we’ll send you an email and let you know. You’ll have the option to amend your ticket or get a train ticket refund.

The National Rail website also has full details of any ticket arrangements during widespread disruption.

I was disrupted but I still travelled, what do I do?

Sometimes, your journey will be disrupted but you’ll still need to travel. In these cases, you’ll need to claim Delay Repay. This isn’t something you’d claim from Railsmartr, but from the company that delayed you.

In most cases, it’ll be whoever operated, or should have operated, the train that you were booked to travel on. They’ll usually ask for a picture of your ticket and your journey details, and they’ll do the rest. The amount you’re entitled to can vary, but you can often claim Delay Repay for delays above 15 minutes. With some operators, it can be delays above 30 or 60 minutes.

You’ll need to make sure that you claim within 28 days of your travel date. Click here to find out what to do for each operator.

Just remember, if you did travel, you need to claim compensation. If you didn’t, then you claim a refund. Even though the money get you back might be exactly the same, they’re two different processes!