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Rail passenger rights



Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations


It aims at establishing rights and obligations for rail passengers in order to protect them particularly when travel is disrupted, and to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of rail passenger services.



  • The regulation concerns all rail journeys and services provided under licence by one or more rail undertakings under Directive 2012/34/EU (see summary on A single railway network for Europe).
  • It does not apply to journeys and services carried out on non-EU countries' territory.
  • An EU country can opt to grant an exemption from most articles of the regulation to domestic rail passenger services for a maximum period of 5 years, which may be renewed twice. It may also exempt urban, suburban and regional rail passenger services from this regulation.

Passengers’ rights

Rail passengers have the following basic rights:

Transport contract and information

Passengers should be given clear and accessible information:

  • before the journey, in particular concerning the relevant conditions applicable to the contract, timetables and the fares applied;
  • during the journey, in particular concerning any delays or interruptions to services;
  • concerning procedures for the submission of complaints;

The information provided to persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility shall be in an accessible format.

Delays and cancellations

In the case of a delay of more than 60 minutes in the arrival at final destination, passengers have the right to:

  • the reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket for the part of the journey not made; or
  • continuation or re-routing under comparable transport conditions at the earliest opportunity or at a later date at the passengers’ convenience.

If passengers do not opt for reimbursement but for continuation of the journey, they may claim a minimum compensation equivalent to:

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

In the case of a delay in arrival or departure of more than 60 minutes, passengers have the right to:

  • receive information on the situation and the estimated departure and arrival time;
  • meals and refreshments within reasonable limits;
  • accommodation where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary;
  • transport to the railway station or to the alternative departure point or to the final destination if the train is blocked on the track.

Persons with disability and reduced mobility

The EU rail passenger rights legislation will ensure that persons with disability and reduced mobility can travel in a way that is comparable to other citizens. Thus, the regulation gives them the following rights:

  • the right to non-discriminatory access to transport at no additional charge;
  • upon request, to be provided with information concerning the accessibility of rail services and stations;
  • an assistance free of charge on board trains and at staffed stations (passengers are requested to give 48 hours’ notice of their assistance needs before departure);
  • the right to compensation if the rail undertaking is responsible for the loss or damage of their mobility equipment.

Security, complaints and service quality

  • Passengers’ personal security is ensured in trains and stations in cooperation with the public authorities.
  • An effective complaints handling mechanism has to be put in place. Passengers may complain to any rail undertaking involved.
  • The minimum service quality standards for rail undertakings include:
    • passenger information and tickets;
    • punctuality of service and general principles to cope with disruptions;
    • cancellation of services;
    • cleanliness of rolling stock and station facilities;
    • customer satisfaction surveys;
    • complaint handling, refunds and compensation for non-compliance with service quality standards;
    • assistance provided to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

Enforcement by EU countries

EU countries must designate an independent body or bodies in charge of the enforcement of the regulation. Passengers can submit a complaint to any of these bodies if they feel that their rights have not been respected.

EU countries must also set up effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for infringements of the regulation.


It has applied since 3 December 2009.


For more information, see:

Following the COVID-19 outbreak and introducing measures to cope with the impact of the crisis, the European Commission adopted:


Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, pp 14-41)


Directive 2012/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 establishing a single European railway area (recast) (OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, pp. 32-77)

Successive amendments to Directive 2012/34/EU have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Communication from the Commission — Interpretative Guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail passengers' rights and obligations (OJ C 220, 4.7.2015, pp. 1-10)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Exemptions granted by Member States under Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights and obligations (COM(2015) 117 final, 11.3.2015)

last update 19.03.2020