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Rail passenger rights: new rules to better protect EU travellers

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Rail passenger rights: new rules to better protect EU travellers

New rules boosting rail passenger rights across the EU, including better support in case of delays and more assistance for people with a disability, came into effect in June 2023.

The update of rail passenger rights covers several key areas and applies to all EU countries and for all types of rail service. Find out what this means for you.

Better rights for people living with disabilities

All EU rail companies have to guarantee free assistance to people living with disabilities or reduced mobility. People with disabilities needing assistance should notify railway companies 24 hours before travelling instead of 48 hours. If they need someone to accompany them, that person can travel for free. Access must be guaranteed to assistance dogs accompanying passengers with reduced mobility.

Help in case of delays or cancellations

If there is a delay of more than 60 minutes, passengers can choose between a full reimbursement of the ticket cost, continuing their journey or re-routing under similar conditions, without additional costs. If necessary, operators must provide meals and refreshments and reimburse the cost of accommodation.

If after 100 minutes from the scheduled departure passengers are not informed about rerouting options, they can arrange travel by public transport themselves, for which they will be reimbursed.

More information

Rail companies have to provide travellers with more information about existing rules, for example by including detailed information on passengers’ rights on the tickets. They will also have to be more transparent about deadlines and procedures for complaints.

Bike-friendly trains

At the moment there is not enough spaces for bikes on trains. According to the rules, all new and refurbished trains will have to have dedicated storage areas for bicycles to encourage their use.

Background

The new rail rules, approved by Parliament in April 2021, have been in force since 7 June 2023. The rules on bicycles will come into effect on 7 June 2025.

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