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How to Get Refund from South West Trains?

Yesterday we took South West Trains from London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbor & back. The trip out was delayed due to a system emergency. The return trip was delayed by mechanical failure of another train on the tracks we were on. In both instances, our trains were terminated 3 stops before our destination & we had to wait for other trains.

The announcements on the trains suggested we seek compensation for the delays. However, when I went their website, I was informed we were not eligible as we had not purchased our tickets for the trip from them--we have Brit Rail passes.

Is there anything we can do? We ended up spending less than 2 hours on Isle of Wight, totally ruining our day.

Posted by
29278 posts

No, I'm afraid you were told the truth.

You are not eligible. You have a pass so you didn't pay anything extra for those specific trips. If you were eligible they would refund a portion - depending on the total delay each way - based on the amount paid.

If the first delay was out of SWT's control you also may not be eligible. I work in the industry (total over 30 years) and have never heard the expression "system emergency" so have no clue what that means.

Posted by
619 posts

The trains from London Victoria are run by Southern, not by South-West Trains.

South-West Trains run from London Waterloo to Portsmouth, and are generally faster because the journey is shorter.

Posted by
38 posts

Nigel, thanks for confirming the situation. It just doesn't seem fair that we "wasted" a precious vacation day without any compensation, especially as this was the greatly anticipated location to explore my husband's family roots.

The system emergency (as we were told by other passengers) was that someone threw themselves in front of a oncoming train.

Posted by
16984 posts

That is tragic indeed, and I can certainly see why they had to shut down the line for a time.
Similar situation in Germany when we missed a connection in Duisburg because our regional was delayed arriving for what, the DB travel agent said, was "someone on the tracks". I hope it was not a similar tragedy, but it turned an 8 minute connection into a 2 hour one. When we boarded the connecting train, the conductor apologized for our delay and ordered us a cup of coffee from the snack cart. I was quite frankly stunned.