Since December 3rd 2009 also the rights of rail passengers are harmonized within the EU. The EC Regulation 1371/2007 foresees several rights in cases of a delay or cancellation for both, national and crossborder intercity rail traffic in the EU.
Re-routing or reimbursement
If you know already before boarding the train that you would arrive at your place of destination more than 60 minutes late you can decide whether you want to wait or to cancel the trip and have the ticket price reimbursed.
Right to assistance
For those waiting for a re-routing the railway company has to provide food and refreshments as well as a hotel room and the transport between hotel and train station if staying overnight is necessary.
Payment of compensation
In case you arrive behind schedule for a long time you are entitled to a payment of compensation.
- 25% of the ticket price if the train was delayed 60-119 minutes
- 50% of the ticket price if the train was delayed 120 minutes or more
According to a verdict rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-509/11) this payment is also due if the delay or cancellation of the train was caused by force majeure.
As long as the payment would be less then € 4 it is not due. Otherwise, the railway company can offer you a voucher for the amount of compensation unless you explicitly ask for cash.
Lodging a complaint
In general a complaint has to be lodged at the railway company who issued the ticket. In case you cannot reach an amicable settlement by yourself there is the possibility to ask the national enforcement body for help.
In Austria this is the "Schienen-Control" (Phone: +43/1/5050707). The SCG is handling all complaints in which an Austrian railway company issued the ticket.