Please refer to our frequently asked questions before making a complaint.
If you have a complaint relating to your experience when buying a ticket or travelling by rail, you should contact the relevant train company first, to give it the opportunity to respond.
If you have a complaint about your experience when buying a ticket from a retailer other than a train company, you should take this up with the retailer.
How to contact the relevant train company
You can find a list of train companies on the National Rail Enquiry website, or you can phone National Rail Enquiries on: 08457 48 49 50 or National Rail Enquiries Textphone: 0845 60 50 600 (for customers with hearing impairments).
Before contacting the train company, you might like to look at the websites of Passenger Focus or London TravelWatch, as their frequently asked questions and advice pages contain useful information that may help you when making a complaint.
You may also find useful to read our very brief guide to the rail industry in Britain.
What happens if you are not happy with the response you get?
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the train operating company or retailer, you can contact Passenger Focus or London TravelWatch, as appropriate, who may be able to assist you further. You should note that they cannot take up your complaint until you have contacted the relevant train company and given it a chance to respond first, and you should enclose all previous correspondence with the train company/retailer.
What are my rights as a rail passenger?
The National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC) set out your rights when travelling by rail on the National Rail Network. If you are travelling to Europe by rail, please check with the company if other terms apply to the international part of your journey.
Individual train companies may give you more extensive rights than those set out in the NRCoC. These may be found in the relevant train company’s Passenger’s Charter or other publications. The relevant train company will be able to advise you of these, or you can often find them on its website.
You should also be aware of the terms and conditions of the ticket type you are using – Anytime, Off-Peak or Advance – as these vary. Details of these ticket types and their terms and conditions can be found on the National Rail website.
Health and safety complaints
Complaints regarding health and safety on the railways can be sent to our Customer Correspondence Team, which will forward your complaint to the relevant railway safety team member.
If you are a railway company employee and have a health and safety complaint that has not been successful with your manager, with the unions or with CIRAS, you may contact us and we will forward your complaint to the appropriate railway safety team member. Your confidentiality will be protected if you so request
Please note that Network Rail’s licence is deliberately designed so that our regulatory controls are at a high level, rather than at ground level. Because of this we are unlikely to be able to intervene in many individual complaints from members of the public.
If, however, there is an issue that you feel we should be made aware of, you are welcome to submit your concerns to our Customer Correspondence Team.
We enforce the Competition Act 1998 in the railway sector.
The Competition Act outlaws any agreements, business practices or conduct which has, or could have, a damaging effect on competition in the United Kingdom. This includes abuse by a company which uses its dominant position in a way that damages competition.
Where conduct has an effect on trade between member states we will apply Articles 101 and 102 of the European Treaty. Further information on how the Competition Act can be found on our competition section.
Please read this page if you wish to complain about a member of our staff or our activities.
Our Customer Correspondence Team (CCT)
Our Customer Correspondence Team handle all complaints that come to us. Learn more about how to contact us and how we will respond.
Last updated: February 2013