The Rail Ombudsman is there to help resolve on going complaints between us and our passengers.

It’s free to use their services and they are independent of the rail industry.

They don’t take sides, but just look at the evidence available. They will help us both to try to reach an agreement, but if this doesn’t happen, they will make a decision based on the evidence they’ve received. If you agree with their decision, then we have to act on what they say.


You can appeal to the Rail Ombudsman if:

  • you’re unhappy with our final response to your complaint which will be contained in a letter or email (sometimes called a ‘deadlock letter’)
  • we haven’t resolved your complaint within 40 working days of receiving it
  • no more than 12 months have passed since we sent you our final response.

There are some complaints that the Rail Ombudsman won’t be able to look into, for example if it’s about the way one of our services has been designed or industry policy. If that’s the case, then they’ll contact you to let you know. If possible, they will transfer your complaint to another organisation that may be able to help you further, such as Transport Focus – the independent consumer watchdog[s] for the rail industry. They will independently review your complaint and where appropriate, follow things up on your behalf.