How can I look up exactly how delayed my UK train was?
Earlier today, my UK train trip was delayed by signalling problems. When we set off, the guard announced about these, and said we'd probably be about 25 minutes late to our destination. (On this particular train company, 30 minutes is the magic number for delay compensation)
As we got to the area around the signalling problems, we seemed to get even later, and the guard announced we'd probably be 28 minutes late. When we arrived, I had to make a mad dash for an onward connection, so didn't have time to check the boards to see what they said.
I've tried looking on the National Rail Enquiries journey planner for the delay, but that won't let me search in the past. The National Rail Enquiries live departures and arrivals pages don't show things into the past either.
Is there any way to lookup the actual arrival time, for a UK train, for some point in the last day or two? (So I can check if the train hit the magic 30 minutes or not, before bothering to fill out the forms to try to claim)
I think all UK train companies are obliged to pay compensation for 30+-minute delays, so 30's magic for all of them. Also, note that the delay is to your journey, not to a specific train. So, for example, if one train is 15 minutes late and that causes you to miss your connection to a half-hourly train, the operator is still liable, because you arrive at your destination 30+minutes late.
This works both ways of course - if your mad dash to meet your connection (assuming that your connection was another train rather than, say, a non-rail-related bus) meant you didn't actually arrive at your destination half an hour late, then you shouldn't be claiming compensation.
It is possible to look this up, just not on the main National Rail Enquiries sites!
You need to use one of the new third party sites which have got access to the underlying Network Rail real-time data feeds. (Details for the geeks on what's available described here). The sites which pull in that data includes OpenTrainTimes and RealTimeTrains
If you use one of those sites, you can then search for trains from the last few weeks. You'll see something a bit like this:
Which shows a 33 minute delay, enough for a compensation claim!
You need to claim compensation within 28 days of travelling so, as long as you can see at least four weeks, being restricted to "the last few weeks" isn't a problem for compensation claims.
Bear in mind that Open Train Times shows the real-time data from the official feeds, which is likely what the train operator will have available to them. Realtime Trains in many cases "knows better" and makes more accurate predictions based on different data; but while likely to be more accurate these are probably not the figures the people processing your delay will be looking at! In most cases there will only be a minute or two in it, if that, but a minute can make all the difference here.
@DavidRicherby It does matter if the train company incorrectly rejects your claim, and you need to appeal it...
@Tim Depends on the company. Worst Great Western I'd say it's about 1 time in 4, Thameslink seem to "accidentally" loose a lot of complaints and you have to shout at them again later...