Outbound connecting journey cancelled due to rail strike

I am due to travel outbound from UK to Brussels via Eurostar on 13 August, and have heard the train to London will not be running due to strikes. I believe I can only use my interrail pass for connecting journeys in my home country on the day that I catch the Eurostar. The cheapest we can travel to London the night before will cost us (family of 5) £253 plus accommodation. Is there any way to cover this, through interrail, the striking rail company or travel insurance? We don’t have reservations for the connecting journey as they are not required.


Best answer by Camilo. 10 September 2022, 13:44

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Hi - we are in the same situation and would also like to understand the options… We are a  family of 4 and we have a reservation for 3pm from London to Brussels  - and that has activated the first day of the pass.


We think the our best option is to travel the day before. We'd like to see if the train journey from Manchester to London can be covered, given that there are no trains on the Saturday.


The other option could be for Interrail / Eurostar  to change our Eurostar reservation to the day before, but that will cause complications with our other travel.



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I don’t work for any of the UK rail companies but if you had a pre booked ticket where the date of travel is a strike day you can travel on the day before or after. As you have a Eurostar reservation I think you can argue you are precisely in this position. Don’t utilise the domestic journey option for travel on the 12th or you’ll potentially have a problem boarding the Eurostar. If making a long journey you’ll need a reservation because the trains on 12th will be busy. Try emailing Avanti (for Manchester) customer services for advice and then you’ll have a trail to follow if you do need to try and claim later if you have to pay. Screenshot everything!!

Unfortunately Avanti customer service email says there is likely to be a 4 week delay until they can reply! However I did manage to find a customer service phone line. They said they will be able to confirm plans for the 13 August strike in the next few days after todays strikes have passed, so I will call back then. I am planning to keep my reservation for Eurostar on the 13th, as the activation day for the passes, hoping a conductor seeing the details in person on the 12th will understand 

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Send the email anyway so you have a paper trail that you can show the conductor you tried to sort the problem before travel

Userlevel 7
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I am guessing that the conductor will expect to see a valid “ticket” and you can only hope he accepts a QR code for the travel day on 13th. Obviously you will need to activate it early and add an equivalent Avanti journey on the 13th.

If not you will need to pay him the full fare and try to claim it back from somebody.

Userlevel 7
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Just found this on Yahoo news@

Can I get a refund or travel on another service if my train is cancelled?

According to consumer group Which?, the process differs based on which train company someone is travelling with, and customers can "only claim compensation during a rail strike for a delay based on the replacement or emergency timetable for train or replacement bus services".


So it appears the train company is not deemed liable for compensation for cancelled trains due to strike action, only if they offer an alternative schedule and that subsequently runs late or is cancelled. 

Thanks for the advice re: Avanti. I think we will do something similar, but go to a ticket office, as hopefully more chance than trying via email.


Re: showing the conductor the QR code for the 13th - that is a good idea. Do you know if the app lets you do that? We haven't activated the app yet as had heard a few horror stories on here about activating and then ending up using a home travel day by accident, so I thought we would ideally activate on 13th. But if we can see the barcode for the 13th, on the 12th, that sounds pretty good.


Slightly nerve wracking as it is 4 first class passes. So I dread to think of the cost on Avanti if we did get asked to pay!



Userlevel 7
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In these situations the best thing to do is to try to talk to the train staff before boarding, you do run the risk of being refused but in that case they are likely to be a problem if you wait until they come around during the trip.

Userlevel 7
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You should be able to make a test now and activate the pass with a the start date on the 13/8. Then you add the journey for the 13/8  and see that you can get the QR code. Once you see that it works you delete the journey and deactivate the pass.

Did anyone find an answer to this? We are in this position. We are now travelling to London tonight with Eurostar reservations tomorrow and I’ve just activated our passes and realised the issue we have. Do you think if we discuss it at the ticket office before we board our first train (to London) it will be OK? We’ve got seat reservations already for it as they are required on this route.

Userlevel 7
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Do you mean that you have activated your passes with today's start date or tomorrow's date? 

The solution discussed was to travel today but with the ticket for tomorrow.

You need a valid ticket for tomorrow on the Eurostar so you can't use your outbound travel day today unless you don't need your inbound travel day to get back to the UK.

I’ve chosen today as the first travel day for one of the five passes we’re travelling on before realising we had an issue. I’d stupidly thought the outbound journey was just taking us to the point where we left the country, so hadn’t realised there would be a problem. I haven’t chosen a journey yet so presumably activating it today but negotiating with the ticket office re the strike issue and selecting tomorrow’s Eurostar journey as my outbound journey might still be possible?

I should say I only came to this board once I realised we had an issue so hadn’t read the advice here until it was too late!

Userlevel 7
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 I haven’t chosen a journey yet so presumably activating it today but negotiating with the ticket office re the strike issue and selecting tomorrow’s Eurostar journey as my outbound journey might still be possible?

Yes. Hopefully that will work.

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Heather 

In many cases, you will be able to take a later train or use an alternate route to arrive at your destination if your planned route is affected. To minimise the impact on your travel plans, investigating alternatives should be your first priority when a disruption occurs.

In the unfortunate event that your journey is affected by the strikes, you may contact customer service after the train's originally scheduled departure time to request a full refund of the reservation fee (booking fees are unfortunately non-refundable). Please keep in mind that we cannot offer special refund and exchange conditions prior to a cancelled train as the disruptions are subject to change, and you may ultimately still be able to travel. Cancellations and exchanges of Passes and seat reservations made in advance will follow standard procedure, as per our booking conditions.

Have a lovely day!

Hi, as there are more UK rail strikes planned, I will post an update how we got on. Arriva eventually published that train tickets for the strike day could be used the day before - so our interrail pass activated to start on the strike day, showing tickets for our outbound journey. To be extra sure I picked up free seat reservations from our local station for the day before the strike. We had no problems using our interrail passes the day before.