Train operating companies in the UK are trousering more than £100 million of the £167 million given to them by Network Rail (NR) as compensation for delays and cancellations caused by failures of the track, signals and other parts of the NR infrastructure.

Only an estimated £50 million of the £167 million is actually paid out to train passengers as compensation for delays and cancellations.

The discrepancy, which has sparked calls for a fairer system, occurs because the train companies get automatic compensation if Network Rail failures result in a five-minute delay, whereas passengers can only claim a partial refund when their train is 30 minutes late and a full refund for a delay of one hour or more.

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