Complaints and suggestions about crowding on trains

We have a responsibility to make sure railway companies protect passengers from crowding health and safety risks. We also oversee a number of obligations that train and station operators have to their customers, including making sure the railway is accessible for all. As such, we take passenger concerns about crowding seriously. However, where the safety risks from crowding are being well-managed and operators are meeting their responsibilities to customers, we don’t have the powers to require further action.

The Department for Transport (DfT) monitors the levels of crowding on the top 10 most crowded train services. The DfT encourage train operating companies to plan their timetables to accommodate the passengers expected throughout the morning and evening peak periods. Operators who run late trains or services that don’t meet the agreed timetable are subject to penalties by separate authorities.

Complaints about crowding on trains or stations should be made to the train or station operating company concerned. The operator has a duty to respond to your complaint, explaining what went wrong and what they are doing to improve things.

If you’re not satisfied with their explanation, contact Transport Focus (for transport outside the London area) or London TravelWatch (for transport inside the London area). If you’ve received a response from the company and are still unhappy, you can contact the Rail Ombudsman to raise your complaint with them.

If, however, you feel that we should be aware of a particular crowding issue, please contact our Customer Correspondence Team with details.

For further information see our section on station and train crowding