Rail firms offer to step in and help Thomas Cook victims

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Holidaymakers who have been affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook are being offered assistance by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.

The firm today entered administration, with rescue flights being arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority. The 150,000 British passengers stranded abroad will be subject to the largest peacetime repatriation in UK history.

While all train companies have already agreed to allow passengers booked on their services to travel on an alternative service, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway have gone one step further by offering free travel to displaced Thomas Cook customers dropped at a different airport.

The companies have also pledged refund train tickets which were bought for holidays which are no longer going ahead and are not covered by travel insurance.

West Midlands Trains runs services including the London Euston to Tring line, London Euston to Milton Keynes Central, and London Euston to Birmingham New Street via Northampton.

Andy Camp, commercial director for West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, said: “Following the collapse of Thomas Cook we know there will be a lot of stress for passengers as they try to make alternative arrangements to get home or replan their upcoming holidays.

“With both Liverpool John Lennon and Birmingham International airports on our network we want to do our part to help those who have been affected or displaced by this sad situation.”

To claim their free travel on West Midlands Railway or London Northwestern Railway services, passengers should show relevant Thomas Cook documentation to senior conductors.

For cancelled holidays, passengers’ travel insurance should cover the cost of any rail tickets, but if customers experience difficulties with this they should contact either of the two rail firms. The refund will apply even if the ticket type is usually non-refundable.