(AP) The European Union's top court says railway operators have to pay compensation to passengers for delays even if the cause of the delay is beyond the company's control.
The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled Thursday that Austrian railway operator OBB's policy exempting it from paying compensation for delays caused by acts of nature like bad weather is invalid.
The court says compensation to passengers must be paid just the same as delays caused by the firm's own operations. Under EU rules, railway operators must reimburse a quarter of the ticket price for delays of up to two hours, and 50 percent for longer delays.
Train travel is a major form of transportation in Europe. Germany's railway operator Deutsche Bahn alone carries 2 billion passengers per year.