Passengers on Northern rail services have been given a boost after the government expanded the compensation scheme for delays as part of its modernisation programme.

The 'Delay Repay' scheme currently allows passengers to claim compensation if their train is 30 minutes or more late.

From December 2018 it will be extended to include delays of between 15 and 29 minutes. Passengers affected in this way will be able to claim back 25 per cent of their fare.

They can claim back 50 per cent of their fare if their train is delayed by between 30 and 59 minutes, and 100 per cent if is it delayed by an hour or more.

In June we reported how a frustrated commuter on the network took out his anger on Northern Rail by creating an app dedicated to highlighting the problem of cancelled trains.

Rail minister Jo Johnson said: “Passengers deserve a reliable train service, and when things do go wrong it is vital that they are compensated fairly.

“Extending ‘Delay Repay’ to cover 15 minute delays is a major boost for Northern passengers and we are committed to working with train companies across the network to make it as easy as possible for passengers to claim their rightful compensation.

“We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times to deliver the improvements that passengers want - more space, and faster, more frequent services. Improving compensation for delays is a key part of this.”

Meanwhile the Trainline website has announced a Twitter bot which collates and presents disruption information before rail operators are able to do so.

The bot trawls operators' Twitter accounts for relevant data and informs customers of delays before official rail data feeds.

The information is available to passengers who ask questions such as ‘How's my commute doing?' or ‘Is this train on-time?’ when conversing with Google Assistant.

There is no indication of whether it will be extended to work with Amazon’s Alexa.