Best and worst train companies


Updated on 18 February 2016 | 10 Comments

Which train companies have the least satisfied passengers?

Thameslink and Great Northern are the railway operators with the least-satisfied passengers, according to a new survey by Which.

The consumer champion's poll of almost 7,000 travellers looked at things like availability of seating, the condition of the train, reliability, puncuality and value for money. Each train firm was then awarded a customer score percentage based on how it had performed.

And it was the providers of train services in the south east that came out worst, as the table below reveals:

Train company

Overall satisfaction score

Grand Central

79%

Hull Trains

73%

Merseyrail

70%

Virgin Trains West Coast

69%

C2C

62%

East Coast/Virgin Trains East Coast

61%

Chiltern Railways

60%

Scotrail

59%

East Midlands Trains

58%

London Overground

56%

Cross Country Trains

55%

First TransPennine Express

55%

London Midland

55%

Tfl Rail

52%

South West Trains

51%

First Great Western/Great Western Railway

50%

Northern Rail

50%

Arriva Trains Wales

49%

Southern

48%

Abellio Greater Anglia

47%

Southeastern

46%

Thameslink and Great Northern

46%

In contrast, it’s the smallest firms that performed the best. Grand Central runs just four trains each day between London and Bradford, and five between London and Sunderland. Meanwhile Hull Trains operates seven daily services between London and Hull.

Attracting complaints

The survey results are an interesting contrast to the official complaints figures, released by the Government's Office of Rail and Road (ORR) department. 

Here’s how the various operators performed in the second quarter of 2015/16:

Train company

Complaints (per 100,000 journeys)

Year-on-year change

Grand Central

295.6

No data available

Virgin Trains West Coast

198.2

-7.6%

Virgin Trains East Coast

147

11.7%

Hull Trains

112.1

No data available

Arriva Trains Wales

62.8

0%

Greater Anglia

62.3

77.9%

East Midlands Trains

56.3

-18.8%

CrossCountry

51.8

-22.1%

Chiltern

50.7

-35.6%

First TransPennine Express

37.4

-18.9%

Great Western

36.1

-4.5%

London Midland

31.1

12.8%

Northern Rail

31.1

-19.8%

ScotRail

23.2

14.9%

c2c

18.1

-26.7%

Merseyrail

18

0.6%

Southeastern

12.3

-7.3%

South West Trains

10

-32.1%

Govia Thameslink Railway

8.1

Data not comparable

London Overground

4.4

58.7%

If you aren’t happy with the service you have received, be sure to complain. Check out our guide Train delays and cancellations: how to claim refunds and compensation.

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