Ranked: These are the UK's best and worst train firms rated on passenger satisfaction

Rebecca Smith
Despite the mixed satisfaction scores, Transport Focus said train firms were slowly getting back on track
Despite the mixed satisfaction scores, Transport Focus said train firms were slowly getting back on track (Source: Getty)

It's the moment you've been waiting for, beleaguered commuters.

Independent rail watchdog Transport Focus spoke to 27,000 passengers to find out which services are on track, and has today released its bumper survey assessing passenger satisfaction with train operators.

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Here are the UK's train operators ranked best to worst:

Train operator Percentage of satisfied passengers
Heathrow Express 97 per cent
Hull Trains 97 per cent
Grand Central 94 per cent
Merseyrail 94 per cent
Chiltern Railways 92 per cent
Virgin Trains 92 per cent
Virgin Trains East Coast 91 per cent
ScotRail 90 per cent
London Overground 90 per cent
Heathrow Connect 90 per cent
c2c 89 per cent
East Midlands Trains 89 per cent
Gatwick Express 88 per cent
CrossCountry 88 per cent
TfL Rail 87 per cent
TransPennine Express 86 per cent
London Midland 84 per cent
Arriva Trains Wales 83 per cent
Northern 83 per cent
Greater Anglia 83 per cent
South West Trains 82 per cent
Great Western Railway 81 per cent
Southeastern 81 per cent
Great Northern 79 per cent
Thameslink 75 per cent
Southern 72 per cent

On the plus side, most London operators recorded a percentage increase in their overall passenger satisfaction scores.

However, many still lingered at the bottom of the rankings for passenger satisfaction. The overall percentage of passengers satisfied with the level of service was 82 per cent in the London and South East sector, compared to 89 per cent for long-distance and 87 per cent for regional.

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Overall, train passenger satisfaction has reached its highest level in four years though, edging up three percentage points to 83 per cent. And no train firm's overall satisfaction figures declined.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, noted that passenger satisfaction in London and the South East has improved - from 79 per cent last year to 82 per cent this year, but he added "there is some way to go to reach a more acceptable position".

He said:

Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Southeastern have the lowest scores.

These green shoots are fragile and need nurturing.

This recovery will be under pressure from upgrade works, industrial relationship problems and rising passenger numbers. So the industry needs to keep a relentless, ongoing focus on performance and reliability.

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "There is more to do which is why we are investing to improve and better connect communities across the country with major upgrades to the rail network, thousands of new carriages coming on track and 6,400 extra services a week by 2021.

"We will also continue to work hard to provide better information to our customers, simpler fares and a more accessible railway for all."

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