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17 February 2014 | Transport | By: Rachel Holdsworth

London Train Companies Score Badly In Passenger Satisfaction Survey

London Train Companies Score Badly In Passenger Satisfaction Survey

maryleboneThis will likely prompt a grim nod of recognition in rail commuters: just three of London's train companies* scored over 50% in a Which passenger satisfaction survey.

Chiltern came highest with 69%, then c2c with 67% and London Overground got 58%. London Midland, Southern, First Great Western, South West and First Capital Connect all scored between 40-50% with Greater Anglia and Southeastern the bottom of the national pile on 40%.

Which surveyed over 7,000 travellers who made an average of 32 train journeys in the previous year. The results are a lot lower than the National Rail Passenger Survey which sampled at least 1,000 travellers for each train operating company in autumn 2013. Their scores put London Overground on a 89% satisfaction rate, Southeastern on 84%, Greater Anglia on 80% and Southern as the most annoying TOC with 76%. Both surveys agree, however, on the (relative) greatness of Chiltern and c2c.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the highest scoring train companies also have the best punctuality rates. Chiltern, c2c and London Overground hit their timetables 95-96% of the time, while the others struggle to get there up to 90% of the time. The one exception to this rule is Greater Anglia, which has an annual average of 92%. Any regular users want to comment about why they hate it?

* We know train companies like Virgin and East Coast come into London, but they don't really have commuter routes around here so we're ignoring them.

Photo by sinister dexter from the Londonist Flickr pool

Rachel Holdsworth

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Dirty Harry

Greater Anglia..

That 92% must be made up! It is not reality.

They regularly cancel trains (often without explanation)

They are rarely on time

They can't be relied upon

Their fares are exorbitant

The fare increases always seem to be double-digit

Their trains are old, dirty and smelly

They put on short trains at weekends, even during peak hours

Their timetables change making journey times longer

They don't listen or care

Their apologies are meaningless

Nothing changes - the only thing that seems to change is the operating company - everything else stays the same

You need to have a Phd in ticket machines to make any sense of theirs, and to buy the correct ticket

It is the worst train company I have had the mis-fortune to use on a regular basis

They are bad for their customer's well-being

We are all lemmings

They only care about ££

Andy Brice

Seriously though, why is First Capital Connect so awful?

Is it something outside their control, like ageing infrastructure or being caught in the process of the Thameslink Programme? Because if so, the DfT or Network Rail should really own up and apologise.

Or is it their own fault? Because if so, they ought to be stripped of their franchise, let alone renew or expand it.


I hate to say it, but privatization of the National Rail has been nothing but a failure (when compared to other European rail operators). I look at the SNCB in Belgium or the SNCF in France and I see state owned rail operators providing extremely efficient services in very well equipped trains at extremely reasonable prices. Last summer I went train hopping from Amsterdam to Marseilles over two weeks, I must have taken no less than a dozen trains. You know how much it cost me? The price of a return ticket from London to Edinburgh - it's shocking. The trains were all well equipped, the staff were very friendly, the services were always on time and most importantly they were fast.

Privatization is supposed to help promote competition and provide the consumer with more options at lower costs with a better quality of service. Instead in the UK where privatization happens, things go sour. Look at energy and gas for instance, you know who makes money off the UK's population? Not the UK government, but the French (through EdF and soon the Chinese through more nuclear power). Look at our transport, do you know how many bus routes, and trams across the UK the RATP (Paris's regional transport network owned by the French government) operate? You'd be surprised. What do TfL do outside of the UK? They can barely operate our tube.

Its a shame, we are paying the price of Thatcher's policies, 30 and 40 years on....


Be very careful of their new Carnet ticket scheme. It is a scheme to increase their income from fine. Counting on passengers that forget to put a date on the ticket. Some of us aren't fully awake on friday morning once in a while. Even if you offer to prove to them that what you have is a valid paid for ticket. Where is the justice? I cancelled my shifts at the last minute, damaged my reputation for being late and unreliable because of their poor service. Everything I'm depending on to get me a business as a part-timer to live. And they walk away with it. I made an honest mistake, they fine me for almost my day salary.