Best and worst UK train companies Best train companies overall

Merseyrail is the most popular train company

Merseyrail-logo

Merseyrail is the top train company in our survey and a Which? Recommended Provider

Merseyrail is the first train company to become a Which? Recommended Provider and it tops the Which? train satisfaction survey for 2014 with an overall customer score of 70%.

Merseyrail runs trains between 66 Merseyside stations, and Chester. Passengers like the frequency, punctuality, reliability, room and speed of its services. One Merseyrail customer told us: ‘The journey into Liverpool was excellent and very good value. There were several trains per hour and the information boards on the station kept you informed of the next train and how long it would be.’

Chiltern Railways is second overall with 69%. It runs services between London Marylebone and the Midlands. Leisure passengers like the frequent and punctual services and clean trains. C2C comes third overall with 67% - passengers like its punctual and reliable services between London and Southend.

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Least popular train companies

Southeastern and Greater Anglia come joint bottom in this year’s survey with a customer score of just 40%. First Capital Connect completes the bottom three with 41%. All three companies were in the bottom three in 2013 as well.

These commuter-serving companies get very poor scores for value for money. Cleanliness of the trains is also seen to be a problem by their customers. One Greater Anglia customer told us: ‘The quality of the ancient trains used is shocking. Seat cushions are always falling off and the floors are often dirty and sticky.’

Best and worst train companies - overall
Recommended ProviderPositionTrain companySample sizeOverall customer score
1Merseyrail9970%
 2Chiltern Railways20169%
 3C2C10967%
 4Virgin Trains43864%
 5East Coast50259%
 6London Overground7658%
 7Scotrail34356%
 8CrossCountry23652%
 9East Midlands Trains29050%
 10First TransPennine Express34448%
 =Arriva Trains Wales20648%
 12London Midland40747%
 13Southern55746%
 =Northern Rail50446%
 15First Great Western83945%
 =South West Trains73445%
 17First Capital Connect44941%
 18Greater Anglia50740%
 =Southeastern49940%

Table notes: Overall sample: 7,415. Overall customer score for GB companies is 49%. First Hull Trains and Grand Central don't appear in our overall table because they are not widely used by commuters. Customer scores relate to commuter and leisure journeys, and are based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending them to a friend.

Northen Ireland
PositionTrain companySample sizeOverall customer score
-NI Railways13861%

Table notes: Overall customer score is based on overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend to a friend, and relates to leisure and commuter journeys.

Our research

Our November 2013 survey asked 7,415 UK adults about their train journeys in the past 12 months. Customer scores relate to both commuter and leisure journeys, and are based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending them to a friend.

First Hull Trains and Grand Central don’t appear in our overall table because they aren't widely used by commuters. Results are weighted to reflect each company’s market share and the type of passengers it carries.The average customer score for GB companies is 49%.

Trains in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland trains are publicly owned, regulated differently and can’t be compared against other train companies in our survey. We have data for 138 journeys on Translink trains and it gets a customer score of 61%.

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