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Best and worst UK train companies

Best train companies overall

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Best train companies overall

Find out which UK train company has the most satisfied customers - and which one got a pitifully low score. Our survey also reveals passengers' ratings for punctuality, cleanliness, value for money and more.

Merseyrail is the train company with the most satisfied customers, while Southern scraped just 21% from commuters in the Which? train satisfaction survey for 2017.

Merseyrail received the highest customer satisfaction score among both leisure passengers and commuters. Grand Central runs just four trains a day each way between London and Bradford, and five between London and Sunderland, was second in our survey of leisure passengers.

Southern operates between London and the south coast of England; its services have been hugely disrupted during 2016 and 2017 due to industrial action.

The table below shows the scores from leisure travellers; the table beneath shows those from commuters. 

Find out more: How to get cheap train tickets - our top 10 tips 

UK train companies rated - leisure rail services
Train company Reported punctuality Reliability Seat availability Standing space Frequency Value for money Customer score
Merseyrail (100) 73%
Grand Central (45) 72%
Translink NI Railways (243) 69%
Virgin Trains (West Coast) (371) 69%
Chiltern Railways (252) 68%
Hull Trains (43) 68%
C2C (147) 65%
London Overground (151) 65%
Virgin Trains East Coast (230) 62%
East Midlands Trains (190) 61%
TransPennine Express (188) 58%
Scotrail (140) 57%
London Midland Trains (239) 56%
Northern Rail (480) 56%
Arriva Trains Wales (142) 55%
TFL Rail (66) 55%
Cross Country Trains (172) 51%
Great Western Railway (527) 51%
South West Trains (625) 51%
Greater Anglia* (395) 48%
South Eastern (451) 47%
Thameslink and Great Northern (219) 46%
Southern (530) 33%

Full features table

Table notes: The more stars the better. A dash indicates we did not receive enough respondents (minimum 30) to provide a rating or the service is not available. Reported punctuality: The train arriving and departing on time. Reliability: How reliable the train service is. Standing space: The availability of standing space, including aisle and doorways. Frequency: How often the trains run. Carriages: The general condition of carriages. Toilets: Availability and cleanliness of on-board toilets. * Formerly Abellio Greater Anglia.

Sample sizes in brackets. Overall sample 6,986. A company must have a minimum of 30 respondents to be included in our table. Customer score is based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending that train company to a friend. 

UK train companies rated - commuter rail services
Train company Reported punctuality Reliability Seat availability Standing space Frequency Value for money Customer score
Merseyrail (33) 72%
Virgin Trains (West Coast) (89) 69%
East Midlands Trains (54) 67%
Chiltern Railways (50) 62%
Translink NI Railways (56) 58%
Virgin Trains East Coast (41) 54%
Arriva Trains Wales (54) 53%
Cross Country Trains (48) 53%
C2C (59) 52%
London Overground (107) 52%
London Midland Trains (97) 51%
ScotRail (80) 50%
Northern Rail (167) 47%
TransPennine Express (41) 47%
TFL Rail (46) 45%
Great Western Railway (110) 42%
South West Trains (308) 36%
Greater Anglia*(122) 35%
Thameslink and Great Northern (155) 32%
South Eastern (224) 31%
Southern (256) 21%

Full features table

Table notes: The more stars the better. A dash indicates we did not receive enough respondents (minimum 30) to provide a rating or the service is not available. Reported punctuality: The train arriving and departing on time. Reliability: How reliable the train service is. Standing space: The availability of standing space, including aisle and doorways.  Frequency: How often the trains run. Carriages: The general condition of carriages. Toilets: Availability and cleanliness of on-board toilets. * Formerly Abellio Greater Anglia.

Sample sizes in brackets. Overall sample 6,986. A company must have a minimum of 30 respondents to be included in our table. Customer score is based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending that train company to a friend. 

 Our research

In October and November 2016, members of the public completed an online survey about their experiences of travelling with UK train operators. Our results are based on 8,222 passenger experiences.

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