/ Travel & Leisure

Your views on trains are going in our dossiers of evidence

Train campaign illustation

Over the past few months you’ve shared your experiences of the trials and tribulations of travelling by train. These have helped us compile evidence for the train companies – but we still need your views.

Earlier this year we revealed the train companies who topped and tailed our passenger satisfaction charts. And the results were particularly concerning for those at the bottom of the tables – Southeastern, Greater Anglia and First Capital Connect.

I’ve been discussing your concerns over the state of the UK’s train network with a number of MPs and a large number have now come on board with our campaign. Heidi Alexander MP said that Southeastern’s position of bottom of the pile did not come as a surprise to her. She told us:

‘Each month I receive emails from my constituents complaining about overcrowding, delays and cancellations on the rail network. If people are being made to pay exorbitant sums for their travel, they are right to expect an excellent service, which they are simply not getting at the moment.’

And Which? Campaign supporter Margaret agrees:

‘A journey at peak times is a Darwinian exercise in the survival of the fittest.’

Satisfaction with train service

Greater Anglia accompanied Southeasten in joint bottom place with only 40% of the passengers satisfied with the service. And our supporters have similar sentiments towards this train company. Adam told us:

‘Dirty, tired old trains. Greater Anglia have attempted to give them a lick of paint. Bright pink, not the best look, and they are still the same old trains they have been using for years – like ovens in the summer. The whole line needs an overhaul as the punctuality is pretty awful, affected by breakdowns or line failure.’

Brian Abbs told us:

‘I’ve raised six complaints with GA customer service. Three have been responded to, and only one of those in a satisfactory manner.’

And things aren’t looking too rosy for First Capital Connect, who were second from bottom in our satisfaction tables. Alison told us:

‘I pay over £4,000 a year for an annual train ticket, with almost daily delays, especially on my train going home. The train consists of 12 carriages and is always full, yet it rarely comes into the station more than 5 minutes before departure, meaning that there is a massive crush to get on the train, and that the train departs late.’

Do you have similar experiences of these train companies or others across the UK’s travel network?


We use Abellio Greater Anglia trains between Norwich and Cambridge and First Capital Connect trains non-stop between Cambridge and London Kings Cross. Both services seem to be very reliable, fast and punctual and the trains are in good condition – although FCC trains are generally crowded with a few passengers standing even in the off-peak period; it would be appreciated if FCC would run 8-car trains for the off-peak [this is possible since they operate 12-car formations in the peaks].

We also use East Midland Trains services between Norwich and Peterborough. The trains are good and fast but not quite so punctual because the route runs via Nottingham, Sheffield, and Manchester to Liverpool. Given this long distance, and the numerous interconnections with other lines and routes, occasional delays are almost inevitable and the service stands up quite well despite its complexity.

John says:
1 February 2016

Just 2 carriages on the 5:30 pm Filton Abbey Wood to Cardiff Central today, so not able to board and guard didn’t even try to get people to move further down the aisles.