/ Travel & Leisure

Picture your train travel heaven…

Train

Our latest research reveals that rail passengers experience delayed, dirty and overcrowded trains. With trust in rail also slipping, we want to know what your idea of a better rail service would be.

Earlier this year we called out for people to share with us their stories of train hell – we wanted to know what makes your experiences of rail journeys so unpleasant.

Thousands responded to our call for information and after sifting through these accounts, it certainly hasn’t painted a pretty picture of rail travel.

Rail services

Many train company were mentioned in these stories. We had reports of dirty and old trains, passengers packed in like sardines every time they travelled and many expressed irritation at delays and cancellations.

One supporter, Jerry, told us his train travel frustrations

‘Too many to mention – cancelled trains – trains curtailed – no trains to route that I usually use and every day in the morning mass overcrowding with fights on some days to squeeze further in – animals are treated better.’

Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been a significant shift in consumer trust across the rail industry – falling 11% in a year, from 37% in March 2016 to 26% in March 2017.

In March we ran a nationally representative survey asking people what their experience of train travel had been in the past six months. Many people reported problems with getting a seat due to overcrowding on at least one occasion and one in seven said this happened regularly.

We also had reports of delays with many passengers experiencing delays of up to 15 minutes and one in ten saying that they faced frequent delays.

It’s clear that the rail sector is failing its passengers too often.

For Fabiano there’s an injustice when you consider the cost of the service:

‘It’s unacceptable, I’m not getting the train for free and I’m not asking any favour! I’m paying an expensive ticket to get a horrible service.’

Taking action

But it’s hardly breaking news that people aren’t overly satisfied with the standard of rail services in the UK. As many of you will know we’ve been campaigning on problems with the rail sector for some time now, and while we’ve seen some progress with wins like the extension of the Consumer Rights Act to cover rail travel, there’s still work to be done.


That’s why we want the next government to take action and ensure passengers get a much better standard of service. It’s not acceptable that passengers should have to endure such poor experiences on our railways.

We believe change will be possible by introducing an independent, statutory ombudsman, and a stronger regulator that’s prepared to stand up for passengers.

Travelling by train shouldn’t be a hellish experience. So how would you make train travel more pleasurable? What would your train travel heaven look like? Do you want the government to take action and improve rail standards?

Comments
Guest
Ronald Ankers says:
16 May 2017

Cheaper fares will lead to more passengers and greater investment.

Guest
Lord Denzil Paul Jonah. says:
17 May 2017

MORE PASSENGERS MORE PROFIT AND AN EVEN CRAPPIER SERVICE BY THESE GREEDY PROFIT MAKING DONT GIVE A S-IT ABOUT THERE CISTOMERS AND LOWER STAFF, AND DONT SAT CHEAP THE GREEDY B-ST-RDS WHO RUN OUR CRAPPY RAILWAYS DONT KNOW THE WORD CHEAP. DPJ777.

Guest
Baldyjock says:
29 May 2017

On;y one solution; re-nationalise.

Guest

The only part of the existing railway system that isn’t nationalised is owning and running the trains – all the rest [far too much] is dictated by the government or by Network Rail which is a nationalised organisation. Even the interior design of the latest carriages has been prescribed by the government [and they are not comfortable]. The times of the first and last trains and the overall frequency and capacity requirements are laid down in the franchises. The fares structure and prices for all regulated fares [including commuter fares] are under the government’s control and are, structurally, virtually the same as existed under British Rail. That part that is not entirely played by government has generated double the number of passengers and a vast increase in the number of services. Nationalise it by all means but I guarantee there will still be lots to complain about. The operating margin for all the franchises in 2015 was just 2.4% – that’s £233m on commercial income of £9.6 billion. With inflation currently at 2.3%, reducing fares to absorb the surplus would provide a one-year standstill at best – and that’s assuming all the operations are conducted with no less efficiency than under the present regime. There are currently over 6,000 new rail vehicles on order for delivery by 2020 at a cost exceeding £10 billion; is that where government money [our taxes] should be spent in present circumstances?

If the government is returned at the General Election and we leave the EU as planned it would not surprise me if franchises were lengthened responsibly to give operators more incentive to develop better services and take even more commercial risk.

Guest
Martine Somerville says:
16 May 2017

We need reasonably priced reliable public transport fully integrated across different modes/providers (eg. interchangeable ticketing), with an end to public funds subsidising shareholders’ dividends.

Guest
Mike smith says:
16 May 2017

Nationalise our railways, provide smoking compartments and reintroduce affordable transport for vehicles on long distant routes-especially motorcycles

Guest
Steven Stewart says:
16 May 2017

I would prefer an earlier train ,say 5.00 A.m. to get me to work half an hour earlier, so I can prepare for my working day, as well as sit down for a relaxed cuppa before work starts instead of having to rush to leave the depot thus forcing me to sometimes forget to take vital equipment to my worksite.
A further waste of time!
An alternative platform for Cannon Street trains to arrive at London Bridge by. There are 15 platforms, c’mon guys, sort this out!

Guest
Catherine says:
16 May 2017

Nationalise our railways again so the profits can be reinvested rather than go into the pockets of fat cat shareholders.