Travelling through the United Kingdom may be the optimal way to take in the majestic scenery. Rail companies offer some of the most economic fares in Britain and other parts of the country. However, these ten companies illustrate that sometimes you truly get what you don’t pay for.
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Here are the Top 10 Worst Train Companies in The UK
They are the largest train operating company in the UK with more passengers, more trains and more staff than anyone else in the country.’ They are the parent company of Great Northern, Gatwick (GX), Southern, and Thames Link. They go on to state that they have plans to invest in more routes and improvements. However, despite their commitment to customer service the are many passengers who think they are one of the worst in the UK. IN February ITV ran an article entitled ‘Passengers complain of overcrowding, poor value for money, dirty trains and the “worst performing” rail operators.’ These issues were raised by 7000 passengers. They had a score of just 46%. Their were a staggering number of delays and cancellations totaling 62,000. Despite evidence to the contrary a Southeastern reported a satisfaction score of 75%, Thameslink 73% and Great Northern 84%. Year after year they have failed to make any real improvements. In 2014 St Albans & Harpenden Review ran an article that stated ‘A rail operaor has been forced to apologise to customers for its “poor service”. One rider lodged a complaint stating ‘there have been endless delays and huge system failures. In 2015 The Herts Avertiser talked about the continuing crisis. Their was even a complaint petition signed by 1400 commuters. Overall there have been 8.1 complaints every 100,000 journeys.
2. First Transpennine Express
This company is an intercity train service that links towns in the North and Scotland. Tpexpress.co.uk boasts that ‘our vision is to take the north further. We have a vital role role in connecting the North to make it greater than it’s ever.’ However, they received only four excellents to twenty five terribles on Trip Advisor. One customer even entitled their post One Star because no stars not available.They used words like “simply dreadful” and that they ‘don’t care one iota about their disgraceful performance.’ Another passenger made the claim that it was the ‘worst first class train journey ever’. The majority of the bad reviews cited bad ammenties. Lancashire Telegraph spoke to Alan Benson; secretary of STELLA (Save The East Lancs Line Association). He was quoted as saying ‘I do not think it is value for money for computers and rail users. Tickets are getting more and more expensive all the time.’
3. Greater Anglia
Perhaps this train company has spread itself too thinly sine Daily Mail regarded it as ‘the most hated railway company in Britan’. Greater Anglia is just one part of a larger corporation Abellio Transport Holdings. They are responsible for ScotRail Franchise, Merseyrail concession, London and Surrey bus services. Their website promises a ‘safe, clean, punctual, and reliable train service’ and to ‘listen to you and engage with you more.’ However, despite their lofty claims they received a total of 72,861 negative complaints according to a Daily Mail article. These tweets ranged from heating and cooling issues to worse offenses like rude drunks, and fights. Despite the barrage of negative tweets a spokesperson for the company assured the commuters that ‘Twitter is a positive way in which we engage with our customers and with over 50,000 followers we are continuing to improve the service.’ One can only hope that the improve on the things mentioned in 7,408 tweets that mentioned word like “pick-pocket”, “theives”, and other words involving illegal activity.
4. London Midland
This company has trains that go from downtown London to Birmingham then back to Liverpool. 70 millon passengers use their trains yearly venturing between 150 stations. They operate 1300 services a day. They are owned by three companies in a partnership; Govia, Go-Ahead, and Keolis. The ratings on trustpilot.com equated to an abysmal 2.8 on a scale from 1 to 10. One customer observed that the trains were so full there wasn’t even any floor space to sit. Another commented on the rude and unprofessional staff. A third had continual issues with being late to work. One of the worst reviews was “Train turned up and (sic) hour late while I was stuck in the middle of nowhere while it was raining cats and dogs then when I finally got on that annoying tannoy telling me stupidly where I am at every available juncture interrupting my friends conversation. Also missed a major meeting because of you jokers. Not impressed.” Considering, these are only a portion of the shoddy reviews by a number of customers the consesus is that no one is impressed with this rail company.
5. First Capital Connect
This is the rail company that stays the busiest. They take riders between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge, and King’s Lynn. The Guardian reported that only 40% of 7500 people were satisfied with their First Capitol experience; asertaining that it was the worst rail in the UK. St Albans & Harpenden concerred; stating that ‘the results come a week after passengers faced commuting chaos when all trains between St Albans and London St Pancras were cancelled due to damaged overhead cables.’ They went on to state that ‘No First Capital Connect trains ran on Wednesday or Thursday due to problems at the Radlett station, leaving hundreds of people stranded.’Keith Jipps the customer service director argued that ‘This research quizzed just 461 people online out of the 170,000 we carry every day.’ He went on to state ‘Our investment in the service is paying off with improved satisfaction.’ Unfortunately, I don’t think the commuters left stranded share his thoughts.
6. First Great Western
They are owned by first group. They 208 stations. This company operates inter-city along the Great Western Main Line encompassing South West England and South Wales. They also operate the NIghte Riviera sleeper service. Despite their claim that they ‘do everything we can to make sure your journey runs smoothly’ they are neither great nor first. In a Daily Mail survey of tweets by dissatisfied passengers they were ranked number two for complaints; 64302 negative comments.
7. TFL Rail
The company name stands for Transport for London. On their website they claim they have ‘tackled fare evasion and antisocial behavior in partnership with the British Transport Police.’ Their focus is ‘improved reliability and the integration of these routes into the rest of London’s public transport network.’ However, passenger reviews on Trust Pilot tell a different tale. One customer asked the question ‘How can TFL excuse their poor services for 3 weeks by “due to lack of available trains as we have to clean leaves from the wheels” Another review pointed out the negative and rude staff. A third review involved a crash with a negligent driver (thankfully no one was hurt).
8. Arriva Train Wales
They believe that in the fourteen years they have been operating they have ‘developed strong relationships with customers’. Unfortunately, not all of these relationships are positive. They could barely meet the half mark on Yelp UK. One of the most common complaints is ancient looking trains. Another customer commented ‘If you are on one in the evenings or match days expect a good few drunks and annoyingly loud idiots. Perhaps in the next decade and a half they’ll make the necessary improvements for their interactions with riders to be positive.
9. London Overground
The route of this train company is Greater London and some of Hertfordshire. There are 112 stations along a couple of routes. Service is typically reliable. However, the most common complaint is the frequency of the routes. One customer noted that ‘it can’t hack even the slightest amount of rain, immediately incurring delays and even cancellations.’
10. Southern Rail
This company is typically utilized by tourists. It runs between central London all the way to parts of Kent and Hampshire. There are typically about 2200 services daily. Per their website Southernrailway.com they state ‘But it’s not just the major improvements that we’ve invested in at our stations…we’ve invested sround 19.5 millon pounds in improving overall station experience.’ This expenditure and commitment has not garnered all positive reviews. In a Daily Mail article it was reported that only 36 percent of passengers were satisfied. A spokesman for the company cited problems at the London Bridge station. He went on to say that the company received somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 negative tweets a day.
Each of these companies has received positive feedback as well as negative comments. However, it is usually the poor reviews that stay in people’s minds. Although one may have OK service with any or all of these companies. All ten of the services have gained notoriety as the worst in the entire United Kingdom.