More than half of train companies 'have low customer satisfaction ratings'

First Capital Connect was the poorest-rated rail firm among train passengers (PA).

Rail passengers endured even more Monday morning misery today, after a series of problems saw delays on some major train routes.

The hold-ups came as the extent of customer dissatisfaction with rail services was shown in a survey by Which?

Passengers travelling today with the company that scored the fewest points in the Which? poll - First Capital Connect (FCC) - were among those caught up in the rush-hour delays today.

Research by Which? showed that more than half of UK train companies had a customer satisfaction rating of just 50% or lower.

Fewer than one in four rail passengers (22%) said train services were improving, despite rising ticket prices.

First Capital Connect's customer satisfaction rating was the lowest of all rail passengers surveyed, at just 40%.

The FCC difficulties today were due to an electrical supply problem at Purley in south London.

This meant delays for FCC passengers and also for those travelling on Gatwick Express and Southern train company services.

Over-running engineering work taking place between Weybridge and West Byfleet in Surrey meant buses had to run from Surbiton towards Woking with the problem likely to last through the morning rush-hour.

Also, due to over-running engineering work between Virginia Water and Weybridge trains were unable to run between between Virginia Water and Weybridge and services between Waterloo station in London and Weybridge were starting or terminating at Virginia Water.

FCC passengers, along with those using East Midlands Trains, were also held up on journeys between Bedford and St Pancras station in London due to a signalling problem at Luton.

Greater Anglia passengers were affected by a signalling problem near Stowmarket in Suffolk.

This meant delays to journeys between Ipswich and Cambridge. Buses were supplementing the train service between Ipswich/Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.

As many as five rail companies were affected by a broken-down train which led to delays to services through Leeds station.

Travellers using another major terminus - Birmingham New Street - were also hit by delays caused by a signalling problem.

In Scotland, a broken-down train at Whifflet led to the suspension of services between Motherwell and Cumbernauld. Buses were being laid on to run between the two stations.

In south east London a passenger being taken ill on a train led to delays between Crayford and Hither Green, with some services being diverted via Bexleyheath.

Commenting on the rail passenger survey, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "Passengers tell us they are fed up with trains that are delayed, overcrowded and dirty.

"This is especially disappointing as many commuters can’t shop around or change the company they travel with.

"Train companies need to play fair with their customers, especially when they are being asked to pay more for their journeys."