Passengers satisfied with rail service, unsatisfied in life

happy trainTrains. They’re great, aren’t they? Lovely and comfy and punctual. Settling into your seat every morning is like slipping into a warm bath, isn’t it?

What’s that? You don’t like commuting? Well you’re in the minority. According to the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey, 85% of those questioned were satisfied with their rail journey. This is the highest level recorded since the survey began in 1999, and is the closest to true happiness many passengers will ever get.

Look around you on the train. See everyone’s dopey, medicated smiles? You’re just a Debbie Downer ruining it for everyone. You probably wear black nail varnish and have Fake Plastic Trees as your ringtone. 

That’s not to say the survey was all sunshine and lollipops. There was some whinging; this is Britain after all. Less than half (47%) of the 31,626 passengers surveyed nationally thought their ticket offered value for money, a little up from last year. In London and the South East, the figure dropped to 43%.

The survey was predominantly carried out from 1 September to 12 November last year. Passengers were asked their thoughts on the journey they were taking that day. They were not asked to reflect on their general experience with rail travel, or the possibility of happiness in a cruel world of disappointment.

In the railway league table, the least satisfying operators were Northern Rail (80%), First Capital Connect (81%) and Southern (82%). Meanwhile Grand Central and First Hull Trains clearly know how to please, achieving 96% and 96% respectively. London’s own Heathrow Express and London Overground satisfied 93% of their passengers.

But what, I hear you ask, about the toilets? Well in London & SE only 36% of people were satisfied with the toilet facilities, while 41% were dissatisfied (24% had no opinion, or didn’t have to go that trip).

Despite this, it seems most passengers are happy with their lot. The rest simply can’t get no satisfaction, though they try, and they try, and they try, and they try.

[Source: National Rail Passenger Survey]

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