merseyrail-celebrate

A few months after a strong showing in a table of British train punctuality, Merseyrail’s also celebrating today after coming top spot in a Which? customer survey on passenger satisfaction. (As detailed in our extensive digital illustration, above).

Grabbing a 70% satisfaction rate, Merseyrail left the likes of Virgin Trains, Cross Pennine and East Coast stranded on the platform and chugged its way to grab the country wide number one spot. Ten of the 19 companies had satisfaction scores of less than 50%. Ouch.

On the ‘wanted’ list of the passengers surveyed were lower ticket prices (80%), more carriages at peak times (35%) and wifi on all trains (20%). We’re definitely into the wifi idea, because how are we meant to catch up on Loose Women otherwise? I mean, come on.

Southeastern, which seems to exist solely to ship miserable commuters into the City, came last place with an astonishingly terrible 40% satisfaction rate. Greater Anglia, South West Trains and First Capital Connect all scored a one-out-of-five star rating for value for money. Sucks to be you, guys.

Maybe we’re just easier to please up here? Or so full of the joys of Liverpool life we don’t notice Merseyrail’s mess-ups as much? Or maybe they’re actually really quite good compared to everyone else? Either way, in an age of depressing rail fare hikes right across the country, this is a nice little confidence boost for the region.

  • david_lloyd

    having used Merseyrail all last week when my car was ill, I have to say, it was pretty bloody great. Yeah, it’s not perfect, but we’re lucky to have such a frequent, fast service around here (Wirral). Esp when the tunnel price is a joke.

  • Joe F

    I use the Wirral line almost every day, and it’s very rare that there’s any delays or issues. Whenever there is, they always seem to be fixed promptly.

    I’ve friends who use the Northern line a lot, and there seems to be issues with that sometimes. But from my perspective, it’s always great.

  • goldenblls

    Credit where credit is due. We’re luckier than most in the UK it seems.

    Not when it comes to Northern Rail though, their trains in and out of Lime Street are an abomination. Cheek by jowl is just the half of it, I feel sorry for those that get those trains regularly.

  • david_lloyd

    Yeah, Northern Rail’s not great…

  • bornagainst

    Merseyrail should indeed be congratulated – and it does seem a better service on the Northern Line than it was even 3 or 5 years ago.

    But – if 30% of your customers consider your service less than satisfactory, clearly there’s a lot more they could be doing.

    Northern Line track repairs on a Saturday night? Yeah, well….. that for a start!

  • Philip Stratford

    If Merseyrail are considered good I can only imagine (as the statistics you’ve quoted suggest) that the others are really, really bad.

  • Paul

    The track and the signalling is nothing to do with Merseyrail. It is Network Rail. Which highlights the fundamental weakness with this, and any other survey of the railway. If your train is delayed, you may well be cursing the train operator, but it could well be beyond their control. Conversely, Merseyrail could be basking in the glory as a result of Network Rail’s good work.

  • adam riozzi

    I used to get the merseyrail up to kirkby everyday a few years ago and had no problems at all. The trains where always clean, on time and the trains themselves are miles better than City Lines mixed up and old carriages…I actually had a full carriage most days to myself!

    Maybe its just another example of why we shouldn’t have subsidised railways. As city line is stuck in the dark ages

    I also read that they are upgrading the trains too soon…but they seem a lot more modern than City Lines. Why not upgrade them?

  • Paul

    The rolling stock is 40 years old and is nearing the end of its life. They were second hand to start with as they were bought from Network Southeast in the late 1970s. The fleet was given a refresh 10 years ago but the underpinnings are outdated and becoming more unreliable. The City Line fleet is actually operated by Northern Rail but is just badged as Merseyrail, hence why it isn’t part of the new stock plan.

  • adam riozzi

    Great insight! Well if the Northern Line’s stock is 40years old…Then how old are the City Line trains!! I mainly mean the ones where the driver has to come out his cabin to open the doors…To foreigners they are like WW2 carriages.

    I was confused by ‘The City Line fleet is actually operated by Northern Rail but is just badged as Merseyrail’

    Don’t you mean ‘The City Line fleet is actually operated by Merseyrail but is just badged as Northern rail’ ?

    City line is just a mess really…trains all different…all poor quality…nothing compared to Scandinavia and most of europe..

  • Paul

    To clarify, the City Line is operated by Northern Rail on behalf of Merseytravel. A bit like Merseyrail is operated by Serco-Abellio on behalf of Merseytravel. In terms of the rolling stock, I don’t use that line so not familiar with it but Wikipedia dates the units from around the mid 80s, so not as old as you think.

  • adam riozzi

    Wow, If it was mid-80’s then it must have been from the bottom of a pit.

  • Graeme

    Northern Rail is operated by the same people who run merseyrail – Serco/Abdelio

  • Graeme

    *Abellio

    Stupid autocorrect!

  • T Sheridan

    The reason those northern trains (specifically the class 142/143/144 pacers) on the city line are so bad is because they were built incredibly cheaply to fulfil a short-term need. They were based on a Leyland bus design adapted into a train and they were never intended to last this long. So yes, they’ve aged much worse than some older trains. The problem with the driver having to come through and open the doors is just down to Northern Rail seeing fit to run trains without conductors, rather than being down to the train design itself.

  • Andrew Edwards

    We are blessed with a very good local train system, here, in Liverpool. Trains are clean and reliable, in the main. The stations are clean, modern and safe and best of all, the staff are top-notch! Friendly and helpful, the staff are a credit to the city and Merseyrail. I’ve lived in “posh” Berkshire and Oxfordshire and can tell you, the trains and stations are woeful, dirty, overcrowded and expensive. Don’t ever try using the toilet on a First Great Western train from Newbury to London on a Saturday morning…apparently the projectile vomit and sprayed faeces from Friday night’s drunk commuters, isn’t cleaned up until Monday!!!! I know we all find fault with our city and it’s services, from time to time, but we really don’t know how lucky we are, living in this part of the world.

  • Mark Walsh

    Their lines are poorly maintained in comparison to the Northern Line

  • Rich

    Reason it’s pretty good is probably because it’s a ‘closed’ system, as soon as you rely on other companies the punctuality is lost.

  • YorkshirePudding

    Coming from a mining town that had its station removed for a good few decades due to mr beeching id say your all bloody lucky, even though the station reopened in the 90s (things can only get better indeed) there is only 1 train an hour in each way to either Wakefield or Pontefract, and you can forget about a direct link to Leeds…

    Anyway im not a regular commuter on merseyrail but ive never had any problems, the frequency of the trains is excellent and the north south links, and link to chester something to really take advantage of, and even though the trains may be banging on a bit they are a damn sight cleaner and more comfortable than the buses plying their trade in our fair town.

  • Mr Late for work again

    What they do at Merseyrail is cancel trains therby fudging the stats and making it look like they provide a good service. This is not the case. About 10 percent of trains are late or cancelled.