Yet, UK train passengers are the most satisfied in Europe, according to an EC survey covering 26,000 travellers.
The poll comes after Network Rail published the latest “real” delay figures for UK train companies for the 12 months ending December 7 2013.
Targets which NR have to meet are judged on the public performance measure (PPM) which deems a short-distance train is on time as long as it is no more than four minutes 59 seconds late, while the long-distance PPM is nine minutes 59 seconds.
NR also publishes “real” delay figures which are known as “right time” statistics. Under this far-stricter measure, trains must arrive no more than 59 seconds late to be deemed to be on time.
Under this right-time criteria, 67.0 per cent of trains for the 12-month period ending December 7 2013 were on time.
The figure for the CrossCountry train company was 44.5 per cent, while for Virgin Trains, which operates the West Coast Main Line, it was 48.3 per cent.
The other main London to Scotland company – East Coast – managed a right-time figure of 53.2 per cent.
With a serpentine network covering all of Britain except the London area, CrossCountry is particularly susceptible to any rail infrastructure problems.
Other train firms with comparatively low right-time percentages were Southern (56.4), First ScotRail (57.3), First TransPennine Express (60.2) and London Midland (60.6).
Best-performing company under the right-time measure was Chiltern with a figure of 87.0 per cent.
In the EC survey, 78 per cent of those questioned in the UK gave either a “high” or “good” rating to services on its railway – ahead of satisfaction levels among passengers in France (74 per cent), Netherlands (67), Germany (51) and Italy (39).
Of 26 countries covered, only Finland scored a higher rating than in the UK.
The UK also topped Europe’s seven major railways in the specific areas of punctuality and reliability, information during journeys and accessibility.
Of Europe’s major railways satisfaction top three figures were:
Punctuality and reliability: UK (73 per cent), France (57), Germany (48).
Information during journeys: UK (70 per cent), France (43), Germany (40).
Disabled access to stations: UK (65 per cent), France (57), Belgium (55).