Best and worst rail firms for internet access, according to new survey

31 January 2018, 16:09

The best and worst train companies for internet reliability on their services have been revealed, according to new research.

The two companies that ranked lowest were Southeastern and Great Northern, said the National Rail Passenger Survey published by Transport Focus.

Here's how each operator fared:

Heathrow Express - 71% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Grand Central - 68% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Hull Trains - 61% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Chiltern Railways - 51% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

c2c - 49% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Gatwick Express - 49% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Virgin Trains East Coast - 46% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

ScotRail - 42% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Arriva Trains Wales - 41% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

London Midland - 41% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

TfL Rail - 40% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

CrossCountry - 33% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

East Midlands Trains - 33% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Virgin Trains - 31% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Great Western Railway - 29% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

TransPennine Express - 29% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Greater Anglia - 28% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Thameslink - 28% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

South Western Railway - 28% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Northern - 27% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

London Overground - 25% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Merseyrail - 24% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Southern - 22% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Great Northern - 18% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

Southeastern - 18% of passengers are satisfied with the reliability of the internet on their train

:: The overall satisfaction score across all operators in Britain was just 30%.

It should be noted that these responses could be based on wifi reliability or the reliability of a passenger's mobile data while travelling. Not all train companies provide wifi on board.

Transport Focus head of policy Mike Hewitson said that passengers aged 16 to 25 rated internet connection as the most important thing for train companies to improve - even ranking it above punctuality.

"It's no longer a treat," he said. "It has become essential and an expectation."

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, told Sky News: "We know that our customers expect to stay connected throughout their journey which is why, as part of our long-term plan to change and improve, we're introducing 7,000 new carriages, the vast majority of which will have wifi for better connectivity."

Southeastern has said it is planning to introduce wifi on board trains soon and a Great Northern spokesperson told Sky News: "We only began to introduce wifi onto our fleet a few weeks before the survey was conducted, and about a quarter of services - those with the newest type of train - now offer internet connections.

"We are increasing internet coverage steadily through this year, and next year all our Moorgate services will be provided by brand-new trains with wifi already installed."