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Customers on UK railways Europe's happiest

SOME rail passengers have had to contend with more than half their trains running late in the last year.

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 (NR) 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 and 59 seconds late, while the long-distance PPM is nine minutes and 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 on time.

Under this right-time criteria, 67% of trains for the 12-month period were on time.

The figure for the CrossCountry train company was 44.5%, while for Virgin Trains, which operates the West Coast Main Line, it was 48.3%.

The other main London to Scotland company - East Coast - managed a right-time figure of 53.2%.

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 figures were Southern (56.4%), First ScotRail (57.3%), First TransPennine Express (60.2%) and London Midland (60.6%).

The best-performing company under the right-time measure was Chiltern with a figure of 87.0%.

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