Best TOC

Best TOC


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TrainBoy98

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Hi, I was wondering what people think the best TOC is in the UK and their reasons for this. Vote in the poll and then comment your reasons.

Thanks (maybe we could all actually come to an aggreement on which ones best...)

(Oh and please dont say (for example): Not Northern because they have Pacers, as this isnt their fault)
 
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RailUK Forums

All Line Rover

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Are multiple responses acceptable? As one or two have already put multiple responses.

I'm not voting myself as there is no "best" TOC. Some are worse than others, but none stand out above all the rest. For example, describing some of my local TOCs:

London Midland offer a punctual and reliable service with some very cheap Off-Peak fares, especially during their sales. Their medium distance rolling stock is more than acceptable, even on 3h+ journeys considering the price I am paying!

Arriva Trains Wales offer a reasonably good service. The recent station improvements are nice, but reliability can sometimes be hit and miss, especially with the infrequent service at some stations. Fares are good for medium distance journeys, but not short distance journeys. The rolling stock could also be better on many routes. Very nice rolling stock operates some of the services on one of my local lines, but only because they operate long-distance services which happen to be used by commuters.

Virgin Trains has nice, fast, frequent trains. They have good on board facilities, as well as good station facilities for First Class passengers. Their Customer Relations department is one of the best around. They have some nice "perks" (Railcard easement, free First Class upgrade at weekends for Anytime tickets), and have some excellent value Advance fares if you book far in advance. But their walk-up fares are sky high, which in my view prevents them from being the "best" TOC.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Stansted and Gatwick expresses should be removed - as they are part of Greater Anglia and Southern respectively.
Virgin for me, no contest.
 

313103

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The biggest problem with polls like this is that unless you travel on every company the results are going to be regionally based.

For a start i have not used Scotrail since first group took over, so i wouldn't possibly put a score down for them. The companies i use the most are 1 London Overground (well not only do i work on them i also use them to get to work) however i wouldn't put them down as they are the company i work for. 2. I use London Underground the next most and so far i have had no problems with them, however the problem with LU is that some lines are very good and some are very bad, by putting down a good score for them hides the fact that some of there services are poor. The only other company i use mostly is the FGW South Wales line, i wouldn't vote for this as it would appear that when i do something always goes wrong and reliability is often poor with very few trains actually arriving on time and on quite a few occasions cancelled or requiring a change of trains en route.
 

TrainBoy98

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Location
Worthing
1) yes, mulitple is allowed as some people may think that 2 TOCs are the same in standards
2) I got this list of TOCs of the official national rail website. i thought it was out-dated but Greater Anglia was on there so i then thought not, they say this is the difinitive list (?) but i know that airport services arent there own TOC but they are sometimes run separately/at different standers so i included them anyway
 

Prometheus

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15 Jan 2009
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Middlesex
Virgin Trains for me because they are the best InterCity franchise by miles.

The trains are fast, clean and comfortable and they offer Advance tickets at unbelievably low prices, especially in First Class.
 

RPI

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6 Dec 2010
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I've travelled on all of them at some point! can't believe Northern have had 4 votes!
 

richw

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FGW for me, always received good customer services, despite their hsts being 30 + years old are very comfortable. FGW have got my vote purely for their high quality customer services. Their staff are always friendly and helpful and often go beyond their duties to assist customers. I have witnessed this many times with a tm going above their duties to find info to answer a customer's questions. Many others would say sorry i dont know that answer. FGW staff from my experience always go off and find the answer to any reasonable question
 

TSR :D

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19 Nov 2011
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251
They say you can only get wifi, table seating and comfortable seats in first class... I can get them in standard class on Chiltern and that's where my vote goes.
 

calc7

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My favourites are Virgin Trains (for being the only remaining premium InterCity franchise).

Regionally, I choose Chiltern Railways - their business strategy and execution over the last 15 years has been truly admirable.
 

TheJRB

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14 Feb 2011
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Ashford, Kent
London Overground for me. They provide a good service with new rolling stock (I know that not everybody likes the seating on 378s but I think it's perfectly suited) and keep their stations in great condition.
 

chris89

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Virgin Trains for me because they are the best InterCity franchise by miles.

The trains are fast, clean and comfortable and they offer Advance tickets at unbelievably low prices, especially in First Class.

Agree with all those points, Apart from cheap first class tickets. Really have to be in luck on journies between Wolverhampton and Edinburgh.

Also voted First Scot Rail. Since use them a lot when in that area and always clean and on time.

3rd would be London Midland but don't really use them as much so didn't vote them.

Chris
 
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I voted for First TPE as I've used them the most. I would also like to add Scotrail. Had consistently good service from them.
 

knight2004

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31 Jul 2009
Messages
101
I do like Chiltern trains. always clean, punctual, free wi-fi which is a bouns and capacity is quite well done whenever i get therm they are busy but never packed (i imagine they are pretty packed at peak times though.) I personally quite like a slightly longer journey on their traisn as its good value and speed isn't everything
 

es373

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19 May 2011
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468
Location
London
Eurostar here.

Reason? Would I dare betray a company which employs me?
 

bignosemac

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Current top three:

Virgin: Style over substance
Chiltern: Punching above their weight
FGW: High speed - good. The rest - average
 

bicbasher

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London Overground, mainly very reliable and quick to send out delay repay refunds for late journeys.
 

LE Greys

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Hitchin
Are multiple responses acceptable? As one or two have already put multiple responses.

I'm not voting myself as there is no "best" TOC. Some are worse than others, but none stand out above all the rest. For example, describing some of my local TOCs:

London Midland offer a punctual and reliable service with some very cheap Off-Peak fares, especially during their sales. Their medium distance rolling stock is more than acceptable, even on 3h+ journeys considering the price I am paying!

Arriva Trains Wales offer a reasonably good service. The recent station improvements are nice, but reliability can sometimes be hit and miss, especially with the infrequent service at some stations. Fares are good for medium distance journeys, but not short distance journeys. The rolling stock could also be better on many routes. Very nice rolling stock operates some of the services on one of my local lines, but only because they operate long-distance services which happen to be used by commuters.

Virgin Trains has nice, fast, frequent trains. They have good on board facilities, as well as good station facilities for First Class passengers. Their Customer Relations department is one of the best around. They have some nice "perks" (Railcard easement, free First Class upgrade at weekends for Anytime tickets), and have some excellent value Advance fares if you book far in advance. But their walk-up fares are sky high, which in my view prevents them from being the "best" TOC.

I'm not voting either, for several reasons. Firstly, I don't think there really is a 'best' TOC. Northern may have problems, but it's hardly their fault that they have not been able to do much about their rolling stock, that's out of their hands. Probably, all TOCs are making the best of what they have to work with. There are some things I like and dislike about all of them, and their various parent companies. GNER did really well with what they had, offering an excellent customer service, certainly compared with what replaced them, but East Coast have done a good job of picking up the pieces. WAGN did fairly well, but then I only really have experience of the Great Northern side. The same with FCC, yet they get a lot of bad press despite the fact that (from my point of view) nothing has changed. Their problems must be Thameslink-related.

I also know Scotrail very well. They get a lot of things right, their customer service is OK and their trains are usually clean and well-maintained (the ones that reach Aberdeen anyway). I don't agree with having 158s on the Far North with 156s on commuter trains, but that's not really their fault and electrification might sort that out. But that isn't a Scotrail project, it comes from government (Westminster or Holyrood).

I've heard many good things about Chiltern, but don't really know them well enough to comment. However, I like the way they are putting a lot of investment into the line as well as the rolling stock. If only more operators could do the same.
 
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its East Coast For me,

There Service Recently Has Improved Allot Recently, the East coast Mainline under the Governments control has done Really well, they are Making a Nice little Profit. :D

Its Been allot Better Experience since National Express went.
 

General Zod

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5 Jan 2008
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Chiltern Railways. Free wi-fi and excellent customer service puts them at the top of my list.

I agree with that. The best thing that has happened to that line was when Chiltern gained the franchise. I really do hope that the line to Oxford gets up and running as soon as possible - there is a potential market for an alternative to London as a day out for people who live in-between the two cities.
 

Goldfish62

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London Overground, mainly very reliable and quick to send out delay repay refunds for late journeys.

Agreed. It's a how an urban metro service should be. Hopefully in time TfL will be able to grab the London suburban services from the TOCs and do the same with them.
 
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