New figures released by Network Rail reveal only 57.3% of the company's trains ran on time for the 12 months ending on December 7.
Targets which Network Rail 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.
Network Rail also publishes 'real' delay figures which are known as 'right time' statistics.
Under this much-stricter measure, trains must arrive no more than 59 seconds late to be deemed on time.
Overall 67% of trains in the UK over the last 12 months were on time.
But several operators posted much lower figures, with Cross Country having 44.5%, while for Virgin Trains, which operates the West Coast Main Line, it was 48.3%.
The other London to Scotland company - East Coast - had a right-time figure of 53.2%.
Other train firms with low right-time figures were Southern, with 56.4%, First TransPennine Express, with 60.2%, and London Midland, with 60.6%.
Meanwhile, an EC survey says UK train passengers are the most satisfied in Europe.
A total of 78% of the polled 26,000 people polled gave the UK a 'high' or 'good' rating for services on its railway.