The two main train operators out of Brighton and Hove were in the country’s bottom three for punctuality in the latest figures published by Network Rail.
And one of them, Southern, had the biggest drop in punctuality compared with a year ago.
Some 83.1 per cent of Southern trains arrived on time, or within five minutes, from Sunday 17 October to Saturday 13 November.
This was the second worst performance nationally and a fall of 6.6 per cent compared with the same period last year – the biggest fall of Britain’s 19 main train operators.
First Capital Connect trains arrived on time or within five minutes in 83.3 per cent of journeys, down 3.5 per cent on last year.
A spokesman for Southern said: “We know passengers care passionately about punctuality, as do we.
“Earlier this year we achieved record levels of punctuality but the recent autumn weather has caused a disappointing dip in the performance of the whole industry.
“Southern was particularly badly affected with severe leaf fall problems and a series of infrastructure failures making this period particularly challenging.
“This autumn the leaves, which compress and form a Teflon type coating on the rails, fell in a shorter time frame than last year and resulted in more delays than in autumn 2009. “Twenty per cent of our delays and cancellations for the period were down to leaf fall alone, while infrastructure failures, including points and signalling problems accounted for many more.
“We have been working with our infrastructure provider, Network Rail, to ensure we get back to our previous good performance.”