A rail operator which was stripped of it franchise had financial difficulties that should have been detected earlier, a report by MPs has said.
South Eastern Trains ran the franchise as a temporary operation
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said a regular review of Connex's South Eastern franchise would have revealed these problems.
Connex "became a byword for incompetence" by frustrated passengers, said committee chairman Edward Leigh.
Connex ran the London to Kent and Sussex route for seven years from 1996.
Mr Leigh said the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) and its successor, the now-defunct Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), had had "myopia over what Connex could realistically deliver".
He added: "The parties couldn't communicate properly and felt no trust in each other.
"The SRA was slow to realise that Connex was running into money problems and Connex didn't rush to make this clear to the SRA.
"But those who suffered most were the travelling public.
"Connex became a byword for incompetence among cold and angry passengers waiting for trains that limped in late or simply didn't arrive."
He said it was essential the Department for Transport identified train operating companies at greatest risk of failure and developed an early warning system for detecting emerging threats to their viability.
The SRA took over the Connex route in the form of the South Eastern Trains company.
It is now part of a new Integrated Kent franchise run by the GoVia company.