6 Train Commuting Tips

Some time ago my regular 5-mile cycle commute started to be disrupted by a regular, twice-fortnightly, 3-hour, train journey.

Even power stations can be beautiful in the right light.

Even power stations can be beautiful in the right light.

On the train I enjoy the fleeting views over beautiful countryside. The journey is quick and the trains are punctual. Not German punctual, but punctual with a touch of human. The train seats are reasonably comfortable in standard class (in a coup of poor planning first class seats are less comfortable). I am even led to believe that even the floor in the vestibule is quite comfortable, but I’ve not tried it on this franchise. I generally feel quite well looked after; the train crew are immensely helpful, there are quiet coaches which often meet their expectations, and there are even catering facilities for the truly desperate.

I share this long commute with quite a lot of other people. We don’t usually interact much and taking a journey on a fairly well serviced train is not a huge test of patience, so their behaviour seems both civilised and contentious. There are some passengers that do need some guidance though. Either by accident or by design they make some detrimental mistakes that affect the journey for themselves, and occasionally for others.

I believe a card, or maybe some of those ‘love is’ posters that used to be on the Tube might help improve the experience for everyone. Whichever format they take, my contributions for a smooth and pleasant journey are:

  • Your phone signal will drop at some points during a train journey. Shouting into your phone will not improve the signal.

  • Creasing your jacket into a ball and squeezing it on the luggage rack does not make it smaller nor is it quicker than folding it.

  • When you fold your coat, fold it inside out - especially for pale materials.

  • Watch your white shirt cuffs and sleeves on the table. The cursory wipes given between stations leaves dirt that can easily come off.

  • The price of food and drink increases while its quality decreases the nearer you are to your train.

  • It is not helpful to stand in the aisle before a station as though you were Heimdallr guarding the Bifrost, especially if you are not actually ready to leave the train.

  • There is nothing wrong with laughing; you knew the YouTube/ Facebook post/ film was likely to be funny when you started to watch it. Embrace that.

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. Maybe one day someone from the franchise will read this.