Monday, 21 October 2013

Travelling on trains

I travelled on a train last week.

The train journey from London to Hull is always a little uncomfortable if you're heading out of London around 5pm, when what seems to be the worlds population leaves the capital to return to their homes.

I love that you can book seats on a train.  I love getting in my booked seat.

I hate it when someone sits in my booked seat, because I never kick them out, but instead lurk nearby, frowning for several hours.  And it gives me a headache.

The other thing I hate is when you're on a long journey, and someone sits next to you.

I don't mean to be anti-social (well, maybe I do) but I like my leg room, and usually the only way to get sufficient leg room is to sit at an angle, with your legs over in the legroom of the adjacent seat.

After about two hours on a train, with my legs crammed into an insufficient space because of an inconsiderate soul boarding the train at Peterborough and sitting in the seat next to me (just because he'd reserved it too), my thoughts went as follows:

  1. My legs ache.
  2. Maybe I could pretend to go to the toilet, just so that I can walk up and down the carriage and stretch my legs.
  3. Damn, the toilet engaged sign is lit.  I can't do that because I'd have to wait outside the toilet for whoever is in there, then pretend to go to the toilet, and it'd just take too long.
  4. My legs ache.
  5. Where are we anyway?
  6. Please say that the next station is Doncaster, although I know it's going to be bloody Grantham, it's okay, I can wait, it's not a problem, I can manage-
  8. Get up, person in the seat next to me.  That seat is only reserved until Doncaster.  You need to get up now.
  9. Get up.
  10. Up.
  11. GET UP.
  12. Yes! He's up I'll stand up too AHHH cramp!

One last comment - the train that I was on, which I believe was the East Coast Main Line, had a door which you had to open by pushing open the window, leaning out, and turning the handle on the outside.  Why? The vast majority of train doors have a nice little button you press to activate.  Even my fairly basic Vauxhall Agila has doors with handles on the inside.  I'm fairly certain that a door of this complexity would defeat me, and I'd either miss my stop or fall out of the window.


  1. Wow! This reminds me of when I used to take the light rail & the Metro to my job. In the summer, the trains would be packed, limited air, high humidity, standing for hours because the train stopped. Yes. Those were the days. Good times.

  2. I love trains. I think public transport works if it is properly funded and implemented. East Coast Mainline is now run by Virgin Trains so not sure if it's improved.

    1. To be fair I quite like the East Coast Main Line, probably because whenever I take it I'm either going to London or Edinburgh, which is quite exciting!


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