‘Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown.
Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.’
E . M . F O R S T E R
The weary stoicism of the British train traveller is legendary. But basic good manners an respect for your fellow passengers will go some way towards making even the most crowded train journeys more tolerable.
Wait for other passengers to exit before boarding the train: never jostle past people who are trying to get off. Always give up your seat to someone who is elderly, disabled or obviously pregnant. Mothers with small children in tow should also be given priority. If necessary, help people to put their luggage in the overhead racks. Some train carriages are very quiet, packed with commuters reading newspapers or working on their laptops, so be aware that loud mobile phone conversations are very disturbing. If you are going to listen to music on your MP3 player, ensure that you have sound-proof headphones. Be aware that eating greasy, smelly food (such as burgers) may well nauseate your fellow passengers, and is a major cause of litter.
If the carriage is crowded don’t take up an additional seat with your excess baggage: you haven’t paid for two seats. Don’t sprawl in your seat, or put dirty feet on the seat opposite. Help people off the train with heavy baggage, and put discarded newspapers, coffee cups and so on into the bin – no one will want to sit surrounded by your detritus.