Train Rage

Following on from the success of previous travel related rages, see Road RagePedestrian Rage and Pedestrian Rage #2 today my attention has turned to trains and given my recent move to London a tube rage may very well be on its way too.

My twitter can be particularly active during a train journey, so much so, I have #catherinesjourney accompany nearly every tweet I put out while on a train. This post is going to draw together some of the key themes of why trains can cause distress.

 

Firstly, there is the timetable.Sometimes I wonder why they even have it. When I worked in London, I aimed to get the 820 train every morning, as I walked towards the station I could usually hear the faint sound of “south eastern apologise for the delay and any inconvenience this may cause you” I don’t think I ever got the train at 820, but who needs the train to be on time anyway, not as if you’ve chosen that one to give you the maximum lie in and to still arrive on time. While this is annoying, the journey was usually made slightly more bearable by the range of excuses offered – sun in the driver’s eyes, a land slip, signally problems, a passenger was taken ill or train crew being unavailable. Sometimes I think they have the wheel of doom, much like you would find on a game show, but one to spin to make up an excuse.

Another frequent area of my #Catherinesjourney is to describe other passengers. Particularly those that like a tipple on the train. Some start their party on the train, others probably should have finished their party a little sooner. What I don’t understand is why so many people start the boozing while they are still cruising to their destination. We’ve recently had reports of airports being a hot spot for drunken antics, I’m sure trains will soon be commented on in a similar way.

Then there are those trains where you have seat reservations. Nothing fills me with fear like getting on the train and seeing someone sat in your seat. Firstly, can’t they read to see it is reserved? Why do they think they are above the reservation? Also, why pick mine? On a recent train journey, I was happily sitting in my seat, a girl got on and sat next to me, next stop a man got on and said to the girl you’re in my seat, she turned to me and said you’re in my seat. I got out my ticket and said actually no this is mine, she got out her ticket which was also for the EXACT SAME SEAT.  Why have a booking system that is such a shambles, luckily the train was fairly quiet and the man found another seat for the rest of the journey.

A slightly more unnerving story occurred on a delayed train, I got on proudly marched to my reserved seat walking past all those that had jumped on when their train was arriving later. A man was in my seat, I politely told him you’re in my seat, to my horror he replied it is a delayed train “it’s a free for all” shocked I walked away, found a seat sat down, only to find at the next stop a lady got on wanting her seat. I thought this is fine. It’s a free for all. She was having none of it so I was left to walk the carriage in the height of embarrassment to another seat.

I’ve recently found myself on the bottom of the train ladder, the commuter train. These trains annoy me, not only because they are busy and everyone on them has the same shared opinion of how has my life come to this, but because of bags. That’s right as if these trains aren’t unpleasant enough some people feel the need to use a highly sought after seat for their bag. Excuse me, but has your bag paid the highly inflated price for the luxury of this seat? I think not, so do us all a favour and use the luggage racks provided. Not only does this leave a poor individual the dread of having to speak to another commuter, but the bag offender looks mortified at the suggestion their bag isn’t worthy of a seat.

Another problem with the commuter train also lies with passengers, those that take the outside seat and then wait for you to say, can I sit there. I would imagine shuffling over makes sense, especially as nearly everyone leaves the train in London. But oh no, they stand up and tower over you as you shuffle into the window seat. There is a further issue of people who choose to eat smelly foods on trains, but that will be saved for another day.

Although trains are highly problematic, they seem a necessary evil. Driving to London is not a feasible option, so I’m stuck with these overpriced, unreliable carriages to get me around.

 

 

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