Train Etiquette

On their website, Cityrail lists the following travel tips:
  • Arrive at your station a few minutes earlier than your timetabled service to allow sufficient time to board your train.
  • Keep to the left on stairs, escalators and ramps and take care.
  • Spread out along the platform so as not to overcrowd one carriage.
  • Take care on steps and platforms, and always stand behind the yellow line.
  • Stand aside to allow passengers to alight first before boarding the train.
  • Beware of the gap between the platform and train, hold small children's hands.
  • If you are travelling with a pram, travel near the guard's compartment.
  • Board the train as quickly as possible and move inside the carriage to allow others to board behind you.
  • Do not obstruct the doorways.
  • Vacate priority seating for elderly or less mobile passengers.
  • Please do not sit on steps or put feet on seats.
  • Do not hold the doors open or attempt to board the train after the whistle and 'doors closing' warning has been given, this will allow the train to depart punctually.
  • Please assist in keeping your stations and trains clean by taking rubbish with you or placing it in the station bins provided. Thank you.
If only every passenger followed these suggestions, what a wonderful world it would be. But we all know things just don't work like that. And then there are all the train rules CityRail don't mention - and which I don't always understand. For instance, I did the vast majority of my formative public transportation on buses. On the bus, it's generally the done thing that if you're sitting next to a stranger and a spare seat opens up, you move. It's not so on the train. There are few things quite so disconcerting as to be in a near-empty train carriage and have a fat person next to you, squashing you into a corner. (Hey, lard ass, even the tiny bit of exercise involved in switching seats will help, hmm?)

This is as nothing, however, as wondering when you should move to make room for someone when you're the second person on a three-seater. Do you do it as you notice passengers boarding the train? As they fill the carriage? Wait till asked, and would that be rude? There's no easy answer for awkward people like me; as you panic "Oh God, what if I make room, and no one wants to sit next to me? I bet the rest of the carriage is thinking 'Look at that loser, no one even wants to sit next to her'". When I'm in this situation, I may look to the casual obersver as though I am engrossed in my book, whilst in reality I'm worrying about any potential move. Like a chess player I think three moves ahead: Can I make it look casual? Should I put my bag on my lap now to save embarrassment later? Should I go on the offensive and pretend to have a bad cough? Depressing.

Then there are the people who don't stand up when you want to get past them and get out. My tactic? I always make sure to stand on their feet.

Still, I could live with that as long as every passenger agreed to shower daily and wear deodorant, cover their mouths when yawning, keep their elbows to their sides, and not talk to lone females when drunk. Not too much to ask.

EDIT: The good folk at Club Troppo have been kind enough to link to this post, and Gilmae made the observation that he'd like to add "Shut Up" to the list of rules, but doesn't want to appear petty. I say, I've referred to people as "lard ass" - telling them to shut up is not petty at all.


Apparently, this is our 600th post. Not to make a big deal of it or anything, but if you want to send presents, who am I to spoil your fun? Here's a few hints, but no pressure. (Can I just say, if you can't afford to actually go shopping, putting together a Froogle wishlist is the next best thing?)


  1. The most expensive thing there is for xander!

  2. I'd change it, but I can't actually see anyhting more expensive I want right now.

    Hello there, BTW.

  3. There is always the rudeness debate - is it rude to move seats; is it a way of saying "you're just too revolting to sit next to voluntarily"?

    Quite frankly, I think that all train stations should have free single-serving deodorant available. Honestly, the stench is beyond reason.

  4. Deodorant and breath mints.


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