Baby friendly trains

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The Ham

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For other parents out there have you ever come across trains, TOC's, etc which are good examples of being baby friendly?
 
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DarloRich

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I have never had an issue with either of my niece or nephew on the train. Changeing was my big worry coupled with my lack of confidence in this regard but it was really quite easy on the train. I have taken them by train since they were very small as i dont have a car.

Most trains now have fold out chaning tables in the toilets. Those that dont either have tables in the salooon or nice big bench seats that double as a changing table (with a changing mat of course)

Getting on with the buggy can be difficult but it is often the station infrastructure that is lacking rather than the train. The worst thing is carrying the buggy up and down stairs when there are no lifts.
 

ChristopherJ

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SBB-CFF-FSS of Switzerland have dedicated family carriages on their double deck IC2000 fleet which are filled with varieties of activities and toys exclusively for children - including slides and play mats.



Official Web Page:
http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/on-the-train/family-coach.html

DB of Germany also have catered for children and have a dedicated compartment in ICE3 sets for families with children - at least the ICE I used in Janurary from Brussels - Frankfurt indeed did.

Would never happen here in the UK for 3 reasons;

1) no space - I'm sure every fare paying commuter would be more than happy to sacrifice a large majority of their precious seating for some little sprog to have their own dedicated play corner in the train...

2) too expensive - whose going to pay for such luxury? As someone with no offspring - as well does not want any in the future - don't look at me to fill the pot to fund Vicky Polland's kids playtime. :roll:

3) prone to vandalism - children and teens in the UK cannot be trusted to respect their environment and therefore don't deserve the luxury of onboard perks. People wonder why trains in the UK are so bland and cheap - they get ripped to pieces too often to be provided with quality products!
 
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starrymarkb

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SBB-CFF-FSS of Switzerland have dedicated family carriages on their double deck IC2000 EMUs which are filled with varieties of activities and toys exclusively for children - including slides and play mats.

To be pedantic they are not EMUs ;) They are pushed or pulled by a Re460 locomotive.

FGW used to have family coaches on long distance HSTs where seating was all tables and activity packs would be provided. This was lost when the 'commuter' refurbishment was carried out.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Do FGW still do Family Carriages in summer and school holidays? I'm not sure what was so special about them, I think there were just packs laid out for kids, with colourings books etc in.

Don't forget Virgin still be free Kidz Bagz (or some other horrific variation on the words), available from the Shop. Grand Central are the same.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Ah, thanks starrymarkb, I was typing that whilst you replied.
 

talltim

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NSB have 'Familie' cars on some of their trains

NSB Familie Coach by ta||tim, on Flickr

Play area by ta||tim, on Flickr
In the play area there is a 'tunnel' that runs overhead from one side to the play area to the other. There is also a TV and DVD, the conductor will play your DVDs if requested.
There is a large toilet/babay change, it was in very nice condition, but I've only got a pic of the wall!

Lavatory compartment by ta||tim, on Flickr

Their class 73 EMUS also have a smaller with Familie compartment.
 

snail

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The Eurostar have 'family zones' in coaches 1 and 18 at either end of the train, all facing seats and one of the loos is converted to baby change facilities (not good if an adult wants to go and the only WC is occupied!)
 

jon0844

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Kidz Bagz (or some other horrific variation on the words)

Nothing wrong with that name, as long as at least one character is written backwards and in Comic Sans...

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
 

richw

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FGW have always been helpful on the Cornish branches, always helped lift the pushchair on and off and never worried about keeping the baby in the pushchair.
 

the sniper

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3) prone to vandalism - children and teens in the UK cannot be trusted to respect their environment and therefore don't deserve the luxury of onboard perks. People wonder why trains in the UK are so bland and cheap - they get ripped to pieces too often to be provided with quality products!

I guessing this is just a Daily Mail inspired moan without you actually having experience many European trains... Off the TGV and AVE, I've seen some pretty badly vandalised SNCF and Renfe stock running about in service, particularly the latter.
 

chuckles1066

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Would never happen here in the UK for 3 reasons;

1) no space - I'm sure every fare paying commuter would be more than happy to sacrifice a large majority of their precious seating for some little sprog to have their own dedicated play corner in the train...

And what "seating" would this be? I never even bothered looking for a seat after about three days of using the overcrowded railways (and I was admonished here once for being naive enough to assume that a ticket = a seat).

2) too expensive - whose going to pay for such luxury? As someone with no offspring - as well does not want any in the future - don't look at me to fill the pot to fund Vicky Polland's kids playtime. :roll:

If you're paying taxes then you're already funding the Vicky Pollards of this world.
 

the sniper

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And what "seating" would this be? I never even bothered looking for a seat after about three days of using the overcrowded railways (and I was admonished here once for being naive enough to assume that a ticket = a seat).

Yes, but look on the bright side. Those awful days of using the railway/FGW provided you with enough resentment to fill a couple of years worth of boring and predictable posts on here.
 

ChristopherJ

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To be pedantic they are not EMUs ;) They are pushed or pulled by a Re460 locomotive.
Correct. For some bizzare reason my brain agreed that the IC2000 was the Stadler KISS RABe 511.
To be further pedantic it is FFS, not FSS.
You knew what I was talking about, did you really have to take your time out to point that out a single letter mistake to me, FFS? (that's For F*** Sake, not Ferrovie Federali Svizzere)
I guessing this is just a Daily Mail inspired moan without you actually having experience many European trains... Off the TGV and AVE, I've seen some pretty badly vandalised SNCF and Renfe stock running about in service, particularly the latter.
I posted in my initial reply that I traveled on ICE in Janurary between Brussels and Frankfurt.

I've also experienced CFL (Luxembourg), DB (Germany - icnl Regio, S-Bahn and Fernverkehr), SNCB-NMBS (Belgium), SNCF (France - incl TER, Transillien, TGV, Intercities and Téoz), NS (Netherlands), ÖBB (Austria - incl Railjet and Eurocity) plus several high speed operators including Alleo, Eurostar, FYRA and Thayls as well as private open access operators including Veolia and countless other open access operators in Germany.

Given that list I think I'm in a bloody good position to say that yes - I do have rather good experience of European railways - therefore don't need the likes of you to tell me yes and no...

I'd be more in favour of train friendly babies.
The only post so far to contain any common sense...
 

CC 72100

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Do FGW still do Family Carriages in summer and school holidays? I'm not sure what was so special about them, I think there were just packs laid out for kids, with colourings books etc in.

Don't forget Virgin still be free Kidz Bagz (or some other horrific variation on the words), available from the Shop. .

Ah right, I've got quite a few of those from various trips around 2000 :p

IIRC, Virgin XC used to have a coach (D if I remember rightly) where families were reserved seats. Maybe we just we reserved seats in there by coincidence, but I remember that being a sort of unofficial family carriage on the LHCS sets.
 

the sniper

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I've also experienced CFL (Luxembourg), DB (Germany - icnl Regio, S-Bahn and Fernverkehr), SNCB-NMBS (Belgium), SNCF (France - incl TER, Transillien, TGV, Intercities and Téoz), NS (Netherlands), ÖBB (Austria - incl Railjet and Eurocity) plus several high speed operators including Alleo, Eurostar, FYRA and Thayls as well as private open access operators including Veolia and countless other open access operators in Germany.

Given that list I think I'm in a bloody good position to say that yes - I do have rather good experience of European railways - therefore don't need the likes of you to tell me yes and no...

In which case I'm even more surprised by your opinion, particularly on SNCF outside of the TGV. Maybe I've just been very unlucky...
 

BestWestern

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FGW have always been helpful on the Cornish branches, always helped lift the pushchair on and off and never worried about keeping the baby in the pushchair.

Unfortunately not quite so family orientated on the 158 fleet, which still lack baby change facilities even in the 'large'/disabled toilets, them all having been removed several years ago after an accident due to bad design.

I'd have to nominate SWT's 444 fleet as my personal bugbear on the baby/buggy front. The tiny vestibules and complete lack of any decent luggage space make for a difficult journey. Typical example of the 'squeeze em in' design mentality we so often have to put up with on certain modern stock :|
 

chris89

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2) too expensive - whose going to pay for such luxury? As someone with no offspring - as well does not want any in the future - don't look at me to fill the pot to fund Vicky Polland's kids playtime. :roll:


Not all childen misbehave so please don't paint all under the same brush.

3) prone to vandalism - children and teens in the UK cannot be trusted to respect their environment and therefore don't deserve the luxury of onboard perks. People wonder why trains in the UK are so bland and cheap - they get ripped to pieces too often to be provided with quality products!

Again do not brush all under the same brush. As a young 'ish' person it is a pet hate for this to happen.

A Miniorty do vandalise but mostly through boredem (Youth Clubs etc all shut down) and other normally social issues.


Most if all trains i have been on are more or less child friendly apart from areas for buggys etc or to storage for them if they are folded before boarding a service.
 

WestCoast

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Would never happen here in the UK for 3 reasons;

1) no space - I'm sure every fare paying commuter would be more than happy to sacrifice a large majority of their precious seating for some little sprog to have their own dedicated play corner in the train...

2) too expensive - whose going to pay for such luxury? As someone with no offspring - as well does not want any in the future - don't look at me to fill the pot to fund Vicky Polland's kids playtime. :roll:

3) prone to vandalism - children and teens in the UK cannot be trusted to respect their environment and therefore don't deserve the luxury of onboard perks. People wonder why trains in the UK are so bland and cheap - they get ripped to pieces too often to be provided with quality products

As a regular traveller across Europe, I'd say it's more a case of 1 and 2, the fancy baby/child facilities on the continent are usually on the highest quality intercity trains, which are less prone to vandalism than trains on regional/urban routes. Same is true in the UK, haven't heard of FGW having problems with the VOLO TV carriages on the HSTs. It depends on the route really as well - I doubt the HEX has problems with onboard vandalism.
 

34D

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My son (aged 2.5) has travelled on many of the different trains we have currently in this country. Obviously the more modern ones are a little easier to get onto, but all are possible.

Note that HSTs (and other mark 3 coaches) have quite a distance to lift a pushchair, and no space on board to store it upright.

Regarding atations, I think if you plan your journey (in particular, stations that are stepfree) you will be fine.
 

ChristopherJ

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As a regular traveller across Europe, I'd say it's more a case of 1 and 2, the fancy baby/child facilities on the continent are usually on the highest quality intercity trains, which are less prone to vandalism than trains on regional/urban routes. Same is true in the UK, haven't heard of FGW having problems with the VOLO TV carriages on the HSTs. It depends on the route really as well - I doubt the HEX has problems with onboard vandalism.

One kudos I do have for British railways is that they protect their perimeters unlike European railways, I always take the mentality that if something is left out in the open it's asking for trouble - regardless of what country or associated social problems or not. You take the risk and you pay the price.

Countries like Belgium suffer horribly from graffiti and vandalism because a majority of their railway network is accessible just by waltzing in, it's so bad it's almost chronic!

This is Forest Est in the suburbs of Brussels - a commercially operational station open to the public, and one of the better ones! <( I was unfortunate enough to have to use this station every day for 3 weeks about 2 years ago. Makes Wakefield Kirkgate here look glamorous... :p



 
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Michael.Y

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Our 175s have two disabled spaces wide enough for two buggies, with fold-down seats nearby. In the immediately adjacent disabled loo there is baby changing fold-down tray/mat thingy, with separate bin for nappies. We also have folded-up buggy storage in the same area, and additional buggy storage in coach B of the 175/1 3-car sets, and coach A opposite the bike shed.

Also until fairly recently we sold colouring sets from the catering trolleys.
 

deltic1989

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Can't say I've ever had any issues traveling with my 3 (my boy aged 5, and my 2 girls aged 4 and 10 months), most trains have room to get the buggy on and the bike storage area on 153's and 156's doubles as an exellent buggy bay. The staff on all the trains I have taken my little uns on have also been brilliant.
When I took my 2 eldest on a trip once an old couple sitting opposite gave them some used tickets and the Guard stamped them the same as any other, and when we reached our destination (which was where the train terminated) the Driver gave them a quick tour of the cab.
In general the railways are great towards families with kids but it is wise to plan ahead so that you travel at the quieter times of day as large crowds + children = disaster if you dont have your wits about you, I know my little lad can dissapear in a flash.
 

reb0118

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Some pictures of a Finnish train. We got the wee man to check it out:-
 

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WelshBluebird

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3) prone to vandalism - children and teens in the UK cannot be trusted to respect their environment and therefore don't deserve the luxury of onboard perks. People wonder why trains in the UK are so bland and cheap - they get ripped to pieces too often to be provided with quality products!

I think its a bit unfair to tar everyone with the same brush like that.
 

talltim

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2) too expensive - whose going to pay for such luxury? As someone with no offspring - as well does not want any in the future - don't look at me to fill the pot to fund Vicky Polland's kids playtime. :roll:

Fair do's we'll tell the kids not to look after you when you're old then.
 

jon0844

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Some pictures of a Finnish train. We got the wee man to check it out:-

A train on a train? Like it!

Besides what has been written on here, with some valid points about there not being much room on commuter trains, I do think that as rail travel continues to grow - and may well replace more and more car (or air) travel, there's no reason not to seek to have such ideas implemented on Intercity services in the future.

As we lengthen trains, (hopefully) build HS2 and other new rail links, we can perhaps keep ahead of capacity issues.. or just accept that people will want to travel with more comfort and facilities. Many people might be prepared to pay for these things too.

Obviously putting a play area on a SouthEastern train going through Medway isn't going to work, but the chavs already treat the entire train as a play area!
 

gavinjustice

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Last Thursday when I was going to Glasgow Queen Street with Scotrail, they were very good with my youngest brother, and mnay other times Scotrail have been fine with my parents taking the pram onboard the train with my brother
 

jopsuk

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Some pictures of a Finnish train. We got the wee man to check it out:-

Nice, but really only possible where there are no capacity problems! In much of this country we do have infrastructure-limited capacity.
 
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