Etiquette on overcrowded trains

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Batman

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Here's a couple of things I've noticed recently about the way people behave on overcrowded trains and how you can tell experienced commuters from other travels.

Firstly, on an evening peak train where almost all passengers board at a single principle station, regular commuters instinctively avoid standing in front of the train doors once it has stopped in order to allow alighting passengers to leave the train. Therefore it's easy to tell infrequent travelers apart from regular ones.

Secondly, once boarding has started, there are always a small number of passengers who will walk towards to doors on the other side of the carriage and make no attempt to find a seat, even if they're the first to board at their set of doors. This is OK if only one or two people do that and you're boarding a train with wide door areas such as a 170, but when significant numbers of people do this, it blocks the isles so that passengers wishing to find a seat have to fight through a crowd. I've even seen people board crowded trains in the evening peak at Birmingham New Street just before the advertised departure time when the door area is packed to capacity with a look of disappointment on their face as the assume the train is full (hence why people are standing by the doors), only to realise seats are available a few minutes into the journey before any passengers have had the opportunity to leave at the next station.

Am I the only person who has noticed this?

And on my second point, do people think that some commuters have a habit of doing this either because they simply can't be bothered to look for a seat or because they see it as an act of selflessness and don't want to deprive other passengers of a seat?
 
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Birmingham sounds rather polite still then, try seeing commuter behaviour in London, they can form a phalanx tighter than a roman legion around every set of doors!
 

LE Greys

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My 'favourite' pet hate is what happens when you find yourself either pinned up against a set of doors on the platform side and don't want to get off or find youself pinned up against the opposite set of doors and do want to get off. No matter what you do, nobody makes any room and you can either barge your way through or get completely stuck. The Northern Line is generally the worst for this.

Then there's always the one who insists on holding onto the handrail right over your head, resulting in your face being buried in a sweaty armpit. <(
 

stut

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You can also guarantee that, when packed in so tightly you can barely move, someone will attemp to read an unfolded broadsheet in your face.

And then there's those who will not accept that a train is full, and start ordering people to move down the carriage (which they've already done) and keep trying to board, blocking the doors. Inevitably, this is on high frequency lines, where the next train is waiting just outside the station...
 
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The trains I catch fill up quickly with experienced commuters, leaving the unknowing to flounder onto the train. Regular commuters know where to stand to meet the train doors, allow others to get off then swiftly take available seats, not hunting the carriage for who best to sit with. By the time the buggy brigade get on the seats are filled. It make me chuckle then to hear them complain that the train is full. Is it not obvious that trains departing a major city at 1700 are going to be busy?
 

EM2

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And on my second point, do people think that some commuters have a habit of doing this either because they simply can't be bothered to look for a seat or because they see it as an act of selflessness and don't want to deprive other passengers of a seat?
I do it because I'm only going a couple of stops, and in the past I've not been able to get off at my stop when I've been seated because the train is so busy.
 

Shimbleshanks

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The thing that winds me up the most is people standing next to the doors when there are loads of seats available. Not only does it completely slow other passengers trying to get on or off, but it means that passengers with buggies or bikes - and who can't get to the designated spaces for any reason - then can't use the space near the door and are left balancing their items in the middle of the vestibule area, thereby increasing the chaos even more. If you really do want to stand for the good of your health, can't you do it inside the carriage?
 

EM2

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I can't talk for others, but I stand by the doors that are track-side at the busiest station, giving plenty of space for others to get on. That means I am platform-side at the next station, but that is generally very quiet.
 

GodAtum

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I can tell who are commuters on weekends, even though the platform is empty they still want to stand really close to the edge of the platform!
 

londonbridge

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Birmingham sounds rather polite still then, try seeing commuter behaviour in London, they can form a phalanx tighter than a roman legion around every set of doors!

Yes,I've often noticed that "Please allow passengers off the train first" is largely misheard by those on the platform as "Please swarm around the doors the second the train stops and leave a two inch gap for those who wish to alight"!
 

table38

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I stood aside to let passengers off the other day and a woman pushed straight past me and forced her way on. Did she not wonder what I was doing, or had I gone all invisible again? :)
 

PHILIPE

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One thing I notice on the Cardiff Valleys on Saturdays or during school holidays is adults, including pensioners, standing, and most of the seats filled by children some as young as about 4.
 

317666

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Something I've noticed is on trains with 1/3 and 2/3 length doors, most people tend to board and then head for the centre of the coach, often leaving the coach ends much emptier. I honestly have no idea why!
 

Robinson

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Something I've noticed is on trains with 1/3 and 2/3 length doors, most people tend to board and then head for the centre of the coach, often leaving the coach ends much emptier. I honestly have no idea why!

Especially on a 377/4 in the middle coaches - there's some 2+2 seating at the ends of the coaches if I remember rightly, instead of the 3+2 that's in the middle...
 

Flamingo

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I have come to the conclusion that most commuters to Reading don't want seats, the just want to moan - and stand.

The evening peak time trains from London to Reading I work usually have 30-40 people standing in 1st class and the bar area, any attempt to move them is greeted with bitching about no seats and "where do you expect us to move to" (and the old standby, "You are the only TM that asks us to move"). Walking down the train a few carriages and counting the empty seats, one finds anything up to 100 empty seats. Go back and tell all the bitching commuters this and you get "Well we are nearly at Reading now, I'm not walking down that far!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI0MRyUFIXU
 

jon0844

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Yup, used to see that all the time on my train home. But, in a way I was quite happy because I could always get a seat. No, a choice of seats.

Sit at the far end in luxury, then walk down through the train to get off at Hatfield - when most of the people who squashed up and shared rants about overcrowded, dirty, smelly, trains had squeezed themselves off.
 

34D

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The thing that winds me up the most is people standing next to the doors when there are loads of seats available. Not only does it completely slow other passengers trying to get on or off, but it means that passengers with buggies or bikes - and who can't get to the designated spaces for any reason - then can't use the space near the door and are left balancing their items in the middle of the vestibule area, thereby increasing the chaos even more. If you really do want to stand for the good of your health, can't you do it inside the carriage?

I agree with skimbleshanks the railway cat that this is most annoying. It is prevelent on buses/tube/trains I'm London. I did in fact assume it was people who didn't want to sit in the seats due to perceived germ/hygiene reasons?
 

Monty

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I stood aside to let passengers off the other day and a woman pushed straight past me and forced her way on. Did she not wonder what I was doing, or had I gone all invisible again? :)

That is a pet peeve of mine, passengers who board before allowing others to alight the train. :|
 

LE Greys

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I can tell who are commuters on weekends, even though the platform is empty they still want to stand really close to the edge of the platform!

It used to be that commuters would always walk with one arm swinging and the other arm straight from carrying their briefcase. Changed a bit now.
 

stut

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I agree with skimbleshanks the railway cat that this is most annoying. It is prevelent on buses/tube/trains I'm London. I did in fact assume it was people who didn't want to sit in the seats due to perceived germ/hygiene reasons?

Not from my point of view (I imagine here hygiene of the grab rails is rather worse, but then I tend to avoid antibacterial nonsense and so have a decent immune system...) Personally, I will normally stand, out of the way, for short journeys on local transport. Usually because I've been sat down all day, and the seats tend to be painfully uncomfortable for non-midgets.

The Circle Line is the worst. My shoulders are wider than those seats!
 

island

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You can also guarantee that, when packed in so tightly you can barely move, someone will attemp to read an unfolded broadsheet in your face.
There are only two daily broadsheets these days so that doesn't happen much now. I've been trying the Times on my iPad lately.
And then there's those who will not accept that a train is full, and start ordering people to move down the carriage (which they've already done) and keep trying to board, blocking the doors. Inevitably, this is on high frequency lines, where the next train is waiting just outside the station...
This happens to me most mornings at Lewisham (I am the person jammed in next to the cab door usually).
 

chuckles1066

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Here's a couple of things I've noticed recently about the way people behave on overcrowded trains and how you can tell experienced commuters from other travels.

By definition, if a train is overcrowded (and aren't they all?) then isn't everyone (commuter or otherwise) just happy to get on and stand wherever?

Show me a guy in a suit and a laptop and I'll say commuter......show me a girl stood next to him breastfeeding her chavvy and I'll say non-commuter.

Not rocket science. Everyone just wants to get from A to B.
 

iphone76

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Something I've noticed is on trains with 1/3 and 2/3 length doors, most people tend to board and then head for the centre of the coach, often leaving the coach ends much emptier. I honestly have no idea why!

I try to sit in the centre of the carriage on my daily journey from Wickford to Liverpool Street as the ride tends to get a bit violent when we pick up speed especially at places like Gidea Park, Ilford and Brentwood. I imagine this is because the wheels are located at the ends of the carriages.
 

swt_passenger

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Something I've noticed is on trains with 1/3 and 2/3 length doors, most people tend to board and then head for the centre of the coach, often leaving the coach ends much emptier. I honestly have no idea why!

There usually will appear to be about twice as many seats towards the centre - and there probably are. The fact there's another set of boarding passengers heading in the opposite direction probably doesn't register when you make that glance towards the centre.
 

maniacmartin

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One thing that's rather common on the tube is that some people make no attempt to get up from their seats when they reach the station they wish to alight at. Then, after everyone has boarded, they decide to leave the train when the areas by the doors is now full of standing passengers. This annoys me greatly.

I've sometimes wondered if metro services should have some sort of one-way system in the carriages so passengers board at one end of the carriages and alight at the other. Of course the type of passenger who doesn't stand aside to let people off before boarding would probably ignore it anyway
 

Gwenllian2001

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I've sometimes wondered if metro services should have some sort of one-way system in the carriages so passengers board at one end of the carriages and alight at the other.

Cardiff Trolleybuses were designed that way with a conventional platform and stairs at the rear and another set of stairs at the front leading to a power operated sliding door. Passengers entered at the rear and exited at the front. Simples.
 
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Hate to say it JonMorris, as much as I respect your posts, why not use the equally free space on the platform to walk the distance towards the exit without having to clamber through the aisles etc to leave the train , at least you get the maybe 100m walk in some fresh air rather than train air ;) - Also may have the added benefit of not being stuck in the bottleneck at the exit :)

I am not intending to sound tetchy at all, just had a couple of days of watching people play musical carriages on my trains so they could be at their perfect exit door - not realising that we are not the underground and it is perfectly acceptable to use the inter-carriage doors (exception to be made, though I still find it bizarre, on swapping between front and rear 319 units!)
 

jon0844

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I won't walk through if it's too crowded but it rarely is (despite people moaning otherwise because they all boarded via one set of doors) and it saves a lot of time walking when the train has arrived, by doing it in advance. Usually after Brookmans Park so I'm not walking when it jerks around!

I may only have a few minutes to get my connecting bus and even 4 car trains stop further down the platform so I have to walk 8 car lengths even on a 4 car train. Finally there's the queue to get over the bridge when someone decides to carry their whole house with them.

Clearly the best solution is to stay on the train at the London end but as people don't move down I'd just add to the congestion and be forced to stand.
 

GodAtum

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How short is too short for someone to stand? For example from Lodnon Victoria - Clapham would you sit even if there are loads of seats?
 
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