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Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Justin Smith, 14 Nov 2009.
Those complaining about legroom clearly haven't been on an ex-MerseyRail 142
So where, pray, should this 10% of the population actually sit ?
The fact is that even those less than 6` tall would still find the extra room an enhancement of their comfort, and as has been said before, the vast majority of trains are not full most of the time anyway. So most of the time you have significant numbers of empty seats, but loads of cramped passengers. The only ones happy with that scenario are kids and dwarves, not that I have anything against dwarves.
Except the one that did something nasty to Snow White.
Am I getting confused here ?
It`s been a long time since I saw that film, you see I`m not a kid anymore, hence my dissatisfaction with the trend in seating arrangements......
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I have, they`re appalling. The low seat backs combined with the lack of room transported me back to sometime in my deep and distant past. Oh yes, it reminded me of when I was at school. I half expected the conductor/guard to get a blackboard out, then start throwing chalk at the passengers who weren`t listening. Hold on, I bet teachers don`t do that anymore, do they ?
I got a C158 from Sheffield to Hull and back yesterday and it really was as cramped as I remembered. With my backside hard up against the seat back my knees were jammed up against the seat back in front. It was so bad I moved to the seat for the wheelchair (which has no seat in front of it), but the fan from the aircon was making such a racket I moved back again.....
I don`t think they`ve fitted more seats in because the seats align with the windows, although the latter is a positive I suppose.
Whilst at Hull station I had a look in the C170s and C180s there.
The C170 seemed better, legroom wise, and the C180 better still. I have to say I find the C180s (and their sisters the C175s) to be amongst the most comfortable DMUs, and whilst no DMU can come close to loco hauled stock for quietness, the engines aren`t as intrusive as some.
Pity they`re so unreliable no train company seems to want them .......
Being pedantic - the article your link leads to actually says "The mean height of UK citizens is 1,755.1mm (5ft 9in)."(my highlighting)
Also you say that "under 20% of men are over 6' tall" - I am 6', and I find the airline seats in 158/159s very cramped - but using the figures the way you do I don't count, as I am not OVER 6' tall !
I am not asking that trains be designed "primarily" for me - just that they take my (not extreme, by any means !) height into account.
And don't start me on mirrors in hotel bathrooms !!!!! :-x great for doing up my tie - utterly useless for combing my hair !
I feel your pain. The WYPTE 158s are particularly bad, something about their seating is properly uncomfortable.
I'm only 5' 8" and i regally struggle for leg room on some trains!
Being a shortarse at 5'5" I don't generally have a problem! Though I do find on the Miseryrail 142s and Northern's 144s, there is only just enough room for me to fit in. Even the average person would struggle on them.
Actually I must put in a good word for FGW, their 158s on my line have "priority" seats with appreciably more legroom - but of course everyone, including the "vertically challenged", makes a bee-line for them !
On SWT's 159s I try and get the "wheelchair" seats (2 per 3 car unit) - about 6 ft of legroom.
I 'had a (booked) priority seat on East Coast a few weeks ago and it was like getting an exit seat on a plane - loads of room and no extra money! Okay, I had to walk to buy a cup of tea - but other than that, it was like being in FC!
Out of interest, if someone boarded that needed a priority seat - yet, I'd reserved my seat - would I have to give it up? On that basis, should they be available to reserve in the first place?
I didn`t think you could book priority seats, for the very reason you`ve given.
Incidentally, who else agrees that there are few more frustrating things than the following :
Train pretty full.
You manage to get on first and get a seat.
All the other seats get taken.
Someone comes up and shows their seat reservation for that seat, the reservation has obviously fallen off it, or never been put on.
You have to stand.
It happened to me once and I was pretty p****d off I can tell you !
Actually a more common occurence is getting on a train which is filling up fast.
The person in front of you (who may well have a reserved seat and is therefore not in a rush) takes an age putting their luggage on the rack and you`re stuck behind them watching helplessly as all the seats get taken by people boarding at the other end of the carriage.......
FRUSTRATING ! ! !
But what can you do ?
Usually, if they take more than 30 seconds, I say excuse me and then squeeze past. If they are taking an age, its not rude to do that in my book... especially if not doing it means standing for half an hour or more.
There are three aspects to legroom: length of leg below the knee; length of leg from knee to hip; body length (yes!). The one that causes most general annoyance is the middle one, because that is most affected by the distance between seats. But, if the seat is too low, the first one can be critical, as you find yourself hunched up. And, if there is insufficient support for your back, having a long body can cause you to slump to find support, pushing your legs forward. At 5' 11", I have ridiculously short legs (29" inside leg) but still find airline seats on HSTs and 225s too small because of these ratios. But all seat design has to be a compromise, and i can be very comfortable in 158s, 144s and 175s. Yup, we're all different.
all the none refurbished 142s are awful! In fact any pacer still with bus seats should be banned!
A train although a pacer is better than no train or a rail replacement bus (or a pacer replacement bus?)
I'm about the 6'6" mark, so this is an issue for me on every journey. In my experience, the best trains for leg room are without doubt the class 170s, even in standard class in the airline layout seats.
Voyagers are rubbish for legroom, unless you know exactly where to sit. In coach D (quiet coach), at the cab end, on the left hand side of the train nearest the door (as you look into the coach from the cab end vestibule) this seat seems to have more legroom then all the others.
On the ex-Mersyrail 142s, the best seat is directly behind the glass partition, just behind the sideways facing seats or luggage / bike space.
On eveything else, my advice is to sit at a table. Even if there is someone sat opposite its better then having your knees pressed against the seat back and the assosiated pins n needles that go with it.
Buses have the same problems. FYI on Wright eclipse gemini buses, the best seats are either at the back of the bottom deck, the last seat back on the main floor level (before the step up to the back seats) on the driver's side of the bus. On the top deck, the seat behind the staircase is generally ok. Optare Solo mini buses are ok in all seats. Well done Optare.
Although they are practically palaces on wheels compared to most of the local stock in the WYPTE area!
I`m not sure I agree with you about the table seats if anyone is sat opposite. I find you end up playing footsie with the passenger sat opposite as you try to stretch your leg out without kicking them. It`s even worse if they`ve got their bag on the floor between their legs, there`s then no way to straighten your leg sufficiently to avoid "knee ache".
That said, the worst seats for that are the airline seats where the heater unit is below the seat in front, like on the class 158s.
They are an absolute abomination, I avoid them like the plague.
I also don`t like Voyagers, they not only lack leg room but the angle of the seat back is not conducive to comfort on a long journey.
I find the class 185s are amongst the best coaches for comfort and leg room, though the best - for standard class - are without doubt the Grand Central HSTs.
Or indeed a Mk one (To be absolutely topical and up-to-date the Lymington CIG's). Even when the passenger bay dosen't have a door, the space between seats is wide enough for a door and legs.
I agree a full table is a bit uncomfortable, especially if its three strangers your sat with, but if theres just one person sat next to the window its not so bad sitting opposite in the aisle seat.
I havn't had the pleasure of travelling by Grand Central yet, but they only have a few sets with the improved seating arrangement so i'd call them a special case. All 170s seem to be pretty much to the same high standards.
Also, Pendolinos are also good for leg room, but suffer from a multitude of other problems. Uniquely to them is a lack of headroom in the toilets - anyone else find this?
I don`t like Pendolinos, though I`ve been here before, they must have been designed by aircraft engineers because they`re the only people who would ever consider the size of the windows to be acceptable. The first time I went on one I was shocked at how claustophobic they were. I did a bit of research (for Wikipedia, wielding a tape measure whilst the trains were stood at Birmingham NS !) comparing the total window area on a Pendolino with that on the "old" APT.
The APT had 19.0 sqm per coach, the Pendolino only 10.1. The latter figure is an absolute disgrace.
They may have less window space, but could an old APT have withstood a 90mph crash with only one fatality? The small windows add to the stregnth of the vehicle, and in an accident small windows must be a small price to pay for what could be several lives?
Anyway, this is not the place for discussing the pros and cons of pendolinos, but if nothing else (apart from their crash resistance) they do have some decent legroom
Good idea, let`s get rid of all the windows, then there might not be any fatalies in a 100mph crash !
How far do you go........
Those electric turbostars that Southern use around Clapham Junction and East Croydon (sorry I forget what they are) also seem ok.