Home » public transport » Rules of etiquette for train travel.

Rules of etiquette for train travel.

This particular post has been solely prompted after reading an excellent post on the subject from another WordPress blogger. You can read his thoughts HERE on rules that he feels should be observed when travelling on a train. As he is only 22 years of age and a therefore a mere whippersnapper, his etiquette rules, although I do agree with most of them, do not exactly fit my bill as the ideal ‘code of conduct’ for train travel. So with that thought in mind I have decided to add some of my own train travel etiquette rules.  Of course, he may simply spend most of his journey time on short commuter journeys whereas most of mine of late have tended to be of a fairly long duration. Anyway, less of the blathering and onto my rules for train travel.

In no particular order of importance.

1. If there are a few hundred passengers waiting on the platform and the train arrives consisting of only two carriages please do not all try to barge onto the train at the same time using the same door. Especially the one with the ginger haired lady stood outside it with a trolley suitcase.

2. If a ginger haired passenger with a suitcase boards at Leeds and insists that you are occupying her reserved seat, please vacate it immediately to save her the bother of having to bounce all the way down the entire train looking for ticket collector, dragging her suitcase behind her in the process.


3.  Please refrain from taking up two seats by placing your luggage, bag, laptop, coat etc on the seat next to you with the intention of stopping any other passenger from sitting next to you. You have probably not gone to the expense of paying for  two seats.

4. If placing your large bag up on the higher luggage racks above other passenger heads, please make sure that they are firmly pushed right back onto the rack and not liable to fall down whenever the train travels around a corner. (Health and Safety)

5. If placing a luggage bag up on the higher luggage racks above other passengers heads, please make sure that you do not leave the bag straps dangling down in such a way that the  passenger underneath will strangle themselves if they leave their seat for any reason.

6. It is considered bad manners to spend the entire journey from Leeds  to Glasgow sat next to a lone passenger  listening to your iPod or Walkman for the entire journey and not speak a word. 

7. If you have lost your ticket, do not spend the entire journey locked in the toilet in order to avoid the ticket collector. It is highly likely that its the one belonging to my carriage and at my age I NEED frequent use of the loo. (you’ll get there someday.)

8. If you are travelling in a group of more than two, please refrain from shouting, swearing, drinking alcohol, shouting out to the group of girls/boys further down the carriage or making rude gestures to each other just to look clever to your mates. It’s boring.

9. Do not assume that just because someone doesn’t look all that old and decrepit that you can barge past them when boarding the train simply to get a seat.  It might be me, and the glares I give in your direction if I have to stand up whilst you are seated are simply not worth it I assure you. 

10. Take extra care if returning from the buffet car with a hot drink in your hands whilst travelling on any of the express trains as they travel around a bend. This warning is especially important if travelling on the Virgin Pendolino trains which can reach exceptional speeds. (health and safety.)


11. If when travelling long distances, you have to pile your luggage on top of everyone else’s in the provided luggage rack, do please keep your eye on it  and if it all falls over into the aisle have the courtesy to pick it all up so that other passengers do not have to constantly step over it. Besides being a safety hazard in the case of fire, it can cause some elderly  passengers to have to postpone their visit to the toilet with dire consequences. 

12. If occupying an aisle seat, please refrain from having your leg, foot, bag, luggage etc sticking out into the aisle thereby causing other passengers who might have poor eyesight to trip up over the obstacle.

Abide by these simple rules and all passengers will be able to enjoy a stress free journey to their destination. Thank you.

TG  (On behalf of all long suffering train passengers everywhere.) Smile

Disclaimer. Just in case Sir Richard Branson reads my blogs posts (well you never know do you?)  all of these rules are entirely tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken seriously.

12 thoughts on “Rules of etiquette for train travel.

    • I’m often seen near death on public transport. To be honest, I’d rather walk, but it would take me a long time to walk from Yorkshire to Scotland. Think yourself lucky Daddy Papersurfer that you can do manage without it.

      Actually to be truthful, it can be quite an adventure in a way, and often gives me an excuse for yet another blog post and yet another rant.

  1. Ooh… I do a fair old bit of train travelling. Most of it fairly lengthy as well. Yet I can’t recollect offhand any occasion where I’ve become frustrated, annoyed, or even mildly irritated by things other passengers may be doing. Obviously I’m slipping. You’ve opened my eyes to a whole new topic for me to rant about.

    Cheers 🙂

  2. As a fan of etiquette and a regular user of public transit, I was happy to read your post, and I agree with you on everything except #6. Why do you feel this is bad manners? My feelings on the subject are that it is not my responsibility to entertain strangers. I am an antisocial person who struggles to a degree with small talk and anxiety, yet I need to commute for work. I understand that we all have duties toward our fellows – we must consider others and not act only for ourselves in the world – but chit chat? In circumstances such as you discuss (long trip, reserved seating), I will smile a hello in recognition of their being my seat mate; otherwise, aside from task-based communication (Do you know the time? or Excuse me, I need to get up, etc.), I am not interested in talking. This is not, of course, an excuse to be rude if I am engaged in conversation; I’d just rather avoid it (and listening to something on headphones is a good way to avoid it). I’d be interested in hearing your reasons for feeling otherwise.

  3. This is a complete rip off of the wordpress blog by James Dunn bit of a shameless way of getting hits isn’t it? His one is brilliant doesn’t need adding to at all.

    • You are entitled to your opinion but I can assure you that wasn’t the intention. If James had thought so, all he had to do was remove my comment and I did not mean it to be a ‘rip off’ It was just that there were several others that I could think of that annoy me on trains journeys.

      I am usually more interested in doing grumbles about bus journeys actually which are far worse than any train journey in my opinion.

      So sorry if you feel that was my intention, it wasn’t.

      • Hmm. Let’s see now… mention of James Dunn’s blog post? Check. Link to said blog post? Check. New and original content in this post? Check.

        Um… am I missing something?

        I dunno. There’s always one, isn’t there? 😉

  4. Pingback: Flying with Easy Jet … ain’t easy!! « My Italian Letters's Blog

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