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Trains in UK - is there quiet to be found?

Trains in UK - is there quiet to be found?

Aug 17th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Trains in UK - is there quiet to be found?

Thinking with pleasure about taking a train ride from London to Scotland BUT then remembered how especially disturbed I am by cell-phone chatter. Where I live in NY, there are quiet cars on trains, so I know how to make my ride enjoyable.

So I want to know - are there quiet cars on British long-distance trains? If not, is the best class of seat likely to give me some protection against yammering neighbors?

And/or is baseline train behavior in Britain good/considerate enough that I shouldn't worry about this? the invention of texting has improved the environment for someone with my sound sensitivities for sue.

One option on my list is an overnight sleeper train, where I'd have my own little roomette, and could still sit in a lounge for company
Elizabeth is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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East Coast runs the trains London to Edinburgh and according to their website there are quiet carriages


Of course that doesn't mean everyone follows the rules unfortunately! First class would also be quieter I imagine.

Whether people are quiet I think depends on the train...weekends I find everyone chats and there are a lot of families, teenagers etc and I find the trains louder. Trains first thing in the morning around me tend to be quieter as people are commuting. I imagine trains are quieter during the week when people are generally at work or school...
jamikins is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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Yes, when you book, ask to be put in the quiet coach.
In my experience, most people there are actually working and take a dim view of noisy electronics
MissPrism is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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When I took the train from London to Norwich three years ago you could choose a "quiet" car where cell phones etc were not allowed.
raincitygirl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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First class is no guarantee of quiet. The quiet coaches are generally pretty quiet so they will be fine. Mobile phones are not banned as such but conversations are encouraged to take place in the vestibule area, and most people abide by it. I can happily sit and read in peace in these quiet carriages.
This is the 'official' position -
"We intend the Quiet Coach, Coach B, to meet the needs of customers who want to work or relax quietly during their journey. Our aspiration for the Quiet Coach, based on the views we have gathered from customers, is that it should be ‘library quiet’, as to ban all noise would be impossible to enforce. This does mean that we ask people to use electronic equipment in silent mode, and mobile phone users to conduct conversations in the corridors at the end of each coach. In regards to personal stereos, they should be used quietly so other passengers should not really be able to hear any noise.
We do ask customers to be considerate to the needs of others, but unfortunately this is not always the case. We would normally expect our Customer Service Managers to deal with the individuals concerned once a complaint has been made to the staff by a customer, or if staff can see clearly hear excessive noise such as loudly singing, shouting etc. If such an incident happens again, I would advise you to contact a member of staff who will take appropriate action".
Morgana is online now  
Aug 17th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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They have so-called quiet carriages on several train companies, including the one that connects my town with London - Southwest Trains. Basically nobody (least of all anyone under the age of 30) takes the slightest bit of notice of the rules, and yabber away incessantly on their phones and talk loudly with their friends. Nobody does anything about it and the train staff don't care.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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I was in a First class 'quiet car' from Edinburgh to Kings Cross in early May. Didn't notice any cell phones in particular . . . but one probably wouldn't have since there was a group of 25 or more friends from Dundee who were having a rolling party

Pub games etc. They included us and it was fun, but quiet? - hardly
janisj is online now  
Aug 17th, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Gordon ought to move somewhere more civilised.

Anyone using a mobile phone in the quiet coaches on our line gets stared instantly into submission. There are two methods of dealing with the odd loud mouthed adolescent too insensitive to be silenced by 70 gimlet eyed oldies.

Mrs F, like any self-respecting Cotswold matron, straightforwardly tells them to "shut the f*** up" and gets roundly applauded (and instantly obeyed). Some outsiders are too petit-bourgeois for straight speaking and try scolding politely. This sometimes needs to be repeated, but only once.

Either way: we don't subcontract disciplining the young to railway staff, and everyone's happy.

I once sat with an academic (something to do with sociology) in a quiet coach on the East Coast line Elizabeth is thinking of using. Daft woman jabbered away on her phone (sociologists don't do discipline) all the way. No-one else did.

I don't know how you specify "no sociologist neighbours" on the East Coast website. But, with that exception, she should be OK as far as phones are concerned.

Nothing can silence the endless babble over the loudspeakers from the train staff, though. Only Virgin Atlantic can match them for wall-to-wall gibbering.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 17th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I was in a quiet coach sharing a table with a businesswoman who was obviously trying to concentrate on writing on her laptop. A child started playing a noisy computer game. I did the oldie glare, but my neighbour got up and told the mother of the child to find another compartment. She moaned but obeyed. This was a Virgin train.
MissPrism is offline  
Aug 19th, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Of course that doesn't mean everyone follows the rules unfortunately! First class would also be quieter I imagine.>

nope unless it is a quiet car - I have taken umpteen long rides in first class and the briefcase brigade that generally are the only folks besides foreign tourists with BritRail Passes like myself - these folks are constantly on their phones and since there are often so few others riding first class they speak loud - very interesting conversations at times - like what is for dinner that night, etc. for a foreigner but I'd think obnoxious to a Brit - really pablum conversations with also the authentic business calls - I consider it entertainment but again if I was riding those trains everyday it would be a complete bother.
PalenQ is online now  

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