Where to sit on a train

Back in the UK, when I used to catch an evening train from London to Leeds to see the folks, I used to request a rear-facing window seat at a table, on the left-hand side of the train in a non-smoking carriage. A table was preferable to looking at the back of someone else’s seat; I felt that rear-facing was a safer way to travel (or should I say a safer way to crash – no evidence to back this up, just a hunch); I prefer to be by the window than have passers-by nudge be as they walk past; and the left-hand side would offer me the opportunity to appreciate the descending sun on the northbound journey.

Nowadays, I get an eastbound morning train to work. It’s a first-come first-served seating system, so I hunt for a window seat facing in the direction of travel on the right side of the train, in a row where I face other passengers, in the carriage that alights at the optimal spot on the destination platform. The rationale for the window and facing other passengers has not changed; I face the direction of travel so that there’s no glare on my laptop from the rising sun; and I sit on the right so that I can appreciate the same sun rising.

I’m sure most other people have criteria for choosing their seats, but most of them will likely be based on the proximity of other people (or lack thereof). Maybe mine are unique.


One Response to “Where to sit on a train”

  1. Simon Patterson on March 28th, 2006 06:46

    I travel a lot on the subway/tube and use a Way Out tube map. This tells me which carriage to travel in, so that it will stop next to the exit or interchange.

    Apart from being a lot fast during the rush-hour, it feels safer to be able to hit the stairs beyond the throng.

    The map also tells you where to travel to stop next to lifts & elevators for those who can’t tackle stairs.

    My commuter train has a secret socket for the cleaner, great for charging the laptop, if you know where the plug is! Sssh.

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