to think it's inconsiderate to travel in the quiet coach with small children

(268 Posts)
someonestolemynick Sun 23-Mar-14 20:41:11

That, really.

I make a point of sitting in the quiet coach, where available in order to be able to work, read or just be alone with my own thoughts.

Today I'm joined by a young family with a baby. Of course, the baby starts crying whenever we go through a tunnel. Arrrgh! I know children make noice, hence KEEP.THEM.OUT.OF.THE.QUIET.ZONE.


Sparklysilversequins Sun 23-Mar-14 20:54:57


MrsDeVere Sun 23-Mar-14 20:57:45

As others have pointed it the quiet coach was introduced because of adults using their mobiles.

Not because of babies and children.

Ubik1 Sun 23-Mar-14 20:59:14

If you travel on public transport you have to accept there may be a little trouble in paradise occasionally.

How quiet is quiet? Would you also object to a group of adults talking and laughing on a day out together? Are you allowed to laugh?

HoVis2001 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:00:42

I think it depends on the operator (whether you get to choose between quiet or non-quiet coach). Most of the time I haven't seen that as a choice (or, you can actively select 'quiet coach', but can't select 'not quiet coach'). As others have said when travelling with luggage - let alone with children! - you're just thankful to find your seat, and don't necessarily want to take the risk of getting up and trying to find other seats elsewhere, especially if you need 4 or 5 seats together.

Rommell Sun 23-Mar-14 21:02:16

Cotherstone - that's unusual ime. I used to travel a lot for work so have used loads of different train companies and afaik you can request the quiet coach, but you can't request to not be put on it. So even if you make a regular booking but don't request it you can still be assigned it.

HoVis2001 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:05:08


R.e. your post about there being no booking facility on your train - I know that the limit for advance tickets is that each leg has to exceed an hour. So, I would guess that if the train route is longer than an hour, then there probably will be advance tickets available, which always come with reserved seats.

I think you really have to be a special kind of miserable person to not only grump inwardly at a baby crying but then come home and fire off a complaint to mumsnet about how awful this is.
Yes babies and children on public transport make noise, so do adults. If you want silence then drive yourself everywhere.

beals692 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:19:52

YANBU. Unless there are no other options, why shouldn't parents of young children show a bit of consideration for other travellers? Obviously taking into account there being seats elsewhere etc, why not sit in one of the many other seats/carriages that would cause less annoyance to other people? If I had a choice between two options both of which met my needs but one of the options would cause problems/annoyance for other people and one wouldn't bother other people I would go for the second option and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect others to do the same.

It's worse being stuck in a quiet coach with a noisy child as you don't have the option of putting your headphones on and drowning them out. I recently had a journey in a 'quiet' coach with a child squealing for the entire journey. (A range of squeals granted - from unhappy/not getting what they want squealing to excited squealing to just-like-the-sound-of-my-own-voice squealing - but constant for over two hours nonetheless.) I know parents who say they learnt to zone out their own child's noise (because they'd have gone a bit bonkers if they hadn't) and wonder if these parents are the same and don't even notice the noise anymore or realise how annoying it is to everyone else?

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 21:23:47

It is DD who simply cannot bear noisy children. Unfortunately we always travel on very crowded trains so there is no option to move. I get that we just have to suck it up. But I sometimes feel that some parents are immune to the noise their children make.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 23-Mar-14 21:24:02

Move to somewhere you CAN drown them out with headphones then beals. Seems an obvious solution to me.

IneedAwittierNickname Sun 23-Mar-14 21:25:12

Yanbu. I've sat on those fold down seats in the corridor when the only proper seats have been in the quiet carriage. My dc are generally quiet, they normally colour/play hangman/cards on a train.

I was unaware though that quiet meant no electronics, does that mean I can't have my iPod on quietly? So that no one else can hear it?

halfdrunktea Sun 23-Mar-14 21:26:38

YANBU; there's no way I'd take my two in the quiet carriage, unless it was the only one with seats free.

Ubik1 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:27:44

It just means you can't yak into your mobile phone self importantly and incessantly about the baby crying in seats up the carriage.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 21:29:00

This is from the East Coast website

keeping noise to a minimum
putting mobile phones on silent or vibrate
taking phone calls in the vestibule
using headphones to listen to music or watch videos, with the volume on low
talking quietly.

So you can listen to your iPod as long as it doesn't disturb other passengers. There is nothing more irritating than listening to the beat from someone's headset on public transport.

Thetallesttower Sun 23-Mar-14 21:29:33

On our train line, the quiet coach just means turn your moby off, nothing more. You can chat in there and have conversations.

Also, the train I get often has only three coaches to start with, so one is first, one is ordinary and one is quiet, it is not reasonable for everyone to squash into the ordinary one just to try to keep near silence in the quiet coach.

I travel lots in the quiet coach and never care if children get on. It's a public space, people are allowed to talk and children are allowed to play quietly.

Babies crying, not so much, if there were lots of other empty seats and carriages, however there are often not.

Ubik1 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:29:42

And of course you can use your bloody headphones in the quiet coach.

PickleSarnie Sun 23-Mar-14 21:30:58

I can drown people out with my headphones on the quiet coach. And no one can hear my music. It just takes a pair of non-shit headphones.

Yes, you can have your ipod on ineed, just as long as you don't have those rubbish, noise leaking headphones that inflict tinny noise on everyone and that I dream of being able to snip with scissors!

As others have already raised, quiet zones might work better if there was a clearer choice in booking. Often you can book a normal seat but still get lumped in the quiet area. Also working doesn't necessarily equate with quiet - I've lost count of the number of important business calls I've been subjected to.

My local commuter line takes the extremely optimistic stance of marking parts of their trains as quiet zones, despite there being no bookable seats, are very often being full to capacity and have no onboard staff (except the driver). Although I've witnessed some instances of passengers enforcing the rules with each other, I'd never consider chastising a noisy family if it's the only place they could sit.

thenightsky Sun 23-Mar-14 21:32:28

DH commutes regularly on East Coast Mainline and says quiet coach means mobiles off and no shouting into phones. He says kids and families are acceptable.

thedrunkenduck Sun 23-Mar-14 21:34:34

Rommell you seem to have a bit of a bee in your bonnet- this is the third thread I've read with you commenting on it with a passive agressive attitude.

I'm sure there's no need.

beals692 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:35:30

So the entire rest of the carriage (who have specifically booked the quiet carriage) should up and move elsewhere because someone brought a squealing child into the carriage?

There are lots of etiquette issues which involve some sacrifice on the part of the person showing consideration for others e.g. giving up their seat on a full train for someone who needs it more but in a situation where the parent could show more consideration without disadvantaging themselves, people still wouldn't be willing to even do that confused

Rommell Sun 23-Mar-14 21:40:03

What do I seem to have a bee in my bonnet about, thedrunkenduck? Have I made comments about the same subject on all three threads? And what subject would that be?

Also, I would be interested to know what you understand by the phrase 'passive aggressive' as I am not, to my knowledge, sabotaging the OP's plans through inaction.

PedantMarina Sun 23-Mar-14 21:41:46

The Quiet Zone on our trains says specifically "for those who want peace & quiet", then gives the examples of mobiles, loud conversation and 'headphones on silent'. (BTW, no 1st class on these trains, and QZ is only 1-in-4 carriages).

I believe the defining feature to a QZ should be: 'can somebody sleep through this?'. If you have any doubt at all, Don't Do It (or allow etc).

To my mind, children cannot be trusted to be quiet enough for these standards. They might, but you just can't be sure enough. And, yes, I have a DC (3yo), one of the best-behaved kids on the planet out in public. And I still don't bring him into the Quiet Zone.

It'd be doing him a disservice as well. He loves asking about things, spotting the Gherkin, etc, and just wouldn't dig having to keep schtum. In the exceptionally unlikely event we couldn't get a seat in a non-Quiet Zone, we'd stand/ sit on the floor/ whateva.

I commute on a train with a QZ all the time, but the main time I remember was a noisy family in the QZ when I'd just come back from an holiday, during which I'd had a miscarriage. The loudly voiced 'Mummy, why is that lady crying?' still fucking haunts me.

OP, unless you have any reason to think this family had no choice but to be there, YANBU. And if reserved seats ishoo is to blame, scream at the train company.

Fantissue Sun 23-Mar-14 21:42:13

There should be a child-free carriage for sure, that way all the hen and stag parties can go there at the weekend without bothering families and during the week people can go there to work and not be bothered by families.

ThisFenceIsComfy Sun 23-Mar-14 21:46:37

I think the quiet carriage should be quiet. That means keep all noise to a minimum. I never willingly sit in there with my toddler unless it was the last seat available on the train. Toddlers are not able to be quiet!

I agree that when booking tickets you should be able to specify and I would love love love a family carriage!

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