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

(257 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.


WooWooOwl Sun 23-Mar-14 20:42:34


But unfortunately there are some selfish parents out there.

whois Sun 23-Mar-14 20:43:54


Quiet coach should be for those capable of being quiet!

KiwiBanana Sun 23-Mar-14 20:44:10

Yanbu unless the train is so full that they have no where else to sit.
I wouldn't dream of inflicting my toddler on the quiet coach and would expect the same courtesy in return of other passengers.

littlebluedog12 Sun 23-Mar-14 20:44:42

Sometimes you don't get a choice. I always reserve seats online and there isn't an option for 'not the quiet coach' so sometimes we end up there.

Greypuddle Sun 23-Mar-14 20:45:22

When you book online, you're usually not given a choice which carriage your seats are in. Sometimes it's the quiet coach. And technically, technically it's supposed to mean no mobiles, computer games etc and noise to a minimum, rather than silence. I feel your pain, though.

Greypuddle Sun 23-Mar-14 20:46:01


BoomBoomsCousin Sun 23-Mar-14 20:46:29

In my experience, if you resere a seat online you may well get put in the quiet coach whether you ask for it or not. So they may not have been given a choice. In which case YABU.

Or they may. In which case YANBU.

Pinkcustardpurplecustard Sun 23-Mar-14 20:46:30

I'd only sit in the quiet coach if my kids were quiet and low key.

RicStar Sun 23-Mar-14 20:46:58

Yanbu but I think you can get assigned there by (some) train companies unwittingly if you book seats & I can understand not wanting to trudge round the train looking for other seats if that was the case. V.annoying though.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 23-Mar-14 20:47:16

Obviously happens to quite a few of us!

Artandco Sun 23-Mar-14 20:47:25

Quiet coach just means No talking for hours on phone or loud music though. No reason kids can't be in there

someonestolemynick Sun 23-Mar-14 20:47:54

Relieved, I'm not a monster (yet grin ).

Kiwi, I agree if it was the only seat left, then I would happily sit through the noise. The train I travelled on today was not very busy, there were plenty of seats.

Merrylegs Sun 23-Mar-14 20:48:23

I think the quiet coach means no electronic devices.

So unless the baby was plugged in you were probably being a bit u.

I think defining these coaches as such are misleading tbh because if you are in one and a fellow passenger is talking to another, or sneezing, or snoring you spend your time feeling all huffy thinking 'hmm this is supposed to be the quiet coach' and not getting any work done anyway.

Were there many tunnels?

littlebluedog12 Sun 23-Mar-14 20:48:45

Not just me then grin

Forgettable Sun 23-Mar-14 20:49:54

Yes when booking seats one is not alerted to whether the coach is the quiet coach, we have been caught like this a few times. Nought to be done apartf rom ask the operators to enhance their choice on their websites.

RiverTam Sun 23-Mar-14 20:50:09

yanbu, but I have booked tickets online and then found that I've been put in the quiet carriage - not a problem for me in those days pre-DC, but would be a problem now.

D0G Sun 23-Mar-14 20:50:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ubik1 Sun 23-Mar-14 20:50:56

Yes we have been allocated seats in the 'quiet coach' before.

It only means you can't use your mobile.

And frankly I couldn't give a toss about your previous expectations of who is allowed to travel in the ridiculous 'quiet coach'

I also travel first class with my three occasionally - is that ok too?

pancakesfortea Sun 23-Mar-14 20:51:46

Like everyone has already said, you need to direct your rage at the booking system. Countless times I have booked tickets online, including child fares, and we are put in the quiet coach. And changing carriages with small kids and luggage isn't always easy.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 20:52:56

I think they should add that to the online booking details, and maybe have a lower age limit allowed in the quiet coach so that it is quiet most of the time.
Maybe they should have coaches aimed at families as well.

someonestolemynick Sun 23-Mar-14 20:53:52

To my knowledge, there is no option to reserve seats on the train I used today.

Artandco, chiltern, with whom I travelled, also ask for conversational noise to be kept to a minimimum and I doubt most small children would be able to sit quietly for the length of a journey. Why would a parent ask that of their children? (...or not but expecting fellow passengers to suck it up).

Cotherstone Sun 23-Mar-14 20:54:01

Every time I've booked seats I've always been asked whether I want the quiet coach or not.

pancakesfortea Sun 23-Mar-14 20:54:09

OP if there were loads of empty seats why didn't you move?

Rommell Sun 23-Mar-14 20:54:55

'Quiet coach' just means no mobiles or electronic devices. If you want exclusivity, stump up for first class. Or just suck it the fuck up.

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!

exexpat Sun 23-Mar-14 21:49:14

OP - maybe you should write to the rail company you travel with and suggest they consider banning children in the quiet carriage, and see what response you get.

You might also need to write to all the train companies and rail-booking websites to suggest that when someone is booking children's tickets and making seat reservations, they don't put them in the quiet carriage - I have regularly found that my reserved seats are in the quiet carriage.

My DCs are now very quiet (older, happy to read/listen to their ipods on low volume etc) but I'm afraid that even when they were younger and more likely to make a noise, I would not have abandoned our reserved seats in the quiet carriage and dragged them through the train, with suitcases, to try to find seats together elsewhere.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 21:49:36

If they had a designated family carriage they could make it one with a toilet with changing facilities. It's not rocket science.

Rommell Sun 23-Mar-14 21:52:30

See, a family carriage would be my idea of hell. I'm imagining a souped-up Wacky Warehouse on wheels. I'd rather gnaw my own fucking arm off.

Only1scoop Sun 23-Mar-14 21:53:19

Yanbu Op

IneedAwittierNickname Sun 23-Mar-14 21:54:51

Thanks pickle I had assumed that was the case, then this thread made me think otherwise.

I don't think my headphones leak noise, not at the volume I.listen, will have a test and see!

Ubik1 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:57:27

I hate train travel with children in this country. I travel Scotland to London alone with three young children several times a year. It's so stressful that usually I go straight to bed when I get in. And my children are well behaved (most children are.)

We have endured adults sitting in our reserved seats and refusing to move, temperatures so high I had to strip the baby down to her vest, toilets breaking, overcrowding causing toilets to be locked (that's fun when toilet training) vomiting on the pendolino, swearing stag parties, headphones turned up so high you are treated the the latest Lady Ga Ga, swearing, farting, people bringing on stinking fast food, 'business' conversations conducted ad nauseam...

Frankly a wailing baby in the quiet carriage ain't so bad compared to the adults.

WeAreSix Sun 23-Mar-14 22:00:33

Am I the only one who hasn't heard of a quiet coach? I had no idea such thing existed!

2kidslotsofmess Sun 23-Mar-14 22:00:47

as others have said, it's pot luck if you have children whether you end up with the quiet coach. there's no option to avoid it. so you take your seats or stand in normal. what would you do with two small children?

MorrisZapp Sun 23-Mar-14 22:05:51


However, it's the fault of the train companies. They are happy to advertise the quiet coach, put up nice notices etc but sometimes it just causes more stress because a) they leave it to passengers to 'enforce', and b) they merrily book people on it without telling them it's a quiet coach.

If they sorted it out properly, then us quiet coachers would have solid grounds for complaint when the rules were breached. But it's just a rammy isn't it. I hope it improves as the concept of a quiet coach trickles down, if it ever does.

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:11:59

Quiet coaches are the Parent and Toddler spaces of the public transport world.

Totally unnecessary and used purely to inflate certain types with a sense of their own importance.

meganorks Sun 23-Mar-14 22:14:54

Well there isn't always a choice. I went and sat on the quiet coach to so some work. By the time the train left it was packed. People sitting on the floor by the doors. All the carriages were the same. There was a family spread across several sets of seats. When it gets like that how the hell is it supposed to be silent?! Didn't stop one old couple sighing and tutting constantly. Give it up!

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:19:20

Someone barged up to me on a quiet carriage once when I was sending a text on my phone, and was literally INCANDESCENT and screeched "can you turn the sound OFF, you are NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT"

Then the man sitting next to me pointed out to her that my phone was on silent, and the beeping was coming from the person in the seat behind me.

She just spun on her heel and marched off again how I laughed inside

Honestly, what is the point of getting so bent up about your 'entitlement' to travel in peace and quiet (which is always going to be subjective, anyway).

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 22:20:04

I don't understand your point byany. I would rather travel in a quiet coach, but I am a quiet sort of person anyway, and not in the least self important, who IMO are the ones who chat incessantly on their mobiles.

What is the point of even having "quiet" coaches of the noise created by mobiles/iPods is not permitted but the noise creaked by crying/shrieking children is A-ok?

Seems to invalidate the whole concept of quiet coaches. confused

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 22:21:21

Exactly Pumpkin. Quiet ought encompass the full meaning of the word.

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:24:52

What is 'quiet' to one is not going to be considered 'quiet' to another. It's not measurable - you just create a situation where some people think they're behaving within acceptable parameters, and others find those parameters unacceptable.

Fine for them to be no headphones/mobiles must be on silent or whatever carriages - that at least is a definite.

But saying everyone has to be 'quiet' just creates potential for disagreement.

Plus I don't really get why anyone (barring those with genuine sensory issues) 'needs' to sit in a quiet carriage because they don't. As someone said upthread, it's just so precious.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 22:31:22

" (barring those with genuine sensory issues) 'needs' to sit in a quiet carriage because they don't. As someone said upthread, it's just so precious."

Both OH and DD get unreasonably agitated by loud, jarring noises. I don't mind quiet, well behaved children, but can't stand squealers. I think most normal people wouldn't like to put up with squealing children either. You must have a very high tolerance level to noise.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:41:24

'Quiet coach' means just that! A bit pointless having no mobiles if people sing rugby songs!!

someonestolemynick Sun 23-Mar-14 22:41:32

I really don't understand why some people get so worked up about the expectation that one ought to exerciser basic consideration.

Yes, if you have children with you, and the quiet carriage has the last vacant seats available by all means sit there (and police your kids to be quiet smile ), but is it really so unreasonable to expect that, if there are seats available elsewhere, are you actually walking through the whole train to put your precious children in the quiet seat.

Btw I am not asking for grave silence, simply for people to keep others in mind; including their own children btw - again: why do you want to force them to be extra quiet, IF there are other seats available where people expect a bit of noise?

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:44:05

I wouldn't let me DC squeal on a train. I don't need a special little sign telling me that it's a 'quiet' area in order to be able to exercise basic consideration - I exercise that anyway.

Strange thread.

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:45:09

Go on, admit it, you just enjoy having something to get all cats-bum-mouthed about, don't you? grin

tethersend Sun 23-Mar-14 22:46:05

I just booked tickets for a trip up north with 1yo and a 5yo and have been allocated the quiet coach. I had no say in this whatsoever.

I think I'll sit in the seats rather than cower in the corridor for fear of upsetting other passengers though grin

byanymeansnecessary Sun 23-Mar-14 22:46:05

Sorry, I'll stop winding you up now.

I'm off to bed, enjoy your thread smile

someonestolemynick Sun 23-Mar-14 22:52:37

byanymeans, Oh, I love my cats-bum-mouth, but only feel the need to go public cbm, for things that i feel very strongly about.

Again, yes, by all means sit in your reserved seats (and make sure the kids know some people sit their by choice).

tethersend Sun 23-Mar-14 23:05:25

Yeah, I'll be sure to explain that to the one year old grin

MrsDeVere Sun 23-Mar-14 23:07:21

But it was a baby, not a 5 year old.
IF it was a five year old singing along to her Ipod I could see your point about a lack of consideration.
But a baby crying when it goes through a tunnel?

How is that being inconsiderate? What are they supposed to do, wrap in gaffer tape and stick it in the luggage rack?

I used to travel a lot on trains when my big DCs were young. They didn't have quiet carriages then. Noisy kids really were the least irritating of all the irritations I faced.
Pissed rugby fans trying to pick me up and then getting annoyed when I declined, very important business people wanting to use the whole table to do their very important work on, couples without children looking horrified that they were going to have to sit near my kids, dogs, suitcases bigger than a small car, bloody personal stereos wailing and the.utter.wankers.that. went.through.every.fucking.ringtone. on their new nokias.

Kids were a welcome distraction from all that.

ToAvoidConversation Sun 23-Mar-14 23:09:26

YANBU it's nota child friendly are. Quiet coach doesn't just mean no mobiles it means QUIET. So unless you are speaking occasionally in hushed tones stay out! It winds me up when the quiet coach or first class is like a crèche because I go out of my way to book those seats.

However, it's not the parents fault if they have been ditched there by a faulty booking system.

ToAvoidConversation Sun 23-Mar-14 23:10:04

*its not a child friendly area

I would love the option not to be dumped there! 4 hour with 3 under 6 on a train when you can't move is not fun. Mine are pretty well behaved, but they aren't silent. And moving seats with all the luggage and kids is a tremendous undertaking once you've got settled in. Plus I usually travel at peak time, so there are not 4 seats together spare.

bakingaddict Sun 23-Mar-14 23:24:43

I often travel on Virgin trains to visit family up North and usually get assigned the quiet coach through no fault of my own. Sometimes I travel alone with the kids to visit my family. There is not a cat's chance in hell that I will give up my reserved seats in the quiet coach and trawl through the whole train with kids and luggage in tow just to appease other people. My kids are well behaved and i'm considerate to other passengers but the people who suggest I do exactly this just because the train company chose to sit me there are out of their minds.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 24-Mar-14 00:14:44

I've travelled regularly on 6-hour train journeys with DC for the last 13 years, on different routes and with various companies. I'd say we were plonked in the Quiet Coach at least 50% of the time. I need assistance to get on trains with luggage as it is, and there's sod-all chance of me struggling through the train and invalidating my cheapskate tickets in the process to soothe a catsbum passenger, were I ever to come across one. Actually I've only ever heard people tutting at mobiles and loud tinny music in these carriages, never ordinary conversation.

Chloerose75 Mon 24-Mar-14 00:26:14

YANBU at all.

Children and babies are generally noisier than adult mobile phone noise, so if phones are banned then surely it doesn't make sense for kids to still be rampaging in the quiet coach. The clue is in the name!

Also a bit confused at so many people claiming to be allocated quiet coach against their will. It is very easy to change carriage when booking tickets and I do think it makes sense for people to go in a normal carriage if they know their children will make noise. If there really are no other seats then ok but if you have the choice I think its inconsiderate to go in quiet coach.

exexpat Mon 24-Mar-14 00:44:13

When I book tickets (usually through the First Great Western website) the booking confirmation tells me what the seat and carriage numbers are, but doesn't tell me whether or not it is a quiet coach. I don't discover that until we turn up to claim our seats.

manicinsomniac Mon 24-Mar-14 02:58:15

I haven't noticed a quiet coach on a train for about 15 years! (since I stopped travelling with my gran I guess - she always wanted to be in it.)

I thought at some point they must have fallen into disuse sue to everybody having portable technology now rather than just an annoying few.

I must just be chronically unobservant though - hope I haven't sat in the quiet coach with my children too often, chatting away into my mobile phone - eek!

I think YAB a bit U. I can see it's annoying if you don't get what you booked but that's life isn't it - you can't predict who's going to share bits of it with you.

youvegottabekiddingme Mon 24-Mar-14 04:00:17

I travelled on the quiet coach in the summer after mistakenly booking the seats there. I was so worried as my children were 5,7 and 9. But they barely made a sound, trying to stay as quiet as possible. ALL the adults on the quiet coach made loads of noise. Eating, talking with each other and on the phone and getting up and down taking things out of their bags etc. etc. I was sitting like this shock while every now and then whispering to my kids to remember to stay quiet. My kids were even shock

youvegottabekiddingme Mon 24-Mar-14 04:01:44

And I'm not kidding. ...ALL the adults were noisy. ..other than me grin

PiratePanda Mon 24-Mar-14 05:16:14

Quiet coach on East Coast also means conversations quiet and kept to a minimum, not just no mobiles/electronic noise. I would have thought it was a no brainer that the quiet carriage should not be used by families with young children unless no other option. It's a courtesy though, not a legal requirement, so there's not a huge amount you can do if someone refuses to play ball.

FWIW I would never sit in the quiet carriage with DCs, not even if they were our reserved seats (in an unbusy train you can, in fact, sit elsewhere without violating T&Cs especially if you're doing it to be courteous.) It's not fair on the customers who are there to work, and no, it's not the same as the first class issue.

ArtexMonkey Mon 24-Mar-14 05:30:17


I'm with Northern and Ubik.

I have been known to deliberately book a seat in the quiet carriage with a 4yo because i wanted to avoid the scenario of her being subjected to inconsiderate adults bellowing swearwords into their phones, or football twats.

<awaits SIOB from all the martyred 'i hang on the outside of the train with my children so no one is inconvenienced' people> grin

vexedfoxy Mon 24-Mar-14 06:01:33

Quiet coach does not mean 'you just can't use your mobile' It surely means just that 'be quiet? ie no children, no load conversations with you travelling companions, drunkeness etc etc. I rarely commute on public transport (normally cycle) but generally find the standard of behaviour of the British commuter is a disgrace. This is a wider issue on public transport behaviour. For example a train pulls in a station load of people want to get off, morons on the platform stand noses pressed against the door so you can't get off they can't get on...then they tut at you!

ArtexMonkey Mon 24-Mar-14 06:09:10

I think they should stop serving alcohol on trains. I think noisy drunks should be chucked off (and, no, they don't already do this, unless the leeds supporters who recently made a journey HELL for my mum were a hallucination on her part). I think if all the people who tut and catsbum at women travelling with small children were equally brave when it comes to confronting braying phone twats, chavs with shit headphones and appalling music and noisy sweary gobshites, there'd be absolutely no need whatsoever for 'quiet carriages' of any definition.

tethersend Mon 24-Mar-14 06:40:50

"It is very easy to change carriage when booking tickets "

Chloe, if you could show me how to do this on the midland mainline website, that would be great. You can't

UptheChimney Mon 24-Mar-14 06:48:06

Definitely YANBU. I book seats in the Quiet coach specifically because I do long distance travel for work, and need to -- well, work!

It's easy enough to ask the train manager to find you seats in another carriage. But I disappointingly find that people can be very selfish and "I don't care" about it if you ask them to keep the noise down. And a lot of people who sit in the Quiet Coach haven't actually booked seats in it. It's the first carriage they enter, and they're illiterate, apparently.

On the US east coast commuter line corridor between Boston and Washington DC, they ask for a "Library level of quiet" in the Quiet Coach. It is bliss -- mostly because it is respected by the passengers Unlike in the UK, where people can be quite rude.

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 24-Mar-14 06:50:51

I could almost (but have to admit, not quite, and I am the most intolerant to noise and other people's children fucker on the planet, trust me) understand the humphing, if said family and baby were in the quiet coach at 7am on a Monday morning going into Lahndon Tahn and quiet coach was full of the suited and booted on their way to Very Important Things.

But it was clearly Sunday afternoon. confused

And, thinking about myself, when dd was little, if given the choice where to travel with her (which we are guessing this family didn't have anyway) I'd have gone for the quiet coach to avoid the great unwashed on their way home from football/stag/hen parties etc.

How much noise was this baby making anyway? And how long did it go on for?

UptheChimney Mon 24-Mar-14 06:51:07

And on reading this thread, I'm seeing why travel in the Quiet Coach can be unpleasant, with posters talking about people having "catsbum faces" for -- gosh! -- daring to ask for quiet in the Quiet Coach. How very dare we!

MammaTJ Mon 24-Mar-14 06:55:25

I'd only sit in the quiet coach if my kids were quiet and low key.

Where do I order some if those? grin

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 24-Mar-14 06:56:49

OP- might I suggest you don't ever go on an airy-plane. Because babies tend to cry on those, hurts their ears a bit y'see. And short of shutting them in the toilet, or opening the door and making them sit on the wing, there's not a lot can be done.

So the baby cried when you went through a tunnel. How many tunnels did you go through? Were there ever such a lot? Is it a very tunnelly place? Did it stop crying immediately upon exiting the tunnel, or did it continue? <licks pencil and gets notebook out>

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 24-Mar-14 06:57:46

Even my little teeny tiny one carriage 2 stops train lets you reserve seats on it, if your journey is part of a longer one btw. So they might well have had reserved seats.

wigglylines Mon 24-Mar-14 07:03:49

YABU (but by no fault if your own, the online booking system is at fault).

I have young children, I do not want to sit in the quiet carriage, I travel by train a lot. I book our tickets online.

When you book tickets, you can choose the quiet carriage, but there is no way of specifying if you don't want the quiet carriage.

And if your children are under 5, the system has no way of knowing as you won't have a ticket for them.

Believe me, I don't want to travel in the quiet carriage with the intollerant people any more than you want me there, but if the system puts me there what can I do about it?

Perhaps we should petition the train companies to add "not the quiet carriage" as booking option?

Foosyerdoos Mon 24-Mar-14 07:05:26

I had to spend 3 hours on a train across from a bloke picking his nose recently. I want a no mining for bogies carriage.

freelancegirl Mon 24-Mar-14 07:06:35

This exact situation happened to me two days ago - reserved seat happened to be in the Quiet Zone and I didn't notice until I sat down. And no, with a 20 month old on a 2 hour train journey I did not request it, so wouldn't know to change it in advance even if there was a way of changing it - which I don't think there is.

I dumped all my bags, folded up the pram, sat down and he started to cry. It was only then I noticed the QZ sign. And yes I got filthy looks. Fortunately the toddler was crying because he was tired so I opened up the buggy again and rocked him to sleep in the corridor and he passed out and stayed asleep (buggy in the wheelchair space, agggh!) for the whole journey.

But for a moment it made me feel awful, especially when I got a few dirty looks. I would ask those of you who are moaning about crying little ones in the QZ to think for a moment about how hard it can be travelling on your own with small children, getting to the station in the first place (two tube changes for me with bags, buggy, long walk to station with a lift) and then having to face a long train journey and do it all again at the other side AND having been unwittingly put into the QZ. Please spare a thought for us and also bear in mind there are a lot more important things going on in life to worry about than to make some poor person struggling with travel with a baby or small child feel bad with your glares and tutting just because you're in the weird, train company construct called a 'Quiet Zone'. We are not deliberately being inconsiderate and if you're really bothered it's easier for you to move than us.

Wisteria36 Mon 24-Mar-14 07:10:05

We haven't been put in the quiet coach on a long distance journey but if we had we'd be as quiet as possible if there was no option to move. Last week on east coast the children were totally fine (dss 4 and 13 wks, in normal carriage, 4 yr old reading and colouring) and any noise they made was drowned out by the very drunk man opposite who ranted loudly for the whole four hours. He was drunk before departure and the train company helpfully sold him extra vodka. It was very hot so we had to strip the baby down as others have said. When there were baby cries towards the end of the journey we stood in the corridor with him. Personally it's alcohol on trains I hate, small children are fine most of the time.

BeeInYourBonnet Mon 24-Mar-14 07:10:22

I think quiet coaches encourage people in non-quiet coaches to think its OK to be noisy as hell. On my last train journey, me and my family were in a normal coach, but I still expected my DCs to keep the noise down and be respectful of other passengers. Whereas the family behind us let their DCs (who were not tiny, maybe c6-8yo) to play their new harmonicas!! shock hmm

Artandco Mon 24-Mar-14 07:16:23

Why are people also suggesting they would be horrified if a child was in first class? First class doesn't mean child free at all. On a plane it means you often get a bed so you can at least all get half a decent sleep. On a train it often means you can get a seat when all the others are full. Like hell am I going to fly to Australia with x2 toddlers and not use first class if I can ( it's always half empty anyway)

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 07:21:38

yabu. A baby cant help it, and it IS public transport.

ive told off a group of rowdy teenagers in the quiet coach, but a poor baby who was frightened of tunnels, i think maybe they wanted somewhere quieter for him if he was sensitive

Wisteria36 Mon 24-Mar-14 07:22:35

Oh yes and we came back first class with both kids (booked late and it was almost same price) and it was great. Presumably if kids weren't allowed there they wouldn't have sold us a child ticket.

SpookedMackerel Mon 24-Mar-14 08:15:00

I travel by train with my DC a lot. If it is a long journey, I book seats. We are frequently allocated the quiet carriage, but usually don't know until we struggle into our seats and sort out all our luggage, then notice the little sticker on the window.
I am not enough of a martyr to pack everything up and struggle off through the train in search of more seats. So I don't.
I try to keep them quiet, but actually I would do that anyway, wherever we sat.
It's weird that people think quiet carriage should mean absolute silence, but any other part of the train anything goes. I would be mortified if my children were disturbing other passengers on any part of the train.

samandi Mon 24-Mar-14 08:21:16

Of course YANBU. If the parents didn't realise when booking, then they are not being unreasonable either. But if they did that's obviously inconsiderate and some of the reactions on this thread are clearly a little defensive!

samandi Mon 24-Mar-14 08:23:41

We normally book the quiet coach and although it doesn't say anything about talking to your travelling companions we do talk less than we would normally and at a lower volume. It's just a basic courtesy to fellow passengers. Sadly, not one that is shared by everyone.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 24-Mar-14 08:36:33

Even though baby/toddler squeals send chills up my spine (I bloody hate them!) I'm never bothered by these sorts of children noises unless parents are smiling indulgently and allowing every noise-as well as electronic noises- possible. That makes me want to cry! I guess because I feel I can ask an adult to turn their I-Whatever down, but I'm afraid of approaching parents, even if it's just about electronic devices.

UptheChimney Mon 24-Mar-14 09:04:31

I'm still quite hmm at posters who are criticising people who expect quiet in the Quiet Coach, and calling them rude. Gosh, how unreasonable and rude to expect, um, quiet in the Quiet Coach.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Mon 24-Mar-14 09:21:59

I booked a seat when you traveling with 11mo DS, just asked if I wanted to be at a table and which way to face. Seats ended up in the quiet coach there and back. DS was fine on the way but really cried on the way back. After much tutting and huffing and dirty looks by the people over the aisle I ended up stood outside the toilet for 45 minutes. If I did it again I'd stay seated because I didn't intentionally book those seats and babies cry, that's life.

Grennie Mon 24-Mar-14 09:28:09

I am laughing bitterly at the idea that travelling in first class means that you get quiet.

TillyTellTale Mon 24-Mar-14 09:30:43

A baby crying? I have sensory issues, and always sit in the quiet carriage. I look forward to it! It's a chance to read and book in peace. But a baby crying wouldn't bother me, unless s/he was crying because the parents weren't bothering to comfort it. It is a baby. They don't know about keeping quiet about fear or pain in quiet carriages!

I'll tell you what is annoying, though. Getting to my seat, and finding that some yakking (at the top of her voice) woman has got her bag on my reserved seat in the quiet carriage. She and her friend brayed all the way to the end of the line, while I tried to work at the table I'd specifically asked for, while booking. And opposite me there was a guy whose phone was not on silent, and who seemed to think international calls require one to talk more loudly down the line.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Mon 24-Mar-14 09:35:15

I've had similar experiences to youvegottabekiddingme.

Unwittingly ended up in quiet zone with young DC and us being the only quiet ones.

On one memorable occasion by myself with two toddlers and older baby - didn't notice signs till we were settled and was discretely bf youngest then, toddler fell asleep immediately and other DC busy with magazine and food.

Older man behind noticed the DC and for a good 20 minutes at top of his voice went on and on about how DC shouldn't be allowed in the quiet carriage. I was mortified but with pushchair, bags, bf baby nearly asleep, a toddler actually asleep and this being only part of the journey and I was already tired I felt trapped.

Another passenger near us finally asked him to be quiet. The man then went to the end of the carriage but before the doors and started a very loud mobile phone conversation.

ArtexMonkey Mon 24-Mar-14 09:43:30

'Quiet' does not mean silent. Even libraries are not silent. In my local library, the beep of the scanner and the thump of the stamper and passing traffic and the 'doors closing, lift going up' voice recording in the disabled access lift and people asking librarians things are ALL noises that are louder than tinny headphone music. But obviously tinny headphone music would be really annoying in a library. Because it would be incongruous and out of place. So, in the quiet carriage, me quietly reading horrible histories magazine with my 4 yo, or quietly pointing a field of sheep out, or a sleeping baby beginning to stir from a nap, or a child saying 'mummy i need a wee' are no louder or distracting than the quiet conversations of adults, or the click clacking of the lap tops of the people doing Very Serious Business. But some people consider themselves Owners Of Quiet and have decided that children are noisy etc. so they find child related noise winds them up much more than Very Serious Business related noise other adults make. Then they start huffing and tutting and shit. STFU people! My dd's trying to read the Worst Witch.

Ubik1 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:07:48

Perhaps they should post a list of don'ts for the quiet carriage - like those old swimming pool posters.

YANBU. I wish more people would realise that it IS about all noise, not just mobile phones as displayed. A "quiet coach" is intended for just that... Quiet. If you want to laugh and chat with your mates/shout at your child/leave your child to cry/have your music turned up to 11/etc., etc. then just do it on one of the other bloody carriages!

There should be a special circle in hell for people who don't respect the quiet carriages (along with people who put their feet up on seats).

Ubik1 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:17:32

But nine times out of 10 my seat reservations for me and three children are in the quiet carriage. We are not quiet.

There is no way we are moving once sat down. No way.

TillyTellTale Mon 24-Mar-14 10:19:04

I think I'm inclined to agree with Artex. Quiet parent-child interactions are fine. There's no qualitative difference between that level of noise and that of two students in a library study area quietly discussing multiplication of matrices.

Talking on one's phone very loudly in the quiet carriage is also little better than letting a toddler race up and down screaming. So, if any of the people reading do the former, stop it.

LongPieceofString Mon 24-Mar-14 10:27:56

I think there should be a 'Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated Yourself' carriage.

No tinny music. No sweaty BO smelling flesh overspilling into my seat. No sniffing and snorting. No swearing and no yelling into phones.

I spent a long train journey with a very loud crying baby some years back... she wanted to be stretched out in her pram which had to be folded. I asked the train manager if there was anywhere I could have it unfolded and he took me to the quiet carriage and explained very loudly that it was absolutely fine for me to be there. I still remember what kindness he showed. And the baby fell asleep so it wasn't that inconvenient for other passengers in the end.

But I would never have gone in the quiet carriage without the train man suggesting it.

I have a lot more tolerance for babies that are crying (despite being comforted) than for adults doing that loud parenting for Tarquin, or grown ups sniffing and snorting.

Bunbaker Mon 24-Mar-14 10:31:47

"like those old swimming pool posters."

No petting grin

Seriously though, it sounds like the train companies have it spectacularly wrong regarding booking seats in quiet coaches. If you book online you don't know where you are going to end up. If you book by phone you can request where you sit. Surely it isn't too much trouble to adjust the software to accommodate requests for the quiet carriage.

Ubik1 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:47:46

The train companies raison d'etre is bums on seats.

Frankly they couldn't give a toss whether it's noisy in the quiet carriage. If you ask for a table together and there is one in the quiet carriage that is what you will get. No one at the train company is going to clutch their pearls about your toddlers being noisy.

(Those old posters make me laugh...'no smoking' the ^swimming pool?^)

tethersend Mon 24-Mar-14 17:37:08

In the spirit of the thread, I called midland mainline today to ask if they can swap our seats into a non-quiet coach. Turns out they can! For £20 hmm

For £20, I can live with the hate grin

maddy68 Mon 24-Mar-14 18:16:55

Quiet coach just means no talking on a mobile phone, music etc. not no children or general conversation!

Merrylegs Mon 24-Mar-14 19:27:51

'Quiet coach' is a modern day expectation based on mobile phone usage and tinny music from someone else's headphones. It's not a license for considerably more important than yew people to do their v important work. If you don't want to be disturbed don't go out in public. Besides, total silence is not necessary to good work. After all, kids today are managing to achieve 13A*s whilst simultaneously skyping,surfing, spotifying and selfie-ing. Hey, if they can do it...

vexedfoxy Mon 24-Mar-14 19:32:07

How many tunnels? Where you on the underground? Going through the Alps? Going to France on big tunnel? As a parent I would never sit in a quiet carriage with a child, some people maybe working/ill/grieving/worn out/childless........never heard such selfishness in my life. We chose to have children, other people maybe don't want them forced on them.

Fleta Mon 24-Mar-14 19:33:41

I can't imagine anything worse than having to sit in a "family carriage".

When I travel with my DD by train we chat quietly, she colours, she draws, she reads, she plays on her iPad with headphones. Absolutely we would go in the Quiet Zone/First Class

vexedfoxy Mon 24-Mar-14 19:37:15

First class is different you pay for that...sort of seat insurance!

tethersend Mon 24-Mar-14 19:43:28

Vexed- do you think I should have to pay additional money to change seats when the train company allocated me seats in the quiet carriage?

somedayillbesaturdaynite Mon 24-Mar-14 19:48:22

Surely if silence is that important to anyone, they could put earplugs in?

vexedfoxy Mon 24-Mar-14 20:03:59

It is not just quiet is it? Even if you had earplugs and children were dancing about...nothing worse than other peoples children.

OnlyLovers Mon 24-Mar-14 20:09:27

YANBU! This gets right on my tits.

Those of you saying it just means no mobiles etc, IME the signs on the quiet coach windows and the verbal announcements all say something along the lines of 'keep conversation to a minimum', which in my interpretation means no loud noise of ANY kind.

exexpat Mon 24-Mar-14 20:35:26

The noise that bothers me most on trains is the constant announcements - I wouldn't mind the occasional useful announcement that we're approaching the next stop on a long distance train, but there seems to be someone on the loudspeaker every five minutes advertising hot beverages or reminding people which tickets are not valid etc etc. I don't suppose they turn that off in the quiet carriage, do they?

tethersend Mon 24-Mar-14 20:42:05

"Nothing worse than other people's children"

Don't be ridiculous, vexed. Of course there's something worse.

I'll be with my children.


MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Mon 24-Mar-14 20:49:16

I think some people are incredibly intolerant of children on trains, or indeed of any other humans.

The other day I'd got on a train, sat down and got my book out (nobody in the seat next to me) when I realised that a mum was looking for two seats together for her and her toddler son. I immediately got up and gave her my seat, moving across the aisle to an empty seat next to a man. He really glared at me for having the 'cheek' to sit next to him.

When the toddler started chatting, the mum tried to hush him, but he was just excited and happy. I gave her several smiles, but the man next to me was clearly a grump and kept sighing and grimacing.

Unless you book a whole carriage to yourself it's likely that you'll have to cope with humans who may not meet your exacting standards. They may speak, cough, eat, do the their make up, or whatever. They may even turn out to be interesting people with whom you can have a conversation.

UptheChimney Mon 24-Mar-14 21:11:34

It's not a license for considerably more important than yew people to do their v important work. If you don't want to be disturbed don't go out in public

You see, it's this kind of rudeness & sarcasm I just don't understand. Gosh, I work, and I travel for work. The only way I can do my job is to work while I travel. I book a seat in the Quiet Zone to do just this. It's not that my job is more important, it's that it needs to be done by me, with hopefully enough time to sleep, eat. & see my family.

I really don't see what is unreasonable about that.

It's odd: apparently according to some MNers, it's UNreasonable to expect quiet in the Quiet Zone, and it's entirely REASONABLE to be rude about people who protest about noise in the Quiet Zone.

A reverse of RL. Only on MN!

UptheChimney Mon 24-Mar-14 21:13:21

I can't imagine anything worse than having to sit in a "family carriage"

Isn't that a little bit like smokers objecting to the smell of smoke?

ArtexMonkey Mon 24-Mar-14 21:18:19

"As a parent I would never sit in a quiet carriage with a child, some people maybe working/ill/grieving/worn out/childless"

Oh good grief Foxy! This is a bit daft now. Grieving, ill, childless people might be anywhere or everywhere, they are going to encounter STUFF of some description if they venture out of the house, at some point you have to say if a person is that fragile then the onus is on them to not go out! I can't lock my children up 24/7 in case their unearthly beauty and adorable manners cause mass ovary clacking among the spinsters of the parish, highly likely though that scenario is.

HectorVector Mon 24-Mar-14 21:25:28

As someone who commutes, I'm afraid I think you are being unreasonable. 'Quiet' carriages request no earphones and no mobiles. They do not request no children, no babies, no talking, no crying. It's a train and not a library or an office. Trains are very busy, people will sit wherever they can get a seat.

DeWe Mon 24-Mar-14 21:32:47

I've been put several times in the quiet coach with tickets that are only valid in the reserved seats when I have booked 1 adult, 3x children on a family railcard. I wasn't happy about it either, but do wonder if they actually think about that when sorting tickets.

lurkerspeaks Mon 24-Mar-14 21:45:54

Another east coast regular here.

Quiet means no loud talking too especially in first.

Last time I travelled guard announced it at each station.

Small children occasionally travel in quiet and are tolerated better than noisy adults.

At Christmas I watched a loud office party type group travelling from Edinburgh to Newcastle be forced out of the quiet coach (they had been moved there so they could all sit together) into another coach as the staff said they were too rowdy.

I do loads of work on the train on my way to meetings and choose my coach accordingly.

Only time I've got seriously aerated about it was with a 70 something year old terribly posh woman who got on with her husband and late primary school aged granddaughter. Discovered whoever had booked her tickets had booked her in standard (diddums) so she plonked herself in the first class quiet coach and then whipped out her mobile to call travel agent to berate them. I was working on a complex document and asked her to move to the foyer, to be told she was on an important call and couldn't be disturbed , I retorted that it would still be important in the foyer and could she please go there. She refused to move until about 6 other people chipped in. Guard then moved her and her entourage as they didn't have first class tickets.

Apparently intending to buy a first class ticket isn't good enough. Who
would have imagined it!

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 25-Mar-14 00:48:25

Upthechimney it's more like disabled people not wishing to be forced to sit with other disabled people. It's a desire be a part of the whole of society, not Othered or ghettoised for your mere existence.

Having children is necessary for a healthy society as well as being an evoutionarily essential biological desire. Comparing it to a personal habit, especially one that does others harm, is ridiculous. It is shameful that it seems to have become a common way to insidiously denigrate children and childhood.

nooka Tue 25-Mar-14 01:20:23

Virgin (I think) used to have a family carriage, and I traveled in it a couple of times when my children were small. It was great to be able to relax and not have to be anxious about all the child haters. It's a pretty stupid booking system that doesn't even tell you if you have reserved seats in the quiet carriage, whether you have children or not.

I've actually just had another encounter with the Quiet Zone this morning! A woman sat next to me (in the Quiet Zone) and instantly started talking VERY loudly. I gave her a few minutes, in case it was one of those, "I'm on the train now." conversations (that never seem to be possible via text!), but no, she showed no sign of hanging up any time soon. I politely tapped her on her shoulder and pointed to the sign directly above us (and across from us!), and she rolled her eyes, called me a silly cow, and kept talking!

It's not a busy train, and she definitely could have just walked to the next carriage if she wanted to continue talking. No need whatsoever for her rudeness.

If you don't agree with a Quiet Zone, just go to another carriage; don't bloody sit there and flout the rules like some sort of one-woman protest.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 25-Mar-14 08:12:57

Yanbu at all, it us called quiet coach for a reason. If there were seats available in normal section, she was selfish to go into the quiet area.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 08:26:07

I politely tapped her on her shoulder and pointed to the sign directly above us (and across from us!), and she rolled her eyes, called me a silly cow, and kept talking

Yes, this is what really really puzzles me. The talker was the "silly" person, and rude. Yet the person who expects a modicum of quiet in the Quiet Zone is castigated as rude!

It's happened on this thread too. If you don't like the conditions of the Quiet Zone, don't sit there.

I do understand the frustration of being booked into the Quiet Carriage when you haven't asked for it. I know it's possible to request the Quiet Coach deliberately when booking online, but not the other way (ie any carriage but the Quiet Zone. But on Cross Country trains, booking online, you can actually choose your seat & carriage. No excuse there.

I'm not a child hater & children's noise is inevitable. But as we read on here all the time, even their own parents find their own darling LO's noise trying, so how do complete strangers find it? What I do object to is parents who don't model polite behaviour to other passengers to their children -- politeness is not a set of rules -- it's having consideration and rspect for others, and doing as you would be done by. Parents don't model this by ignoring their own children, not engaging them, not requiring them to wear headphones when watching iPad films, running up & down the carriage aisle, and whining. As well, some parents add to this by flouting the Quiet Carriage requirements themselves, and behaving rudely when anyone asks them to keep the noise down.

I've been treated in a really hostile manner, including a mother of small children coming right up to me, trying to put her face between me & my paperwork to be rude. THe language was offensive & in front of her children. I was actually concerned for my physical safety. I really do feel sorry for some chikdren: goodness knows why their parents had them, as they don't seem to want to talk to them, or engage them.

caramelwaffle Tue 25-Mar-14 08:43:06

I'm inclined to agree with Artex

You are being unreasonable.

Enjoy your journey tethers.

Yes, this is what really really puzzles me. The talker was the "silly" person, and rude. Yet the person who expects a modicum of quiet in the Quiet Zone is castigated as rude!


The fact that there even needs to be a designated quiet carriage is quite sad really, but shows how much people have forgotten any modicum of public decency.

On my train journeys , I have encountered girls clipping their fingernails, painting their toenails (with their feet on the seat, of course), plucking their eyebrows, men discussing, in-depth, personal health issues, a man pissing on a seat, children running up and down the isles hitting each other (and others who happened to be caught in the cross-fire), a child sat in the vestibule crying and screaming while the mother went to go sit in her seat, and just proceeded to shout to her shouting child, "If you want to come sit with mummy, you have to be a good girl. Can you be a good girl? No? Well then you stay there until you can!" I have been hit in the head by a child throwing his toys, and had the mother look at me and just shrug her shoulders...

And the list could go on and on and on...

I'd be happy to pay more for a seat in a quiet carriage if it meant I didn't have to see stuff like this all the time.

stuckindamiddle Tue 25-Mar-14 08:57:24

I booked a seat in the quiet coach once. I chose it specifically.
A Dad and three kids got on and were very noisy (as kids naturally can be) for a lot of the journey. When I asked if they could keep it down, pointing out that it was the quiet coach (on a not v busy train) the Dad was v offended. He then verbally attacked me for using a mobile phone set to silent (no sound alerts, not even keytones) for texting and internet browsing, citing the window stickers with a red line through a mobile phone. What is the spirit of the quiet carriage rules I ask you? I think he and his kids were in breach of them, not me.
Oh and they had no luggage so moving elsewhere wouldn't have been difficult. Why didn't I move? Because I wanted to be in a quiet carriage and there's normally only one on a train and I was - in theory - already in it.

According to South West Trains, they say about the Quiet Zone, "Please respect other passengers wishing to sit in the Quiet Zone by keeping noise to a minimum."

All noise. Those of you who say you didn't realise that you were in a Quiet Zone before you sat down, or you were allocated a seat there against your will, then bloody move if you don't want to be tutted and glared at. If I knew that it was an issue with seats being allocated in the Quiet Zone, I would phone up the train company after booking and double check with them. I certainly wouldn't say, "Welp, someone else's fault I guess, so stuff everyone else on this train who has chosen specifically to sit in the Quiet Zone. Not my fault!"

And this has nothing to do with my own inflated self-importance; this has to do with not wanting to hear unnecessary noise!

OnlyLovers Tue 25-Mar-14 09:10:45

'it's likely that you'll have to cope with humans who may not meet your exacting standards.'

It's not particularly exacting to expect quiet from people in a clearly marked and announced Quiet Coach (which DOES include no loud talking or general noise as well as mobiles and music, for those continuing to insist that it doesn't).

If I'm seated in a normal coach I can 'cope' very well with other 'humans', thanks very much, and have even been known to talk to them.

If someone specifically chooses the Quiet Coach, it's because they want and expect quiet. It's not overly exacting, it doesn't mean they hate people/children. It just means they want quiet for that journey.

It is not rocket science.

UncleT Tue 25-Mar-14 09:13:11

The clue is in the name 'quiet coach'. It's supposed to be quiet. If it's difficult to tell whether you're in the quiet coach or not when booking, this should be addressed with the relevant company. YANBU.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 09:48:19

"Those of you who say you didn't realise that you were in a Quiet Zone before you sat down, or you were allocated a seat there against your will, then bloody move if you don't want to be tutted and glared at"

I think a quiet coach should be quiet. I do not think not should have children in it.

I do not think I and my two small children should have been allocated seats in the quiet coach, and I think the train company should let me exchange those reservations without charging me more money. They will not.

I will not be dashing up and down the train with two small children and luggage to look for empty seats, which was the train company's helpful suggestion.

So, any ideas?

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:48:45

Reginald - it is to do with your self importance, I'm afraid. Sorry.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 09:49:07

If someone specifically chooses the Quiet Coach, it's because they want and expect quiet. It's not overly exacting, it doesn't mean they hate people/children. It just means they want quiet for that journey.

Thank you for saying this OnlyLovers I was beginning to think I'd gone mad: that expecting quiet in the Quiet Coach made me:
a child-hater
a people-hater
a cow

Unfortunately, from some of the posts on this thread, I can see where the general rudeness towards other passengers who simply ask for quiet in the Quiet Coach comes from ...

AntiDistinctlyMinty Tue 25-Mar-14 09:49:46

I quite often travel by train with my two; 2y and 7m. We always book beforehand as I get extremely travel sick and therefore need to have forward facing seats. I'm always really anxious anyway about where our seats will be in case I can't see out of a window, or the seats turn out to actually be rearward facing (this happens a lot angry ). We quite frequently find we're booked into the quiet carriage as their is no option to book that you're not. You can specify which carriage you want to be in, even which seat within that carriage, but it doesn't tell you which one will be the quiet one.

Once I'm on that train, as long as my seats are forward facing, I'm not moving. I'll do my level best to keep my children quiet (would do that anyway, and they're usually pretty good) but I'm not going to go wandering up and down a busy, moving train with two children and luggage. I'd probably throw up before I found a seat, and I'm sure that would be a lot more disruptive!

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 09:50:07

I do not think *it should have children in it.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:52:03

Frankly with birgin's booking system you are fortunate if they put you in the same carriage with your children.

AntiDistinctlyMinty Tue 25-Mar-14 09:52:28

I've never been rude to other passengers btw - nor would I be - I've actually never had anyone complain/tut etc. One nice lady in the quiet carriage actually offered to take DS2 for a few minutes so I could change DS1's nappy smile

OnlyLovers Tue 25-Mar-14 10:02:09

Ubik1, I see no evidence of self-importance in Reginald's posts.

However, this from you

'It only means you can't use your mobile. And frankly I couldn't give a toss about your previous expectations of who is allowed to travel in the ridiculous 'quiet coach'

is pretty self-important, as well as incorrect. Quiet Coach means keeping ALL noise to a minimum, not just phones and music. And if you 'couldn't give a toss' about other passengers then that says a great deal more about your inflated sense of your own rights than about someone who just wants it to be quiet in the Quiet Coach they have booked to sit in.

Perhaps they should just rename it 'might be quiet' coach or 'aiming for quiet' seats.

So, any ideas?

Yes, complain to your train company.

Ubik1 I find it extremely bizarre that I'm calling for other people to respect the wishes of the entire carriage (not just mine), and you're telling me and everyone else on the quiet carriage, that your wishes or your blatant disregard for our wishes, are more important. hmm Inflated ego? Check.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:12:28

It's not about wanting a reasonable train journey, it's the idea that children shouldn't be in the sacred quiet carriage. It seems an incredibly precious point of view fir what is just a train journey.

I get irritated because I use the cross country services provide by Virgin and have experienced some terrible journeys. The hallowed 'quiet carriage' is usually the least of my concerns, when s recreations are cancelled due to computer problems, finding people in reserved seats who refuse to move, taking three you children and luggage up narrow aisle to find more seats, find quiet coach and fir children around carriage so they gave seats, spend next five hours going up and down aisle providing snacks, toilets breaks, magazines etc

Believe me, you think you are having a dreadful journey look around at the parents.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 25-Mar-14 10:16:59

I don't think there's anything wrong with quiet children being in the quiet coach. Not all children are loud.

Part of the problem is that train companies have attempted to respond to a demand they are unable to realistically meet. I doubt there is an algorithm train companies can use that would seperate people out by the amount of noise they make and still maximise train capacity without charging more for the quiet coach. Charging extra might be a way to go, but then expectations would be even higher and they would need to police that onboard, which might not be something they feel capable of. This is partly what many people assumed they were paying for with first class, but as passengers travelling first class have diversified it has become less of a guarentee.

It's also the case that when it does "work" a quiet carriage will polarize the amount of noise a passenger is exposed to according to the carriage they are sat in - the quiet passengers will tend towards the quiet coach, leaving a greater density of louder passengers in the other coaches, which increases the volume in those coaches. What about the niether quiet nor loud passengers? They are now in a louder environment, there are no "normal volume coaches" so they will need to choose between a quiet coach when they aren't quiet and a pretty loud coach when they aren't pretty loud. For some people (especially children) loud noise is overwhelming. So they are now more likely to be exposed to a significantly louder level of noise because the "quiet passengers" have pushed all that annoyance from their own space and concentrated it in everyone elses.

I don't think this is enough of an argument against having quiet coaches, but it illustrates that quiet coaches are not some kind of natural right where the only impact of people splitting up is that a few people are allowed to get on with work. It impacts the rest of the passengers too so violation of quiet coach etiquette isn't simply about people being inconsiderate of the "quiet" people, since everyone else on the train is absorbing the noise those quiet people are avoiding.

Believe me, you think you are having a dreadful journey look around at the parents.

Yes, but you chose to be a parent. I understand that you may have a tough journey with your children, but I don't understand where you get the right to inconvenience others because you're having a tough trip, or things aren't going your way. It's not a knock-on effect. You chose to have children, you chose to take a trip with them on the train, but the other people on the train didn't. It's a shared space, and it works best when everyone agrees to contribute towards the greater good, rather than saying, "Well, my journey is shite, so fuck everyone else on this train too!"

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:22:45

I don't have blatant disregard for anyone's wishes. I'll sit in the quiet coach with my children. I won't use mobile phone.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:23:43

Well you choose to take public transport.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 25-Mar-14 10:31:25

I really object to this idea that children are a choice that is so outside the norms of society that parents must protect society from all impact a child could have on others. Children are people and a necessary part of a healthy society. They are no less entitled to having their needs and desires catered to in public than others. Some of their needs are greater, but that is in part because we often set our norms by solely adult standards.

I do, which means I choose to abide by the rules (or "suggestions") for the benefit of everyone else.

Yes, I would love to maximise the time I spend commuting, and could save loads of time in the morning if I chose to perform half of my beauty routine on the train, but I don't for the sake of others. There are times where I want to chat with someone so I don't have to do it when I get home, but I don't because it's rude.

As many posters have said (and as the train companies themselves say), it's not just about mobile phone usage. It's about noise levels. If your children can be quiet, great, you're welcome to sit there. If not, don't be a dick to everyone else.

ilovesooty Tue 25-Mar-14 10:33:13

We don't all "choose". I have to travel by train once a week to work as my company won't pay the costs for me to drive. I don't think there are any quiet coaches on my train though.

parents must protect society from all impact a child could have on others.

No, I'm not saying hide your children from public view, but I am saying that you should be considerate, and that having a child does not excuse you from being a decent person when you're in public. No one else thinks it's cute when your child runs around hitting people in a restaurant. No one else is amused when your child is jumping up and down on the seats (taking up a whole row of seats to themselves, as well as putting their feet all over the cushions). If you have children, you should teach them by example as to how to conduct yourself in public.

OnlyLovers Tue 25-Mar-14 10:40:03

BoomBooms, people who want to travel in the Quiet Coach want to be 'protected' for the duration of the journey from disruptive noise from a variety of sources, including phones and loud adult talking, not just disruptive noise from children. That's not unreasonable.

I really don't see any evidence on here that anyone finds children to be 'outside the norms of society', nor that anyone thinks they are not 'people and a necessary part of a healthy society.' I've said it what feels like innumerable times, but I'm happy to say it again: I do not hate children and I do not think children shouldn't talk/laugh/play music on a train. Neither do I hate adults and I don't think adults shouldn't talk/laugh/play music on a train. I just expect people in a clearly advertised Quiet Coach to be quiet.

tangier Tue 25-Mar-14 10:40:10

I can't believe that the idea of being quiet in a quiet coach is so controversial! And why upthechimney is getting so much flack for pointing this out I do not know.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:41:13

Children are not banned from the quiet coach...we are not breaking any rules by sitting there. And yes they will make noise occasionally because they are children. But I have paid for, and reserved seats for all of us (even though I don't have to for children aged under five) and on the quiet coach we will sit, if that is where we are put.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Mar-14 10:47:14

I use the quiet coach and even though dd is the youngest now at 10 I would have used it when they were little.
A train is public transport not an office for you to do your work.
Children do make noise and adults do talk, you have to get used to this on public transport.
Anybody can use these seats and when the train is packed they can be the noisiest carriage anyway.

Ubik I didn't say you weren't allowed to sit there with children... However, if you are making noise whilst sat there, yes you are breaking rules. Occasional noise? Would it be acceptable in a church/library setting? Then fine, no big deal. Otherwise, if you'd take your child out of a church service for making the same noise, then do the same in the Quiet Carriage.

It's not difficult, so please stop acting like such a pariah.

angelos02 Tue 25-Mar-14 10:48:13

Ubik1. Are you one of those people that watches tv on a train without headphones on as per another thread? Utter disregard for the people around you?

OnlyLovers Tue 25-Mar-14 10:50:50

A train is public transport not an office for you to do your work.

No one is disputing this. All anyone has asked for is quiet in the Quiet Coach. This may be because people want to work in peace, or it may be because they just want to have a quiet train journey.

This is really not hard to understand. I can only imagine that those saying, essentially, 'Fuck the Quiet Coach rules' are being deliberately obtuse and may be the same kind of people who happily strike up inane conversations on their mobiles while sitting next to the 'Quiet Coach' window sticker, and/or ignore or are rude to people who politely ask them to be quiet and indicate the sticker.

This is really not hard to understand. I can only imagine that those saying, essentially, 'Fuck the Quiet Coach rules' are being deliberately obtuse and may be the same kind of people who happily strike up inane conversations on their mobiles while sitting next to the 'Quiet Coach' window sticker, and/or ignore or are rude to people who politely ask them to be quiet and indicate the sticker.


Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 11:07:42 angelo confused

I am too busy looking after three children to watch TV on the train. We don't actually have iPads etc. Just my phone which I don't use in the quiet carriage.

We did have a lovely journey once where my children were treated to the soundtrack of, I think, Full Metal Jacket..or it could have been Hamburger Hill, some Vietnam movie anyway.

Are you Matthew Wright by the way?

angelos02 Tue 25-Mar-14 11:32:48

Not Matthew Wright. I just don't see why you can't grasp that noise is noise.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 11:37:07

I'm sorry angelo..."noise is noise"... Help me out a little here, pal...yes noise by definition is noise. Indeedy. And your point is.....?

Fleta Tue 25-Mar-14 11:38:21


Not at all. I'm a considerate member of society - I don't want to have to be shoved away in what - let's face it - would be a place where some parents assumed they could allow their children carte blanche on behaviour.

My daughter and I enjoy our quiet train journeys - we like doing puzzles, colouring. Chatting quietly. Sometimes we both put in headphones with an adaptor and watch a movie together. We don't leave our seats unless we pop to the loo, she doesn't run around or cause anyone a problem. I wouldn't like to have our journey disrupted.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 25-Mar-14 11:38:44

I think the fact that someone (*tethersend*) tried to move her and her kids out of the quiet coach and the company wanted to charge her £20 for the privilege demonstrates the train company's view that kids in the quiet coach is absolutely fine.

I have never taken the kids on the train but if I do I will do my best to avoid causing disruption for other people but I will not be a martyr to it. So if I realise our booked seats are in the quiet coach I'll try and change them. I won't pay £20 for it though. If I can't then I would probably get on the train at the carriage next to the Quiet coach and check if there are any suitable free seats there before I take my booked seats. If there are not I won't be walking the entire train with 2 kids, a buggy and luggage and I won't be sitting on the floor. I will be sitting in the seats I have booked and paid for. I will try and keep the kids quiet (but then I'd do that in the "noisy" seats) but I won't be drugging them to try and make them sleep.

If someone in the quiet coach really objects to them and is happy to 1. Trawl the train to find me suitable seats to move to and 2. Help lug them and all our stuff to the new seats then I would move but I suspect they wouldn't.

As an aside a combination of a comprehensive education and playing a ball sport at a high level (so spending my weekends at tournaments and having to do my homework between matches) means that I can work through anything. (Including on one particularly notable occassion a fire alarm!) Perhaps this is something that should be considered when people make the whole state / private school decision.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 11:50:54

"So, any ideas?

Yes, complain to your train company"

One step ahead, Reginald; I've done exactly that. It has changed nothing. I and my young and loud children are still going to be sitting in the quiet coach unless I stump up extra cash to change the booking or run up and down the train trying to find seats- neither of which are reasonable options when you have already paid for reserved seats.

Yes, I chose to have them sort of
Yes, I'm choosing to travel.

In my other life, I frequently work on the train. Because I chose to have the job I do. Sometimes I even choose to sit in the quiet carriage. However, I don't judge families who sit in the quiet carriage, as I know that most of the time, they have had no say in the matter.

Maybe the passengers who don't want children in the quiet coach should complain to the train company too?

elastamum Tue 25-Mar-14 11:51:34

The quiet coach doesnt ban children, it is just suggested that you refrain from using mobiles and making unnecessary noise.

So you can if you wish sit there with your children. Some children (including mine) are pretty quiet themselves.

But it isnt unreasonable for someone to politely remind you that it is supposed to be a quiet environment, if you let your PFB scream the place down or play loud music.

Its just consideration for other service users. Should that be so difficult? hmm

Ubik Noise is noise. And there is meant to be very little of it in the quiet carriage. So whether it's caused by you, your children, your headphones, or your mobile phone conversation, it's requested that you either a) refrain from making it or b) move. Again, it's really not difficult.

I very much like to have heard the conversation where the train company charged £20 to re-assign seats. I'm wondering if it wasn't explained clearly, I wonder how strongly the poster pushed to have the seats moved, I wonder about the person they spoke to, and I wonder how busy the train was. I travel on numerous different train lines and have never been charged for moving my seat for a reason like that (they've moved it so I'm not near a toilet, so I would very much doubt that they wouldn't move you from a quiet zone). I'm not saying that isn't what you were told, I'm just wondering how firm that company's policies are, and what other circumstances were around that decision.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 11:54:03

I will consider chloroform, if anyone's offering.

Maybe the passengers who don't want children in the quiet coach should complain to the train company too?

I don't care if there are children in the quiet carriage, nor does anyone (that I have seen post on here so far). The issue is the noise, and the parents who do nothing to stop them when they make noise.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:00:41

"I very much like to have heard the conversation where the train company charged £20 to re-assign seats. I'm wondering if it wasn't explained clearly, I wonder how strongly the poster pushed to have the seats moved, I wonder about the person they spoke to, and I wonder how busy the train was"

Feel free to call East Midlands trains and ask about their policy.

Other seats were available, they refused to change seats as I have booked advanced tickets.

Please google my previous posts to see if I am a pushover.

I have spoken to three different people, including a manager.

If you would still like to question the truth of my posts, please do. Moreover, if you feel that you would be able to get my seats changed for no additional charge, let me know; I'll PM you the booking reference and you can have a bash smile

TillyTellTale Tue 25-Mar-14 12:01:15

I don't like the way this thread's going. Children in the quiet carriage is an insignificant problem.

Can we please focus our concentrated Mumsnet ire on people who don't take their mobile phone calls beyond the doors? And loud yakkers?

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:02:54

"The issue is the noise, and the parents who do nothing to stop them when they make noise."

So it's ok for my 1yo to cry as long as I make enough "shh" ing noise?

Or is it the crying itself which rankles?

I can't find out the guidelines anywhere on the website of the twain company which sold me the seats, you see.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:03:48

grin at 'twain'- typo not toddler speak grin

tethersend Wasn't questioning the truth of your post at all. As mentioned, I 100% believe that you were told that, but just very surprised about it because I have never encountered any trouble when trying to switch seats.

Seriously, send 'em over. I pride myself on my powers of persuasion, and I'd love to give it a go. If I can't, I will announce in full view of all on the thread that it can't be done, and I will try my hardest to be a bit less judgmental to loud families in the quiet zone on East Midlands trains grin.

No, because going "Shhh" doesn't actually stop the child crying, so you're not only stopping the noise, but contributing to it as well! confused

As I said above, I think a good guideline is a library, or a church if you're so inclined.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:11:23

"No, because going "Shhh" doesn't actually stop the child crying, so you're not only stopping the noise, but contributing to it as well!"

I know Reginald, that's why I said it wink

TillyTellTale Tue 25-Mar-14 12:11:51

There was a ghastly pair of talkers on the 25th February train to Londonn arriving at around 6pm, by the way.

If either of them is reading, I want you to know I despise you both. Not just for your manners, but also for your classist, vacuous opinions. None of the things you broadcast in your outside voice were things that cast you in a positive light.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:12:04

Ooh, are you serious about calling them?

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:12:22

Shall I tweet them this thread? grin

tethersend Completely serious! No, don't tweet them yet... I want my challenge to be fair, so no giving them advance warning!

If I fail, I'll report back, and then you can tweet them and tell them they're all fuckers. grin

moldingsunbeams Tue 25-Mar-14 12:15:16

We have been assigned quiet zone and tried to change and been quoted a charge too.

We have travelled in the quiet coach and had grown adults almost shagging the whole way, people with blaring music through headphones.
I did the above journey with a small child and often do pick quiet so we are not stuck with the roaring drunks if I know theres a big football game on.

I do however remind dd to speak quietly and dont let them run about.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:15:34

Ok, PMing.

Hope you manage to get a result!

I do however remind dd to speak quietly and dont let them run about.

That's all I ask, moldingsunbeams grin

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 12:20:55

If you book online via a desktop site you are given the option to select the quiet coach. If you book via a phone app (and I can't remember when I used anything other than a phone app) you don't get a choice.

It has nothing to do with whether or not you have children.

Personally I never used to choose the quiet coach as I didn't want the filthy looks if my phone rang.

As long as a parent keeps control of their children and does not change a nappy in the carriage I have no problem. Please note however I am not interested in your children. Any of them who try to engage me in conversation or tug my sleeve etc, etc will be ignored.

Calloh Tue 25-Mar-14 12:25:50


I can't believe there are so many people who think you are being unreasonable. I find it very strange.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:28:14

"If you book online via a desktop site you are given the option to select the quiet coach."

Not all train companies allow you to do this.

schokolade Tue 25-Mar-14 12:37:25

I wonder what the point is of quiet carriages where the only rule is that you're not allowed to use your mobile? Nothing offensive about mobiles as such, just people talking loudly for a long time surely... what difference does it make if the talking is into a mobile or to the person opposite?

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 12:45:55

Ubik1 just read your post about the hell of travelling from London to Scotland. That's a journey I do far more regularly than you mentioned and I think you're over-egging the pudding considerably.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 25-Mar-14 12:46:09


I think I saw a newspaper article somewhere that said that research had been dome and it is far more annoying / I trusive to listen to half a conversation than the full thing.

I'm back to admit defeat! I was asked for tethersend name... and it turns out, she has something different printed on her card, so the train company wouldn't speak with me at all sad

moldingsunbeams Tue 25-Mar-14 12:46:32

I wouldnt want a family carriage, dd can get very overwhelmed by noise and would hate it.

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 12:48:13

shockolade because people don't talk in a conversational way on a mobile phone. You do speak louder. Everyone does.

Ladysnackbeth Tue 25-Mar-14 12:50:59

This is why I never, ever use buses or trains.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 12:55:39

You didn't fail, Reginald, THEY FAILED.

OnlyLovers Tue 25-Mar-14 13:29:25

Personally I never used to choose the quiet coach as I didn't want the filthy looks if my phone rang.

Caitlin, the thing is that in the Quiet Coach you're supposed to turn your phone off or to silent. Then it won't ring. Then you won't get filthy looks.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 13:33:43

But it isnt unreasonable for someone to politely remind you that it is supposed to be a quiet environment, if you let your PFB scream the place down or play loud music

^ This

I'm in awe at the attempts of tethersend to try to sit where she and her family will feel comfortable (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic). And GRRR at the train operating company who are making it so difficult for her to try to do the right thing, as she sees it.

And quiet children in the Quiet Carriage isn't really the problem we're talking about here, is it? It's about general disrespectfulness and rudeness. Now that can include children, but not only children, and not always children.

The noisy children who are noisy because their parents allow them to be, by ignoring them, or encouraging them to be noisy, are the problem (or, rather their parents are). Plenty of posters have said they can & do keep their children quiet & busy. And I'd bet those children really enjoy the trip.

pookamoo Tue 25-Mar-14 13:37:37

I've not read the whole thread blush but just wanted to share this story...

I phoned up well in advance and booked train tickets to take the Brownies to Cadbury World. There were (let's say) 16 children and 6 adults. Where did they allocate us? ... Yes, the quiet coach. We received filthy looks, but of course we didn't know until we got on the train that it would be the quiet coach, and the train manager was unsympatheic!

OP, YANBU unless there was nowhere else on the train or they'd prebooked their tickets without knowing.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 13:38:26

Thanks, Upthechimney.

Unfortunately, my 1yo is not quiet. She's like a tiny Keith Moon grin

Suffice to say, anyone travelling from London to Sheffield on the 13th of April should avoid the quiet coach wink

Yes, I've changed my tune (slightly).

If you've pre-booked your tickets and your twattish train company put you in the Quiet carriage, and they won't move your seats, you're excused (maybe a "don't look at me, I pre-booked my seats" t-shirt could be added to the MN line for easy identification?)

If you wander on to the train and then completely disregard the quiet carriage, then you deserve all the looks of wrath that come your way.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 13:59:40

For online booking, there's the option for the Quiet Coach. I'd always assumed that unless you deliberately, actively chose that option, you would be allocated seats elsewhere on the train.

Maybe we should all be lobbying for a deliberate active "Not the Quiet Coach" seating option?

The thing that I take from these sorts of threads is that there is a genuine desire for option of the Quiet Coach. And there's an equally strong resentment of it, and castigation of those who want to sit in peace & quiet as "self-important" or "snobbish" (we haven't had that insult yet on this thread, but I've seen it on similar previous threads) which I just really can't fathom.

maggiemight Tue 25-Mar-14 14:13:28

I was on the quiet coach and a mother with 3 small DCs came on and sat in prebooked seats (not hers) and not together, she looked a bit clueless so was prob either foreign or not au fait with the set up . She had to move at the next stop as she was in someone's seats. This was virgin trains, and the ticket collector/ manager or whatever he was helped her and baggage and DCs to another carriage and seats together. Great that someone was doing his job with little fuss.

Agree upthechimney, I think the train companies are really to blame here for not being clear about this. There should be a clear "Quiet Coach" or "Regular Coach" option when selecting seats, and it should be made quite clear what is allowed/expected whilst in the Quiet Coach.

Otherwise, it's just a bit of a gimmick on behalf of the train companies, and it just causes a lot of pissed off travelers (even more so than normal!).

givemeaclue Tue 25-Mar-14 14:19:50

Yabu in some ways, I have booked on line before and found myself allocated seats in quiet coach with kids. You can click to select quiet coach but there is not an option to select "please not quiet coach". So itis outside parental control whether seats are allocated in quiet coach. So lobby the train company to improve the no line booking if this is an issue for you.

givemeaclue Tue 25-Mar-14 14:22:30

You can be allocated quiet coach even if you don't select that option when booking ticket

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:48:39

Caitlin I do that journey 3/4 times a year and have done it fuor the last 10 years. East coast with it's older trains is actually quite bearable. Virgin with it's aircraft style design, lack if luggage space, overheating, overcrowding is a nightmare. Not every journey, but often enough to make me dread it.

Last time I was forced with three small children and luggage to get the local line to Motherwell (no lift just stairs) then jump on cross country to Crewe (prob in quiet coach tutters) and then change at Crewe for Euston.

I have endured entire train loads of passengers decanted onto my train meaning toilets are locked - no one can move anyway- gave up my seat, while holding baby, for elderly man who could barely stand. None if the folk pugged into various electronic devices gave him a second look.

But the main point is that people zero in on parents with small children, blaming them fir noise, but adults do very often behave much worse.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 14:55:06

Ubik, I was a prisoner of the West coast line for a while, and I try to actively avoid anything Virgin-branded now. That train company couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery & those trains are very uncomfortable. Maybe it's those coditions which cause passengers on Virgin trains to be rather more badly behaved than other long distance train lines (I also regularly use Cross Country & Great Western).

I have a colleague who does a 2-hour each way daily commute on the west coast line who's stopped sitting in the Quiet Coach because she just can't bear the everyday disappointment at how badly people behave in the Virgin train Quiet Coaches. She says she's calmer if she doesn't get her hopes up, only to have them dashed by people's inconsiderate behaviour.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Mar-14 14:56:10

If the only seats available are in these coaches, then you sit in them.
I would not stand if there were seats available and I'd make as much noise as I like. Not that I'm noisy nor is my dd who frequently travels with me.
You could tut as much as you like, I'm not bothered.

angelos02 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:59:41

morethanpotatoprints are you 5 years old?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Mar-14 15:05:28

What has not being bullied by idiots have to do with being 5.
I believe that most people, well those staying within the law, buy a train ticket.
We all have the same right to a seat, obviously unless we haven't paid first class and that's all that's available.
I would make an effort to be more quiet than usual if having to go to the quiet coach, but I wouldn't permanently sit like a mouse.

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:08:15

Re booking the quiet coach I travel regularly by train to Aberdeen and London from Edinburgh and now always book using a phone app. The app doesn't give the option of picking seats although seats can be booked. I've never when I've booked seats been allocated the quiet coach . I assume the default on the phone app is therefore not to put you in quiet.

elastamum Tue 25-Mar-14 15:11:56


Are mumsnetters really so impolite that they think it is OK to let their children make as much noise as they like regardless of other service users?

Surely most of us would rather teach their children to respect others and behave well in public. The fact that some adults behave impolitely doesnt excuse anything.

Having travelled long haul (sometimes in business class) with just my DC for years, I cant get my head round that at all confused

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 15:30:53

I would make an effort to be more quiet than usual if having to go to the quiet coach, but I wouldn't permanently sit like a mouse

That's big of you. How generous and gracious.

But seriously, you don't have to "sit like a ouse" in the Quiet Coach. You can sit quite normally, just put your mobile phone on silent, make or receive phone calls in the lobby or another carriage, use headphones & keep the volume down, and keep talking low & to a minimum. Nothing difficult there.

If you're traveling with children, as others on this thread have said, they keep them occupied and sitting in their seats. Again, not rocket science generally.

And if you're asked to keep the noise down because it's the Quiet Coach the other thing that polite considerate passengers can do is apologise and try to keep the noise down, not threaten other passengers (as I've been threatened) swear at them (I've been called a bitch and worse for pointing out to a loud phone-talker that it's the Quiet Zone) and not act as though you're the entitled spoilt one, and that the request for quiet in the Quiet Coach is unreasonable.

It's actually really not that difficult.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:38:20

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

Thus is the original op

I don't think anyone has stated that they would hold a band rehearsal, paint themselves green or indeed deliberately be noisy in quiet carriage. I wouldn't do that in any carriage.

But the implication is that young families should stay out of the quiet carriage in case baby cries.

angelos02 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:45:42

But the implication is that young families should stay out of the quiet carriage in case baby cries

Wow, Ubik1 is finally getting it.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 15:47:11

Cue hundreds of posts from MNers saying how much they adore the sound of children -- their own, other people's -- crying loudly or screaming ...

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:47:41

And that is wrong angelo.

angelos02 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:50:05

We'll agree to disagree. although I actually know that I am right

^^ grin

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:51:02

I think I could manage to accept that babies cry on public transport. I wouldn't really give it a second thought.

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:52:33

<stamps foot>

I am right


UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 15:56:00


Hope you're not in the Quiet Coach! wink

someonestolemynick Tue 25-Mar-14 16:32:46

Wow, I'm a bit overwhelmed by all these replies.

I object to being called a child hater, because I want to keep young children out of public transport (I don't, just out of the quiet coach). Surely that is common sense, though. Babies cry, they can't help it. With that knowledge why would you inflict unavoidable noise on people, who expressed their desire to sit in quiet zones. Would you take your baby to the Opera and let then feel really hard done by , if people find it hard to tolerate your screaming bundle of joy?

Having said that, I wasn't aware of the booking issue, but doubt it was applicable to my train journey (london marylebone to aylsebury, if that helps). In some instances, it seems to be unavoidable, but in most cases, I am convinced, all it takes is a little bit thought and consideration from the parents.

tethersend Tue 25-Mar-14 16:58:55

<stamps foot>

I want to keep my own crying, running child out of the quiet coach AND THEY WON'T LET ME

<packs Valium>

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Mar-14 17:12:15


Thank you, that's very nice of you.
The way you describe is the way we act though. Very few parents let their dc run wild, whichever carriage they are in.
Music is quiet, others couldn't hear it, talking quietly etc.
You still get hushed though, believe me.
Hence, my statement of not sitting like a mouse.
I refuse to do this when I have bought a ticket.

A few weeks ago the people in the quiet coach were asking my dd and her friends to sing for them. It was the last train out of our area and all others had been cancelled, the day of the bad weather.
Got talking to a posh man, who asked where the dc had been, when we told them he said "Oh do get them to sing for us". I asked them, the kids said yes and they did. They managed the first half of the concert before some of our party left the train grin
Even the quiet coaches like a bit of entertainment when times are bad

Ubik1 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:38:30

I've won the thread

ner ner ner ner ner

morethanpotatoprints how lovely smile

maggiemight Tue 25-Mar-14 17:53:38

Last time I travelled in the quiet coach on virgin some wha wha public school eejit at the back of the coach spouted forth so loudly that I could hear it even though I had earplugs in (always take these on train journeys due to other passengers being irritatingly noisy (not a prob on planes as engines re noisy)) so it isn't just babies.

But the train company should fix these things. It's like supermarkets putting child friendly or disabled parking then ignoring who uses it.

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 18:01:22

morethan how very nice you found someone who put up with your children singing. I wouldn't have been charmed. I don't expect children to be as quiet as mice but I no more have to tolerate unsolicited musical performances from them than any other passengers.

And so far as your comment "music is quiet" you should not be playing music on a train. It's extremely selfish with or without children to force other people to listen to your choice of music.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Mar-14 18:06:46


You're probably just jealous that your dc and peers aren't international singing sensations. grin

Yes, any music we play is very quiet, nobody else would hear it. I wouldn't want dd to hurt her ears with loud music.

The children were requested to sing, they cheered up a lot of people who had previously wondered how the hell they were going to get home.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 18:39:39

any music we play is very quiet, nobody else would hear it

Well it would be quiet to others, seeing as it'd be played through headphones, wouldn't it?

Wouldn't it?

Caitlin17 Tue 25-Mar-14 18:55:28

upthechomney yes I did wonder about that too.

morethanI don't expect you and your children to sit in silence but just remember your children are not interesting to other people.

UptheChimney Tue 25-Mar-14 19:03:24

hmm yes, caitlin hmm

Locketjuice Tue 25-Mar-14 19:05:33

Maybe they thought thr quiet would be best for baby and baby didn't agree!

Update: I was discussing this thread with dp last night, and he is of the mind that Quiet Carriages are "just full of knobs who sigh and huff a lot but won't ever actually say anything, so by all their tutting, they're making the carriage more loud for the rest of us, so they're all dicks."



tethersend Wed 26-Mar-14 15:07:22


morethanpotatoprints Wed 26-Mar-14 19:59:29


neither are other peoples business calls and noises interesting to me.
I only have one dd aged 10 who I am responsible for now and I can assure you unless her and her choir members are asked to sing grin is quieter than a lot of the tutting and sighing going on in the carriage.

Caitlin17 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:54:20

morethan 2 wrongs don't make a right.

I rarely make phone calls on a train because I don't want other people listening in on my conversation. If I have to communicate it will be by text or e-mail. Unlike you I would never dream of listening to music or a DVD , no matter how "quietly" whichever carriage I was in unless I was wearing headphones.

I don't expect your children to sit like church mice but neither do I expect or want to be "entertained" by them and I absolutely do not wantcchildren tugging at my sleeve, kicking the back of my chair, leaning over the back of my seat or pestering me.

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