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To expect people actually to keep quiet in the Quiet Coach?

(31 Posts)
LadybirdtheCollieDog Fri 21-Sep-12 11:46:25

Longish journey on a full train yesterday. I had work to do, so booked my ticket in the Quiet Coach. People across from me obviously on a day out, laughing & chatting very UNquietly, but the train conductor said that he couldn't ask people not to talk.

Woman across from me took three phone calls. At the 3rd one, I asked her quietly & politely could she take it in the vestibule, as this was the Quiet Coach.

Oh boy, did I then get an earful of how rude I was being. Apparently I was a moaning, frowning bitch, and all the rest. Interesting how she twisted it -- I was the rude one for asking for quiet in the Quiet Coach; she had done nothing wrong apparently.

I'm not good at dealing with outright rudeness to my face from strangers, and I don't like conflict -- I'm not a good fishwife -- so I just went back to my work, while she muttered. I do have good powers of concentration!

So, I don't think I was being unreasonable, but what would have been a reasonable response to someone being so rude? Oh dear, maybe this is a WWYD? Teach me, oh MNers, what I should do next time!

DeWe Fri 21-Sep-12 11:55:35

The problem can be (from experience) that you can reserve seats. And get tickets where you are meant to sit in your exact seat... and turn up to find you've been put in the quiet zone. Yes that's right. Reserve one adult, 3 children and find you're in the quiet zone. Someone sorting that has not got any common sense..hmm

WithoutCaution Fri 21-Sep-12 11:58:51

... Hi, I'm not sure if you're aware of this but this is the quiet coach. So can you use your indoor voice/not use your mobile.

Not sure if that would work. People being loud/using mobiles in the quite coach really irritates me screaming children in the quite area also irritates me

Trazzletoes Fri 21-Sep-12 12:01:26

I could be wrong but I thought the quiet coach was only to restrict use of electronic equipment. I agree wrt kicking out the woman on the phone, but I was under the impression that it had nothing to do with the noise level in the actual coach and everything to do with electronic games and mobile ringtones. Could be wrong though, I avoid the quiet coach like the plague so I can call people!

WingDefence Fri 21-Sep-12 12:13:45


I pulled someone up on it once on a train from London to Glasgow. It was a packed train and it turned out that the lady who kept taking the calls across the table from me was a Scottish MP!

Everyone else on the table and across from us supported me. She was very hacked off though grin

TBH though I tend to plug myself into my iPod (usually something relaxing like classical music and very quietly) as it takes the edge off any background noise, no matter how quiet but allows me to listen out to annoucements, ticket inspector etc. It does help me work.

SoleSource Fri 21-Sep-12 12:15:10

She called you a bitch? Yanbu.

valiumredhead Fri 21-Sep-12 12:17:08

I don't think there is anything wrong with someone using their mobile if it is on silent, then it's only like two people talking and you wouldn't ask them to stop talking, would you? It's not a 'silent' coach.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 21-Sep-12 12:20:40


The train announcers ask people to keep all noise to a minimum in the quiet coach. Because it is generally quieter there's no need to talk loudly etc.

I listened to a woman for 3 hours yesterday talking at the top of her voice to her friend so I now know her whole life story, including gory details of a recent operation (infected abcess described in great detail). It was unpleasant and rude.

Good for you for challenging it - I'm too much of a wimp - and I'm sorry you were verbally attacked like that.

WithoutCaution Fri 21-Sep-12 12:22:29

valium - People in quiet coaches should be considerate to their fellow passengers by:
-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 taking a call or talking loudly should be done in other coaches... Some people are just inconsiderate

ChaosTrulyReigns Fri 21-Sep-12 12:23:51

I don't think anyone should use a phobe on public transport EVER.


Strong sanctions are what's needed.

ChaosTrulyReigns Fri 21-Sep-12 12:26:58


valiumredhead. Shurely you jest? I do not want to know whether people are having peas or sweetcorn with their supper.

<<moves valiumre off Christmas card list toot suite>>

schobe Fri 21-Sep-12 12:29:39

There's even a bloody picture of a phone with a big red cross through it. DOES THAT MEAN NOTHING TO YOU PHONERS?

Sorry, think I just had a commuter flashback.

moonieponds Fri 21-Sep-12 12:29:48

I was put in the quiet coach across from someone who was obviously dying from manflu the cold. They coughed loudly, sneezed, moaned, blew their nose....and sniffed.

After a few hundred miles of this, my offer to put them out of their misery was not well received.

reluctanttownie Fri 21-Sep-12 12:31:11

Oh dear me I remember this from my days of conducting a long distance relationship that necessitate long train journey every fortnight. EVERY time I tried to sit in the quiet carriage. EVERY time I had people who mysteriously seemed to think that being quiet could also entail shouting at their mate at the top of their voice for 3 hours, playing music so loudly you could have heard it in the next carriage, and wittering on their phone constantly.

The problem with this, as with most selfish, rude behaviour is that if the person was the sort to say 'oh, terribly sorry, I'll stop right away' when pulled up on it, the almost certainly wouldn't be doing it in the first place. The people who do this are the sort who shout and swear when anyone says anything. I never had a pleasant conversation with anyone who I asked to stop being loud. They invariably told me very loudly and very rudely that I was stuck-up intolerant and unreasonable etc etc etc.

reluctanttownie Fri 21-Sep-12 12:35:03

Valium - I'm sure I've read ages ago that someone had done research that proved that listening to a phone call was way more distracting and disruptive for people than listening to a two way conversation at the same volume. I think basically your mind tries to fill in the bit you can't hear, whether you want to or not. Whereas a reasonably quiet two way conversation is easier to filter out if you want to.

Although tbh I think there should be silent coaches grin

oopslateagain Fri 21-Sep-12 12:39:06

The Quiet Coach means no phone calls (hence the big picture of a phone with a red cross through it), all electronic equipment should be in 'silent' mode, music through headphones should be quiet enough to not disturb other passengers, and noise should generally be kept to a minimum.

valiumredhead Fri 21-Sep-12 12:39:31

Oh pish! You lot want a private coach -- anyone nearby gaffer taped wink

valiumredhead Fri 21-Sep-12 12:39:49

mucked up my strike out there!

schobe Fri 21-Sep-12 12:40:29

People don't speak in the same way on the phone - they PROJECT.

Like the idea of silent coaches where people are frisked for all electronic devices at the door and then gagged. Not much point in a refreshments trolley though.

oopslateagain Fri 21-Sep-12 12:43:27

Forget guards, the train companies need to employ librarians. You know, the ones with not a hair out of place, glasses they can peer over intimidatingly, and the world's loudest "SHHHHH!" grin

Hammy02 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:50:14

I don't expect silence but I would expect people to conduct their conversations more quietly than in other coaches. Key word 'quiet'. I've been fairly lucky and only had one bad experience in when a bunch of younguns got on with 2 bottles of champagne! Needless to say, it wasn't a quiet coach any longer.

MTBMummy Fri 21-Sep-12 13:12:56

It winds me up no end - and have confronted a few people in the past about the noise, I generally will politely ask them to keep it down, and most of the time they do, however I have on one occasion had someone go off on a massive rant, so I wandered off to get a member of staff - who was very heplful and made them move to another coach

Guidence for National Rail is

Quiet Coach: If you choose a seat in this coach you are asked to not use your mobile phone, use electrical equipment in silent mode, ensure music cannot be heard by other passengers, and generally to keep noise levels to a minimum.

MyLastDuchess Fri 21-Sep-12 14:49:12

We have them here in NL as well, except the name translates literally as SILENT carriage!

I never use them any more because I find it far too annoying, people are always chattering/phoning/making heaps of noise. I'd rather be in the normal noisy carriage and not seethe at people's rudeness.

(Yes I have tried politely asking people not to make so much noise, it quickly became extremely unpleasant.)

LadybirdtheCollieDog Fri 21-Sep-12 15:22:29

Well, I'm relieved I'm not the only one who finds noisy Quiet Coaches annoying! Now I just have to deal with my own upsetness at being wrongfooted, and sense of 'snotfair! at being made to feel I was in the wrong.

In the US, AmTrack operates a Quiet Car where train conductors announce that it should be at a "Library level of quiet" and -- in my experience of doing east coast corridor trips several times a year -- they actually enforce it. Very politely, but I've been travelling down to DC with a rather talkative young teenager and his mother, and the guard very politely offered to take them to a carriage where they might feel more comfortable.

But why oh why do people take small children into Quiet Coaches?

7to25 Fri 21-Sep-12 16:35:43

Another thing wrong with America.
Have been told off for talking on Amtrack (very quietly)

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