Bad Train Behaviour is not OK

My home’s only an hour out of London by train, which I visit regularly both for business and pleasure.

I suppose we all have our ‘train behaviour’ pet peeves. I’m irritated by the seat partner who not only takes over the central arm rest but overshoots it to intrude into my space. Or the passenger who watches a movie on a device and doesn’t bother with ear buds, so I’m subjected to the soundtrack whether I like it or not. But these pale into insignificance in comparison to noisy, aggressive drunks.

In my view, being a noisy, aggressive drunk is not OK. And it doesn’t make it OK if the noisy drunks are mature men wearing expensive-looking suits with First Class tickets.

Here’s a message to the mature men wearing expensive-looking suits in First Class on the 8pm out of St. Pancras on Thursday 16th March from the woman travelling alone who got up and changed carriages to avoid you.

It wasn’t OK that you crashed around the carriage bellowing and laughing, that when a fellow passenger asked you to consider others you rounded on him collectively and aggressively and showed him with cold clarity that it was a fight he could only lose. It wasn’t OK that you bought more alcohol from the buffet – your journey to Bedford was only 40 minutes’ long! It wasn’t OK when you whipped yourselves up to fresh anger over being asked to quieten down, making audible intimidating remarks. It wasn’t OK that you used obscene language so loudly that even when I put my earbuds on and listened to Green Day I could still hear you.

After I’d gathered up my coat and suitcase and moved to the next carriage I did complain to the train manager about you. He was great. Other passengers had complained and he’d spoken to you about your boorish behaviour. He spoke to you again and returned to my new location several times to reassure me.

But, mature men wearing expensive-looking suits in First Class on the 8pm out of St. Pancras on Thursday 16th March, it’s not that I was scared of you. You were just unpleasant to be near and I objected to being subjected to your obnoxiousness. I’d had a busy four days in London and I wanted to read for an hour, not have to listen to your inane braying and self-important posturing or feel unsettled by your anger.

I don’t suppose you’ll read this. You might not recognise yourselves if you do. You probably think your behaviour was OK.

But it wasn’t. You need to have a word with yourself. (A quiet one.)


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25 responses to “Bad Train Behaviour is not OK

  1. Well done for saying this, Sue. Hope they read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen

    A horrible experience for you. I commute to London daily by train and often come back alone later at night. Men that are old enough to know better are often worse than teenagers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I would have felt less aggrieved if it had happened later – but 8pm? The train hadn’t even left the station when they had their first barney. I hate to have different rules for women but travelling alone is one case where I’m very careful.


  3. Had it been a plane journey, they wouldn’t have been allowed to travel. Had it been a bar, they would have been banned from returning. It’s a shame that on train, none of these behaviour rules apply, and that it all has to be dealt with by a (very brave) lone train manager.
    Disrespectful thugs.
    I think I would have started singing opera very loudly – even though I’m not an opera singer. See how they like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lizzie Lamb

    Complete pratts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to travel to work on the train all the time and, yes, the loud drunks were definitely some of the worst travelling ‘companions’.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Had a similar experience on the Eurostar from Paris to London about four years ago. Group of smart – or so they thought – London lawyers. Well-refreshed when they got on the train, bought more booze on board, champagne, no less. Four men and two women, all loud, braying, opinionated, going on about the feckless working classes. When one got off at Ebbsfleet, (is that the correct name of the station?) the two women stood up on the seats, pulled their clothes down and mooned at him. And the rest of us just tried to ignore them and commented to one another afterwards. One of those wish you had said something moments.


  7. It occurred to me when reading this, I wonder what will happen when there will be no guards on the train, as is the contentious issue with the rail unions/companies at the moment. And well done you for making a point by moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Francesca Burgess

    That’s awful, Sue. It’s becoming so common now and on the whole guards don’t deal with it, so it’s great your guard did try. Travelling back from London with two friends a couple of months back we had a gang of young men swearing and flashing their parts at each other. One of my friends found a guard but he did nothing. We moved and heard later they’d peed on the floor. What the hell is the world coming to?


  9. Well said, Sue. Lack of consideration for others seems to be more and more prevalent these days. So many people seem to lack basic good manners 😟. A disturbing experience for you!


  10. It doesn’t help if the staff in the buffet car carry on serving them alcohol when they’ve obviously had enough already. They can refuse them. It infuriates me too when people behave like this.


  11. I do come across such people and you have my sympathy. Very unpleasant and disturbing experience


  12. The moment anyone becomes uncomfortable or frightened it really is NOT ok. Not enough is done by the rail networks to discourage this appalling behaviour. Really feel for you, Sue 😦


  13. What annoyed me most with my experience (shared with Francesca) is that I was also tweeting the rail company who asked if I’d tasked photos. What, of drunks who would likely have retaliated? When I said no they ignored me.
    I’ve since requested posters on carriages advising female travellers what to so in such circumstances – the company is quick enough to ask us to report bags left on trains etc. What about our safety?


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