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Three Extra Coaches


Gardian

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Having just returned from the Christmas trip back to the UK by TGV / Eurostar, I'd like to suggest the provision of 3 extra coaches on all train services. These would be dedicated to the following categories:

  • The hard-of-hearing I-Pod users, usually less than 25 years of age and whose music is audible from 4 rows away. It must be deafening to them - or rather has been deafening to them.
  • The irritating family groups, involving young wingeing children. A long-suffering and taught mother and a distant 'nothing-to-do-with-me' father is a constant factor in such groups. By no means all family groups are like this, but most are.
  • The backpack brigade. Often in their 40's, with rucksacks front and back that protrude up to 50cms in each direction. All are on their way to conquer Everest and an essential part of their en route training is to perform spontaneous pirouettes in confined spaces.

If these 3 essential coaches could be provided, old 'Meldrews' like me could have a quiet and civilised journey in peace.  [6][;-)]    

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How I agree with you, Gardian. I think the backpackers are the worst. I'm ashamed to admit that we have one in the family. It all started about twenty years ago and now, with two small children in tow, the number of appendages and the need for spontaneous pirouettes has increased. Grrrrrr.

Victoria Meldrew
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Technically not feasible; TGVs come in discrete units with slopey bits at BOTH ends.

What is possible is TWO TGVs in tandem; frequently seen leaving Montparnasse during the annual german invasion practice evacuation of Paris. One bit leaves from Montparnasse 1 and the other bit from Montparnasse 2.

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I recently travelled from Birmingham to London in a supposed "silent" coach.

The first half of the journey was taken up by mobile phones going off followed by loud complaints from other passengers to the recipients (who being British hadn't read any of the notices) who then proceeded to round off their calls with comments like "apparently I'm in a silent coach - I'll have to go".

However - after a while it did seem that everyone had cottoned on and the only intrusive noises were from the PA system - but that's another story. ("Our next station stop will be Watford Junction" - WHAT?)

Older members will recall the days of compartments on trains and the way that one could ensure peace and quiet by judicious spreading of overcoats, rolled up copies of the "Telegraph" and thermos flasks on the vacant seats. Things have never been the same on the railways since they started trying to make carriages like airliners.

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The solution to the i-pod brigade is to join them and get an i-pod of your own. You don't have to listen to music, I have everything from music, videos, birdsongs and lingauphone (learning french)on mine - I use 'in ear' ear plugs so I dont' disturb others and I can't hear those that use the conventional type of plug. I adopted this approach on the morning commute when the tapping of laptop keyboard proved just as irritating. The answer to rucksacks is to try and sit in a window seat, thereby avoiding most of the swinging bags. Using your own i-pod also means you dont have to listen to other people's children! The best solution is the 'silent' carriages as mentioned earlier. I think Virgin trains in UK use them.....

 

or perhaps not having now seen the post that sneaked in above ....

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Dick

I can assure you that tapping keyboards is incredibly irritating in 1st class, and there are plenty of people using i-pods and mobiles too. The worst seem to be the headhunter calls, where their discrete phone calls are heard by the whole carriage, first or second class.

The only reason I started to use 1st class after 25 years is because I could no longer guarantee a 2nd class seat.

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[quote user="baypond"]

The only reason I started to use 1st class after 25 years is because I could no longer guarantee a 2nd class seat.

[/quote]

In most of the Téoz services you have to reserve anyway ( as obviously on TGVs)

Only the TERs are reservation free in this region.

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Fantastic idea!

Coach number's 1 & 18 on the Eurostar are the family carriages - I was really pleased to see this when I reserved a seat for myself and my 3 year old to visit the UK, so I requested it specially.  Sounded great, smaller carriage that is separate for the rest of the train, half folding tables so more space for children to move round, close to toilets etc, how wonderful to know that we would would be with other families that appreciate that even for well behaved toddlers, 8 hours on a train is a long time.

Hmm, we were the only family in the carriage, with every single seat taken by old 'Meldrews' hoping for a quiet, peaceful journey.  It was a nightmare, I'm not the most child friendly person myself so every time my child wriggled, moaned and clashed legs with the people opposite, I nearly died so we went for a walk and found empty seats in practically every carriage except ours.  It appears that all the special offer seats are allocated straight to these 2 carriages and so they are always full, not full of families but full of budget travellers.

On the return, I spoke to the train manager who upgraded us to the next class and we had an absolutely lovely journey away from scowling faces.  So, if your tickets say you are booked in coach 1 or 18, ask for a different seat at check in and then we'll all be happy.[:D]

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[quote user="baypond"]

Dick

I can assure you that tapping keyboards is incredibly irritating in 1st class, and there are plenty of people using i-pods and mobiles too. The worst seem to be the headhunter calls, where their discrete phone calls are heard by the whole carriage, first or second class.

The only reason I started to use 1st class after 25 years is because I could no longer guarantee a 2nd class seat.

[/quote]

Sorry, 'tapping keyboards' (on laptops) is not 'incredibly irritating' unless you are trying to be offended...

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[quote user="Dick Smith"]Ian - you have just stated the main reasons for First Class...
[/quote]

But Dick, we were in 1st Class !!   Elderly gentlemen like us hark back to the days when .................  Oh, bollocks, can't keep this up any longer, especially when I get to the stage of referring to you as a gentleman.

In truth, the whole trip out and back, was relatively painless and a good deal better than most low cost flight experiences. Eurostar was good, despite being very busy both ways (only to be expected just before & after Christmas): TGV efficient, but with naff catering (a missed opportunity given the captive audience).

I see that Eurostar loadings / revenue increased by 17% / 19% in the period Jan - Sept this year. There's going to be pressure on paths through the Tunnel before long and something will have to give. (Nothing to do with the current repairs - that'll be fixed quite soon). 

 

 

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