To what extent do South West Trains enforce the ‘Quiet Carriage’ policy?
Not a lot, I think.
It’s not a difficult thing to implement, really. The ticket manager just has to tap someone on the shoulder with a noisy I-Pod or interrupt a mobile phone conversation to tell the offender to shift it.
However, for passengers, the ‘Quiet Carriage’ can be slightly inconvenient. Often, it is only once you have taken a phone call on your mobile before you notice the signs saying ‘quiet carriage’. By then, it’s too late. There are no signs by the door of the train to say ‘you are entering a quiet carriage, sssh.’ It is only once you are sat down comfortably in your seat, reading your book, before you notice the signs. In a busy train, you are unlikely to move carriages just in case you need to take a phone call.
I know all this.
However, when the lad opposite me sat with his Ipod on ridiculously loudly so that all I could hear was the beat of his crap music, I started to feel irritation. Then I noticed we were in a ‘quiet carriage’ and felt justly irritated. I thought to myself, ‘I could just tell him to turn if off and point at the sign.’
I didn’t of course.
But I expected the Train Manager to do so as she came through the carriage checking tickets. She reached the noise Ipod boy and called for tickets. He ignored her because he couldn’t hear her. She had to wave a hand in front of his face to attract his attention. ‘yes! I though, ‘she’s going to tell him to turn it off as we are in a quiet carriage.’
Sadly not, she asked for his ticket, he pointed it at her, and she continued on her merry way. He continued to have poor taste in music.
So, I ask, what is the point of these quiet carriages?