Monday, 28 June 2010

"The quiet coach is a myth"

Another instalment from the Not-So-Quiet-Coach on Virgin Trains.

Tonight's travel companions? A family with young children. Adults valiantly trying to keep them quiet, which is something.

Besuited man two rows ahead of me asked them to keep quiet in low but cross tones.

And then he complained to the train manager about it when she came to check the tickets. She said "We can't do anything about children in the quiet coach".

He gave her a hissed earful.

She turned away from him when it looked like he hadn't quite finished.

He grabbed his bag and stomped out of the coach.

Now I don't think that getting stroppy with the family was the approach I'd have taken. As an auntie of five I know that young children don't do quiet unless they're asleep.

But if the train manager can't / won't do anything, then as Relative Sanity quite rightly says, the quiet coach is a myth.

I don't think there's any point at all in forbidding customers to use mobile phones in here if Virgin aren't going to at least try and control noise created by other passengers.

Thankfully it doesn't cost extra to sit in here, which is something. But perhaps it should. I'd gladly pay a premium to sit in a genuinely quiet coach. And I do mean genuinely quiet. Not as it currently is.

Because it does make it very difficult to work if the environment is noisy.

Speed the day when I can afford to travel first class :-)

UPDATE: Another tweet contact has quite rightly pointed out that it can be awkward if a family's booked seats and have ended up in the quiet coach. Perhaps Virgin should add - or designate - a family coach.

UPDATE 2: I have contacted Virgin Trains customer service using the feedback form on their website, to give my feedback about the quiet coach issues I've encountered. Let's see what effect that has...


  1. well, i had to endure 5 hours of a bunch of kids with their family runing up and down the carriage, swinging off seats and making a LOT of noise. not one of the adults told the kids to be quiet, in fact one of them was helping his toddlet scale up the back of a seat so that she could grab something from the overhead storage. After enduring this gor 5 hours from Glasgow to London, i got off the train expecting my bus journey home to be a bit more quiet, but that was not to be, as guess who boarded the same bus as me...........

  2. Sympathy!

    Soon after this I had another episode with a noisy family in the quiet coach - toddler running up and down the aisle and his mum only doing anything about it when he looked like running out of the coach. She didn't even make him sit down when we were approaching a station and he was getting under everyone's feet...

    Thankfully I was only on that train for an hour!!


  3. Currently sat on the quiet coach, not by choice - rest of train is full.
    There is a jerk opposite me who looks like a meerkat popping his head up anytime anyone makes the slightest noise.
    I ate my crisps as loud as possible.
    Rant over

  4. Hmm, I'm on the meerkat's side here... if you are in the quiet coach (whether by design or not) then I think you should respect that other people in there want some peace and quiet?
    You had a choice between being comfortable in the quiet coach or sitting in the corridor I presume, if you don't want to be quiet then keep out of the quiet coach!
    My rant over :-)


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