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Opinion : When taking the train are you able to sit at the table?

| April 26, 2016


Last week it was necessary for my good self to travel to London for work.

Rather than risking my life dabbling with danger on the M40 your humble servant opted to let the train take the strain.

Many years ago, when your humble servant was a young lad, train travel to the capital was a common occurrence for me but now a visit to London is a rare treat.

After purchasing my ticket I had to risk life and limb crossing to platform three on the temporary foot bridge. With the wind blowing it was frightening being so exposed walking high above the tracks on the bridge.

Coming down the other side was nerve racking, one false step and I would have tumbled down to the bottom as there is nothing to stop anyone if they should fall. Why on earth did they do away with the magnificent subway that served us so well for so many years?

After a few moments the train arrived. Rather that the trusty Class 165 Diesel Multiple Units that were introduced back in the early 1990’s the train was a new fangled contraption with engines at both ends which I suppose is more befitting of the long(er) distance services now operated on the line.

I went to take my seat but to my horror every seat had a wide table accompanying it.

Regular readers will know that my good self is of large build, well, to be honest I’m actually clinically obese with a Body Mass Index almost equivalent to my age.

Looking at the tiny gap between the seat and the table it was unlikely that my huge body would fit. Oh dear. What was I to do?

There was a choice, stand for the half hour journey to London or try to squeeze into the seat.

After paying an exorbitant fare there was no way that yours truly was going to stand. Finding a vacant seat next to the aisle I started so squeeze my body in between the seat an the table.

Several minutes later and with some squeezing I was kind of sitting in the seat. Well, I wasn’t sitting in the seat at all, rather part of me was in place over the rough location of the seat and a huge roll of fat was bobbling over the top of the table in front of me. It was far from comfortable.

There was no way the poor gentleman sitting next to me, beside the window, was likely to be able to get out if he needed to stretch his legs on the journey into Marylebone.

Why on earth do they have such large tables on trains? Surely some of the seats could be without tables so larger people could rest comfortably?

If they didn’t have all the unnecessary tables the train would be lighter and as a result would accelerate faster, be more spacious and be more fuel efficient.

With the table in the way there is no easily visible demarcation of where one can put their feet resulting in the person sitting opposite treading on my shoes several times. My nicely polished shoes were scuffed and scratched by the time I extracted myself from the confines of the seat at the other end of the journey.

One good point was that by every seat there was an electricity socket, this is most handy indeed next time there is a need for me to travel to London early in the morning I will take my electric razor and have a shave on the train.

In future my adventures to London will be on one of the older trains. For a larger person like me they’re far better, far more comfortable and it’s a far more enjoyable experience.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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