I spend my life on the train. I've learnt a few tips on the way so let's get going with train etiquette and other crucial nuggets of information:
1. Do not fear to offend. If someone sits next to you coughing as if they are about to die or you can hear their death metal through their headphones politely ask for them to move so you can find a new seat. Trust me, it is far better a moment of awkwardness than weeks of illness or tinnitus.
2. Secure a seat. Apart from arriving early have a trusted spot in the train carriage. You will get used to where the regulars like to sit and they will be less likely to sit in your seat. It is just like in school. In time you shall become familiar with the usual people on your commute e.g. Little Claire and the old dudes who like to chat footie.
3. Always sit next to the window. Sitting in the aisle may be good for ease of access but there is nothing more annoying while snoozing or being comfortable having to move so someone can pass you. As the carriage fills up it is the aisle people who get bags and coats swiped on their shoulders too.
4. Sleep. If it is a long journey be productive and work, read or take a nap. Ideally bring a hat to give you some privacy, a scarf to act as a pillow and be by the window.
5. Make as little noise as possible, especially in the quiet carriage. There is always someone who talks on their phone to someone for half an hour at 7am. Why?
6. Do not nudge people in the side if you are typing on a laptop. Do not be afraid of asking someone to turn their music down or stop nudging you. A lot of the time they are oblivious to it.
7. Although old train tickets make excellent bookmarks try not to save them as five years later when you realise the price for the same journey has increased by 100% it will depress you.
8. On South West trains, keep your finger on the door open button before it flashes as it will open quicker than if you press it as soon as it starts flashing.
9. Always have your tickets easily accessible. I feel so sorry for the train guards when there is always one who takes ages trying to find their tickets.
10. If you spy a perfect seat but it is near small children or someone eating fast food best to avoid this as the noise and deep-fried smell will begin to pierce your soul after a while.
11. Move down the corridor if the train is busy. No one likes to be shouted at to move down.
12. Do a sound test on your headphones before leaving the house. If you can hear noise without your headphones in then best to turn down the volume.
I love travelling on the train. You can see some of the most beautiful scenes from a train window you'll never see from a car, so remember to enjoy it.