Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Looking at where you have been

For some strange reason, Sydney and New South Wales people really hate sitting backwards on a train, so most trains have reversible seats. Trains without are very unpopular. I prefer to face forward, but I don't start hyperventilating if I can't (Sydney people become physically ill if they can't face forward, apparently). I prefer to face backwards than sitting sideways, especially for extended periods.

Sydney is about to open part of  a new railway line. Honoured and balloted guests have already been on trips. Today was guest day for wheelchair users.

Ha ha, said the carriage designers. This will fix the punters who moan about sitting backwards on a train.


The driverless train line runs from the north eastern suburb of Tallawong, kind of better known as Rouse Hill, to Chatswood and opens on the 26th of May. It will be extended to Bankstown in the south west via the city. It is quite fast for a suburban train and I have no doubt will be popular from day one. That it is incompatible with the rest of Sydney's train system may or may not be a problem in the future.

14 comments:

  1. I am one of those people that can't travel backwards! I'm ok on the short journeys but the intercity trains which travel at speed are a non starter if I can't travel facing forwards. Sick bag at the ready!

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    1. Marie, I guess you are used to sitting sideways at least. I think the issue in NSW is that suburban trains actually do long distance commutes, say to the Blue Mountains, so people are facing backwards for a long time and perhaps suffer like you do. With the greatest of care, when we last booked Eurostar, Brussels to London, we chose front facing seats, but we must have had the nose of the train at the wrong end and faced backwards. I have just booked tickets London to Newcastle and the LNER site is excellent, aside from having to use an English postcode. There is simply a box to check, facing forward or facing rear. Not sure who would really choose to face the rear.

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  2. Hmm New South Welshmen voted for Barnaby Joyce. Perhaps Australia's advice on public transport, sport, drug control etc should come from other states.

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    1. Hels, then they wouldn't have built an overengineered new tram line in Sydney's south east capable of taking a bullet train at high speed. As for sport, come back in a few hours.

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  3. I'd never given it much thought. The only time I get motion sickness is on the open seas, and then I prepare by using Scappolomine patches.
    On long car journeys I get a rolling feeling, but really, I do okay most of the time.

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    1. Maribeth, I think many suffer from sickness. I've only been Carrick once and I think it was because I was taking antibiotics.

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  4. I don't use the train often enough to have a strong objection to the seating arrangements, we always drive in, using petrol and paying parking fees.. go figure 😀

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    1. Grace, you are not alone in doing that, and you don't have the extreme traffic congestion that makes trains the best choice in Melbourne and Sydney.

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  5. Aren't the manspreaders going to love this configuration. I didn't care which way I faced unless it was those seats where I ended up knee to knee with some twit.

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    1. Jah Teh, as I experienced myself in New York where the seats were the same.

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  6. I dislike travelling facing backwards and only sit in such a seat if there is no other option. It's much harder to hide in plain sight when everyone else is staring in your direction. It's a mental discomfort rather than physical.

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    1. River, there is that aspect to it. I try to avoid sitting under public transport maps and interesting advertisements for that reason.

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  7. I would have thought that sideways seating wouldn't seat as many people as regular seating but perhaps it does. We have very little rail service here, just long distance buses, which fortunately I seldom need to use but my mother loves 'em.

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    1. Jenny, such seating does not seat as many people, but many more can fit in the carriage. I can't remember if it is all the seating, but much of New York's Subway train seating is the same.

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