Train observation

When you enter an empty train carriage do you choose to sit on the left or right side? Do you sit facing the direction in which the train is travelling or facing the direction from which the train is coming?
I think it is fairly clear that most people prefer to sit “facing forward” and some people claim “facing backwards” makes them ill. Observation also suggests that people also have a preference for the side of the carriage on which they sit. I have not tested this, but have observed that people prefer to sit on the left side of the carriage with their right side closest to the middle aisle. It is a matter of speculation as to why this should be the case. It may be a security instinct. I recall reading that the British originally established left hand travel on roads to allow travellers to have their right arm free to defend themselves when they passed people coming from the opposite direction. Perhaps a similar instinct makes people choose to sit on the left side of trains. Of course this would indicate that left handed people should have a preference for the right side of the carriage.
There is also a subsection of people ( I don’t know how large) who prefer to sit in one of the four corners of the carriage with their back to the carriage wall so that they are facing into the carriage. I don’t know if security, politeness or some other reason is responsible for this preference. Was it Doc Holliday who would always sit with his back to the wall facing the door when in a pub? 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: