Train Travel In Britain: Expectation Vs. Reality

Always a joy.

1. Expectation: You’ll get to the station early and grab a bite to eat. There’s bound to be loads of choice.

Reality: The choice is between a lukewarm burger and a limp portion of fish and chips. You’ll have to go hungry.

2. Expectation: You’ll waltz onto the train and find a quiet, window seat.

Reality: Someone’s taken the seat you reserved. You end up standing. Or worse, next to a child.

3. Expectation: You need to make sure your jacket doesn’t get creased. You’ll hang it up on the window hook.

Reality: You know those children you’re sitting by? They’ve been eating Wotsits and they’ve just wiped their grubby hands all over it.

4. Expectation: You’ll pay £4.99 for wifi and finish your work en route.

Reality: Your Internet disconnects every three seconds.

5. Expectation: You’ll just go to sleep. That’s why you chose to sit in the Quiet Zone.

Reality: You appear to be seated in the middle of a very loud (and unusually clumsy) pre lash.

6. Expectation: You’ll just read your newspaper then.

Reality: You’re sitting so close to the other passengers that stretching your arms to the width of a newspaper isn’t remotely close to a possibility.

7. Expectation: You’ll revitalise with a coffee from the train shop.

Reality: They’re out of coffee. You could get an unrefrigerated tuna sandwich though?

8. Expectation: It’s OK. You’ve packed an apple. You’ll just eat that.

Reality: Everyone around you has opted for the tepid fish sandwiches. You lose your appetite.

9. Expectation: You’re nearly there. You’ll retouch your make up in the toilet.

Reality: Someone has urinated over the toilet seat, floor and sink. You’ll have to remain as you are.

10. Expectation: You’ll arrive at your destination at the time your ticket said you would.

Reality: Obviously your train’s delayed. It’s time to take the replacement bus service. You arrive late, hungry and tired.

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Tabatha Leggett is head of buzz at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
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