South Western Railway wants passengers to decide if it should ditch quiet carriages on trains

Rebecca Smith
Quiet carriages: should they stay or should they go?
Quiet carriages: should they stay or should they go? (Source: South Western Rail)

Do you retreat to a quiet carriage at the first possible opportunity to avoid hearing other people's music blaring out their headphones?

Well, South Western Railway wants to hear from you. And also if you have a differing view, and think the idea of quiet zones is rather redundant. It's holding a vote on its website that closes tomorrow to assess whether they should be ditched entirely.

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The train operator said conductors are often unable to actually enforce the rules on trains, and wants to hear from passengers if they think they should be ditched entirely.

In a post on its website, South Western Railway said:

The reality is we are not able to police these areas as well as we would like, and rely heavily on signage and you - our customers - to do this.

Could the signs be clearer? We advertise no mobile phone use and head phone use, but people talking loudly are not excluded. This can cause friction between customers whose expectations differ depending on their interpretation of the rules / signs.

Do we need better rules of what is acceptable in these areas? Where do we draw the line, if a child is crying in a quiet zone, is that acceptable? And how is this enforceable?

The response on Twitter so far has been varied, with some users saying they weren't all that fussed, as long as they were getting reliable trains.

SWR is a joint venture between FirstGroup and MTR, operating the South Western franchise, which runs commuter services from Waterloo to south west London.

The joint venture won the franchise in March and took over from South West Trains in August.

It has already faced a row with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over the role of the guard - a dispute that has affected a wave of train operators.

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