Etiquette in Trains – Progress Reports from 1878 and 1929

Posted on October 4th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

The etiquette (and lack of it) on trains is one of the BNA Team’s all-time favourite subjects.

Truly, if discussing the behaviour of people on trains were an Olympic event, we’re confident we would stand a fair chance of winning a medal.

Just why do people sit in the aisle seat, and place all their belongings in the seat by the window? Why don’t they use the luggage rack for their bags, etc? And when you politely ask, ‘Excuse me, is this seat taken’?, what’s with the weary and long-suffering look of resignation, as they grudgingly move their belongings from the vacant seat? I mean, it’s not some Herculan task! Tsk and grr.

But judging by these splendid newspaper reports from 1878 and 1929, it seems that poor behaviour on trains has long been a thorny issue for passengers in the UK – and elsewhere, too, we imagine.

historical newspaper report on Etiquette in Trains

Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 30 January 1925

Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

historical newspaper report on Etiquette in Trains

Alnwick Mercury – Saturday 28 September 1878



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