Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Is it any wonder people get ill?

Posted in Commuter, Metro by Chairman Pip on 29 November 2011

I’ve not been well recently. It’s getting to winter, and that season of colds and flu and whatnot, and that’s what I’ve been lumbered with. Although I think in my case, God is punishing me for taking part in Movember, as this is the second bout of illness I’ve suffered while I have been growing my mo – just prior to my trip to Hull I had stomach problems that led to diahorrea that I am convinced were the result of a chicken sandwich from Tesco. However, setting that aside, I am ill, with all the classic cold virus symptoms. Now, you would have thought, given all the advice over the past few years about viruses, about how they thrive in warm, damp conditions, that people will have taken on board a few things that could help prevent the cold virus taking hold. The problem is, people today are all a bunch of half-arsed weaklings. Today in London it is quite mild for the time of year, in the low teens in celsius. And yet, because it is November, everyone automatically assumes “uh, it’s cold, I have to put my big thick winter coat on”. But that isn’t the worst of it. To get in this morning I travelled on three separate trains – a Class 378, a 1996 Stock and a D78 Stock. Somewhat surprisingly, all three were jam packed (one or two are usually, but it’s rare for all three). On all three, you also had the heating on and, on the trains where windows could be opened, not a single one even cracked. So here you have a warm environment thanks to the crowd of human bodies all close together, which raises the air temperature, surrounded by thick heavy clothing, with the heat on, and no ventilation, combined with people who are already coughing and splutering (like me), and is it any wonder that people end up getting ill? I was literally drenched in sweat by the time I reached South Kensington, and that is an uncomfortable feeling in November. People need to man up about the winter months. And the train operators need to find a way to control the heating on their trains more effectively.

“Coughs on a train”

A crammed train, commuters with heavy clothes, and no ventilation, is a recipe for the common cold to spread


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