November 27, 2012
161 Reads
9 Likes
3 Comments


161 Reads
9 Likes
3 Comments

Toilet talk

I had the misfortune to make use of one of the newish space-age train toilets the other day. On the face of it they should be excellent and a big improvement over the broom cupboards of old. They look impressive with their curved door that swishes sideways at the press of a button and are obviously wheelchair friendly. So far so good. on entry there is a button to press to close the door and a button to open it. Very nice. Unfortunaetly there is also a third button to lock the door which, if you are on your way home from an evening involving alchohol, it is possible to miss. This can be unfortunate because unless the Lock button is pressed, the light outside still shows the toilet as being vacant, meaning the next unsuspecting soul presses the open button and neither party has a good end to their evening.

Okay, I hear you say, fair retribution for anyone who is too drunk or stupid to notice there are 3 buttons instead of 2. However there seems to be another feature to the door system, which is that even when the Lock button has been pressed and double-checked by anyone who has learnt about it's existence the hard way, it seems to have an inbuilt timer of a few minutes afterwhich it automatically unlocks and the door slides open. Presumably this is to stop people falling asleep or to help if someone has collapsed, but it still seems a feature best left on the drawing board.

And the icing on the design-cake? The door buttons are positioned on the other side of the space from where you are likely to be sitting, resulting in a panicked lunge across the pod to randomly jab at them in the vain hope you may be able to prevent the door from displaying your sorry state to the packed carriage. Oh, the horror.

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Comments
Haha, completely agree Pat. The new train toilets have always secretly scared me, too big and as you say in your last paragraph, if you can't reach the door controls from where you sit you're asking for trouble! Great post! :)
1 year ago
 0
For anyone who might be reading this from another country, where train toilets have been designed by intelligent beings, what Pat says here is absolutely spot on. Insanely dumb design.
1 year ago
Funny, only the other day I shut the door and didn't lock it, only to find a lady open the door on me....what the? Fortunately I was standing not sitting but still had to make it to the door shut (and then lock) button.
1 year ago
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