City Rail – the new Cafe on Wheels

There is a disturbing new trend in public transport and the consumption of hot drinks – the railway coffee kiosk.

Rail commuters in Sydney now have ready access to coffee kiosks at train stations for purchasing cups of steaming hot cappuccinos.

Although I admire the initiative of these businesses catering to the needs of time-poor, rushed commuters, I think hot drinks should be banned from the trains. Let me tell you why.

Why do people drink coffee? To make them more alert and more aware of their surroundings. Do you really want to be more alert and aware on a morning commuter train? Is it so important that you notice that 15 people got off at St Leonards and217 people got on?

As the commuters get off in the city or North Sydney, and go through the ticket gates, what are they immediately faced with? More train station cafes. It turns out, and many humans are strangely incapable of understanding this, that you can buy a coffee once you leave a train station, and you are more interested in being awake and alert. You can take the coffee to your office and enjoy at your leisure.

Here are my 5 top reasons for banning hot drinks on the train.

1. The Aroma. I enjoy a well-brewed coffee but having to smell the coffee during my morning commute is rather tortuous. I eat my breakfast at home, but it is frustrating to be smelling coffee during my crowded trip.

2. Spills on the floor. One morning I saw a business-man place his nearly full cup of coffee on the floor. It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened. The train jerked and the coffee cup fell over. A stream of hot brown liquid started flowing rapidly toward the back of the carriage. The man realised what had happened but was powerless to clean up the spill. He removed some paper from his briefcase and covered part of the coffee, but photocopy paper is not absorbent. Who carries paper towels in their briefcase?

3. Spills on the seat. Another time during peak hour I noticed the seat in front had room for another person. As hopeful travellers approached the seat, the occupant pointed out coffee spills on the seat. Why didn’t the former coffee-drinking commuter clean up the spill?

4. Spilling on fellow commuters. I would be very worried setting next to someone holding a hot drink. What if the coffee gets spilt and burns my body?

5. Rubbish. Unfortunately most commuters do not take their rubbish with them. Nowadays, takeway coffee cups and lids are regulalry stuffed into the seats or left on the floor. And if the cup still contains some liquid, it becomes a booby trap for the unknowing commuter who attempts to move it.

There’s a famous pie cart place in Sydney called Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.   Now that commuters are taking coffee on their journey, the pie cart isn’t the only Cafe on Wheels anymore.


Photo montage created by Charles using Gimp and found images.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Yes, as imperturbably irrational as many/most commuters are, this is a real DUMB move on City Snail’s part. It’s bad enough with all the rubbish left these days (sandwich wrappers, drink bottles, paper COFFEE CUPS). Look like US style Capitalism-at-any-Cost is starting to take over Sydney …

    Reply

  2. Posted by cat on April 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Funny comments about coffee drinkers on train. I think in some of the state, eating and drinking on the train is banned. Like the new phrase for me – booby trap~

    Reply

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