Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tube seating hierarchy reports: [edited]

In the reference diagram below, the preferred pecking order of one end of a Hammersmith & City line carriage is dissected:

Position 1 is supreme, because you have only one neighbour, and (usually) a wider seat, with windows behind and beside you, plus a door which might give some hope of a breeze.

Position 2 has only one neighbour, and the breeze factor, though usually someone’s arse squished up against the glass partition beside you.

Position 3 is like position 2, in that the occupants have a maximum of one neighbour, but being in the middle of the carriage offers less hope of fresh air and more crowds.

Position 4, meanwhile is the worst of the seated positions, having two immediate neighbours and thus no elbow room.

Of the standing positions, position 5 is the prime spot, in front of the emergency exit door, which provides both fresh air and leaning support, along with putting the occupant in a good tactical spot to steal an available (1) or (2) seat, should one become available.

Weirdly, the next best standing areas are actually position 6 spots, because they provide somewhere to lean and the possibility (on all but the busiest rush-hour services) to make a dash for a high number of seats - more than positions 7 and 8, at least.

Meanwhile, position 9 is utterly tactical - by hanging onto the centre pole, the user suffers some mild discomfort, but usually has more space to read and (crucially) is in the best maneuvering position when one of the (3) or (4) seats becomes available. People occupying position 9 really tick off people who’ve been loitering in positions (6) or (7), because a seat can be stolen out from under their very noses.

Finally, the blocking move, position 10 can work out well, because it effectively covers the exit seats in position (3), which means getting a seat is a good possibility.

The worst possible place to stand is position 11, being neither close enough to any seat to have a hope in hell of ever sitting down and yet also far removed from anything to lean on or hold onto. Poor, poor 11s. Life’s never fair.



Major Look said...

Excellent study of life on the Tube.

However, there should really be a climatic/seasonal/Time of day adjustment chart:
At night, position 1 can be dangerous - no means of escape when drunk/abusive people get on.
In winter position 1 and especially 5 get very cold if the connecting window is open.
When deep underground, position 5 is 'REALLY NOISY' and you also get covered in all the crap coming out of the tunnels.
Positions 1,2,3 and 4 all suffer from problems when horrid little oiks have had their feet on the seats before you sit on them ;-)

Nice study though.

Major Look said...

Hey - That's a CIRCLE line train - not H&C!!

Get your pics sorted out


brett jordan said...

Well spotted Mr Look. Now I've just got to figure out what a Circle Line train was doing on the Hammersmith & City line! Heads are going to roll!

Major Look said...

Nope - sorry, I reckon that station is Westminster, which is serviced only by District, Circle and Jubilee lines.


brett jordan said...

So, they got the train AND the station wrong! You wait until I get my hands on those pranksters!