Chiltern trains gives passengers the full 18th Century experience between London and Birmingham
THE toilets on Chiltern Railways have become “inspirational“. The new floor to ceiling vinyl images in the toilets on the Birmingham to London service will raise the mind. One lav has been made to look like Compton Verney, an eighteenth century country mansion turned art gallery in Warwickshire. No. The mansion is not muggy and dull of depressed people in suits sipping scalding hot coffee and playing Angry Birds. It’s pretty clean and smart.Says Thomas Ableman, Chiltern Railways director:
“We’re always looking at ways to create a memorable experience for our passengers. Toilets are traditionally a place to avoid so we have transformed them into an inspirational space with a view. Our only concern is that they’ll be so popular we’ll have people queuing up for the best seat on the train.”
Anorak is young enough to remember when train toilets were the go-to place for anyone seeking to evade paying the fare.
However, now things are all change on the Chiltern Line. Sit back on your steel and plastic throne and enjoy the fuggy ambience, a microwaved baguette and the announcer’s diction as he reminds you that you’ll be on your way “as soon as…” Outside this mobile country idyll, Sharon is calling Clive in accounts to loudly share an anecdote about Steve in finance, mum is telling her kids to “SIT DOWN!” and the guard is prodding a man awake to show the ticket bought for an exorbitant sum.
You can keep those 21st Century horrors. In these sublime bogs, life is a Georgian mansion, blessed with the marvels of running water, an inside loo and a journey undertaken at the pace of a carriage pulled by as many as four horses…