Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

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Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby David Benton » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:38 am

Another thread,(favorite train in passenger rail) reminded of this .
Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?
I believe I was once.And I rode free.
In my town of birth, the railway station is probably 5 kilometres out of town. It had a daily Railcar in each direction , early in the morning southbound, early evening northbound.
I used to go for a daily run each morning before school( I was good at rugby,so it was a training run), and I used to time it so I would arrive at the station at train time. Waiting for the train was my breather, before I ran back into town again.The morning service had a few passengers, it went all the way to the capital city, Wellington.
We moved to Palmerston North, the other end of the run, a few years later. By this time the railcars had clapped out , and been replaced by a loco hauled train. During the school holidays, I Returned to Pahiatua, to help my grandmother out. I decided to return to Palmerston north by train. As my Nana didnt drive, I walked out to the station. The station master obviously thought I had come to watch the train , I heard him tell the Guard, I just came out to watch the train. I climbed aboard, walked through one carriage , which was empty, and onto the next. This was also empty!. I took a seat , the Guard came through whistling to himself , the whistling stopped when he saw me, he shrugged his shoulders and kept on walking. clearly my small fare was not going to save the moribund trains finances, so why bother?
A few years passed, the train was finally axed, and i never became a famous All Black . To my fathers disappointment, I gave up rugby to start my worldwide travels.
The only remaing Fiat railcar of this class is been restored at the Pahiatua Railway Station now.
http://www.railcars.co.nz/
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:00 am

A couple of decades ago I was at Moorgate in London late at night. There was a train in the platform which was not in service. As the driver walked up to his cab and saw me standing there he asked where I was going and I told him. He said his train was about to leave but was not in service until a couple of stations further down the line (I don't remember the actual details at this stage), but he opened the passenger doors so I could get in and ride on the out-of-service train and then continue on the same train once it became an in-service train. I was the only passenger for that first leg.

Off topic but I had a similar experience once on a London bus. I caught the last bus late at night on the 169 service from Ilford. As I got on I asked the driver if it was going to the end of the route, but he told me that the last bus terminates a mile short of the end and turns round and goes straight back to the garage. I had resigned myself to having to walk that last mile. By the time we got to where he should have terminated, I was the only passenger left so he called back and asked me whether I wanted to go to the end. When I said yes, he replied that since I was the only passenger and he was running a little early he would take me there, which he did.

I don't think these sort of things happen so much nowadays.
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby David Benton » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:41 pm

Thanks John.I always found London bus drivers, and tube staff, to be very helpful.

By the way , as moderator of this forum, I consider anything travel related to be on topic.So feel free to post travel experiences even if they are not directly related to travel. Its not like this forum is overrun with traffic...
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby lirr42 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:20 pm

I live in Montauk on the very eastern tip of Long Island and I commute daily into Long Island City. There have been a number of occasions where I have been the only person on the train for the last stop or two going eastbound (anywhere from 20-30 mins). For the most part my wife is with me so those occasions are limited, but they have happened when she has either stayed home or took the early train home instead.

I've had a number of good conversations with the conductor/collectors on that final stretch in the couple years I've been working in the city.
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby David Benton » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:42 pm

Thanks lirr42.
I would tend your wife and yourself been the only passengers, as been the only passengers on the train. But conductors etc are probably more likely to strike up a conversation with a single person.
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:35 pm

I was the only First Class passenger Salzburg to Leoben August 17.

I recall riding during 1986 Dublin Connelly-Galway and being the only passenger as well.
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby David Benton » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:29 am

Looks like the Symphony has won over the Aussie BBQ for you , Mr Norman,

A bit of a tangent to this thread, but I remember been on a late night train in London. Passing through Clapham Junction, a station staff member noticed a youngish child, ( I can't remember if it was a girl or boy), sitting in a carriage by themselves. He held the train, and motioned to the child to move to our carriage, where there were 10 -20 adults sitting. Wether this was BR policy at the time, or his own initiative, I don't know, but I remember thinking it was a very sensible precaution at the time. .
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:29 am

David Benton wrote:Looks like the Symphony has won over the Aussie BBQ for you , Mr Norman,


It did, Mr. Benton; the "barbey" just would have been "too much" for a 76 yo for whom 10 days away is "getting too long". By contrast, my Sister went down there and stayed 30 days during March. If that is not enough, she is going AGAIN this October - and staying for 45 days (was there for one Grandchild's birthday - gotta be there for the other lest one feel "slighted").

But she stays with my Niece and spouse in Pymble NSW; by contrast, "houseguesting" is something "long ago" with me.
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Re: Who has ever been the only passenger on a train?

Postby ALR997 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:39 pm

My most impressive experience to this topic: As far as I was able to see, I once was the only passenger on an ICE-service in late hours between Düsseldorf and Essen. I only missed the first first class car, but I guess, there were no passengers too. To be honest: due to the fact, that I talk about a double-train (two trainsets connected), I cannot say if there were any people in the other eight coaches.

On regional trains this is a lot more usual, at least in Germany: a few years ago the railway services were quite rare (if you were lucky one time per two or three hours, and only monday to friday) on my route, and it was not unusual to be the only person on a train. Nowadays this service runs daily and hourly, from December two times an hour. It would be more unusual to see an complete empty train, although the number of passengers is not as big as you may think. I guess, the authority has just got some money to waste from the state ;-)

Regards from nightly Germany
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