Etiquette and crankiness


Although there have been many convictions for rowdy conduct in the trains to Frankston at weekends, offences of this kind constantly occur. At the Malvern Court on Monday, before Mr. Cohen, P.M. and Messrs. Patterson, Hattam, and Carroll, J.P.’s, the Railway Department proceeded against Bernand Molloy, 214 George street, Fitzroy, and George Spence, 399 Drummond street, Carlton, on a charge of having interfered with the comfort of other passsengers in the half past 7 down train to Frankston on December 30. Inspector P. Roy represented the department, but the defendants did not appear.

The evidence of Detective O’sullivan, who was in company with Detective Wilson on the occasion, showed that three men, including the two defendants, entered a first class compartment at Flinders street. They had bottles of beer with them. Molloy, sat with his legs dangling out of the Tait carriage, and was guilty of indecent conduct. The three were jostling and pulling one another about, and used filthy language. There were several passengers, including ladies, in the carriage. One of the men jumped from the train into the pit at Malvern and escaped; the others were taken out at Caulfield, and gave wrong names and addresses.

Mr. Cohen said that this sort of thing was becoming very frequent, and he was glad that the department was taking action. He travelled on that line, and there never seemed to be any officers about. Defendants would be fined £10 each, with 5/ costs.

The Argus, Tuesday 6 February 1917.

That was ninety years ago. So a lack of consideration for fellow passengers from some has always been a problem.

Witness the two young males with their feet on the seats all the way from Bentleigh to Parliament on Monday morning. One apparently fast asleep and possibly oblivious to the fact that the carriage filled to the brim, the other trying to look like he was asleep, but not actually in the land of nod.

I’m hoping they got a little surprise at Parliament, as a group of inspectors got on further down the carriage, and were encouraged by a passenger (grin) to go give these blokes a wake-up call.

On Tuesday the Frankston line was suffering from signalling faults. Track 3 was out of action, so trains from the city went onto track 2, with trains to the city (both express and stoppers) squeezing onto track 1. The result was predictable overcrowding, and though my trip was made in good time, it was uncomfortable, and at some of the MATHS stations, people couldn’t squeeze on.

I could hear a couple of people getting cranky when (a) asking people to move down into the carriage (that was the first thing I’d done when I boarded) and (b) trying to get out and having another person closer to the door refuse to momentarily step out to let them through.

You’d always hope people would be more considerate of others. Sadly it’s not always the case.

See also 19/1/2004: PT etiquette guide