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5 strange train station rules

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It’s important to follow the rules when you’re travelling by train, but there are some rail regulations out there sure to make you think ‘seriously?’.

Read on to discover some of the weirdest things you should remember when travelling by train. And if you’ve come across any strange railway rules on your travels, be sure to share them with us on Twitter.

Most train station rules are self-evident, and if you’ve got a train to London to catch or a long trip to the countryside to start, you’ll be grateful for anything that speeds up your journey.

However, some rules are a little stranger than others…

1. No Kissing

The ban on kissing in train stations that’s in place in some parts of the UK and France isn’t a protest against public displays of affection, instead it’s more of a practical measure. Amorous couples have been blamed for holding up and inconveniencing other rail users, by taking up valuable platform space and getting in the way.

Rather than shun snogging altogether, some stations, like Warrington Bank Quay Station, have set up designated kissing zones. These are meant to allow couples to say their goodbyes with their lips, without impacting on other travellers.

However, if you’re holidaying in Wisconsin, America, you’d better remember to keep your lips to yourself during your journey, as it’s illegal to kiss on a train altogether.

2. No salting the train track

As a general rule, you should always be advised to stay away from the train tracks and avoid dropping or spilling anything on them accidentally – safety first, after all – but there are some laws that really make you wonder what people have been up to…

In Alabama, America, there’s a law that declares that anyone who puts salt on a train track may be punishable by death. While this law could have been based on serious safety concerns, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is also the state with a law decreeing that it’s illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.

3. Toilets at Beijing stations must have fewer than two flies

This is a law aimed at the train station itself rather than the passengers, but it’s worth a mention as it’s a strangely specific rule. Public toilets at all train stations in Beijing must never have more than two flies in them at any one time.

The law is part of a general push to clean up China’s public toilets, although it’s a rather unconventional way to judge cleanliness.

4. Be prepared for a ‘pusher’ in Japan

In Japan, some train stations are so crowded that ‘pushers’ have to be employed to help push people onto trains. This allows the maximum amount of people on any one trip and seeing as Japan’s railways carry 22.63 billion passengers each year, they are sometimes sorely needed.

To avoid running into a pusher and finding yourself taking part in this unusual rule, try not to travel during peak times in Japan. And if you want to avoid pricey peak time fares and over-crowded carriages when you’re travelling by train in the UK, don’t forget to use our journey planner to check out your options.

5. Horses may not board a passenger train

This is a law that makes perfect sense and should need no explaining – horses are not allowed on normal passenger trains. The strangeness in this scenario comes not from the rule itself, but in one man’s denial of it.

Last year, a gentleman in Wrexham entered the local train station with his pony and attempted to buy a ticket for himself and the animal. When questioned, the gentleman insisted that he knew the law and that his horse should be permitted to board. Unsurprisingly, the man and his horse had to leave the station on foot, after being turned away from the train by the conductor.

What’s the strangest train-related rule you’ve ever come across? Are there any railway rules that don’t exist that you think should be introduced? Tweet or Facebook us and let us know ….

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