Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Toilets and Trains, or, When You Gotta Go (Take a Picture, That Is)

Toilet in a train in Mongolia.

I admit it; I never thought much about toilets and trains until I posted an article about how UP 3368 replicated, in full scale, a locomotive cab in his bathroom.

While Googling to see if I could find out more about this unique "comfort cab," I was amazed to discover websites dedicated to the topic of toilets and trains.

For example, there's a Flickr photo group called Passenger Train Toilets where people can share photos of toilets on trains from around the world (see examples on this page).

Russian train toilet: Don't want to sit there!

There's another one called Train Toilets on the Toilet Guru website. It includes photos of toilets from Europe and the U.S.

England's national railway museum has a webpage and exhibit about the history of toilets on trains, called Lifting the Lid on Train Toilets. It includes a section about how Queen Victoria had a special toilet with which to dispose of the "royal waste."

Japanese Bullet Train toilet.

I also came across a story about how the Swiss Federal Railways are planning to upgrade the toilets on their trains. The bathrooms will be refurbished with the installation of wall coverings with images of mountains, woodland, clouds in a blue sky or blue tiles. Sounds comfortable!

The Swiss Federal Railway also reports that its 3,549 toilets are flushed 135,000 times day, with defects typically occurring after around 7,000 flushes. 

Interestingly, the Swiss Railway still has 1,435 toilets that dispose of waste directly on the track. They are planning to replace them.

So, there you go (not literally, of course). Everything you wanted to know about toilets and trains.

And finally, the toilet in a roomette on
VIA. Spartan, but clean and functional.

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