July 31, 2012

Calling at London Kings Cross Only – PhD–ing on the train … – by Salma

The 10:15 First Capital Connect Service to London Kings Cross. Calling at London Kings Cross Only


I'm writing this post on a train, on my way to London for a work related event. Thankfully it's rather quiet even though the Olympics are on, but maybe that's because I'm on the 10.15am train and I haven't reached London yet! :)

In the past year, I've done countless long journeys on the train. And overtime I've found I work really well on the train. I've done some of my best work on the train and the journey (or scenery?) seems to inspire me :)

Having said that, the journeys really do vary, dependent on the carrier. There have been some journeys where I've been frustrated because:

a. There's no power cable (example first capital connect - the train I'm sitting on today).

b. They've blocked use of 3G due to in house wi-fi 3. Power cables are only in the seats with a table

Now, as I book long journeys where there is an option to choose different routes, I tend to try and find a carrier that have power cables at each seat and allows use of 3G (which I use to connect to the internet). Considering that many people are working/playing on the phones on trains with their heads down, it is rather surprising that trains are not catering for it.

Coming back to the point regarding inspiration and places, I seem to work very well on trains, and I reckon it has something to do with the constant change of scenery and the pressure to finish my piece of work before my battery goes dead or on the lucky occasions when the train arrives at my destination. I do wonder though however, that if I did this very regularly, it would probably bore me out and the novelty would wear off. Train stations remind me of airports and the excitement that comes with airports.

  • Have you got experience of working on the train?
  • Are there any places that you work particularly well in?
  • Does the change of scenery/environment help you?
  • Where have you done the best of your work from?

Sent from my iPhone

- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Pravin

    I agree, trains are a fantastic place to work if the journey is quiet enough and one is motivated enough. I think the problem of the power cable is easily solved by using pen and a notebook.

    31 Jul 2012, 15:54

  2. Long journeys are always good for reading or writing papers,books etc.Scenery also effects me well in order to motivate myself.

    31 Jul 2012, 17:48

  3. I tend to find trains really distracting actually. And travelling stresses me out. So not inclined to do my best (or any) work on trains. I often wish I could! Airplanes are even worse though. I’m kinda jealous!

    03 Aug 2012, 11:53

  4. Salma Patel

    @Pravin: I didn’t even think of pen and paper! My handwriting has turned so awful (probably because I hardly ever hand write), that it just puts me off. Having said that I do like to doodle :-)

    @Ceren: I love the scenery too. I’d like to do a trip up to Scotland one day in the train.

    @Anna: I never thought of the stress that could accompany it. For me, airplanes and trains are signs of adventure :)

    03 Aug 2012, 12:27

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