Every 2.5 hour one-way train trip is time travel to the past.


This dawn, a couple quietly broadcast Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction, a song whose resonance for me is only rivaled by F.U.N.’s We Are Young.


Maybe this is why I don’t listen to music: too much meaning.



“You heard of the quiet carriage, mate?”


The burly man in the aisle across mine made the pair of friends giggle under their hoodies as they put an end to their Satisfaction.


He might have just finished a night shift, because he was wearing the Transport NSW uniform, and held a little suitcase in the grey-orange of the company brand.


Later, another conversation, was stopped in its tracks by a man in glasses.


“Excuse me, in the Quiet Carriage you’re not supposed to speak”
The two Asian speakers fell to a hush, then, silence.


When the sun was much harsher and our hike was done, I found myself in yet another Quiet Carriage.

This time, a man whose belly bulged in his Hawkesbury Blues and Roots Festival tank top, drummed his fingers and fists on the roof of the cabin.

It was clear who he was silencing, because he was standing right above them: a quartet of German girls sitting on the steps of the fully occupied cabin.


Since 2012, one-quarter of the cabins in the four-cabin and eight-cabin inter-city train services are designated Quiet Carriages.

And people take their quiet quite severely.