The Anonymous Widower

Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets?

ITV have published this web article entitled The £1bn Crossrail where you can’t spend a penny.

It’s a catchy headline, but is the article just knocking copy to get views or rival politicians making a point.

At present, the Class 315 trains that run from Shenfield to Liverpool Street, do not have toilets. The journey takes up to forty three minutes. So does anybody get taken short on a train?

I discussed this with a customer support guy, that I met at Tottenham Court Road. We thought that some Underground journeys would be longer. I’ve just looked up Cockfosters to Heathrow, which is a journey that if I still lived in the area where I grew up, I’d probably do occasionally. It takes ninety minutes.

So if toilets were to be provided on Crossrail Class 345 trains as some journeys will take nearly an hour, they should probably be provided on long distance Underground services.

In my chat at Tottenham Court Road, I was reminded about the version of the iconic tube map that shows the location of toilets. It actually shows, whether toilets at stations are inside or outside the gate line.

Surely, a much better and more affordable solution would be to update the ribbon maps in all Underground and Crossrail trains to show if the station had toilets, in the same way, they show the step free access. Some extra signs on stations showing the status and location of toilets would also be a good idea.

Incidentally on the Essex and Reading legs of Crossrail, several of the stations already have decent toilets. Getting off a train and catching the next one, to have a relaxed toilet break, is probably not a huge delay, due to the high frequency of the trains.

London has a chance to set high standards in this area, without putting toilets on any trains.

Although saying that, Thameslink’s Class 700 trains will have toilets, but then Brighton to Peterborough might take two hours plus.

Perhaps, ITV should stick to reporting the news they do best, like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.


January 16, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,


  1. So as long as it suits YOU..its ok.
    What about the increasing numbers of diabetics (and dont even go there about it being a lifestyle choice)…Mothers of small children…or anyone else,..including Coeliacs, who might need a loo in a hurry….. Need to think about the wider implications…

    Comment by Frances | January 16, 2015 | Reply

  2. I sometimes need to go to the loo when I’m out, so I usually plan my journey accordingly.

    But think if you took a two-hour drive up the A1, how many toilets would you pass? Driving off into a service station would probably be as inconvenient as getting off a Crossrail train and finding the toilet and then getting back on the next train.

    But if the info was good, you could plan accordingly.

    Comment by AnonW | January 16, 2015 | Reply

  3. I think all trains should have toilets, even for short journeys, sometimes the train is held for ages at a signal failure or a breakdown.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | January 16, 2015 | Reply

    • It would cut the capacity of the railway substantially to do that! Few countries have toilets on local trains and I doubt anybody does on a metro or a tram.

      Comment by AnonW | January 16, 2015 | Reply

  4. […] some of the controversy about the lack of toilets on Crossrail, it is interesting to note that the six car Class 395 has only two toilets, whilst the two car […]

    Pingback by To Brighton The Long Way « The Anonymous Widower | January 24, 2015 | Reply

  5. […] There was a bit of a fuss, when this was announced as I wrote about  in Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets?. […]

    Pingback by Gibbs Report – Depot Issues « The Anonymous Widower | July 8, 2017 | Reply

  6. […] visited this topic in Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets? over two years ago, when I said […]

    Pingback by Toilets In Class 345 Trains « The Anonymous Widower | August 20, 2017 | Reply

  7. […] This toilet issue was raised with Crossrail and I wrote about it in 2015, in Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets?. […]

    Pingback by South Wales Metro: Lack Of Toilets Tram-Trains ‘Dehumanising’ « The Anonymous Widower | September 20, 2019 | Reply

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