Hand luggage in the train toilet

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The train toilet can form a barrier for those wishing to travel by train as it is perceived as being dirty, and therefore its use as being unpleasant. In addition, Dutch train toilet users have the additional issue of storing their hand
luggage in the toilet’s confined space.
In this article, we examine the issue of Dutch travelers with hand luggage in relation to their use of train toilets. We investigate the type of hand luggage train travelers have with them and lastly, we study what travelers do with their hand luggage when using the toilet.
As part of an overarching study, we asked two specific questions on what travelers do with their hand luggage in a train toilet environment, followed by 22 observations from observational research.
In the questionnaire, train travelers reported that bringing hand luggage into the train toilet is a problem because of the lack of storage space, and their fear of losing their seat. From the observational research, we noted that the participants
mainly held their hand luggage on their bodies, and to a lesser extent, they placed it on the floor of the train toilet itself. None of the 22 participants used the hook to hang up their bag and/ or their coat.
Travelers need a facility in the train toilet to store their hand luggage. Women have a stronger need for this than men, as they almost always carry an item with them. In addition, they use the toilet in hovering position or seated, with their backs to the wall, so they have limited space to store hand luggage on their backs or shoulders as men do. Most participants kept their hand luggage at a distance from the bowl, and the majority kept it off the floor (14 of the 22) because they were aware of the hygiene. The positioning of the coat/luggage hook at 1840 mm above the floor was considered to be too high, out of people’s comfort area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-399
Number of pages13
JournalWork: a journal of prevention, assessment & rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Train toilet
  • hand luggage
  • coat
  • bags
  • torage and observational research


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