This is something I had to share with you.
People often complain of air, car or sea sickness, but train sickness is a less widely reported phenomenon. It does affect a lot of people though, especially with modern tilting trains.
It became enough of a problem in the late 1970s to early 1980s for British Rail to issue double-arrow branded sick bags to passengers. A lady called Sally Smith approached me recently to enquire if we would like the one she had for our collection. A quick search of our collections database confirmed my suspicion that we didn’t already have one, or indeed anything in the collections relating to passenger sickness.
There is plenty of advice out there on combating train sickness, including drinking ginger tea, immersing yourself in your favourite album on your mp3 player, or sitting as close to the middle of the train as possible. If that fails, try focussing your gaze on distant objects such as clouds or hills!
The problem of train sickness is an altogether new one. The Atchison,Topeka and Santa Fe Railway experimented with suspension cars in the early 1930s, but the passive technology they employed resulted in a sea sickness rolling sensation that doomed the experiment.
Today’s tilting trains benefit from processing which senses the line ahead and sets the optimal tilt for individual carriages – although this doesn’t appear to be failsafe judging by the numbers of rail passengers who continue to complain on rail forums about nausea on tilting trains.