PhD Life Research Methods

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

This post was originally published at the PhD Life blog on the 31st of July 2012, see here for the comments on this post.

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