Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dutch Railway Introducing "Pee Bags" on Trains

Inquirer News: Dutch National Railways said Friday it planned to introduce so-called “pee-bags” as an emergency alternative to non-existing toilets on its short-hop trains.

“Yes, we are planning to introduce the bags on our short-hop Sprinter trains,” NS spokeswoman Nienke Kooistra told AFP, but stressed “it’s to be used in extreme emergencies only, for instance when a train is stranded.”

Should passengers urgently need the bathroom, they will be able to take an on-board bag and use the unoccupied drivers’ cabin at the back of the train, she said. The bag is attached to a spout and filled with a powdered substance that turns into a gel, and passengers would then leave it behind or simply throw it away when they step off.

But incredulous rail passengers interviewed by Dutch national television were dismayed by the idea, especially women.

“Are you serious? No, no ways, I just can’t see myself doing ‘it’ in that,” one unnamed female passenger told its NOS morning journal program.

“For a man it may be easier, for a woman that’s just impossible,” she said.

Dutch train drivers also reacted with fury, saying they were revolted by the idea of their work space being turned into a lavatory.

“When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke. Wim Eilert of the country’s driver’s union (VVMC) told the ANP news agency.

“To let people pee where somebody else needs to work, that will not do. It’s distasteful,” he said.

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