Commuters embrace the calm before the work-day storm

THE 6.36am service from Newcastle to Central was silent yesterday when the Herald hopped on at Hornsby to check on RailCorp's trial of ''quiet carriages''.

''Nobody has said a word since Woy Woy,'' Belinda O'Dea said.

Ms O'Dea, who noted the irony that the carriage would still be quiet were it not for the journalists, had been excited by the idea of yesterday's quiet trial.

Under the system, passengers are requested not to talk in the front and back cars of trains.

''I was looking forward to it; I sat here for that reason,'' Ms O'Dea, a regular Woy Woy to Strathfield commuter, said.

But many others had no idea they were sitting in one of the state's first quiet carriages.

There are no stickers inside to hush commuters.

RailCorp says it needs the flexibility of moving carriages around, which means a carriage at the back of a train one day might not be at the back of a train the subsequent day.

Instead, there are the occasional announcements of quiet carriages, and flyers are handed to passengers.

Cristiana Samfirescu was not aware she was on a quiet carriage, but she was happy when the Herald broke the silence to tell her.

''I think this is a great initiative,'' Ms Samfirescu said, hoping it would lead to a stress-free journey to work.

She said earlier services tended to be quieter anyway. Things got noisier later, when the train was not so full of commuters.

This article Commuters embrace the calm before the work-day storm was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.