Who turned on the lights?

Recently refurbished National Express trains have been fitted with reading lamps “upfront”, and each one has a switch – but they are never used.

The joys of modern technology allow me to write and post this blog from a seat on the 12:05 Leeds to London train service.

Each seat has a halogen reading light under the bag rack, and all 60 reading lights are on, depite their being only 7 passengers. Each light has a switch – but are they ever used ? – would it not have been a better idea to have a swicth with a timer, so passenger switches light on and it automatically switches off after an hour or three ?

60 lights = 1200 watts – must add up to around £600 per coach per year in wasted energy alone !

(below – probably the only photograph taken with the reading lights off)




  1. Same as on the cross-country ‘Voyagers’.
    Perhaps the idea is rather that you can turn them off after dark if you wish to have a snooze.

  2. I know what you mean, I have noticed these reading lights on the way to work many a time. It’s quite ironic that they use these halogen lamps for such a seldom used fitting. Considering they probably use up more energy than the Fluorescent tubes used to light the main area of the carriage!

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