I am not sure if the sign in the toilet said that we shouldn't use it if the train was not moving or that we shouldn't do so if the train was at the station.

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  • 31
    I can read the first language but in English, German and French, it does not say you should not use the toilets when the train is not moving, it says you should not use them when you are in a station, simply because it empties onto the tracks.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 16, 2016 at 12:52
  • 4
    The first language is Polish and essentially says the same as in the other languauges: It is prohibited to use the toilet when the train is standing at a station (na stacji). Oct 16, 2016 at 13:08
  • 7
    @JoeBlow The fact that the sign is written first in Polish strongly suggests that it's a Polish train, which would be used either in Poland (obviously) or on international trains to/from Poland. The only exception would be if the carriage had been recently sold to some other railway company and they'd not replaced the signage yet. Oct 16, 2016 at 18:16
  • 10
    Fun fact: The German text should read Während and either dem Bahnhof or den Bahnhöfen. The Polish person writing that text should know that diacritics can change the meaning completely.
    – corvus_192
    Oct 16, 2016 at 19:28
  • 3
    There's even a song: Passengers will please refrain Oct 16, 2016 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


I don't know specifically for the country you are in, but in many countries, this is because the toilet empties directly onto the tracks, even in countries with relatively modern trains. Even in the UK, some trains still do this (I found out when searching the Railway UK forums)

Another reason is because toilets on trains require pumps, and in the station there may not be sufficient spare power to allow the toilet to flush correctly. This may be vacuum pressure or electric pump, depending on the type of train and toilet.

  • 1
    Please discuss this in the chat. Oct 17, 2016 at 10:08
  • 1
    First part is correct, the second one is not. Polish carriages with newer, "aircraft-style" toilets with closed system have plaques that explicitly state that they can be used at any time.
    – Agent_L
    Oct 17, 2016 at 12:30
  • In the UK, Norwich to London trains are so old they still dump onto the tracks
    – Alex Logan
    Oct 17, 2016 at 14:59
  • As has been noted, some British trains still dump onto the tracks at the moment the flush is pressed. When I was a teenager (and before) some of the toilets on sub-urban trains were little more than just a seat over a hole through which you could see the track whizzing past below (not a pleasant experience to use, I might add). I'm not sure what Victorian train toilets were like (apart from relatively rare), but they too would have dumped directly on the track. I guess it's part of the tradition around here ;-) Oct 18, 2016 at 9:10

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