It’s probably the greatest legacy that the Victorians ever gave us. The railways.

A vast network of possibilities stretching to every corner of this Great Britain. Its longevity is a testament to the Victorian work ethic and attention to detail, its destinations testament to their ambition. I wonder what Queen Victoria or Prince Albert would make of today’s train experience.

Now before you think this is a rant about train companies, let me say this. The last train I travelled on was on time, clean, mechanically sound and the cost was not unreasonable considering the distance and the current cost of petrol. No this is not about the train companies, nor network rail, or even Dr Beeching. No this rant, I mean well thought out opinion piece, on the thing that blights train travel. Namely the people travelling.

I recently travelled to Manchester from Oxford, and the aggravation caused by other passengers started even before boarding! I was second in line for the ticket booth when the passenger in front of me decided now would be a good time to buy what I can only imagine is a ticket for each leg of his four week sojourn across Europe’s rail network. It seemed to take forever. When the train arrived I made my way to Coach F at the rear – the “quiet coach”. If this is the quite coach, I dread to think how loud the rest of the carriages are. We pulled out of Oxford and a man pulled out his phone and began conducting a lengthily loud conversation; one which I wasn’t sure was business or personal. My blood began to boil. Should I say something or remain in my state of silent rage?

I’m very much someone who enjoys being very angry but not saying or doing anything about it. I think the Victorians would approve. Just as I was about to do absolutely nothing, the train attendant appeared, a waiflike girl with a kindly face. She took no time at all to politely request the termination of the call. It worked. She was my hero.

Unfortunately there was nothing she could do about “take-away” guy. He joined at Banbury carrying an industrial-sized burger and chips and invaded my nostrils with a smell so pungent it left me gasping for air, and to add insult to injury I’m on diet. Not even the savage dirty looks I shot made a difference. Having devoured his meal like a man who hadn’t eaten in a month he proceeded to take out his journey’s reading and audibly mumble the words like a five year old. I was in despair. All that was required was a small baby crying, and lo and behold, at Leamington Spa my dream came true!

I drew the only logical conclusion from my trip. When I need to travel by train, everyone else should have to go by car. Joel can be heard every Saturday, from 6am to 9am, on BBC Radio Oxford