Many different types of trains run on Sydney's CityRail network. There are silver double deckers (most of the trains are double deck now but the "silver double decker" was the first of this type), Tangaras, red rattlers (I haven't seen one of these for some time - they're quite old), and Blue Geese, to name but a few.

The Blue Geese are designed for slightly longer journeys than your standard suburban trains. They have toilets, luggage areas, and olive-green vinyl seats with armrests. The nickname comes from a particular service that runs north (to Newcastle) on weekday afternoons - called "The Goose". Another service that runs south (to Woolongong) is called "The Fish". Both these services are provided on the slightly better than standard suburban trains, which have a blue pattern painted on the front... hence "Blue Goose".

But I digress...

If you commute on a Blue Goose, chances are you live far enough from the city that the proportion of travel time you can convert into sleep will significantly affect your sanity. Here are a few pointers...

  1. Get a downstairs window seat. An upstairs window seat will not allow you to drop into REM because the window sill is at the wrong height.
  2. Push your bum right back in the seat and as far sideways (towards the aisle) as you can. This will rotate your body so that you are facing the window at an oblique angle. Note: the frame of the armrest is metal, and will suck heat from your leg if you are not careful - sometimes I fold up my jacket and use it for insulation.
  3. Do something comfortable with your feet.
  4. Drop your window-side shoulder (very important) and roll forward until your head is on the window sill.
  5. Twist your head towards the front of the train, so that the flattest part (above or across your temple) bears the weight. If it is winter and you live in the Blue Mountains, it's possible you will be packing a beanie. You can use this as a cushion but you may actually find it less comfortable than the naked sill - experiment, and apply your preference.
  6. Close your eyes...
  7. Wake up before your stop. If you have trouble with this, set your phone to wake you up five minutes before the train is due to get there.

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