Dutch rail plan to introduce "pee-bags" on short-hop trains
Dutch National Railways said Friday it has introduced so-called "pee-bags" as an emergency alternative to non-existing toilets on its short-hop trains.
"From today plastic bags will be made available on trains to be handed out to passengers in case of extreme emergencies," NS spokesman Eric Trinthamer told AFP, saying "it included when trains were stranded."
Should passengers be caught short, the train's driver or conductor will hand out the bags and passengers will be able to use the unoccupied driver's cabin at the back of the train.
The bag is attached to a spout and filled with a powdered substance that turns into a gel, and passengers would leave it behind or simply throw it away when they step off.
But incredulous rail passengers interviewed by Dutch national television were dismayed by the idea, especially women.
"Are you serious? No, no ways, I just can't see myself doing 'it' in that," one unnamed female passenger told its NOS morning journal programme.
"For a man it may be easier, for a woman that's just impossible," she said.
Dutch train drivers also reacted with fury, saying they were revolted by the idea of their work space being turned into a lavatory.
"When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke. Wim Eilert of the country's driver's union (VVMC) told the ANP news agency.
"To let people pee where somebody else needs to work, that will not do. It's distasteful," he said.
NS spokesman Tranthamer said a motion was accepted before the Dutch parliament's lower house earlier this year that from 2015 no trains will be bought if they were not equipped with toilets.
© 2011 AFP