World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Passenger train toilet

Article Id: WHEBN0001163923
Reproduction Date:

Title: Passenger train toilet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Toilets, Passenger rail transport, Toilet seat cover, Blair toilet, Freezing toilet
Collection: Passenger Rail Transport, Toilets
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Passenger train toilet

Many passenger trains (usually medium and long-distance) have toilet facilities, often at the ends of carriages. Toilets suitable for wheelchair users are larger, and hence trains with such facilities may not have toilets in each carriage.


  • Hopper toilet 1
  • Chemical retention tank 2
  • Composting toilet 3
  • Cultural references 4
  • Gallery 5
  • References 6

Hopper toilet

The traditional method of disposing human waste from trains is to deposit the waste onto the tracks using what is known as a hopper toilet. This ranges from a hole in the floor to a full-flush system (possibly with sterilization). The hole in the floor (also known as a drop chute toilet) system is still in use in many parts of the world, particularly on older rolling stock. The principal disadvantage is that it can be considered crude or unhygienic and dangerous to health and the environment – it litters the railway lines and can convey serious health risks when the train passes over or under a navigable waterway. Passengers may be discouraged from flushing or using toilets while the train is at a station or standing at a red signal. To enforce this limitation, toilets may be automatically locked when the train pulls into a station or stops at a red signal.

Properly-designed drop chute toilets will draw air like a chimney, pulling air through the lavatory door vents and down and out through the toilet, reducing odor.[1]

Chemical retention tank

Chemical retention tanks are usually included on newer carriages and railcars in wealthier and more densely populated parts of the world. One issue is that the tanks need to be regularly emptied, often at a terminal station or prolonged stop-over. If a train is required in service again within too short a period, the tanks may not get emptied. In this case, toilets may back up, which can result in toilets being closed. Carriages may have less "in service" time if fitted with chemical retention tanks.

Composting toilet

Some trains may have composting toilet tanks, which use bacterial action to break down solid and liquid waste before releasing it to the trackbed by way of a chlorine sanitizing tank.

Cultural references

In the United States, Dvořák's tune "Humoresque Number 7" became the setting for a series of mildly scatological humorous verses,[2] regarding passenger train toilets, beginning:



  1. ^ Toilets of the World: Train Toilets
  2. ^ Horntip, Retrieved 2012-08-31.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.