Self Loading Freight

Sure, all the people travelling on the train each day are people, with problems, jobs, dreams, friends, enemies and occasionally umbrellas. However! On occasion I like to forget about the complexity of the whole collection of people and think merely about how much they weigh. Collectively.

In fact, let me lay it all out for you so that you too can ponder the sheer heaviness of the pile of bodies surrounding you on your morning commute. We’ll need a couple of ingredients:

  • The average weight of an Australian: 76kg as of 2005
  • How many people can fit on a train: 904 seated on a millenium train.

So let’s combine these facts with maths! I was on a particularly packed millenium train the other morning. I reckon there were about half again as many people crammed in standing as were seated. So let’s say on a fully packed train, we can fit about 1350 people.

76kg x 1350 = 102600kg

Yep, a well packed commuter train in Sydney has about 102 tonnes of people in it. 102 tonnes of problems, dreams, aspirations, fears … well basically 102 tonnes of meat and bone, really. About the same weight as two unloaded train carriages.