All hail the train tinny, a vital part of British culture

They are the way to keep the excitement going all the way up to Manchester to see your uni pals.

They are the elegant alternative to pre-drinks as you head on a night out, the grownup version of an old water bottle filled with vodka and squash.

They are the refreshing welcome into a weekend of picnics, pubs, and strolling around a market looking at collapsible bowls that look like apples.

But there’s one event that has an extra magic to it: when the sun is out after days of rain and grey, it’s the beginning of a bank holiday weekend, and you feel light and free.

A commute feels so much better when it’s taking you into the weekend – it’s filled with potential and joy. And then you pass a shop with a fridge, and feel that undeniable pep of thinking ‘you know what, I’m going to treat myself.’

You look at the rows of beers and ponder your options. Then you see it: a pre-mixed drink in a can, the embodiment of the carefree slide of your train into the weekend.

What will you choose? A G&T, a rum and cola, a pornstar martini? You have so many options, all gloriously boozy but with the class of a decorated tin packaging.

Some have questioned Diane’s choice of a mojito, questioning how she could ignore the lure of a gin and tonic. To these people I say no, you are wrong, for while a G&T is a perfectly fine choice of public transport beverage, when it’s sunny outside and it’s Easter weekend, a proper sugary cocktail is the only proper option.

All charts decreeing the correct can of drink for each train line are worth discussion, absolutely. But let us not allow that to distract us from this one unifying fact: all train tinnies are good, and we must not shame those who partake.

A train tinny is a moment of community and connection. It’s an equaliser of humanity.

Have we not all rather fancied a cold can of alcohol when travelling to a destination? Have we not all exchanged glances with someone who has clearly had an exhausting week, raised our blackberry gin bramble, and done a spiritual nod to acknowledge that yes, we have been there?

Yes, sometimes the train tinny can be divisive. Some will down lagers and start chanting loudly on a Virgin train when you’re trying to watch a film, and you will seethe in silence, ready to throw out the holy train tinny tradition entirely.

But stay strong and power through, for this annoyance is just one tiny blip on the otherwise beautiful concept of train tinnies. You will survive this noisy carriage and some day, you will reach for a Pimms and Lemonade and find comfort, calm, and culture in its taste.

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