"Philip Larkin is the precise observer of daily life and class distinctions, the recorder of the ordinary reaching beyond observation.".
Although I agree that Philip Larkin was on "observer of daily life and class distinctions", I am not sure about how precise his observations actually were. Philip Larkin was highly aware of the world surrounding him. He seemed to be an introvert, and looked at the world like an outsider looking in. I think that helped him judge the situations more correctly as he was not directly involved himself. However, his was also plagued with pessimism, to him it seems, the glass was always half empty. This means that Larkin took away all the joy in his observations and replaced it with negativity, this leaves us unsure as to how precise his observations actually were.
In the first verse, Larkin begins his train journey. He seems to be annoyed at the start of the poem and the images he conveys of the state of the train lead us to believe that Larkin was not happy, "All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense of being in a hurry gone". His observations of the train are not particularly detailed, it is the outside world that interests him, the annoyance of Larkin at the beginning of the poem could have impaired his judgement throughout the rest of the journey meaning that perhaps his observations were not entirely "precise". Larkin also states in this verse, "Did my three-quarters-empty train pull away". Larkin could have said quarter full train, which is also easier to say, this reinforces the fact that he is extremely pessimistic by nature and also the fact that he seems to be having a bad day.
In this verse Larkin describes the journey through the country, he observes nature as well as people, " the River's level drifting". Larkin keeps his eyes open throughout the journey and just writes what he see's, this shows how observational he was.
Larkin refers to the train and himself as one, "we", it is almost as if the train is like a womb to him and from it he observes life, this anchors the fact that Larkin is an outsider looking in, from the seat of his train he looks in at the world and observes.