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Passenger Trains > Amtrak Door Windows Questions


Date: 10/27/11 14:36
Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: Amtrakdavis22

So I will be riding an Amtrak train soon and I was wondering if I would be allowed to open the small windows located in the doors on Superliner cars. It would be really nice if I could shoot video/pictures of the train without any glass in my way. Also I could include the train more if I could lean out a little. Can I open the window by myself or should I ask a crew member? Is it against any Amtrak policies to have a window open while the train is moving?

Thanks for any help,
JT

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography



Date: 10/27/11 14:46
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: djansson

Please, do not even think about doing that on your own. If there is a uniformed train crew member with you they may ("MAY") have the door open a bit departing or arriving at a station and might ("MIGHT") let you look out and take some pics, but other than that, NO.

It never hurts to ask but please be polite regardless of what they say. They have a job to do and this isn't part of it.



Date: 10/27/11 14:46
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: GenePoon

You are not supposed to open those windows without crew member permission, and many crew members
will not allow it because it's against policy for them to do so.

This doesn't say that a lot of people don't do it on the sly.



Date: 10/27/11 15:07
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: Ptolemy

Those wonderful days when crew would even encourage you to stand at an open dutch door are long gone.



Date: 10/27/11 15:12
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: GenePoon

The day when I shared a Dutch door with the president of Amtrak are even longer gone!



Date: 10/27/11 17:15
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

What's the worse that could happen?
Decapitation.



Date: 10/27/11 17:49
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: seaboardc30-7

If you want to take photos or video footage from an open window in the vestibule just ask an attendant or conductor and they may let you. Tell them what you would like to do, and if they aren't too busy they may accompany you while you are in the vestibule. I've done this many times over the years on various Amtrak trains and have gotten some good shots. Here are two I took from an open window from the west bound Cardinal two years ago right after we departed Crawfordsville, IN. I wanted to get some shots of the semaphores on CSX's former Monon main before they were replaced.






Date: 10/27/11 18:00
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: calzephyr48

You want to hang out the open window? Hire a private car! No problem then! Seriously, though...we had an unfortunate incident about 15 years ago where a little girl recognized the house of friends, turned to her mother to tell her to look, stuck her hand out the dutch door and promptly smacked a passing tree branch at about 60 mph. It lacerated her hand, hurt like hell, and scared the holy c**p out of her. Fortunately it was her hand, not her head.



Date: 10/27/11 19:05
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: MEKoch

In 1976? as #7 was entering the former GN Minneapolis Station, which had concrete columns close by train side, a waiter leaned his head out and wham! Sadly he was killed.



Date: 10/27/11 22:35
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: zephyr18

If you do it without permission, make it fast, get you shot, and close up. If you are there long enough to notice (remember, the engineer has rear view mirrors, in addition to the attendant or conductor coming down), you will be lucky to get off with a stern warning. Getting put off the train at the next stop has been known to happen.



Date: 10/28/11 12:16
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: djansson

If caught you might have the delightful opportunity to figure out just where the hell the Conductor dropped you off the train. They have the authority to tell the head end to stop at the next road crossing and you might wind up in the middle of !@#$@! nowhere.

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, OPEN AN AMTRAK CAR DOOR ON YOUR OWN.

ONLY AMTRAK EMPLOYEES ARE AUTHORIZED TO DO THAT AND INTERFERING WITH THEM, OR THEIR JOB, IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE.

Charter a PV.



Date: 10/28/11 14:00
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: GenePoon

djansson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, OPEN AN AMTRAK
> CAR DOOR ON YOUR OWN.
>
> ONLY AMTRAK EMPLOYEES ARE AUTHORIZED TO DO THAT
> AND INTERFERING WITH THEM, OR THEIR JOB, IS A
> FEDERAL OFFENSE.

===============================================================

An order issued by Southern Pacific in the early days of Amtrak forbade any unauthorized persons from opening doors or windows
on passenger trains traveling on SP tracks. The order specifically included "employees of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation"
who were NOT in the process of performing required duties which necessitated opening the doors/windows. Train and Engine service
employees were SP employees, not Amtrak, so it was clear that Amtrak On Board Service employees were not to open them while the train
was in motion.



Date: 10/28/11 16:25
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: djansson

This ought to cover it:

NEVER OPEN A PASSENGER CAR ENTRANCE OR EXIT DOOR (OR ANY PORTION THEREOF) UNLESS YOU ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE RAILROAD TO DO SO, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE TRAIN IS MOVING OR NOT.


ok?



Date: 10/28/11 16:40
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: seaboardc30-7

Get the authorization from an on-board employee, put on a pair of safety goggles, open the window and take your photos, but always keep a watchout for obstructions near the tracks.

This should work. Always has for me.



Date: 10/28/11 16:48
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: chakk

In today's litigatious world, I am very, very surprised that an Amtrak employee would authorize a passenger to open a window on a moving train. If the passenger put their head out that window, and was hit by a passing object, they could sue Amtrak. And, if I were on the jury, I would convict Amtrak for contributing to a dangerous situation, regardless of whether the passenger was being a total idiot.

Of course, if the Amtrak crew keeps a pad of printed liability waivers in their grip and gets the passenger to sign one BEFORE allowing said passenger to open said door and get said head clobbered, I might vote otherwise.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/11 23:06 by chakk.



Date: 10/28/11 17:43
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: abocanyon

When sticking your head out of window of a moving train, ALWAYS FACE IN THE DIRECTION THE TRAIN IS MOVING!!!



Date: 10/28/11 19:50
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: knotch8

"If caught you might have the delightful opportunity to figure out just where the hell the Conductor dropped you off the train. They have the authority to tell the head end to stop at the next road crossing and you might wind up in the middle of !@#$@! nowhere."

No, Amtrak crews do not have the authority to drop anyone off at the next road crossing. In years past, Amtrak (and private-railroad) crews might have done that, but no one is thrown off a train these days except to the custody of a ticket agent or the local police. Speaking of our litigious society, there's been too much bad press about Amtrak crews dropping disruptive, usually drunk, passengers at road crossings in years past, and the usually-drunks wander off without their medication or get hit by a truck or something else happens, and Amtrak ends up biting the bullet for big bucks. So, no one gets put off a train unless someone's there to take custody of the person.



Date: 10/29/11 13:26
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: railrunner

try it on amtrak and they will have you shot at dawn!!! funny when the AOE and grand lux were running all the dutch doors were open and folks were hanging out them ALL THE TIME!! does matter whos equip it is the conductors were responsible for and body getting hurt but nobody ever got chased out of an open window one the AOE or grande lux.WHY could they do it on those train but ont amtrak?? the crews were amtrak on both trains!!!!



Date: 10/29/11 23:38
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: lwilton

I suspect the difference might be 20 years. Back then they trimmed the trees back from the ROW. Now the engine has thick enough steel plate to push the 4" branches out of the way, and if they happen to brush along the side of the train, well, the tree people figure it shouldn't be there in the first place. If you stick your head out and find a 4" branch at 40MPH or whatever Amtrak can manage on the line, well, your heirs will sue.



Date: 10/30/11 17:59
Re: Amtrak Door Windows Questions
Author: Amtrakdavis22

Thanks for all the responses guys. I ended up not asking the conductor to open the window so I went the entire trip with no window shots. It was a bummer in some ways but the trip was still very nice. I thought I should keep my nice seat in the lounge instead of going to find a conductor. Eventually I'll ride on a private car and get all the shots I want.

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography



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