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Passenger Trains > We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car


Date: 11/18/12 13:22
We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: Lackawanna484

The NY Times has an opinion piece about the Amtrak "Quiet Car" as the last bastion of civility and sanity in a loud world. The writer describes his efforts to get fellow passengers to respect the "inside voices, no phones" rules for the car.

Amtrak people are much nicer than NJ Transit people. Fist fights have been observed on NJT, while many conductors have made themselves scarce. The basic problem, as the writer observes, is that people enter the car in search of an empty seat, or two seats, and then do exactly what they'd do in another car, if there was a seat there.

The writer notes that some cars have self appointed "hall monitors" to remind violators of the rules. Sometimes they get the quiet restored, sometimes they don't. The passenger carries their own moral universe around with him, and only those rules apply.

>>In his recent treatise on this subject (its title regrettably unprintable here), the philosopher Aaron James posits that people with this personality type are so infuriating — even when the inconvenience they cause us is negligible — because they refuse to recognize the moral reality of those around them. (James’s thesis that this obliviousness correlates to a sense of special entitlement is corroborated by my own observation that the crowd on Amtrak, where airline-level fares act as a de facto class barrier, is generally louder and more inconsiderate than the supposed riffraff on the bus.) It’s a pathology that seems increasingly common, I suspect in part because people now spend so much time in the solipsist’s paradise of the Internet that they carry its illusion of invisible (and inaudible) omniscience back with them out into the real world.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/opinion/sunday/the-quiet-ones.html?hp



Date: 11/18/12 13:38
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: cutboy2

Thanks for the heads up.



Date: 11/18/12 14:22
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: joemvcnj

I have given up on Amtrak NEC quiet cars. Those is always someone, usually a female, who won't stop yapping on it, and pretends she didn't know with that blue sign right over her head.



Date: 11/18/12 14:24
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: Ray_Murphy

40 years ago this same sort of thing went on with smokers in the non-smoking car.

Ray



Date: 11/18/12 14:45
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: bubbawv

This is just about the same thing that people do in restaurants when there kids won't stop crying or are running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. If you say something to them or give them the look they want jump on you. Instead of looking after there kids. I road on the train to Chicago from Milwaukee in the quiet car it was very good experience.



Date: 11/18/12 15:22
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: andersonb109

I rode the Acela quiet car from Washington to NYP in October. I never heard a sound. The conductor often made announcements about the rules of the car almost to the point of her violating the rules. But it was much appreciated. The other cars were all like one big business meeting.



Date: 11/18/12 16:51
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: chess

We conductors at NJT were specifically instructed to NOT get involved with the passengers in this matter. The quiet cars on Transit are "self governing by the passengers." If I notice a passenger having a loud conversation in the quiet car, I will inform them of the rules, but usually the "regulars" take care of this long before I make an appearance..



Date: 11/18/12 18:03
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: howeld

On BNSF metra in Chicago they have a Quiet Car on a few morning trains. I was on a 3 stop express from the outer sub burbs. Each time after the first two stops the conductor would come through the car announcing after last stop the car would become a quiet car. Said if you needed to talk to move to another car. It was a very quiet ride all the way into the city.



Date: 11/18/12 18:46
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: DavidP

I was on Acela 2154 from NYP to RTE about ten days ago, and both conductors had their radios turned up to full volume as the collected tickets. I'm not sure if they did anything differently when passing through the quiet car, but expect not. If the employees are so oblivious that they can't keep quiet themselves, I can't imagine how they effectively manage the quiet car.

Dave



Date: 11/18/12 19:56
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: Jaanfo

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was on Acela 2154 from NYP to RTE about ten days
> ago, and both conductors had their radios turned
> up to full volume as the collected tickets. I'm
> not sure if they did anything differently when
> passing through the quiet car, but expect not. If
> the employees are so oblivious that they can't
> keep quiet themselves, I can't imagine how they
> effectively manage the quiet car.
>
> Dave


Most likely they didn't, running the train is more important than respecting the quiet car, it's not that they're oblivious.



Date: 11/18/12 22:25
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: DNRY122

There was an item a few weeks ago about a woman who was seated next to a loudmouthed fellow who was explaining to his wife why he was coming home on the 6:30 pm train rather than the earlier one he usually took. The phone conversation, with him using a voice more appropriate for a bad open wire phone line out in the boonies, went on until the woman finally leaned over and said, "Eric--put down that phone and come back to bed." I told this to a friend who rides the new Expo line here in Los Angeles, and she thought it quite amusing.



Date: 11/19/12 02:47
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: andersonb109

Heres an idea. How about no phones in public areas on trains. Period. People go without for hours on aircraft. So why not? If they don't like it....drive. (where BTW phones should also be banned except for non hand held.



Date: 11/19/12 05:32
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: DavidP

Jaanfo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> DavidP Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I was on Acela 2154 from NYP to RTE about ten
> days
> > ago, and both conductors had their radios
> turned
> > up to full volume as the collected tickets.
> I'm
> > not sure if they did anything differently when
> > passing through the quiet car, but expect not.
> If
> > the employees are so oblivious that they can't
> > keep quiet themselves, I can't imagine how they
> > effectively manage the quiet car.
> >
> > Dave
>
>
> Most likely they didn't, running the train is more
> important than respecting the quiet car, it's not
> that they're oblivious.

Does the company provide you earpieces to use with the radio? If not, they should. In any case most NEC conductors manage to work the trains without radios blaring - these two were more exception than rule.

Dave



Date: 11/19/12 05:42
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: DavidP

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Heres an idea. How about no phones in public areas
> on trains. Period. People go without for hours on
> aircraft. So why not? If they don't like
> it....drive.

Great new marketing tag line for Amtrak - "If you don't like it, drive!". Glad you're not their VP-Marketing. :-)

As annoying as a phone users who lacks self-awareness can be, banning them would give away one of the train's major competitive advantages against aviation.

Dave



Date: 11/19/12 06:16
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: jshersr

I, too, rode the quiet car between Chicago and Milwaukee and Milwaukee to Chicago about six months ago. It was a very positive experience. I think it helped that it was necessary to walk through about three cars simply to REACH the quiet car. Another theory is that people from Milwaukee are inherently kinder and more considerate than in other regions, more inclined to, first, make the effort to understand rules and regulations, and second, follow those rules.



Date: 11/19/12 07:08
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: kevink

howeld Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On BNSF metra in Chicago they have a Quiet Car on
> a few morning trains. I was on a 3 stop express
> from the outer sub burbs. Each time after the
> first two stops the conductor would come through
> the car announcing after last stop the car would
> become a quiet car. Said if you needed to talk to
> move to another car. It was a very quiet ride all
> the way into the city.

All Metra morning and evening rush hour trains have at least one quiet car. Metra Electric trains longer than two cars have one quiet car. On all other lines, thre are two quiet cars on all trains six cars or longer and one quiet car on shorter trains.



Date: 11/19/12 09:11
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: SoCalCynic

Metrolink out here in L.A. has a dedicated quiet car, on all trains running Monday through Friday - it's outlined in the timetable - no information to share on how effective.



Date: 11/19/12 13:53
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: kevink

kevink Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All Metra morning and evening rush hour trains
> have at least one quiet car. Metra Electric trains
> longer than two cars have one quiet car. On all
> other lines, thre are two quiet cars on all trains
> six cars or longer and one quiet car on shorter
> trains.

To add to my first post, I did not notice much of a change on my BNSF morning/afternoon commutes when my regular cars became designated quiet cars. Perhaps the BNSF crowd that commutes to LaGrange, Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills is just a quieter bunch of people. I have noticed that the folks on the Rock Island and SouthWest Service trains are a noisier crowd (and not necessarily in a bad way).



Date: 11/19/12 21:41
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: Abqfoamer

NM Rail Runner has a quiet car on weekday peak runs right next to the engine. Go figure.



Date: 11/19/12 22:53
Re: We WILL defend the Amtrak Quiet Car
Author: Railrev

Ray_Murphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 40 years ago this same sort of thing went on with
> smokers in the non-smoking car.
>
> Ray


Typically, loud people in the quiet car don't smell up the car, though they can cause your eyes to water.



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