I was on the quiet car between New York and DC sitting in front of a middle-aged woman from the New York area and her elderly mother. The daughter dominated the conversation in a piercing, heavy "traditional New York accent" making no effort to keep her voice down. Her mother would meekly respond to, mostly agreeing with, her daughter but, perhaps because of hearing loss, her responses were also loud. People (including me) would often turn to glance at them, and they continued seemingly oblivious to the other passengers. Finally, a French man approached them and pointed out to them, kindly and smiling, that this was the quiet car. The daughter shot him a hot-as-coals glance and curtly (and loudly) said, "We know, thank you." They continued. Finally, someone alerted the conductor who again reminded them that they were on the quiet car, and if they could not refrain from loud conversation, they could move to another car. The conductor moved on. The daughter said in a stage whisper to the mother, "But it says 'refrain from loud talking' and we aren't talking loud." They were relatively silent for about half an hour with occasional comments and subsequent agreement by the mother. However, the daughter couldn't quite help herself and eventually began engaging in her mostly one-sided conversation again. It seemed as if she wanted to be in the quiet car so as not to be bothered by the conversation of others while still being able to engage in her own. This time the other passengers had enough and called the conductor who asked the pair to leave. Several other passengers clapped as they left - muted, of course.
That's the exception though
I'm riding from Philly to NYC, a short ride and most passengers are sleeping, silently. And the conductor has announced stops like required but all in all it is a peaceful journey. Shhh!
I agree, Opie/R3. I am often on the Northeast Corridor Amtrak trains, and throughout the years I've had a few instances of loud passengers, mainly people playing music too loudly, especially rap/hip hop or people (mainly businessmen) carrying on conversations on cell phones. The worst was the situation I described in R2.
I find that the Acela gets more miscreants s far as the noise rule. I avoid them because of it
I love the quiet car...best idea ever. I take Amtrak in the northeast a lot and it seriously feels like the best way to travel.
Now if they'd just come up with an unscented car. Amtrak air "freshener" makes me drive instead of take the train.
I find it sort of comforting.
I had an experience a few years ago that was very similar to the one that R2 described. Except, instead of an elderly mother, the loud-talking middle-aged woman struck up an extremely "vibrant" conversation with the man who was unlucky enough to be seated next to her. And, when he got off the train, she found another victim. She prattled on and on about nothing in particular -- but she did it in a loud voice. The conductor warned her once and then asked her to find a seat in another car.
For the most part, however, people keep pretty quiet.
"I take Amtrak in the northeast a lot and it seriously feels like the best way to travel."
In the Northeast, perhaps. It is better than flying short routes, certainly. With transport to the airport, security and waiting, the train often takes less time. JetBlue can be rather good in the Northeast, however. I agree with R5 also regarding the Acela. While the cars are nicer, it is not much faster given that it is not really enabled (given the deficiencies in the track, route, local restrictions and other infrastructure) to go at high speeds. I think the time saving is about half an hour between New York and DC and it is, in my experience, often delayed.
R2 is an anti-Semite and a racist.
There's a new trend I wish to forcefully stamp out: people playing whatever game it is on their iPad/phone/tablet with the volume on full blast, on planes, trains, in waiting rooms. Do they really believe the rest of us wish to share in their bleeps and bloops? Kids I can see, but this is by an large adult (a good portion of whom have neck tattoos).
Sainthood to be conferred on R12. I predicted this aural mess years ago, and it seemed until now that I'm the only one who notices it.
Oh, r11, you're late. Still, I can just feel you stomping your little feet.
[quote]Now if they'd just come up with an unscented car. Amtrak air "freshener" makes me drive instead of take the train.
r11 - Being Italian-American from the Northeast, there is no reason to assume r2 was talking about Jews. They could easily be Italian (or Irish, Polish etc).
I've taken the Business Class car many times on Amtrak. The business men usually settle into their seats, have some breakfast, then stretch their legs and settle in for a nap.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen throbbing morning wood on these guys from the trip from Boston to NYC. The loose pants give a great show.
Meanwhile, on the Metra train quiet car in the Chicago burbs...
R15 Nope, not a lesbian. I just hate smelling chemicalized air.
But I'll agree with your refutation of R11's stereotyping. I have a much toned-down version of the "traditional NY accent," and I'm not Jewish (ordering breakfast is my giveaway, BTW).
r18, Metro North doesn't have a quiet car on my line. I wish they did. For the most part people are quiet but now that we're coming up on the holiday season there will be a lot of non-commuters taking the train into the city for shopping, to see a show, etc. and they all yap the entire way.
I'm back in a quiet car. SHHH!
I'm the sliding door to the toilet that slides open revealing an old man with his pants down to his ankles while taking a piss and struggling to maintain his balance as the train rattles and rolls.
People seem to spend as much time telling people they are in the quiet car than actually being quiet. And the signs are everywhere as well. People see the seats and get in the car.