INSIDE PITCH – On the Acela, all is not always quiet on the ‘quiet car’ front

August 15, 2015


For rude passengers who refuse to chill out, silence is not golden


By David Maril

The sign in the front identifies this section of the Acela Express, near the end of the train, as the “quiet car.”

Passengers in the quiet car are prohibited from using cellphones or noisy headphones.

Those sitting in the quiet car are warned to talk as little as possible and, when they do speak, to keep their voices down.

For many who choose train travel to Washington or New York because of a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, the concept of the “quiet car” is a welcome addition to the Amtrak travel menu.

Often when 50-60 people are crammed into a train car, the sound of voices babbling back and forth and hollering into cellphones becomes annoying.

Mix in the irritating jingles of cellphone rings every couple of minutes and it’s impossible to take a nap, read or let your mind wander while watching the shoreline and countryside fly by.

The “quiet car” concept was instituted several years ago.

However, a recent trip on a train headed for New York reveals it will always remain a work in progress.

Seconds before this particular train pulled out of Penn Station in Baltimore, the quiet car was filled with relaxed, satisfied looking passengers.

Some, just settling into their well padded and comfortable Acela Express seats, were unpacking books to read. Others were pulling documents and folders out of briefcases to get work done as the train headed north.

Read the full account from Voice of by clicking here.

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