Review: Amtrak Northeast Corridor Quiet Car Washington, D.C. – New York City

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Union Station, Washington, D.C.

“Ah, the luxury of the @Amtrak Acela #quietcar,” said Twitter user Matt Connell in May.

Amtrak promises a “library-like atmosphere” in the car, and the conductor makes multiple announcements at the start of journeys from major train stations advising and warning passengers of the rules. The car’s lighting is subdued “to create a restful atmosphere,” the railroad says and not only should conversations be quiet but Amtrak says they should be “limited” as well. In general, if another passenger tells you that you are speaking too loud for the car, you are.

The rules are simple: no phone calls, no audible sound from electronics devices, headphones must be used for movies (and cannot be audible to one’s neighbor), and conversations must be limited. It is – aside from the brief conversations and Amtrak’s silence about unwrapping noisy food packages – almost theater like in some respects.

 

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“We’re gonna need more #QuietCar” Twitter user Tammy Gordon recently told Amtrak in a tweet.

No one is immune to the wrath of a Quiet Car passenger, it turns out. The late Joseph Boardman, who was president of Amtrak from 2008 to 2016, was once told off by an angry passenger for violating the rules of the Quiet Car. The upset passenger reportedly told Boardman that he knew the president of Amtrak and would have him (Boardman) thrown out of the car and possibly off the train if he didn’t follow the rules.

Click here to continue to Page 3How to Gain Entry to the Quiet Car

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