Can we use squeegees on the outside of windows?

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Devil's Advocate

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What is your basis for thinking that this common practice has, or ever will, get someone booted off a train (or is this just an uninformed hot-take)?
The only way I can see that happening is if there is no platform beside the window and the passenger is standing on or near a live track to reach it. Even then they'd probably get a warning unless they refused to comply and made a scene out of it.

I’ve taken hundreds of trips and have never seen this happen.
It's hard to see much of anything through dirty windows.
 

Cal

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I can't believe this is a serious thread. Will LMAO when one of you clowns gets booted from your train for this.
It’s common practice to BYO squeegee on Amtrak? Lol ok. I’ve taken hundreds of trips and have never seen this happen.
I wouldn't call it common, but for those of us who enjoy the scenery, and maybe want a picture or two, why not bring something to clean the windows off with? It's quite easy to imagine that this is a real thing people would want to do -- especially since Amtrak highlights the amazing scenery then provides us with sometimes horribly dirty windows.
 

Chas

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Amtrak crews usually squeegee the windows while at DEN at least for the westbound #5 CZ. Scenery is too beautiful to miss. I have also seen them clean the windows on SWC #3 at ABQ but only once.
I have seen that in Denver too on the westbound Zephyrβ€”but it is the only station where I havce seen windows cleaned.
 
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Seaboard92

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I've cleaned windows before and let me tell you they are higher than they seam. The best time was in Chicago when I had a ladder to use. The worst was in GA Veterans where I had to use a long pole. It's tough to get them clean with the long pole
 

Cal

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Pro tip: don’t use a ladder to clean the windows on a train for a railroad which doesn’t employ you.
I do say I agree, but when did he say he was cleaning Amtrak windows? Seaboard has worked on many private cars before and he probably cleaned those windows on a ladder, where he was employed. But, who knows, maybe he has a side we don't know about.
 

Railspike

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Once upon leaving Chicago on the SWC we noticed the windows were filthy. I contacted Amtrak about it and was told the train is run through the wash machines before the train is serviced. Before the train is serviced?
Why wouldn't they run it through the machines AFTER the train is serviced and just before boarding?
It appears they don't even bother running it through the machines at all anymore. Don't they get that being able to view the scenery is a big part of the journey? Go figure.
 

niemi24s

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I'd found lower level windows (both room and entry door) on Superliners fairly easy to clean by first using a sopping wet soapy washcloth or towel then just a wet one. Being a 6-footer helps and not sure I'd ever want to use a dry cloth for fear of scratching the glass or making it worse.

While the shaded side of the train is best for photography, a clean window and holding the camera up against the window (to avoid capturing reflections from within) also help. This makes a good lens shade for a camera...
IMG_0150c.JPG
...because it stays in place. Not sure how to do it on a smart phone.
 
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Once upon leaving Chicago on the SWC we noticed the windows were filthy. I contacted Amtrak about it and was told the train is run through the wash machines before the train is serviced. Before the train is serviced?
Why wouldn't they run it through the machines AFTER the train is serviced and just before boarding?
It appears they don't even bother running it through the machines at all anymore. Don't they get that being able to view the scenery is a big part of the journey? Go figure.
They do run it through wash machines but to save money, they use dirt instead of water. :)
 
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Back home from a good Cardinal trip, report to follow sometime this week. For now, here's a squeegee picture for this thread! I am 5'6" and the device (hard rubber squeegee on short pole) is 20" and it reached the top of the Viewliner roomette window from a regular platform. Also had non-ammonia Windex spray. My Westbound effort did help, perhaps because an Amtrak employee preceded me with a wet cloth when our SCA told them we wanted to look out the window. (!) But my Eastbound effort probably made it worse. What we really need are those squishy spongy ones they have at gas stations, and a bucket of soapy water. The attendants/conductors were fine with it (I asked first). One did say "It'll only get dirty again." So I guess he doesn't bother cleaning his car windshield when it gets dirty.
 

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daybeers

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This is a good point. The windows are Lexan. In our cafe car this week, you could see they were covered with little scratches.
Yeah I really don't think people should be advocating this behavior to take matters into their own hands if yard crews didn't clean them and management isn't acting. Maybe one crew was fine with it, but that doesn't mean management or other crews are. It's a known problem on Amtrak that the windows are often dirty, and seems to have gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. Then call Customer Relations to complain about it and maybe get a refund if it was a long trip that involved scenery you were looking forward to instead of scratching up the windows permanently. That way the windows are forever dirty in a different manner no matter how many times it's run through the wash.
 
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Yeah I really don't think people should be advocating this behavior to take matters into their own hands if yard crews didn't clean them and management isn't acting. Maybe one crew was fine with it, but that doesn't mean management or other crews are. It's a known problem on Amtrak that the windows are often dirty, and seems to have gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. Then call Customer Relations to complain about it and maybe get a refund if it was a long trip that involved scenery you were looking forward to instead of scratching up the windows permanently. That way the windows are forever dirty in a different manner no matter how many times it's run through the wash.

Just to clarify, the scratches or crackles on the cafe car window weren't from anything like window-cleaning – they were a uniform texture all over. Just age I guess.
I certainly will write to Customer Relations to complain. Sure it's kind of funny to see some of us doing this, but it's a disgrace that we have to, and your point that we could cause damage is well taken. (Though I"ve squeegeed thousands of silver photographic prints without damaging them, pre-existing grit on windows is another story.) Amtrak should pay extra attention to scenic routes, but even the Northeast Regional has quite beautiful vistas, and one person's trash is another person's treasure: Some of us enjoy looking at everyone's back yards too.
 

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The original glass windows take a hand cleaning without any problem and the newer plexitrash windows become cracked and warped even if you never clean them once. We're talking decades-old Amtrak cars under Chicago-grade bubblegum maintenance rather than a pressurized aircraft or submersible.
 

Seaboard92

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I do say I agree, but when did he say he was cleaning Amtrak windows? Seaboard has worked on many private cars before and he probably cleaned those windows on a ladder, where he was employed. But, who knows, maybe he has a side we don't know about.

I did it on the Braddock Inn in Chicago. I think I got the ladder though from the Silver Solarium though because we normally didn't travel with one. I've done dome windows too it takes a really long pole. Cleaning windows is not enjoyable.
 

AFS1970

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I guess this must be a thing of the past, but one on an NEC, probably from home in CT to either Baltimore or Washington, when stopped at NYP, someone was washing the windows on the platform side. Granted this is a fairly long stop. The guy had a pump sprayer, to apply some sort of cleaner and a two-sided squeegee with the sponge on one side. It was a very quick, not too thorough job, but it did help.
 
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