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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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Joined
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Planning to ride the autotrain in July from Sanford, FL to Lorton, VA. Does anyone know if the sleeping cars have their own ventilation system in each sleeping compartment or is air re-circulated throughout the whole sleeping car? I believe this is a Superliner 2 car from the mid-1990’s. Thank you for your response.
 

river

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Sep 20, 2010
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I had 2 sleeper car reservations for April 2020. I cancelled one yesterday via their automated process and was charged a 25% cancellation fee.
I came here to this forum and realized if I talked to an agent directly I could get a full refund. That option wasn't offered by "Julie".So today I cancelled my 2nd reservation for April with a full refund.

Is there any way I can get my 25% cancel fee (which was over $200) returned or am I out of luck? The agent I spoke to today said he couldn't do it and tried (unsuccessfully) to transfer me to Refunds.
Any suggestions? I did email Amtrak with my request, but not sure how responsive they will be.
Thanks.



5/14/20: Just wanted to follow up on this: I finally DID receive my 25% cancel fee returned to me after 2 email refund requests and 6 weeks of waiting! I got a phone voice mail telling me to be on the look-out for it and it did show up a couple weeks later just as he said! YAY!!!
 

gwolfdog

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Until I'm sure we'll be able to Travel Auto Train on certain date, we will put a hold on the sleeper car (5 days) . You have a few days to cancel before the trip, and are not charged anything, till you confirm, they take no payment info. This time we caught a flight back, didn't have to drive 10 hours, before and after, and was home in 3 hours Fort Lauderdale to Syracuse. Shipped car. A few bucks more but worth it during Pandemic. We're old and high risk. Would consider train again. We actually got cancelled after the Derailment.
 

Qapla

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Does anyone know if the sleeping cars have their own ventilation system in each sleeping compartment or is air re-circulated throughout the whole sleeping car?
As far as I know ALL sleeper cars recirculate the air through the whole car

Any suggestions?
Glad you got it taken care of. Next time, ask for "Customer Relations" - they seem to have more authority and knowhow to fix these sorts of problems.
 
Joined
May 14, 2020
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As far as I know ALL sleeper cars recirculate the air through the whole car



Glad you got it taken care of. Next time, ask for "Customer Relations" - they seem to have more authority and knowhow to fix these sorts of problems.
Thank you!
 

MikeM

OBS Chief
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Correct. Single air circulation system with drop vents in each room.

Also in general about 70% of the air is recirculated, and 30% outside air is mixed in.
If you wanted to be a bit paranoid, you probably could purchase a residential 1" pleated filter in a smaller size, and use gaffer's tape to attach over the inlet grill on the ceiling. I read somewhere they change air filters on the trains on a regular basis, but suspect they use polyglass filters that are designed to capture large particles only, not small stuff...
 

Devil's Advocate

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Correct. Single air circulation system with drop vents in each room. Also in general about 70% of the air is recirculated, and 30% outside air is mixed in.
So far as I can tell there is no calculated mixing going on. Some of the air is recirculated and some simply wafts in through holes and seams.

If you wanted to be a bit paranoid, you probably could purchase a residential 1" pleated filter in a smaller size, and use gaffer's tape to attach over the inlet grill on the ceiling. I read somewhere they change air filters on the trains on a regular basis, but suspect they use polyglass filters that are designed to capture large particles only, not small stuff...
Whatever they use it's not enough to filter out break pad dust (probably bad for your lungs) and blue-brown mix (definitely bad for your nose). I like the idea of bringing your own 3M microfiber intake filter through. I wonder if that would work well enough to cut down on trips that suffer from excessive funk.
 

Qapla

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use gaffer's tape to attach over the inlet grill on the ceiling
I guess it depends on what you are calling the "inet" grill.

If you mean the one that takes the air from your room back to the air recirculating system - that will do little good since the air you get back will not have all come from your room.

If you mean the vent that is bringing the air into your room - yes, a filter there may help but keep in mind that unfiltered air will still enter your room through the doorway.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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I guess it depends on what you are calling the "inet" grill. If you mean the one that takes the air from your room back to the air recirculating system - that will do little good since the air you get back will not have all come from your room. If you mean the vent that is bringing the air into your room - yes, a filter there may help but keep in mind that unfiltered air will still enter your room through the doorway.
What sort of experience are you pulling from when you tell us how the venting works in a sleeper? 🤔
 

jis

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What sort of experience are you pulling from when you tell us how the venting works in a sleeper? 🤔
My impression is that there are multiple air flow vents that blows air into the room, specially in Viewliners. So I was indeed a bit confused with the categorical statement that there is one place where you could add a filter. But I could of course be wrong too.
 
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gswager

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From my observation on how the air circulates in Superliner, the inlet is located on the ceiling of lower level between the bathrooms and roomettes/family room. That is where the air filter is. The vent you see in the ceiling of each room is pushing the air out of room towards the lower level via stairways or outside such as vestibules.
 

jis

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From my observation on how the air circulates in Superliner, the inlet is located on the ceiling of lower level between the bathrooms and roomettes/family room. That is where the air filter is. The vent you see in the ceiling of each room is pushing the air out of room towards the lower level via stairways or outside such as vestibules.
Yeah AFAIR that is the case in Superliner, but not so in Viewliners. Air gets pushed into the room through the vents at the bottom of the window sill both upwards and sideways.
 

PeeweeTM

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I'm not sure I can follow how all this filter stuff really impacts the reduction of the small change of getting this virus in your room on the train. I haven't read anything about the virus being transmitted via long airducts, only about droplets carrying the virus a few feet max, or transfer per direct contact between people and/or a contaminated surface. Most people and surfaces being free of this virus.

There might be better places to place a stop in the chain that leads to getting infected. Better then thinking a filter on a airduct will safe you from getting this virus.

I understand the whole situation is difficult and uncertain, but I think you get a false sense of control with useless meassures, which may lead to unsafe behavior on places where you can make a difference.

Keep a bit distance from other people, wash you hands frequently, don't rub your eyes and don't lick doorknobs for now.
And for the long term, be healthy and (relatively) young... 😉
 

gwolfdog

Service Attendant
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When I was recently trying to figure out the safest means out of Florida, plane or train? A Google search seemed to say planes had better filters and fresher air. Can you ever feel safe now? How many people in the airport or station coughing, or not showing symptoms? How many traveling wearing masks, how through was the cleaning? etc., etc. You can drive yourself nuts or your companion, trying to figure it out. I will Testify to that,
 

Green Maned Lion

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Iused to run a safety business. I have learned that there are two factors in safety. One is the reality of safety, and the other is the perception. You would not believe how many of my customers who needed to purchase specialized respirators, such as organic vapor, would try to insist on N95 particulate respirators in order to make them feel safer. Almost no amount of me insisting that it would in fact do absolutely nothing would convince them that it wouldn’t. I learned to simply refuse to sell them tools that would not do the job they were asking to get done.

The scary truth is that you are better off lacking the perception of safety when safety is not present. This lack of perception will encourage you to treat the situation as if it is unsafe. Feeling like you are protected when you are not is in fact extremely dangerous. Ideas like putting HEPA filters on the air vents of roommates are an example of perception of safety.

The virus is not going to travel through the air system of the train anymore then it will an any other interchange of air, and the HEPA filter is going to do practically nothing to stop it. The travel distance of the air being expelled from roomette 1s passenger’s mouth, into the exit vent of roomette 1s air, through the ventilation system, into roomette 2s air vents, and from them into roomette 2s passengers bodily Orifices is almost certainly more than six feet. If anything is going to stop it, that fact is your main defense.

If you really have a feeling that you personally need to be in an effective bubble- and with a father who lost a third of a lung to one cancer, and is now suffering from mesothelioma, I feel you- I suggest you don’t travel- even by car, but certainly not by mass transit of any kind. Otherwise engage in suitable and reasonable precautions, and stop thinking of nonsensical protections that will most likely do nothing.
 

Qapla

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Florida is well on its way to being "back open" and many of the precautions people were taking are no longer being used. Our county commissioners did not fully agree with the State as to some of the "freedoms" and have passed a mandate that face coverings must be worn in "public businesses/buildings".

After reading some of the posts in this thread and GML's comment above I couldn't help but think of some of what I have seen around here.

On one hand, we have some who totally disregard the mandate and no longer wear a face covering at all. Some stores have posted "warning" about the mandate but say nothing to anyone who comes in without a mask on. Others, like Walmart, are refusing entry to anyone who does not adhere to the mandate.

Then there are those who are wear a mask even when they are driving in their own car with the windows up running their A/C. It seems to me that, when you are alone in your own car, especially with the windows up, your chances of being expose are so remote ... why wear something as uncomfortable as a mask when it is not adding any protection to what you already have by being alone in your car.

Like GML said, it seems highly unlikely that adding a filter to any of the vents of a "room" on the train will have any real impact when it comes to C-19.

But, like those who drive around with their masks on - better safe than reckless like those who insist they can now act like the virus never happened and everything is "business as usual"
 

me_little_me

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The virus is not going to travel through the air system of the train anymore then it will an any other interchange of air, and the HEPA filter is going to do practically nothing to stop it. The travel distance of the air being expelled from roomette 1s passenger’s mouth, into the exit vent of roomette 1s air, through the ventilation system, into roomette 2s air vents, and from them into roomette 2s passengers bodily Orifices is almost certainly more than six feet. If anything is going to stop it, that fact is your main defense.
Excellent comments but one thing you fail to consider is that the 6' distance is based on the droplets falling to the ground via gravity before reaching you. There is a difference between the distance from one person to another in calm air and from those same two people when fans and vents (or even wind) push the air.
In any case, it wouldn't stop me from taking the train but the closeness of other people who don't wear masks or who don't practice good hygiene or the failure to adequately sanitize surfaces between uses by successive people would indeed concern me.
 

Green Maned Lion

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The forced air system of the car operates in such a manner, from my experience, that the likelihood of the virus entering your compartment is nearly impossible. By the time the air from a given compartment enters another compartment, I would guess it has travelled somewhere around 90 feet, not six, circulating through an HVAC system in the process.
 

SarahZ

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You also have to directly inhale a particle that contains the virus, and that particle has to contain enough of a viral load to infect you.

I seriously wouldn't worry about a common HVAC system. I'd be more concerned about close contact in enclosed spaces, such as the lounge or dining car.

I have multiple friends who are doctors, and they have all stated the largest risk comes from prolonged, unprotected, direct contact with someone who has an active viral load (i.e. 10 minutes or so with less than 6 feet of space between you).

Before everyone jumps all over me and caps-locks me to death, please note that I said "largest risk", not "only risk".
 

jis

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On one hand, we have some who totally disregard the mandate and no longer wear a face covering at all. Some stores have posted "warning" about the mandate but say nothing to anyone who comes in without a mask on. Others, like Walmart, are refusing entry to anyone who does not adhere to the mandate.
Florida in general has less than 50% compliance with the mask mandate according to at least two estimates that I have seen so far.
Then there are those who are wear a mask even when they are driving in their own car with the windows up running their A/C. It seems to me that, when you are alone in your own car, especially with the windows up, your chances of being expose are so remote ... why wear something as uncomfortable as a mask when it is not adding any protection to what you already have by being alone in your car.
That depends on how long you will be in your car between two out of car activities that might require having the mask on. It is not a good idea to repeatedly take the mask off and put it on since the act of doing so itself is more dangerous in terms of inadvertently feeding yourself some virus than just either keeping it off or keeping it on.
 
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