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how do you wake up if your train arrives around 4AM?

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ToniCounter

Service Attendant
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Aug 3, 2015
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198
how do you wake up if your train arrives around 4AM? I'm taking the return train in a couple of weeks. I'm a deep sleeper and on the return, I'll be riding by myself.

What are my best options? Set my phone's alarm to go off at the highest volume with vibrate? Ask someone sitting close to me to wake me up? Or can I ask the conductor to wake me up?(if he/she can't, just kick my rear end off at the station?)

Thanks!
 

BCL

Conductor
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All of the above. Typically coach passengers with the same destination are seated together, and someone will come by when it's about time to reach the destination. The last thing they want is a passenger failing to get off when they need seats for new passengers.
 

Eric S

Conductor
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Milwaukee
In my experiences conductors (and/or car attendants) will walk through and wake up passengers prior to their stop. It's been quite a few years, but I have traveled to Newton on the Southwest Chief many times, and it's arrival times there have usually been scheduled in the 2-4am time range. Each time, if I was asleep, I was woken up by Amtrak staff prior to arrival.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Albuquerque, NM
If I recall correctly, the ticket stub (?) placed over your seat has the destination. I suspect conductors (and/or car attendants) walk through looking for passengers due to get off at the upcoming station.

I wonder if anyone ever fakes sleeping, in an attempt to pay for one destination and then ride further?
 

greatcats

Conductor
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Flagstaff, Arizona
I would be prepared to take care of oneself. Last year I was in coach to arrive Flagstaff and the dopey car attendant announced Flagstaff when the train stopped in the station. I had to pack up my breathing machine in a hurry and was furious and told him off, although the train does stop there for several minutes. I was very groggy and it spoiled that trip. Several months later I was in coach on the Capitol to change at Pittburgh. I had been unable to sleep all night ( too curious ) and had ended up in another car from where the Pittsburgh passengers were seated. The conductor came to me and very courteously made sure that I was ready to get off.
 

ToniCounter

Service Attendant
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Aug 3, 2015
Messages
198
All of the above. Typically coach passengers with the same destination are seated together, and someone will come by when it's about time to reach the destination. The last thing they want is a passenger failing to get off when they need seats for new passengers.
That's what I've seen on other Amtrak trains as well... but I was just on one the other day and the conductor didn't do the walk through. A lady sitting two rows behind me screamed "oh my god, why didn't anybody wake me up?" it was 3 in the afternoon, so it was really her problem? :) this was somewhere outside of Syracuse and the next stop was almost an hour away.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
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May 24, 2010
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Texas
If I recall correctly, the ticket stub (?) placed over your seat has the destination. I suspect conductors (and/or car attendants) walk through looking for passengers due to get off at the upcoming station.

I wonder if anyone ever fakes sleeping, in an attempt to pay for one destination and then ride further?
Amtrak staff are unlikely to be swayed by someone sleeping or pretending to sleep. In my experience they'd sooner wake the whole car than allow an intentional carry by. That being said, unintentional carry bys do seem to happen a lot more frequently than they did previously. In the past that kind of mistake was a pretty big deal that risked continued employment. Now it seems to be treated with less severity, even though it can be a huge problem for the passenger.
 
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BCL

Conductor
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If I recall correctly, the ticket stub (?) placed over your seat has the destination. I suspect conductors (and/or car attendants) walk through looking for passengers due to get off at the upcoming station.

I wonder if anyone ever fakes sleeping, in an attempt to pay for one destination and then ride further?
I think the phrase you're thinking of is "seat check".



The last round trip I took (EMY-SNS) I was directed to a specific car, and most of the passengers were destined for Salinas or San Jose. On the return it was a mix of Oakland and Emeryville passengers, although there was one destined for Portland. She seemed happy when she had two seats to herself after one passenger got off, as she tried to sleep across both seats.
 

KmH

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Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
From Service Standards Manual #8, page 7-1:

2. Carry-Bys
a) Passengers must not be carried beyond their ticketed destination.

If a passenger is inadvertently taken beyond their destination, the operating crew may issue authorization for return travel to the proper destination.
 
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BCL

Conductor
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If I recall correctly, the ticket stub (?) placed over your seat has the destination. I suspect conductors (and/or car attendants) walk through looking for passengers due to get off at the upcoming station.

I wonder if anyone ever fakes sleeping, in an attempt to pay for one destination and then ride further?
Amtrak staff are unlikely to be swayed by someone sleeping or pretending to sleep. In my experience they'd sooner wake the whole car than allow an intentional carry by. That being said, unintentional carry bys do seem to happen a lot more frequently than they did previously. In the past that kind of mistake was a pretty big deal that risked continued employment. Now it seems to be treated with less severity, even though it can be a huge problem for the passenger.
It's probably more likely on corridor routes or trains with general seating. I've missed my stop a few times on Capitol Corridor and had no issue just going on to another convenient stop or even getting a note to return me to the intended station. I'm thinking long commutes on the Keystone or NER probably include a lot of people napping. It's probably not so bad arriving at NYC on the Keystone.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Near an Amtrak station
I would never trust the conductor to wake you up, or even inform you you're at your destination.

I still remember being in BC with a blind woman. She had three seat checks; one for herself, one for her seeing-eye dog, and one that she needs special attention. Even with all that, the conductor failed totally to tell her when she arrived at her destination. Good thing we were talking along route, and I was able to help her.

If Amtrak conductors don't care enough to help even a blind woman, what makes you think they will give a darn about you?
 
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the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I've taken the CZ to SLC with a 3:xx am arrival. The conductor came by to wake me up about 30 minutes prior to arrival. That was in coach. I've also connected in PGH in a sleeper, and was awakened by the conductor about 45 minutes prior to arrival.
 

BCL

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I've taken the CZ to SLC with a 3:xx am arrival. The conductor came by to wake me up about 30 minutes prior to arrival. That was in coach. I've also connected in PGH in a sleeper, and was awakened by the conductor about 45 minutes prior to arrival.
It could be a matter of the number of passengers getting off at a particular station, and how closely they're grouped together. I wasn't sleeping, but someone definitely came by and started pulling out all the seat checks for EMY. Haven't faced an early morning stop, but I'd think they're more than likely to call on passengers before the stop.

Certainly have a loud alarm set. If that doesn't wake you up, the passengers around you will probably do that just to quiet it down.
 

me_little_me

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I have a solution. I snore all night keeping everyone else awake. They are more than happy to wake me to tell me it is time to get off. Some are so generous, they tell me 3 hours in advance of my stop!

A few people even loaned me their pillows so I could sleep better. They just laid them on my face. That's why I love trains! People share.
 

ToniCounter

Service Attendant
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Aug 3, 2015
Messages
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How do you wake up to get to work when at home? :blink:
That's easy. 118-pound dog who demands breakfast at 6:00AM sharp

almost every single morning for the last 9 years. :) :( (including weekends

and holidays, unfortunately) Her nickname is "rooster"(yes, I know, I know)
 
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ToniCounter

Service Attendant
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Aug 3, 2015
Messages
198
I have a solution. I snore all night keeping everyone else awake. They are more than happy to wake me to tell me it is time to get off. Some are so generous, they tell me 3 hours in advance of my stop!

A few people even loaned me their pillows so I could sleep better. They just laid them on my face. That's why I love trains! People share.
I grew up with parents and grandparents who are LOUD snorers.... so I think that's why I'm a heavy sleeper because nothing can wake me up anymore. :)
 

chakk

Conductor
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May 26, 2011
Messages
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So long as you are seated underneath your seat check ("hat check" in pre-Amtrak days on some RRs), the conductor will come by and wake you several minutes before arrival at your stop. Your car's attendant may also be sound asleep and not disturbed by the conductor or A/C.
 

BCL

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I suppose the point is that waking up passengers before their stops is more likely to be done in early morning because many people are sleeping. During morning to evening, they're more likely to believe the passenger is paying attention during typical awake hours.
 

StriderGDM

OBS Chief
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Dec 23, 2014
Messages
581
As others have pointed out, the policy is the conductor or assistant conductor should wake you up?

In my experience this is true.

But I am also excellent at having an internal alarm clock so always wake myself up, even if I don't want to. It's sort of a curse.
 

ToniCounter

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
198
As others have pointed out, the policy is the conductor or assistant conductor should wake you up?

In my experience this is true.

But I am also excellent at having an internal alarm clock so always wake myself up, even if I don't want to. It's sort of a curse.
Does the internal clock work when you travel across the country or overseas? :D
 

BCL

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
3,795
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
As others have pointed out, the policy is the conductor or assistant conductor should wake you up?

In my experience this is true.

But I am also excellent at having an internal alarm clock so always wake myself up, even if I don't want to. It's sort of a curse.
Does the internal clock work when you travel across the country or overseas? :D
Early-awakening insomnia crosses time zones quite well.
 

StriderGDM

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
581
As others have pointed out, the policy is the conductor or assistant conductor should wake you up?

In my experience this is true.

But I am also excellent at having an internal alarm clock so always wake myself up, even if I don't want to. It's sort of a curse.
Does the internal clock work when you travel across the country or overseas? :D
Actually, yes, it tends to. It's more of a "wake up X hours from now"

Most people apparently sleep in approximately 90 minute cycles, so I tend to try to schedule my sleeping as such. It does tend to help a bit.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
652
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I have a solution. I snore all night keeping everyone else awake. They are more than happy to wake me to tell me it is time to get off. Some are so generous, they tell me 3 hours in advance of my stop!

A few people even loaned me their pillows so I could sleep better. They just laid them on my face. That's why I love trains! People share.
 

Yumacool

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Arizona
My wife and I frequently ride the Sunset between Los Angeles and Yuma, Arizona, which is about a five hour trip. The hours are not that good -- depart LAX at 10 p.m. and arrive in Yuma very early in the morning. There are always a number of other Yuma passengers and we sit in the same car, near each other. Without fail, the crews wake us up in time for our stop. We've done it about 15 times and have never had a problem. Of course, if someone wandered to the Sightseer Lounge car. that would be a problem for them. The key is to be in your proper seat, beneath your seat check.

Chuck
 
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