Maybe no cellphone coverage is not always a negative for Amtrak?

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Ryan

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Why would it be ok to sit in your seat and have a conversation with your seatmate, but not with someone on a phone?

As long as you’re not breaking rules that would apply to both (quiet hours, volume, no speaker, language, etc), I couldn’t care less who you are talking to or where they are located.
 
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No, I'd rather see conductors be more aggressive about rude passengers. This country is becoming more like elementary school every day - if someone talks in the back of the class out of the teacher's sight, the teacher would often punish the whole class. Since the conductor knows who the offender is, a couple of warnings followed by a "request" to leave the train will do more to stop the problem than having dead areas or prohibiting phone use. I still like that conductor that made enough warnings about mask use to drive me crazy but then finally took action and removed the offenders. I got off at that station but I hope he gave one more warning - that some people were removed and that there would no longer be warnings to anyone already on the train.
Here we go again…punish, punish, punish. Apparently the solution to all political, social, and economic problems is more punishment. It’s as simple as that.
 

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Why would it be ok to sit in your seat and have a conversation with your seatmate, but not with someone on a phone?
In my experience people on phones are louder and less aware of how their behavior impacts those around them. They are also more prone to swear, get into shouting matches, and put their personal business on blast.
 
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Cal

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I do think it would be good for Amtrak to develop an official policy regarding phone call etiquette. Personally, I would lean towards requiring long/frequent calls to be held in the cafe or lounge car. Maybe calls over 2 minutes or more than 2 calls within 30 minutes need to be held in the lounge car? That would at least establish a guideline that allows for quick calls at your seat (letting someone know you need to be picked up, etc.) but pushing longer calls to a dedicated area.
What about the vestibule/door area? Seems like a decent spot..
 
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I have an Iridium handset I'll sometimes travel with. I tried in on the Southwest Chief in a cell dead area a few months ago, and it worked fine inside the train, provided I was next to the window (tried from the bedroom - don't know if the glazing or composition of other cars would make difference).

Works fine for voice and text. Incoming calls are theoretically possible, but pretty unreliable. You *can* tether for data - but it's very very slow (think 2400 baud dialup). You could do pure text email if you're patient, but that's about it.

There are a couple of cheaper satellite based SMS/messaging devices (like the InReach and Spot), but those are more suited to adventuring, and sending a "check in/I'm okay" text, not routine communication.
 

Ryan

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In my experience people on phones are louder and less aware of how their behavior impacts those around them. They are also more prone to swear, get into shouting matches, and put their personal business on blast.
Which is why I explicitly mentioned all of the other rules that would cover bad behavior. The fact that it's more likely on the phone doesn't justify putting a rule in place that prevents those of us able to talk on our phones without being an a--hole from doing so.
 

Winecliff Station

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I’m not finding a whole lot of passengers talking on phones, given what seems to be a taboo among millennials to call instead of text. Occasionally people my own age (50’s) will prefer calling but I’m finding texts to be easier especially with spotty service.

As for enforcement, I was on the LSL westbound talking to a conductor at the next table in the cafe car. Midstream during our conversation she’d scold the guy sitting in the booth behind me “Language!” without missing a beat, and I hadn’t even noticed he was talking on his cell, let alone swearing, given the noise level in general. Eventually he ended the call since he couldn’t manage to censor himself.
 
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I do think it would be good for Amtrak to develop an official policy regarding phone call etiquette. Personally, I would lean towards requiring long/frequent calls to be held in the cafe or lounge car. Maybe calls over 2 minutes or more than 2 calls within 30 minutes need to be held in the lounge car? That would at least establish a guideline that allows for quick calls at your seat (letting someone know you need to be picked up, etc.) but pushing longer calls to a dedicated area.
Why pollute the serene atmosphere of the lounge and café cars? Long and loud conversations should ne held in your sleeper, if you have one, or in the vestibules between cars or, if on a superliner, on the lower level entranceway. It seems to me we got along just fine in the days before cellphones existed.
 

joelkfla

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What about the vestibule/door area? Seems like a decent spot..
That's fine for Superliner lower levels (if there's a signal down there), but I think the noise level would be a problem in Viewliner vestibules. Not to mention the safety issue of someone riding in a vestibule with a phone in one hand and a notebook or something in other.

Brightline has bench seats opposite the restrooms that apparently serve 2 purposes: waiting for the facilities to be vacant, and making phone calls.
 

Ryan

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There is a rule against "disturbing other passengers". They aren't making it up.

You expect Amtrak to set a decibel limit and equip crews with sound measuring equipment?
A rule against talking on your phone in coach would be made up at this point in time.

I have no expectation and have faith that the current staff is just fine determining "disturbing other passengers" (as I've indicated above) without new rules on phones (made up or otherwise).
 

DonNewcomb

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When backpacking it's enough for me to be able to send and receive text messages. A train is a little city on wheels. One expects city conveniences, like toilets and cellular service. What countries, besides Australia allow major passenger rail routes to be unserved by cellular?
 
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Fair point. One of the common complaints in this forum is that Amtrak provides sub-standard service compared to European rail carriers. And yet here we have people arguing that Amtrak should go back to the 1970s.

Like it or not, cellular connectivity is an expectation in the modern world.

I fully appreciate that Amtrak runs through areas will no connectivity, but if there is connectivity passengers should be able to use it.
 
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