need information re smoke stops- new member-never traveled by train before

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Joined
Jan 15, 2020
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I'm new to the forum and wasn't sure how to invite others so please forgive me if I didn't do this right.
I understand there is no-smoking policy. My husband unfortunately smokes cigarettes. He would never break the rule. What I am asking is there stops made every couple hours for those that smoke? He would wear nicotine patches the rest of the time. any tips or information?
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
7,986
Some stop for crew changes/refueling/etc. every 4-6 hours. It just depends on the route. If you tell us the name of the train, we can tell you where and how often it stops.

They often call it a “fresh air stop” and will tell you how long you have. Stay near the train (but please smoke away from people and the doors). They won’t wait for you if you wander off.
 
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Awesome! thank you so so much for replying! It means so much to me. We are nervous we never been on a plane, train, ship or anything! We want to start with a small trip somewhere maybe even just a overnight trip to see how it goes. If I get it all planned I will let you know Thank you again!
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
252
It's important to know exactly what route you'll be on. For instance, the AutoTrain is basically non-stop from 3:30pm to 8 or 9:00am. There is one really short stop in Florence, SC around midnight for 10 minutes to change crew and get water. There is only one door off the train into a 12' square area. You need to be waiting at that door to get off for a couple of minutes. If caught smoking on other routes...your "destination" may be revised to be the next stop! LOL LOL
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
268
It's easier for smokers on a train than on a plane. No "fresh air" stops at 30,000 feet, and many airports are completely non-smoking, too. My late uncle loved Amtrak for accommodating what he called his "nasty habit," and we loved traveling with him. Miss those days...
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
4
It's important to know exactly what route you'll be on. For instance, the AutoTrain is basically non-stop from 3:30pm to 8 or 9:00am. There is one really short stop in Florence, SC around midnight for 10 minutes to change crew and get water. There is only one door off the train into a 12' square area. You need to be waiting at that door to get off for a couple of minutes. If caught smoking on other routes...your "destination" may be revised to be the next stop! LOL LOL
Thank you so so much for replying and the helpful information! I am not sure which route we would go on, to be honest I can't figure this website out but we are hoping to leave from Birmingham Al and take a small trip somewhere. thank you again for helping me it means a lot to me!
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
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It's easier for smokers on a train than on a plane. No "fresh air" stops at 30,000 feet, and many airports are completely non-smoking, too. My late uncle loved Amtrak for accommodating what he called his "nasty habit," and we loved traveling with him. Miss those days...
Thank you so much for your reply and your help! I understand about missing late loved ones brings back memories of fun travels for sure. thank you
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
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Thank you so so much for replying and the helpful information! I am not sure which route we would go on, to be honest I can't figure this website out but we are hoping to leave from Birmingham Al and take a small trip somewhere. thank you again for helping me it means a lot to me!
The Amtrak website is horrible, in my opinion. And I don’t think I’m alone. So don’t feel bad if you can’t immediately figure out where you want to go! But I do think and hope that you will love your trip.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
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It looks like the Crescent is perfect for you! Google Amtrak Crescent, click on the link that says "Crescent Train, New York, Atlanta, New Orleans..," then click on "schedule." The timetable will come up, and if you go down the left-hand side you will see that you can leave Birmingham around noon and get to New Orleans around 7:00 p.m. You would have to stay at least one night in New Orleans, because the return train leaves around 7:00 in the morning (go up on the right-hand side of the schedule), and you will get back to Birmingham at a decent hour in the afternoon.

I don't know anything about the area you are in, so I don't know what the intermediate stops are like, but you have the choice of stopping overnight at any of the other places listed between Birmingham and New Orleans.

Other people on here will correct me if I got any details wrong.

Hope this helps--when we are not going on our own trips, we love to help other people plan theirs and hear how they turned out!:)
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
761
This is an interactive map that shows all the Amtrak routes
https://asm.transitdocs.com/map

You can zoom in and out and move it around. The closer you get the more stops show. If you see a route that looks like it would work for you, just click on one of the train numbers and you will get a list of all the stops, in order, as well as the name of the train route. You can then check that train route (by name) with the list in this thread https://discuss.amtraktrains.com/threads/stretch-smoke-stop-list.72231/

The Crescent (19/20) goes through Birmingham and runs between New York City and New Orleans ... going through Atlanta, DC and Philly - you can decide which direction and how far you want to go
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,780
If you live in Birmingham and want a short trip “to try it out”, you may want to consider an overnight trip to either New Orleans or Atlanta. The northbound and southbound trains meet near Birmingham, so a 1 day trip from Birmingham is not possible.
 

chakk

Conductor
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,553
If you live in Birmingham and want a short trip “to try it out”, you may want to consider an overnight trip to either New Orleans or Atlanta. The northbound and southbound trains meet near Birmingham, so a 1 day trip from Birmingham is not possible.
Or take the Crescent to Meridian, MS and you can visit a museum dedicated to hometown boy Jimmie Rodgers, widely regarded as the Father of Country Music.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
2,971
Even if the trip is short, do the return in a roomette or BR if you can. It will give you a chance to see what an overnight trip to DC or NYC would be like. Also note, Amtrak PROHIBITS vaping so the patches would be the proper substitute.
As to why the return rather than the outgoing trip in the room? Never do the nicer part first or you will be disappointed in the return trip.
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
192
The Amtrak website is horrible, in my opinion. And I don’t think I’m alone. So don’t feel bad if you can’t immediately figure out where you want to go! But I do think and hope that you will love your trip.
AMTRAK's website is pretty bad. In order to make it look all fancy and tech savvy, they have really put lipstick on a pig. Youv'e got to scroll all over Hell's Half Acre, and figure out what do to on a not very intuitive design.
Here's what I do if I am trying to do something other than a one way direct...
Grab the system route map... https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/Maps/Amtrak-System-Map-1018.pdf

Go to their site, click on "schedules", then on "Get downloadable schedules for all routes". Download and print the schedules of the routes in which you are interested. Work out your itinerary manually. Then call AMTRAK directly and book. You'll save a lot of tsouris.

And if you are not a an AMTRAK Guest Rewards member, then sign up now. Costs nothing, and you can access the AGR number - oftimes those folks are a little more savvy.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,404
The Crescent has smoke stops in a Washington, DC, Charlottesville, VA, Charlotte, NC, Greenville, SC, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Meridian, MS. I believe Lynchburg, VA and Greensboro, NC might also be as well
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,086
I don't know about smoking laws where you live. Before booking a trip it may be a good idea to check local smoking restrictions. Many places have laws that just about eliminate places to light up.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,746
For some reason, the smoke stop locations are not published anywhere, but for each train, someone on this forum will know the smoke stop locations.

The only train to Birmingham, AL is the Crescent. So download the downloadable timetable for the Crescent and see your options.
 

tricia

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
958
Smoke stops are one thing that crews, to some extent, legitimately need to make up as they go along. If a train is running late, scheduled station dwell times are often reduced to try to make up lost time. In my too-extensive experience with delayed trains, the conductor typically announces well in advance when there'll be a smoke stop, and whether it's going to be really short.

The most reliable smoke stops are at crew change and re-supply points, which usually show up on the train's timetable as having a separate arrival and departure times.

I'm not a smoker, but do like to get off the train to stretch and breathe fresh air.
 
Last edited:

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
761
My daughter and I enjoyed getting off the SM in WDC and watching the engine change ... we did not like walking through the cloud of smoke next to the train - and this was before "vaping" added to the cloud.

Anyway, like was mentioned, in most cases, the smoke stops were announced long before we arrived at the stop
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,746
Smoke stops are restricted by local law as well as everything else, so the conductors only have a limited number of *possible* smoke stops. They can have fewer but they cannot make a stop where it is prohibited into a smoke stop.

Smokers should get the patch or the gum, period.
 
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