Passenger mistaking someone else's room for theirs

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AmtrakBlue

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Hmm, resting her eyes to a podcast - maybe she didn't hear them knock. And since someone reported that it was their room, of course they tried to open it.

@Cal you should change the title of this thread - they were not breaking in but trying to open the door to a wrong room
 

Cal

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Hmm, resting her eyes to a podcast - maybe she didn't hear them knock. And since someone reported that it was their room, of course they tried to open it.
I think they could've simply looked on the manifest before trying to open a door to a different room. And I'm not sure how the door would be locked if the occupants were not inside.
 

Cal

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It's not as bad as having all your stuff removed from your room by a boarding passenger while you're at lunch in the dining car. Just sayin'...
Wow, when did that happen? And is it that hard to memorize your room number and look at the numbers outside the door-
 

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It's a crazy situation, assuming it happened as described, but I can't shake the feeling that the author is leaving something important out. That's not to say I'm taking Amtrak's side but this is not a typical failure point and I'm struggling to understand how they would get this far down the rabbit hole from a single passenger's erroneous claim. The author discusses the lead-up to opening of the blinds in great detail and then...suddenly the story is over? When I have a slam dunk criticism I don't yada-yada over the confrontation and conclusion like they're extraneous details.
 

jiml

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Wow, when did that happen? And is it that hard to memorize your room number and look at the numbers outside the door-
About 6 years ago on Amtrak and about 20 years ago on VIA. I'd have to say Amtrak handled it better than VIA. My SCA had been having lunch at the table across from me, so I went back there and she came to evict the interloper. They had the right room in the wrong car.

It happens in hotels occasionally too - especially those that offer late check-out as an elite benefit. You pack up and go out for lunch, then find your bags in the hall.
 

desertflyer

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In the late 90s I broke into my cousin's roomette with an Amtrak spoon I had left over from a previous meal. I was 13, they were 14 and 15, heavy sleepers, and we were going to miss breakfast. The crowbar seems a little overkill, but maybe this was a better functioning door/lock.
 

Cal

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At least you know that you can get the door open if it's locked. I've always been a bit unsure about that.
 

WWW

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The car attendant no doubt has that tool - probably not much different then the restroom key for an airline lav.
So much for the security of your sleeping quarters.

About mistaking your roomette bedroom or other domain - say there are two or more sleeping cars on a train -
It must be possible to mistake getting that room mix up - you go off to the diner and get a free alcoholic dinner
beverage and wander back in the consist of cars to your quarters - oopps I went one car too short or long getting
there and wind up with why can't I access my room - the numbers match up (this unless Amtrak numbers the
rooms differently by car).
I think I read somewhere back in the hallowed articles of the forum that there is a way to denote the room number
and which car in the consist I would find it - helpful in boarding the right car at the origin point.

Very interesting that person boarding and finding the assigned room(ette) occupied with another persons luggage
and taking action to remove same without contacting a car attendant ! Ew A big bad mistake !!!
 

Cal

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The thing is ... since you can't lock the door from the outside, you shouldn't confuse your room with one that is locked
The SCA should've known that too and checked the manifest
 

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The car attendant no doubt has that tool - probably not much different then the restroom key for an airline lav.
So much for the security of your sleeping quarters.
No tool is required to open a locked airline lavatory and no key exists for Amtrak compartments.

The SCA should've known that too and checked the manifest
At the stated time the SCA would be looking at the manifest to see who was about to disembark and needed a reminder to get packing. That is one thing I've never seen them just randomly forget. If you ride sleepers hundreds of times you might get carried by accident but it's rare. I also cannot imagine telling an SCA that someone is in my room and the very next thing they do is grab a crowbar to break the door open. If I was the one inside the compartment there would be another thirty minutes of dialog after I opened the curtain but in this case the story just...ends.
 
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flitcraft

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I guess that's the most puzzling thing about the incident: I would presume the conductor would be notified before a SCA uses a crowbar to take a door off a locked room. Also, given the number of guns about and the lack of any checks, no way would I chance meeting someone after I've crowbarred their door open--whether an innocent occupant mistakenly defending themself or a stowaway desperado.
 

Cal

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It was never suggested that the passenger was preparing to get off at a stop, or that the uniformed members did not include a conductor.
 

WWW

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No tool is required to open a locked airline lavatory and no key exists for Amtrak compartments.
Right there is no tool to open a locked airline lavatory - just a pointy object to move the occupied sign to unoccupied unlocking the door.
A method that the Flight Attendant uses to lock a lav out of service. 29 years with a major airline I know the tricks here.

Now as for a Room Key for an Amtrak compartment - really NO KEY to unlock the room in case of an emergency - the Conductor doesn't have a pass key ?
So it is not possible lock yourself out of your room - but say you are in your room and you have fallen and can't access the locking door device - the plot
thickens and get interesting from here - a crow bar or hefty lever device to wedge open the door ?
 

zephyr17

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Now as for a Room Key for an Amtrak compartment - really NO KEY to unlock the room in case of an emergency - the Conductor doesn't have a pass key ?
No - because it is NOT A KEYED LOCK. Nobody has a key because THERE ARE NO KEYS.

There, we'll stop shouting now.

The lock design (actually just a latch since there is no locking mechanism) is called a "Pullman lock" or at least it used to be. It consists of a steel post extending from the door, a U shaped steel latch on the door frame that can be swung down over the post, and a steel holder that flips over the top the closed latch to hold it in place so it does not work loose from being jostled by the motion of the train. When inside the room you flip the latch down over the post and swing the holder down over the top of the closed latch. No key, no way to latch it from the outside. No way to unlatch it from the outside, either.

When latched to get it open from the outside they used a crowbar to unseat the door from its track so it could be worked around so they could get the latch to slip from over the post. It was a really big deal to resort to that.

Are we going to start another thread bemoaning the lack of sleeper accommodation keys? Sigh. Given the stellar maintenance that anything complex receives at Amtrak (think toilets, the dining car dumbwaiter which has failed on several of my trips over the years, and, last but not least, their godawful website), yeah, I really want that to happen. If it ever looks like they might do that, I know I will be looking forward to spending a trip sometime locked out of my room because no one on board knows how to fix a failed lock and neither do the host railroad car tonks that provide what maintenance can be done enroute.

When was the last time you remember the toilets or HVAC actually get fixed after an enroute failure?

BTW, the original Superliner Is had a somewhat more complicated lock mechanism built into the doors that could be latched with a trigger built into the door handle. They kept getting jostled loose and the doors kept coming open, so good old ancient Pullman locks were retrofitted onto all of them with a year or so. Take a look at a Superliner I room door, the original, failed, lock is still there.

There might have even been keys, at least for the staff, because above the handle there is round plated over patch that is just the size of a lock barrel. So they might have been able to be unlocked from the outside. It would not have mattered though, because those locks were not holding the door shut anyway.
 
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jiml

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No tool is required to open a locked airline lavatory and no key exists for Amtrak compartments.
Both correct. On an airplane, the lav can be unlocked (or locked) with a pen tip - heck even a hair pin when that was a thing, and older style North American sleeper compartments with any flat metal object, as described in Post #8, with very little effort unless jammed.
 

Steve4031

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I have occupied the wrong roomette twice out of Union station. Both times my fault. One time I was in. correct room number and wrong car. I just didn’t double check my ticket. This was on 30 and sca caught it and sent me on my way. The second time was on 21. Correct car but wrong room on lower level. Got turned around abs went in 11 instead of 12. Passengers for 11 showed up. I moved sheepishly to correct room. GF was with me and teased me a bit.
 

PaTrainFan

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I could potentially see this as slightly more risky now that that app does not display car or room number. Of course if you have a paper e-ticket and once you've occupied your room, I am not sure I get why a mixup would occur. But that's just me.
 
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Steve4031

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I flat out wasn’t paying attention. I’ve observed other passengers not remembering which sleeper that they are in when trying to write the car number on the diner check. My GF does not understand where one car ends and another begins.
 

crescent-zephyr

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I have occupied the wrong roomette twice out of Union station. Both times my fault.
I have done the same thing once in Union Station. I found the right roomette... but in turning around to organize my rolling suitcase and laptop bag I just got turned around and ended up in the roomette across the hallway.
 
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Bob Dylan

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I remember getting on #22 one time in Austin to head for Chicago and was booked in Bedroom A, since it was cheaper than the High Bucket Roomettes.

When I got upstairs, the door was Closed but not locked and I entered and there was someone's stuff allover the room and I heard the Shower running.

I backed out, went downstairs and talked with the SCA Reggie( a Good Friend and an Excellent OBS) who said he'd check with the Conductor, that the guy in the Room had upgraded with the Conductor from Coach after boarding in San Antonio.
( this was in the Paper ticket days when most SCAs collected your ticket for the Conductor) .

Since the Famy room was open, he had me put my stuff in there and asked if I wanted Brsakfast since Austin is Last Call for Sleeping Car Passengers.

I went to the Diner, had my usual Continential Breakfast, and after the Taylor stop Reggie came to the Diner and told me the Conductor had done the Upgrade since the Room was showing as "Available" thru Amtrak.com

My ticket was Valid in the #22 Sleeper since this was a non #422 Day and there was just One Revenue Sleeper in the consist.

He told me that the Conductor told him to put me in Bedroom E ( my Personal Favorite) since it was unoccupied as far as St Louis and something could be worked out then.

I happily took my stuff from the Family Bedroom to the E Room, and it ended up that I got to stay in E all the way to Chicago since the Person booked from STL to CHI Cancelled.

Once I was in Chicago, I called Custimer Relations and they told me that somehow the Computer had Cancelled my A Room Reservation and assigned me to the Family Room Bedroom without my receiving any noticed from Amtrak .

They offered a $200 Goodwill Voucher, but I declined since I actually came out better all things considered.

Only time in 50+ Years of riding Amtrak this has happened to me.( I have had my Room changed but always received advance notice)
 
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