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Should Amtrak allow smoking again?

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John Santos

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
137
I think the long stops are mainly to do train stuff... refuel, refill the water tanks, pump out the waste tanks, remove garbage and load fresh food, change crews, etc. (Usually the onboard staff stays with the train for the whole trip, though sometimes my Sleeping Car Attendant has changed in the middle, but I think the engineers usually don't sleep on the train but change every 8-10 hours or so, whatever the maximum allowable continuous shift is. Changing crews takes some time.) I don't think the reason for "Smoke Stops" is primarily for the convenience of smokers.
 

greatwestern

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
68
Location
Bristol England
Absolutely not.

The thought of going into any relatively enclosed environment where smoking is happening or has happened makes me shudder. The prospect of being put into a sleeper previously occupied by a smoker is "UNTHINKABLE".

When I was in charge of several sites way back in the 1980's on my way home I would occasionally have to call into one of those sites where there were smokers. Even though I might only spend a minute or so in the office, my wife would always know that I had called in due to the odour that had infiltrated into my clothing.

Even today, when smoking is banned in all public indoor spaces, if I happen to be walking outside I can often detect a smoker from 20 - 30 yards away simply from the smell in the air - and it is not pleasant !

I make these comments as someone who has not actually got any objection to people smoking, (tobacco NOT cannabis), as long as their smoking does not impact on me personally. Indeed I spent my whole working life in a company associated with and dependent on the tobacco industry.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,793
Location
CYN
The trouble with smoke is it doesn't stay "where it's supposed to." Back when smoking was allowed, the smoke from the people in the next compartment would drift into our compartment - especially because it's a shared ventilation system.

The only way it would work is if each smoking compartment had its own ventilation system which would blow air through there like a hurricane, so that the smoke wouldn't soil the curtains and other surfaces.

jb
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
2,572
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
It may not be up to Amtrak:

 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
2,878
No.

I am allergic to smoke. I cannot be in an enclosed space with people smoking for more than a couple of minutes before my eyes start watering, my nose stuffs up, and I start coughing.

If smoking were allowed again on the train, that would be the end of my train travels, and since I don’t fly, the end of any long-distance trips.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,598
Location
Baltimore. MD
I remember a ride on the Crescent back in 1990. No smoking, except in the lounge/cafe car. They had some kind of incredibly powerful HVAC system that seemed to be able to clear the smoke to the point that you couldn't even smell the smoke from a person puffing away across the table from you. But, of course, back then, the background reek from tobacco was much more common, so perhaps if I got into a time machine and was able to go back and ride in the same car, I would now notice the smell..

Oh, and in the "golden age" before Amtrak, most railroads allowed smoking in special "smoking cars." These reeked of tobacco, even if no one was smoking, and, except for the smokers, nobody wanted to ride in them. I found that out the hard way on one of my early joyrides, when I found an almost empty car on a crowded PRR NEC train. I didn't take me long to figure out why that car was empty. :)

Just to round out the tales of the past, back when I was in college, I smoked a pipe, and would you believe it, but TWA allowed my to smoke my pipe on an airplane in flight! In retrospect, I'm surprised the other passengers didn't pitch me out the door without a parachute!

In sort, No, No, NO, never allow smoking on the train again. If necessary, they should have nicotine gum for sale in the cafe car.
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,335
Location
Oregon Coast
I say yes but only in sleepers and a coach lounge.
Have you ever seen anyone die from lunge failure??? With covid now... that's how it kills.

But when I was 19 and in college I had to go to the hospital with hives... a nervous condition. My room mate was dying of lung cancer. His breathing was forced and sounded dreadfully painful. He had been a heavy smoker.

Smoking causes lung cancer... for those who smoke and from those who breath in the fumes from the smoker's cigarette and breath. Smoking is a toxic killer.

My biggest question is regarding this thread. There is positively no argument that can support smoking. If anyone has a smoking problem go and get help before it kills you.

And please remove this entire thread.🤧😨😞😖😣☹

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Eric S

Conductor
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2,544
Location
Milwaukee
If the concern is that "smokers' stops" unnecessarily lengthen schedules and delay trains, shouldn't the answer be to remove/shorten those stops (at least those that exist to accommodate smokers and not for some other operating reason)?
 
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sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
661
Only about 15% of the US population smokes, why should Amtrak do anything more to accomodate them? I would much rather there be tavern cars on Amtrak than smoke lounges. Tavern cars would at least make money, whereas attracting only 15% of the population with an equal or greater loss from nonsmokers would be a dumb idea.
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,335
Location
Oregon Coast
BTW... Amtrak is considered a Federal program... which would preclude that there can absolutely be no smoking within 'x amount of feet' of the train.

Most people don't smoke. Could you imagine the outrage nationwide if Amtrak were to allow smoking???

This is an archaic idea which isn't going to happen. Why even discuss it further???

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