Sleeper Door Locks

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Glo Nevius

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We usually book a bedroom for our travel that involves an overnight, but this time we are only going to be on the Coast Starlight for approx. 12 hours, so we booked a roomette so that we can still enjoy the atmosphere we have become accustomed to. Is there a way to lock your roomette doors when you are away from the room and enjoying a meal or the lounge car? If not, is there much plifering in the sleeper cars? I assume I can shade off the windows when we close our doors and walk away? Thanks for your knowledgeable assistance.
 
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R30A

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I have encountered people who thought someone stole from them in sleeper perhaps 3 times in my rather numerous travels on amtrak. Each of them eventually found the item in their room.
 
R

R30A

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But to answer your question more directly, no, there are no external locks.
 

Railroad Bill

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Unfortunately, you can not lock your roomette door from the outside when you leave. We have never had a problem with theft in the sleeper cars but it is always good advice to take any valuables with you when you leave the room. I always have my camera with me and make sure other items are hidden in luggage or under the seat. :)

Although most trains have the diner or lounge car separating coach from sleeper cars, that is no always the case. Most good sleeping car attendants know who is supposed to be in their car and discourage strangers from entering the car.

As far as the people riding in the sleeper, I have found most are "Old Cogers" like us and still have some values about not taking things that don't belong to you. :)

Common sense is usually the best policy in avoiding crime :cool:
 

Linda T

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Unfortunately, you can not lock your roomette door from the outside when you leave. We have never had a problem with theft in the sleeper cars but it is always good advice to take any valuables with you when you leave the room. I always have my camera with me and make sure other items are hidden in luggage or under the seat. :)

Although most trains have the diner or lounge car separating coach from sleeper cars, that is no always the case. Most good sleeping car attendants know who is supposed to be in their car and discourage strangers from entering the car.

As far as the people riding in the sleeper, I have found most are "Old Cogers" like us and still have some values about not taking things that don't belong to you. :)

Common sense is usually the best policy in avoiding crime :cool:
What Railroad Bill said. :lol: The only time I ever experienced a person in a sleeper room when they didn't belong in it was when I went to my room but was in the wrong car. I walked in looked around and quickly realized it wasn't my room, backed up and left ASAP, totally embarrassed. :wub:
 

Michigan Mom

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I'm in agreement... although the risk of theft is small, why leave anything in plain view. Since the door can't be locked from the outside it could slide open when you're away. Either put valuables away where they can't be seen or take with you.
 
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gswager

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Keep the door curtains closed because there is no way to look through the glass door to check if someone is there or not. And keep your items hidden such as under the pillow, in the 2nd bunk, or whatever.
 

jhjr

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I"ll echo what others have said - In about 30 or so overnight sleeper trips I've never witnessed any theft and the only time something went missing it was found. I just put things out of sight.

If you need something for your own peace of mind, you can buy a type of travel lock that uses a wire locking mechanism - usually with around 18 inches of wire. You can lock valuables in a carryon and then use the wire lock to connect the carryon to something in the roomette. It's not foolproof but it could at least deter someone. I also think there are some pricey backpacks for laptops that claim to be theft proof.
 

cirdan

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What the other said.

I also believe the attendants and other staff do keep an eye open and will notice if somebody enters the car who shouldn't be there.

I normally take cash, credit cards and camera with me when I'm elsewhere on the train. Either in my pockets or in a small bag.

As you could well see something amazing at any point it's useful to have the camera with you anyway, rather than by itself in the room.

Leaving the curtains closed helps as nobody can see whether the roomette is occupied.

I have on occasions (through my own stupidity) left valuables in plain sight but nothing was ever taken.

So I believe it is pretty safe.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I wish Amtrak would put some padlock loops on the door so as a responsible passenger I can choose to lock my door or not in order to protect my own possessions. Doesn't seem like it would be all that expensive to add a metal loop to each compartment. Amtrak doesn't need to supply the locks, that's for us to provide if we so choose, although it would certainly make sense for them to include a lock cutter somewhere in the car or on the train. The padlock system doesn't need to be impenetrable; it just needs to be enough of a pain to convince any potential thieves to move on to the next unlocked compartment. Folks who don't think anything will ever be stolen are still free to leave everything open and unlocked if they so choose.

Everybody wins!
 

Medic981

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I wish Amtrak would put some padlock loops on the door so as a responsible passenger I can choose to lock my door or not in order to protect my own possessions. Doesn't seem like it would be all that expensive to add a metal loop to each compartment. Amtrak doesn't need to supply the locks, that's for us to provide if we so choose, although it would certainly make sense for them to include a lock cutter somewhere in the car or on the train. The padlock system doesn't need to be impenetrable; it just needs to be enough of a pain to convince any potential thieves to move on to the next unlocked compartment. Folks who don't think anything will ever be stolen are still free to leave everything open and unlocked if they so choose.

Everybody wins!
Then someone can lock an occupant in the compartment. Amtrak would need to keep a pair of bolt cutters to cut the lock for those who are trapped in the compartment or for those passengers how have lost their key.
 

willem

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Note that this thread is 3+ years old, and Devil's Advocate did say that "it would certainly make sense for them to include a lock cutter somewhere in the car or on the train."

The proposal is unlikely to be implemented unless it can be disabled when the room is occupied, to ensure that no one is locked in the room if there is an accident. On the other hand, an occupant could be in a room with the door locked on the inside following an accident, so maybe there isn't that much difference. First responders would be delayed in either case.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Then someone can lock an occupant in the compartment. Amtrak would need to keep a pair of bolt cutters to cut the lock for those who are trapped in the compartment or for those passengers how have lost their key.
Such reminds me of one trip, where, as the train stopped, the sliding door of the Viewliner roomette across the isle from us, slid/slammed shut rather forcefully. This was the station for the guy in that roomette, and he started to panic when he could not re-open his door. I got up, and being a frequent passenger, knew exactly how to squeeze the latch to re-open his door for him. :D
 
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This old thread is still interesting for anyone new to sleeper travel. Lots of good points here.

IMHO, the biggest reason that they don't offer externally lockable doors, is the cost and hassle of lost and/or stolen keys. There are high-tech solutions to this, however...

They could build new cars with built in electronic locks, that passenger's could program themselves with a four digit PIN number. These could be similar to the locks on cruise ship cabin safe's. In the event the passenger forgets their number, or if a passenger gets off and leaves their room locked, the train employees could be provided with the tool necessary to open said lock.

Another means to discourage theft (or any other crime) on board would be to install security camera's to cover the aisle's of each car. More and more buses are equipped with these, as well as transit cars.
 

BCL

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This old thread is still interesting for anyone new to sleeper travel. Lots of good points here.

IMHO, the biggest reason that they don't offer externally lockable doors, is the cost and hassle of lost and/or stolen keys. There are high-tech solutions to this, however...

They could build new cars with built in electronic locks, that passenger's could program themselves with a four digit PIN number. These could be similar to the locks on cruise ship cabin safe's. In the event the passenger forgets their number, or if a passenger gets off and leaves their room locked, the train employees could be provided with the tool necessary to open said lock.

Another means to discourage theft (or any other crime) on board would be to install security camera's to cover the aisle's of each car. More and more buses are equipped with these, as well as transit cars.
Hotels and cruise ships already use various forms of keycard locks. The most common are magnetic strip cards, although I've stayed in hotels using contactless card. Authorized personnel could carry master keys that open any lock. Also - these systems are usually designed such that once a new set of keycards is programmed for a particular lock, the first time one of those new keycards is used, the lock system will no longer accept any previously programmed keycards. So when a keycard is lost, it's probably best to get new keycards ASAP and use them quickly to invalidate the lost one(s). They might also have an expiration programmed.

I suppose the most difficult thing would be whether or not an off the shelf system could be used. The most important thing would be a locking system that work with sliding doors.
 

valkyrie

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Hotels and cruise ships already use various forms of keycard locks. The most common are magnetic strip cards, although I've stayed in hotels using contactless card. Authorized personnel could carry master keys that open any lock. Also - these systems are usually designed such that once a new set of keycards is programmed for a particular lock, the first time one of those new keycards is used, the lock system will no longer accept any previously programmed keycards. So when a keycard is lost, it's probably best to get new keycards ASAP and use them quickly to invalidate the lost one(s). They might also have an expiration programmed.

I suppose the most difficult thing would be whether or not an off the shelf system could be used. The most important thing would be a locking system that work with sliding doors.
Exactly, the technology already exists. The problem is it costs money to install and maintain such a system. Hell, the last sleeper I had, the flip over latch wouldn't even lock the door from the inside! I have no reason to believe AMTRAK is even considering such an upgrade and why would they, customers fill sleepers as they currently exist without keys.
 

PVD

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If I attempt to provide security, I have to defend myself against claims that it wasn't adequate, or failed. If I don't promise it, it takes away quite a bit of the burden.
 
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If I attempt to provide security, I have to defend myself against claims that it wasn't adequate, or failed. If I don't promise it, it takes away quite a bit of the burden.
Perhaps.....but then, even having a sign on a property reading: "Not Responsible for loss", etc.... doesn't always hold up in litigation...

it boils down to what a "reasonable person" would expect in the way of security when decided by a jury....

And no, I am not a lawyer, and I don't even "play one" on TV... :p
 

Phil S

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On #14 last week, the roomette door lock was missing a piece of the part that attaches to the fixed edge of the door. It sort of locked so I didn't pay much attention to it. Next morning when I awoke I discovered that the door had been open all night (curtains closed). I know some people like sleeping with the door open -- more fresh air, I think. For me, it felt a little weird. Most of my valuables were in a backpack shoved under seats - totally inaccessible w/o waking me. So that's not what I was worried about.

Anyone else had this happen?

Changing threads (hijacking? I hope not) I had a screwdriver along so when the IC system started blaring into my roomette - well, 2 screws hold the grill on, 6 screws attach the actual loudspeaker, and the two (+/- DC low voltage) leads just slip off the contacts with no trouble. Goes back together just fine, I doubt anyone will ever care, and the announcements from the hallway speakers were still perfectly audible.

Anybody see why we shouldn't do this? Safety issues?
 

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If you can't see why dismantling part of the train for your own purposes is wrong, then what I say probably won't alter that.

Some idiot will read it and end up electrocuting themselves maybe, because they read all about it on A.U. ?

If you know what you are doing, then do it quietly, and return it to normal after... Don't advertise it !!!

As to door locking. My feeling is that if the urgent need arises, it is important to know if anyone is still in a room... You can't rely on finding a member of staff with a key in such circumstances. I have had my roomette door slide open at night due to vibration too, but never felt even slightly worried when on an Amtrak train, coach or roomette, (or lounge floor :p )

Ed. :cool:
 

Phil S

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If you can't see why dismantling part of the train for your own purposes is wrong, then what I say probably won't alter that.

Some idiot will read it and end up electrocuting themselves maybe, because they read all about it on A.U. ?

If you know what you are doing, then do it quietly, and return it to normal after... Don't advertise it !!!

As to door locking. My feeling is that if the urgent need arises, it is important to know if anyone is still in a room... You can't rely on finding a member of staff with a key in such circumstances. I have had my roomette door slide open at night due to vibration too, but never felt even slightly worried when on an Amtrak train, coach or roomette, (or lounge floor :p )

Ed. :cool:
As for the speaker in the room, there have been several threads here with people discussing how annoying and unnecessary the in-room speakers are. Many superliner roomettes used to have a dial for sound level (that actually worked) but alas they seem to be going the way of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. And the wiring is all 12 V so no one is going to get electrocuted.

As to door locking, I'm missing what "knowing if anyone is still in a room" has to do with the door lock being broken and not staying locked. at night.

Cheers,

Phil

Phil
 

OlympianHiawatha

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I have never had any concerns or problems with the door locks and would never even consider "hot wiring" the Speaker, as it is there for your safety. If an emergency happens and you are unable to clearly (hopefully) hear instructions, you could be in a lot of trouble FAST. True, we have to sometimes put up with a lot of unnecessary bluthering on it, but it can also save lives.
 

PVD

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Many of us have proposed that in any new car or upgrade, the speakers in the room should be able to be turned off, with an override for emergency announcements. Of course, the whining will commence immediately upon the first person missing a meal call. Tampering could get someone thrown off the train with zero recourse.
 
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While the speaker may be annoying, it is totally unacceptable to tamper with the equipment, even if you "know" what you are doing, IMHO....

And I agree with Caravanman...if you are going to do something like that anyway, keep it to yourself...that is not the sort of "tip" that should be shared on AU, or any public forum for that matter.

That said, the cruise ships have a solution to address the issues brought up here. They have a means to lower or mute the volume on the channel in the cabin that you can hear announcements on. However, in the event of an emergency on board, the cabin speakers will override that and broadcast at full volume for safety announcements.
 
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