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teen daughter traveling alone

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pennyk

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I also agree that getting a roomette is a good choice. Meals are included (during normal meal times) with sleeper fare. Also, in my opinion, the restrooms in sleeper cars are cleaner than those in coach.
 
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Thanks again for all the input. We have a better sense of what her Amtrak experience will be now. Really appreciate that Amtrak has this forum! Nice service!
 

Abe26

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Amtrak is a very safe place. You should tell the conductor that she is traveling by herself, and they will keep a eye on her. 16 years old is already mature to know what not to do.
 

oregon pioneer

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If it's any help, I can tell you that I have found quite a few women over 65 traveling alone on Amtrak. As a Little Old Lady myself, I feel very safe. I have only once had an unpleasant encounter on Amtrak, and it was no more than a feeling on my part that I wished to avoid the passenger in question (as did other passengers -- he was just a little strange). I was in coach on the Sunset Ltd at the time. I spoke to the conductor, and he spoke to the passenger warning him to "stay in his lane," in effect. That took care of the situation and we had no more issues with him saying strange things.

I like traveling in a roomette, because it gives me personal space especially for sleeping, and a flat place to lie down (more important as I get older). But I travel in coach on day trips, and have only had any issues that one time. I've never seen anyone I thought less than respectable on the Empire Builder (my most frequent train). Amtrak does not require notification for 16 year olds traveling alone, but your daughter should identify who her car attendant is (one in each sleeper, one for each two coaches usually sitting at the rear of the coach), and notify them or the conductor if she feels any uneasiness.

Personally, I think this is a grand adventure for her, and she will have a lot of fun and begin learning to be on her own (full disclosure: I went most of the way across the country to college in coach, by myself, age 17, in 1968. I loved the trip).
https://assistive.amtrak.com/h5/assistive/r/www.amtrak.com/planning-booking/tickets-reservations/unaccompanied-minors.html
 

Saddleshoes

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I would recommend paying the difference for a sleeper or business class. (I’m an adult male and that’s what I do most of the time.)

I used to always ride coach on corridor trains, but once I was riding the Carbondale to Chicago train and my coach was boarded by 6 or more guys who were literally just let out of prison. I was a bit uncomfortable with that and honestly... the extra money for Business class is well worth it.

I'll still go coach on the NEC although I usually ride Acela just for the novelty of it.
I have to share!!!
I worked part-time in the Illinois Department of Corrections for 26 years. I am also a frequent rider on the St. Louis to Chicago route. I have had a number of occasions had newly released cons get on the train with me. (Springfield, Lincoln and Pontiac are most likely.) I invite these guys to set with me! They are happy, scared, unsure and lost all at the same time. I love to introduce myself and tell them, "Welcome to he free world". I buy them a coke and a candy bar and visit. When I have done this it has been the highlight of my week every time!
 

Brian Battuello

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In the 1970's my girlfriend and I spent the night in the San Francisco Greyhound bus station. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. When I watched the Pixar "Inside Out" scene where the 11 year old girl runs away from home and passes through the SFG terminal, it gave me flashbacks for weeks. That was a very dangerous place.

Much more recently, I took my very mature 15 year old daughter to Cape Cod, and it was convenient to leave her in the Hyannis transit station for about 20 minutes in the middle of the day while I ran an errand. You can't imagine a more cheerful and happy place. But I happened to mention to the station attendant as I was leaving that she was with me and I'd be back soon. When I returned he said he was worried out of his mind the whole time and to never leave her there alone again. Go figure...
 

Bob Dylan

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In the 1970's my girlfriend and I spent the night in the San Francisco Greyhound bus station. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. When I watched the Pixar "Inside Out" scene where the 11 year old girl runs away from home and passes through the SFG terminal, it gave me flashbacks for weeks. That was a very dangerous place.

Much more recently, I took my very mature 15 year old daughter to Cape Cod, and it was convenient to leave her in the Hyannis transit station for about 20 minutes in the middle of the day while I ran an errand. You can't imagine a more cheerful and happy place. But I happened to mention to the station attendant as I was leaving that she was with me and I'd be back soon. When I returned he said he was worried out of his mind the whole time and to never leave her there alone again. Go figure...
Same for the LA Greyhound Station and the Port Authority Station in New York!

Wierd, spooky places back in the day!!
 

v v

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Same for the LA Greyhound Station and the Port Authority Station in New York!

Wierd, spooky places back in the day!!
Not often (if ever) would I disagree with you Bob, but have been in both places recently and think they are just different so need an alternative approach. We travel enough to assume we are not totally naïve people and in the US we have sort of the same language so neither of those causes can be used for misreading a situation.
Greyhound stations are rough and ready (although the one in LA is the best we've been in for a long time), but there are still good conversations to be had and often a stranger has a ready smile for you, just different to other public transport.

Looking forward to meeting up again in San Diego
 

oregon pioneer

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Some people don't come here every day, LOL!

I am back to say that a lot depends on how the individual teen. If she is a passive girl, I guess I would want someone to watch over her and make sure no one takes advantage of that trait (which exists in people of all ages). If she has the gumption to walk away from an unpleasant situation, tell someone, make a phone call, nothing is going to get out of hand on Amtrak. After all, if anyone were to persist in bothering another passenger, they won't be getting off the train and away from Amtrak personnel until at least the next stop. This in itself is a deterrent!

Every once in a while, I see a news story about an Amtrak train being met by police at a station (for example, someone who has ignored a warning about smoking or drinking in public on the train). They don't let people get away with bad behavior.
 
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