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Smoking on the California Zephyr


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#41 Guest_quadrock_*

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 01:35 PM

Not sure if I should admit to this, but it seems that Sleeping Car smokers get slightly better treatment when it comes to smoking on board. I was always asked if I was a smoker by the Sleeping Car Attendant, who would then alert me where/when the smoking stops are. On two occasions, I was allowed to smoke on board. One was on the Capitol Limited from WAS to CHI. The train was running late and I haven't had a cigarette in many hours. The attendant told me to open up the window in the last sleeper vestibule and smoke away, just to do it on the side where there are no tracks in case of oncoming trains. On the second occasion, I was on the Silver Meteor coming from WPB to NWK, where my attendant really surprised me by actually opening up the rear door of the last sleeper and letting me smoke from out the back! She stood by me the entire time and locked the door when I was finished. What was more suprising, is that this was on the NEC, north of Washington, so we were going at a pretty good speed.

I did not pressure, complain, or even ask if I could smoke on either of these 2 occasions...I was offered the option and I took it. This doesn't necessarily comfirm the story of an entire car being converted to a smoking car, but it does show that employees (at least sleeping car attendants) do bend the rules. Both were handsomly tipped my me, so maybe that's the motivation?

#42 Guest_smoke smeller_*

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:56 PM

What about the crew smelling like smoke, when there are no smoke stops, or even stops at all? Are they smoking somewhere? I have smelled it when passing crew members in the train. I think they have a smoking car for the crew.

#43 AlanB

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:59 PM

The crew will sometimes slip into the baggage car to smoke.
Alan,

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#44 TVRM610

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:15 PM

Not sure if I should admit to this, but it seems that Sleeping Car smokers get slightly better treatment when it comes to smoking on board. I was always asked if I was a smoker by the Sleeping Car Attendant, who would then alert me where/when the smoking stops are. On two occasions, I was allowed to smoke on board. One was on the Capitol Limited from WAS to CHI. The train was running late and I haven't had a cigarette in many hours. The attendant told me to open up the window in the last sleeper vestibule and smoke away, just to do it on the side where there are no tracks in case of oncoming trains. On the second occasion, I was on the Silver Meteor coming from WPB to NWK, where my attendant really surprised me by actually opening up the rear door of the last sleeper and letting me smoke from out the back! She stood by me the entire time and locked the door when I was finished. What was more suprising, is that this was on the NEC, north of Washington, so we were going at a pretty good speed.

I did not pressure, complain, or even ask if I could smoke on either of these 2 occasions...I was offered the option and I took it. This doesn't necessarily comfirm the story of an entire car being converted to a smoking car, but it does show that employees (at least sleeping car attendants) do bend the rules. Both were handsomly tipped my me, so maybe that's the motivation?


Well I don't smoke, a co-worker of mine who travels with me does. You are right, sleeper passengers are given much better treatment about smoking sometimes. In my friends case there was no rule breaking, but he was allowed to step off the train to smoke quickly at stops other than the designated smoke stops. This makes perfect sense of course.

Edited by TVRM610, 01 October 2010 - 07:50 PM.

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#45 Guest_quadrock_*

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 06:39 PM

So I'm not the only one ;-)

It just surprised me how they were willing and able to bend so many rules, not that I'm complaining. It probably helped that in both cases, my car was mostly empty.

#46 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:11 PM


On two occasions, I was allowed to smoke on board.

You are right, sleeper passengers are given much better treatment about smoking sometimes.

Depends on your viewpoint I suppose. This sleeper passenger would consider on-board smoke breaks to be worse treatment.

This makes perfect sense of course.

Actually it makes no sense at all. You don't get any additional smoking privileges if you fly first class versus coach. The same basic rules are in place for trains, they're just not always being followed apparently. Which is simply unprofessional and raises the potential for completely unnecessary friction among the passengers and staff.

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Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain.

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#47 zephyr17

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:17 PM



On two occasions, I was allowed to smoke on board.

You are right, sleeper passengers are given much better treatment about smoking sometimes.

Depends on your viewpoint I suppose. This sleeper passenger would consider on-board smoke breaks to be worse treatment.

This makes perfect sense of course.

Actually it makes no sense at all. You don't get any additional smoking privileges if you fly first class versus coach. The same basic rules are in place for trains, they're just not always being followed apparently. Which is simply unprofessional and raises the potential for completely unnecessary friction among the passengers and staff.

Dax, you and I often wind up on opposite sides, but this this is right on the money. Well said.

Edited by zephyr17, 02 October 2010 - 07:18 PM.

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#48 Big Iron

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:53 PM

Looks like smoking rules are as "uniformly" enforced as are many of Amtrak's rules. The SCA in my car, seeing me smoking on the platform, told me she would get me for the smoking stops but be careful to not smoke on the train because the conductor would put me off. Somewhere past Point of Rocks the Conductor got on the PA to say, "To the coach passenger who is smoking in the bathrooms we will catch you and you WILL be put off the train." On the return trip on the Card we were trailing a deadheading Horizon coach. Both the crew (not the operating crew) and the pax used the rear platform to smoke. Heck, the train made a stop short of one of the stations in WVA so one of the diner-lite crew members could run across the street to get some cigs. I guess the benefit of having a new place to smoke onboard caused him to run out.
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#49 Ryan

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:03 PM

Actually it makes no sense at all. You don't get any additional smoking privileges if you fly first class versus coach. The same basic rules are in place for trains, they're just not always being followed apparently. Which is simply unprofessional and raises the potential for completely unnecessary friction among the passengers and staff.

It's a matter of practicality - a coach attendant has 2 cars with maybe 75 people in them. A sleeper attendant has one car with maybe 20 people in them. It's much easier for the sleeper attendant to manage 2 or 3 people stepping off the train for a quick puff or two than it is for a coach attendant to do that for 10 people at two different doors. There's nothing unprofessional about providing a higher level of service.
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