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Exceptions to the 13-15 YO rule?


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#21 PRR 60

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:13 PM

 

Those 18 and over riding Amtrak are required to carry TSA approved ID.  Amtrak may randomly check passenger ID for security reasons.  Those minors under 18 should carry a TSA approved ID which can be their official High School or College ID which does not have their DOB, but does officially identify them with a photo and is approved by the TSA.


I looked up the rule, and Amtrak says that ID is needed to purchase tickets, check in baggage, or pick up tickets. I guess using a credit card gets around that, but most kids can't get their own credit cards.

 

 

But, their parents have credit cards and can buy the tickets for them. They can carry the eTicket printout. From a practical standpoint, there is no ID required for passengers under 18 to ride Amtrak.



#22 MikefromCrete

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:03 PM

 

With more and more stations unstaffed and with the policy of no over night travel or change of trains, it is unlikely minors under the age of 16 will be able to travel unaccompanied.  Less liability for Amtrak to manage, so with more and more trigger happy parents filing law suits against anyone gets that near their children.


Does anyone have an example of an actual parent suing Amtrak over someone approaching their child? I know it's fun and easy to just assume everyone in the country is a raving lunatic, especially in the current climate of alternative facts and fake news, but I've asked for some sort of evidence of this problem multiple times, and so far as I am aware nobody has ever been able to produce anything verifiable.

 

 

Sorry we don't have access to Amtrak's legal department records. But this is America and if something did happen to a minor traveling alone on Amtrak you can bet your ass they would sue. 



#23 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:38 PM

https://www.amtrak.c...d-minors-policy

 

The idea of avoiding lawsuits is the reason for policies against minors traveling alone (or to make sure they are being adequately supervised). If Amtrak says they don't allow it, parents can't sue Amtrak then.

 

I think the wristband policy is just putting a bigger target on them though.


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#24 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

Quote from the AMTRAK Web Site   Photo ID Required

Amtrak customers 18 years of age and older must produce valid photo identification when:

  • Obtaining, exchanging or refunding tickets
  • Storing baggage at stations
  • Checking baggage
  • Sending Amtrak Express shipments
  • Onboard trains, in response to a request by an Amtrak employee

Please note that unaccompanied children 16 - 17 must also produce valid photo ID when purchasing tickets, obtaining travel documents and checking baggage.

Random Ticket/ID Checks

Following federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines, we regularly conduct random ticket verification checks onboard trains to ensure that passengers are properly ticketed. Please be prepared to show valid photo identification to a member of the onboard crew upon request.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#25 PRR 60

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:39 PM

Those 18 and over riding Amtrak are required to carry TSA approved ID.  Amtrak may randomly check passenger ID for security reasons.  Those minors under 18 should carry a TSA approved ID which can be their official High School or College ID which does not have their DOB, but does officially identify them with a photo and is approved by the TSA.

 

School or college ID cards are not TSA approved for travel.

 

TSA does not require passengers under 18 to have ID. Airlines may have their own ID requirements for passengers under 18.  Technically, TSA does not "require" ID. They have a procedure to identify passengers who do not have ID.



#26 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:30 PM

According to Amtrak, technically, those under 18 do not have to have photo ID, but if the TSA and Amtrak did a random ID check on the train, having the Official School District issued ID's constitutes an Amtrak/TSA approved form of photo ID even though it does not display the DOB.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#27 BCL

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:15 PM

According to Amtrak, technically, those under 18 do not have to have photo ID, but if the TSA and Amtrak did a random ID check on the train, having the Official School District issued ID's constitutes an Amtrak/TSA approved form of photo ID even though it does not display the DOB.

 

Some school IDs might have DOB, but there's never been anything terribly consistent about school IDs since there's never really been any standards.



#28 PRR 60

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:38 PM

According to Amtrak, technically, those under 18 do not have to have photo ID, but if the TSA and Amtrak did a random ID check on the train, having the Official School District issued ID's constitutes an Amtrak/TSA approved form of photo ID even though it does not display the DOB.

 

As I said previously, ID is not required for passengers under 18 if subject to on board checks, and school ID's are not "TSA approved."



#29 Lonestar648

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

According to Amtrak: Examples of acceptable forms of ID include:

State or provincial driver's license
Passport
Official government-issued identification (federal, state, city or county government or foreign government)
Canadian provincial health card ID card with photo
Military photo ID
Student identification (university, college or high school photo ID)

Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#30 PRR 60

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:26 PM

According to Amtrak: Examples of acceptable forms of ID include:

State or provincial driver's license
Passport
Official government-issued identification (federal, state, city or county government or foreign government)
Canadian provincial health card ID card with photo
Military photo ID
Student identification (university, college or high school photo ID)

 

School ID's are OK for Amtrak, but not for TSA. That was my issue. You said (twice) that school ID's are "TSA approved," They are not.



#31 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:01 AM

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.

Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)

No trees were killed to make this, but a number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

My apologies if I offend you, or seem stubborn, it's simply my nature. I am 14 after all, and my English isn't exactly perfect.


#32 tricia

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:17 AM

 

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.

 

 

I don't think anyone here thinks you're incapable. But for you to travel alone breaks a rule. Responses in this thread have outlined what the consequences are likely to be if you're caught breaking that rule. That folks here think it's not a good idea for you to break that rule doesn't mean they think you're incompetent to ride alone.



#33 zephyr17

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:26 AM

 

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.

 

Sorry, Henry.  It isn't about you and I am sure you are perfectly capable.  I myself rode from Los Angeles to Chicago on the Super Chief by myself when I was 15.  Santa Fe had no policy against it, so it was perfectly all right then.

 

But the corporate policy is the corporate policy, and, as others have pointed out, it is probably primarily for legal and liability reasons.  There don't appear to be any exceptions to the policy.  Don't take it personally, it isn't a reflection on you.  I don't think Mike was saying you were not capable, but rather that exceptions aren't made.

 

With that said, if you are willing to take the possible consequences, that is your decision.  But bear in mind, no one is going to risk their job to let you ride.  Policies around minors tend to get a lot of attention because the consequences of something happening to a minor are pretty severe in terms of publicity.  So, unlike some other policies, this one is likely to be enforced.


Edited by zephyr17, 16 June 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#34 MARC Rider

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:13 PM

 What's the history of the Amtrak unaccompanied minors policy?  I was 17 in 1971 on A-Day, and I think I rode an Amtrak train at least once before I turned 18.  I was riding PRR and Penn Central trains by myself since I was 10.   For that matter, when I was 14, my parents put me on a plane to visit my grandmother in Florida, and I don't remember all the bureaucratic ringamorole that I went through when I put my 14 year old daughter on a plane to visit a friend in California. And to this day, I see unaccompanied grade-school age minors riding the Washington Metro and Metrobus.  Was there some sort of incident on Amtrak involving an unaccompanied minor?



#35 BCL

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:17 PM

 

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.

 

But they're not going to make an exception for you or anyone else.  Like others said, don't take it personally.  Nobody in Amtrak is judging you by denying you the option to ride alone outside the standard policy.  You're going to be old enough to ride alone anywhere on Amtrak in short order anyways.  Why are you sweating it now?

 

I'm sure I was ready to ride Amtrak alone at age 12, but I wouldn't have violated the policy for fear of the consequences.  At your age I was taking public transportation and spending all day by myself, so a scheduled railroad would have been easy.  However, I was allowed to ride alone without needing any adult supervision or escorts at either end.  Amtrak doesn't give you that option.  That's the way it works.



#36 A Voice

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:47 PM

 

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.

 

 

To be effective, a policy must be short, simple, and easy to understand and implement with little room for misinterpretation (an interview would be both impractical and much too subjective).  It cannot allow for every contingency, but that means some persons such as yourself - who may very well be able to travel alone - cannot get an exception.  

 

Theme parks often set height requirements for attractions, even though some six year old kids are taller than some eight year old children.

 

You must be 18 to vote, even if you know more about the issues than most adults.  

 

The unaccompanied minor restriction is in place for a reason; Not because of your ability to travel alone, but because many persons your age should not.  



#37 Thirdrail7

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:48 PM

 What's the history of the Amtrak unaccompanied minors policy?  I was 17 in 1971 on A-Day, and I think I rode an Amtrak train at least once before I turned 18.  I was riding PRR and Penn Central trains by myself since I was 10.   For that matter, when I was 14, my parents put me on a plane to visit my grandmother in Florida, and I don't remember all the bureaucratic ringamorole that I went through when I put my 14 year old daughter on a plane to visit a friend in California. And to this day, I see unaccompanied grade-school age minors riding the Washington Metro and Metrobus.  Was there some sort of incident on Amtrak involving an unaccompanied minor?

 

 What's the history of the Amtrak unaccompanied minors policy?  I was 17 in 1971 on A-Day, and I think I rode an Amtrak train at least once before I turned 18.  I was riding PRR and Penn Central trains by myself since I was 10.   For that matter, when I was 14, my parents put me on a plane to visit my grandmother in Florida, and I don't remember all the bureaucratic ringamorole that I went through when I put my 14 year old daughter on a plane to visit a friend in California. And to this day, I see unaccompanied grade-school age minors riding the Washington Metro and Metrobus.  Was there some sort of incident on Amtrak involving an unaccompanied minor?

 

 

Actually, Amtrak had a pretty liberal policy at one point. Up until 2011, children from 8 to 14 were covered under the unaccompanied minor policy and qualifed for restricted travel.  Once a child turned 15, they were clear and free to navigate the system as long as they didn't cross the border.

 

It wasn't one specific incident that brought the change and not unlike Devil's Advocate, I don't recall any attempts to run off with the minors. What I DO recall is the game of finances and a few games of hide and go seek. This change came when they started reducing available staff members on the trains.  Typically, it isn't that big of a deal on the long distance trains nor is it that big of a deal with NEC trains. It became an issue during disruptions involving  some of the state supported trains or if a train short staffed. There were times that unaccompanied minors became completely unattended minors. I recall occasions where some of the younger children became frightened and inconsolable. I recall occasions where the children were....children.  They hid from the crews, attempted to get off early, play and sometimes, wouldn't listen. That's what some children do. 

 

I suppose someone took a good look and decided to raise the age,  hoping that a child may have reached a certain level of maturity and could realize what is occurring. Hopefully, they could also respond to instructions and if necessary, take appropriate action, particularly if the crew has to leave the train.

 

Personally, most of the unaccompanied behaved better than the adults! ^_^


Edited by Thirdrail7, 16 June 2017 - 02:48 PM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#38 Lonestar648

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 03:22 PM

I suspect that the legal department was reviewing Amtrak policies for legal updating to be covered with how legal interprets the company's legal liability.  Probably nothing happened, just that legal advised management that there was an opportunity for legal action with the current policy at that time, for minors traveling alone.  Based on legal advice to protect Amtrak from those who are looking for their lawsuit to "win the lottery" the policy was changed.  Interesting that a legal team is hired to protect their company from others in their profession.  Unfortunately, many minors, like yourself, who are very experienced and very mature are hurt by those people in our society who are looking for a way to sue.  Also, parents are far too quick to file a law suit over nothing.  


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#39 SubwayNut

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 03:33 PM

Yup I remember that policy well. It wasn't as well enforced either.

I traveled as an unaccompanied minor quite a few times (year 2000ish) including when I was 10 on a then called Acela Regional to Westerly, RI on a weekend when no station agent was on duty. It wasn't a problem, I remember being "upgraded" to Buissiness Class so the staff could keep a better eye on me.

I think I also got on and off at a few unstaffed stations in Vermont when I was 12 and 13.

The funniest moment I remember in about 2006 was making a reservation by phone for the Vermonter for a 15 year old cousin and her friend (also 15) one of them was allowed to get the Child discount with the other traveling as the adult on the same reservation.
Check out my website SubwayNut.com decidated to pictures of subway, light rail and railroad stations including nearly 200 that Amtrak stop at!

#40 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:22 PM

 

Why do you think you should get an exception? Just because you know a lot about trains? Sorry, the world the doesn't work that way. 

I feel like I am able to travel alone on Amtrak. I handle all Amtrak travel for over 100 family members, I'm even writing a book about traveling on Amtrak. I think there should be an interview to see if a child is capable of traveling on their own. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not capable, but since I'm in charge of everything when traveling with family on a train, and never once have I booked the wrong ticket, station, been on the wrong train, or been left behind.
 
 
To be effective, a policy must be short, simple, and easy to understand and implement with little room for misinterpretation (an interview would be both impractical and much too subjective).  It cannot allow for every contingency, but that means some persons such as yourself - who may very well be able to travel alone - cannot get an exception.  
 
Theme parks often set height requirements for attractions, even though some six year old kids are taller than some eight year old children.
 
You must be 18 to vote, even if you know more about the issues than most adults.  
 
The unaccompanied minor restriction is in place for a reason; Not because of your ability to travel alone, but because many persons your age should not.  
thats why I started the thread, to see if there was some way to interview to get a sort of pass to travel unaccompanied, by proving my abilities to travel.

Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)

No trees were killed to make this, but a number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

My apologies if I offend you, or seem stubborn, it's simply my nature. I am 14 after all, and my English isn't exactly perfect.





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