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alcohol in coach


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#1 tahoejeff

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:17 AM

last time i rode amtrack, back in the late 80's-early 90's, my wife and i would bring a small container of schnapps, and discretely drink it in our coach seats.
i would like to do this again for my upcoming trip, but i found this on the amtrak site:
You may not consume private stock alcoholic beverages in any public areas.

has this rule always been in effect? is it strictly enforced? consequences?
in a way, i'm glad, because i don't like obnoxious drunks...but would i really get in trouble just having a few sips of a 'clear liquid'?

#2 battalion51

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:29 AM

If you're just grabbing a nip from a flask I don't think anyone is bound to say anything, but I wouldn't be talking to the Conductor when I do it. :lol: The policy is put there so that people aren't consuming mass amounts of alcohol in public without Amtrak having the ability to cut them off. This is why they allow it in the privacy of your sleeping car room, because what can you do to someone else in your own room. But for coach passengers they are always in public, and unless an LSA can cut off their supply there's going to be an issue.

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#3 AlanB

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:52 AM

While I don't dispute what Battalion has said, Amtrak should actually be more careful in how they phrase that statement. The definition of public is "open to all persons" and a passengers seat is not open to all persons during the duration of their ride. That seat is exclusively theirs and is therefore not public, just like a sleeper is.

And with regard to the ability to cut them off, the one time that I witnessed someone being thrown off an Amtrak train they weren't drinking their own booze. They just didn't get cut off by the attendant. Now mind you they also weren't super drunk, although they definately were intoxicated, they were tossed because they were being obnoxious to the women in the cafe car.
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#4 Guest_Guest_AKA_*_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:34 PM

Most of the times I have seen this happen, it depends upon the mood of the crew or complaints from other pax. Also the few times I have seen a peson put off the train it has been swift and sure. Twice the persin was told " Any trouble at all and the local law will be waiting at the station for you. " Same treatment for smokers.

#5 battalion51

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:11 PM

I've seen similar situations to you Alan. By the time the LSA cuts them off they're either too far gone, or they get other people to buy them drinks. A lot of what will get you tossed is how you are treating those around you. Say or do the wrong things if you're just slightly tipsy and you're gone.

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#6 printman2000

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:27 PM

Since it against the Amtrak rules, I recommend you follow them. Yes, you could probably get away with it just like people sneaking smokes on the train. However, both are against the rules and therefore wrong. Either get a room or buy it on board.

Just my 2 cents.

#7 AmtrakWPK

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 04:47 PM

Of course, if you buy one from the lounge attendant, consume it, then make an occasional visit to the restroom where you refill it from a flask that you have not held out to public view, there is unlikely to be an issue in any event unless your behavior becomes obnoxious, in which case you deserve to end up off the train.

#8 haolerider

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 04:59 PM

Of course, if you buy one from the lounge attendant, consume it, then make an occasional visit to the restroom where you refill it from a flask that you have not held out to public view, there is unlikely to be an issue in any event unless your behavior becomes obnoxious, in which case you deserve to end up off the train.


Actually, you can't get away with bringing your own booze on an airplane and should not on a train either. There have been plenty of instances in which a coach passenger drinking their own hooch has become so bothersome to other passengers that they have had to throw them off the train. Unfortunately, sometimes the other passengers do not want to get involved or are afraid to call this to someone's attention and the situation becomes worse.

If you need a drink occasionally, that is why the lounge car is on the train and Amtrak needs the revenue in Food and Beverage.

#9 TransAtlantic

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:32 PM

One of the biggest issues is that of access - minors might "come across" (or be offered) alcohol by otherwise well-meaning passengers, and then suddenly Amtrak bears the responsibility for the drunk minor. Please don't bring your own stash on the train, unless you just want to have an attendant or conductor lock it away for you until you disembark (in which case you'd do just as well to place in in checked luggage)

#10 Trogdor

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:10 PM

While I don't dispute what Battalion has said, Amtrak should actually be more careful in how they phrase that statement. The definition of public is "open to all persons" and a passengers seat is not open to all persons during the duration of their ride. That seat is exclusively theirs and is therefore not public, just like a sleeper is.


But, Amtrak covers that in the same rule:

You may consume private stock alcoholic beverages only in Sleeping Car accommodations for which you have a valid ticket.


More details can be found here.
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#11 tahoejeff

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:10 PM

thanks, all good comments. i too, have been on a train where a drunk was tossed off the train. if anyone around me is aware that i'm drinking, then i've had too much. it's just part of the fun once night falls and there's no entertainment outside the windows. now i hear we won't even be able to go watch a movie in the sightseer car. sheesh.
for anyone interested, amtrak is offering free animated christmas cards on their site. they're pretty cute.

#12 Steve4031

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:45 PM

One of the biggest issues is that of access - minors might "come across" (or be offered) alcohol by otherwise well-meaning passengers, and then suddenly Amtrak bears the responsibility for the drunk minor. Please don't bring your own stash on the train, unless you just want to have an attendant or conductor lock it away for you until you disembark (in which case you'd do just as well to place in in checked luggage)



That was an interesting point. It brought back memories of a ride I had on the Coast Starlight when I was in high school I was lucky in that my dad allowed me to travel by myself. On this particular trip the guy sitting next to me my car offered me alcohal. I declined, but he offered several more times. I grew tired of him, spoke with the car attendant, and got permission to move to another car. I do not know what happened to him, but I was glad to escape. I was not tempted to drink becaue I did not want to lose my dad's trust and not be able to take future trips.

As far as the rules, Amtrak has developed these rules for the common good for everyone on the train. It is true that one person drinking reasonable amout from his or her own supply would probably not create a problem. Hoever, as we have all seen there are too many people who do not handle their liqquor, and this creates problems for everybody. I have even seen problems with drunks in the sleeper.

So my advice is to follow the rules. If drinking schnapps is that important, you would be better off in your own room where you do not have to be stressed out about dealing with the conductor or other passengers.

#13 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 11:17 PM

While I don't dispute what Battalion has said, Amtrak should actually be more careful in how they phrase that statement. The definition of public is "open to all persons" and a passengers seat is not open to all persons during the duration of their ride. That seat is exclusively theirs and is therefore not public, just like a sleeper is.

And with regard to the ability to cut them off, the one time that I witnessed someone being thrown off an Amtrak train they weren't drinking their own booze. They just didn't get cut off by the attendant. Now mind you they also weren't super drunk, although they definately were intoxicated, they were tossed because they were being obnoxious to the women in the cafe car.

Main Entry: 1pub·lic
Pronunciation: 'p&-blik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English publique, from Anglo-French, from Latin publicus; akin to Latin populus people
1 a : exposed to general view : OPEN

#14 AlanB

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 11:58 PM


While I don't dispute what Battalion has said, Amtrak should actually be more careful in how they phrase that statement. The definition of public is "open to all persons" and a passengers seat is not open to all persons during the duration of their ride. That seat is exclusively theirs and is therefore not public, just like a sleeper is.

And with regard to the ability to cut them off, the one time that I witnessed someone being thrown off an Amtrak train they weren't drinking their own booze. They just didn't get cut off by the attendant. Now mind you they also weren't super drunk, although they definately were intoxicated, they were tossed because they were being obnoxious to the women in the cafe car.

Main Entry: 1pub·lic
Pronunciation: 'p&-blik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English publique, from Anglo-French, from Latin publicus; akin to Latin populus people
1 a : exposed to general view : OPEN


There are actually several definitions of public and one must choose the correct one for the circumstances. However in this case, by the definition that you've choosen, one could actually drink alcohol in coach as long as one didn't reveal what one was drinking. As in, hide it in a paper bag, or put it into a water bottle or soda bottle.
Alan,

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#15 Everydaymatters

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 10:24 AM

Hide it in a paper bag????? Like, wouldn't most people figure out it was a bottle of booze as you brought the paper bag up to your mouth and gulped from it????

I agree with the people who said it should be drank in your sleeper or in the lounge. A couple of trips I've taken have been made less nice due to people drinking in coach. They don't realize that they get louder and louder and more and more obnoxiouse with each drink.
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#16 amtrakmichigan

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 09:54 PM

I have always brought my own supply of booze into both sleeper and B/C. But I also purchase a drink or two from the lounge, just to give Amtrak a little more of my business. The main reason why I bring my own is because of the long and slow moving line for the Cafe on most of the DET-CHI runs. If I was to purchase 6 drinks from the lounge one at a time, I would be standing in line for well over an hour. Besides I dont think you would be thrown off a train if you did get caught sipping your own cocktail. The Conductor would probably first explain the rule and ask you to refrain from drinking your own stock of booze.

I am VERY CAREFULL with both how I pack my booze and how I act when drinking on the train. I always pre-mix my drinks in 20 - 24oz pop bottles. One of my favorite drinks is Southern Comfort and Diet Mountain Dew. Since M/D and SoCo are very similar in color, it looks like I'm drinking a bottle of straight M/D. the same goes for rum or whiskey and Coke in a Coke bottle, screwdriver in a O/J bottle, and so on....

Notice how I said that I'm VERY CAREFULL how I act too. I'm the type of guy who can drink a 1/2 fifth and doesn't act any different then when I'm sober, except for maybe being a little more talkative. Most people that get themselves into trouble on a train are those who act like jack asses. So if you are the type of person who doesn't act like a fool after drinking a few, then I would say go for it.
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#17 battalion51

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:11 AM

Oh how familiar that sounds. So many of my peers in high school would drink in school with the method you described, and usually without incident. I can't recall anyone ever getting caught, and we know how they bust in most high schools.

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#18 amtrakmichigan

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 06:25 PM

Oh how familiar that sounds. So many of my peers in high school would drink in school with the method you described, and usually without incident. I can't recall anyone ever getting caught, and we know how they bust in most high schools.



High school must have changed in 15 years. We would have never dreamed of doing this in school. I didn't start this practice until I was about 25.
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#19 battalion51

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 06:36 PM

The term sex, drugs, and rock & roll are the understatement of the century in today's high school world.

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#20 RailFanLNK

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 10:19 PM

Sometimes a person becomes "instant idiot....just add alcohol". I was on the CZ in October and there was a "party" going on in the lower level of coach. People kept getting up, going downstairs and then coming back up again. I think they were using drugs. Nothing that could be "smelled" by the pax or crew. They weren't "bothering" me as much as it bothered me on what was going on in the lower level. There was constant "moving" around by people late at night and that got old. Thank the Good Lord for Tylenol PM! :lol:

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