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I was on a train yesterday where an unaccompanied minor without the proper paperwork (15 years old - big for his age ) assaulted a female conductor during an argument. A mess ensued. The police were called. We don't know why they didn't take the minor off the train. The conductor was so upset she marked off right there. Eventually we got going because the assistant conductor was also a qualified conductor.

 

My question is, since all of this was reported to Amtrak headquarters, I would think that the offender's name would be put into the reservation system denoting him as someone who will never be allowed to ride Amtrak again. Is there such a blacklist?

 

jb

Edited by John Bobinyec

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Very surprised that the offender wasn't arrested...maybe there's more to the story? Seems to me, the authorities should have removed him, and at least held him for his parents to pick up....probably would have been a big inconvenience..... :unsure:

 

Anyway, glad to hear there's a "no-ride list". It would be hard to enforce however, compared to the TSA's "no-fly list"...

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I was on a train yesterday where an unaccompanied minor without the proper paperwork (15 years old - big for his age ) assaulted a female conductor during an argument. A mess ensued. The police were called. We don't know why they didn't take the minor off the train. The conductor was so upset she marked off right there. Eventually we got going because the assistant conductor was also a qualified conductor.

 

My question is, since all of this was reported to Amtrak headquarters, I would think that the offender's name would be put into the reservation system denoting him as someone who will never be allowed to ride Amtrak again. Is there such a blacklist?

 

jb

There is such a blacklist per user:OBS, but just like the TSA, it is classified information (confidential), although the TSA lists are classified at a higher level (secret). I'm speculating that when such events happen, a notice would go out informing that such passenger may not travel on them.

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Yes

So, is it like the TSA where now everyone with the same name, or even a somewhat remotely similar name, will be banded from Amtrak for life?

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It would be hard to enforce however, compared to the TSA's "no-fly list"...

Why would it be hard to enforce?:huh:

 

On most Amtrak trains, you need a reservation. So if the computer sees John Doe, and he is banned, a reservation is not made. The only way is if he reserves as Jack Smith.

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It would be hard to enforce however, compared to the TSA's "no-fly list"...

Why would it be hard to enforce? :huh:

 

On most Amtrak trains, you need a reservation. So if the computer sees John Doe, and he is banned, a reservation is not made. The only way is if he reserves as Jack Smith.

 

Aren't there places and times where people can board without reservation's? Access to trains are no where near as secure, as to planes....

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It would be hard to enforce however, compared to the TSA's "no-fly list"...

Why would it be hard to enforce? :huh:

 

On most Amtrak trains, you need a reservation. So if the computer sees John Doe, and he is banned, a reservation is not made. The only way is if he reserves as Jack Smith.

 

Aren't there places and times where people can board without reservation's? Access to trains are no where near as secure, as to planes....

 

Sorry, but how would someone board without a ticket? You need to give them your name to get a ticket, so I don't see how someone could take Amtrak without them knowing your name. Apologies of I missed something.

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Question for the OP:

 

John, do you have an idea of how long the unaccompanied minor was on the train?

 

I'm thinking that if it was a short time, is it possible he snuck on and then got violent when the conductor asked him for his ticket?

 

I remember getting on the train in business class a few years ago at TRE, and a young man sat down in back of me. When the conductor came for his ticket, he said he thought it was NJ Transit, and the conductor said no and he would have to get off at the next stop, which was Newark.

 

I figured this was just a common ploy for someone who wanted to go from Trenton to Newark in nicer surroundings and a bit faster than on NJT and see if they could get a free ride, so it obviously worked for a short distance if the conductor couldn't cover all the doors when people were boarding.

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You need a reservation to board a train. Yes, on some trains you may be able to pay for your ticket onboard, but I believe the Conductor still calls in to say that John Doe is going from X to Y. As soon as that name is entered into the computer (and a reservation is made), it will be flagged and he or she will be made to get off at the next stop.

 

Somebody could possibly take a train from Milwaukee to Chicago (the Hiawatha isunreserved) but if they were continuing to St Louis, Galesburg or Cleveland, a reservation must be made for the entire trip as the second train is reserved.

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You need a reservation to board a train. Yes, on some trains you may be able to pay for your ticket onboard, but I believe the Conductor still calls in to say that John Doe is going from X to Y. As soon as that name is entered into the computer (and a reservation is made), it will be flagged and he or she will be made to get off at the next stop.

 

Somebody could possibly take a train from Milwaukee to Chicago (the Hiawatha isunreserved) but if they were continuing to St Louis, Galesburg or Cleveland, a reservation must be made for the entire trip as the second train is reserved.

Yes, I realized about needing the reservation and ticket. I was thinking of a "stowaway" situation where the person jumps on the train when the conductor(s) are busy at other doors, just to see if they can get to the next station for free. For example, although, being a law-abiding citizen, I would obviously never, ever do it myself, it might be possible for someone who wanted to go from NJ to Philly on Amtrak to get on at Trenton behind the conductor's back, because they don't start taking tickets til the train starts moving, tell the conductor they thought it was a SEPTA train, and then be thrown off at the next stop, which is Philly and the place they wanted to go! :P

Edited by Mystic River Dragon

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I have had a stowaway physically and forcibly removed by LEOs from a Roomette in my car on the Southwest Chief as I seem to recall. It was at night and the LEOs involved informed me what was going on and asked me to stay put in my Roomette with the door shut and locked. So yeah, stowaways do happen occasionally.

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Heck with the "blacklist"! He should have been behind bars. I think a lot less of Amtrak now for not pressing charges. I bet I can guess why...but don't wanna open THAT can! lol LOL

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It would be hard to enforce however, compared to the TSA's "no-fly list"...

Why would it be hard to enforce? :huh:

 

On most Amtrak trains, you need a reservation. So if the computer sees John Doe, and he is banned, a reservation is not made. The only way is if he reserves as Jack Smith.

 

Aren't there places and times where people can board without reservation's? Access to trains are no where near as secure, as to planes....

 

Sorry, but how would someone board without a ticket? You need to give them your name to get a ticket, so I don't see how someone could take Amtrak without them knowing your name. Apologies of I missed something.

 

Yes, because Quik-Trak machines check IDs all the time...

 

Also, even if you have a "banned" name, switching a letter or two, shaving off the last letter or two, etc. would probably evade that at booking time...and then anyone seeing "Jonahtan" is rather likely to blame a "fat finger" than any real attempt to evade. About the only places this would probably "stick" would be the cross-border services.

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I bet I can guess why...but don't wanna open THAT can! lol LOL

So why even say something like this?

 

If you truly don’t want to stir the pot, leave the spoon in the drawer.

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The police were called. We don't know why they didn't take the minor off the train.

Good question. Though, if the Police allowed the kid to stay on the train, and continue the journey, makes me wonder if there is more (another side) of the story.

 

Plus, if the minor was allowed to stay on the train, why would Amtrak ban him for future travel?

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The police were called. We don't know why they didn't take the minor off the train.

Good question. Though, if the Police allowed the kid to stay on the train, and continue the journey, makes me wonder if there is more (another side) of the story.

 

Plus, if the minor was allowed to stay on the train, why would Amtrak ban him for future travel?

 

 

 

I don't know the circumstances, so this is just speculation, but the fact that he is a minor probably affected their decision. Putting an adult off a train is one thing, but putting a minor off before his scheduled stop is another, unless a parent had somehow already arrived to meet him. Too many legal implications if a minor is put off unaccompanied.

 

Of course, there could very well be more to the story, but if he is banned from future travel, there may not necessarily be much more to it. That's my take on it from the info we have. Minors require more caution on Amtrak's part.

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Depending on the circumstances, what probably happened is that the police were called and declined to arrest him (there are a few lines of reasoning to back this up, running from the assault not rising to a given standard to simply not wanting the hassle/paperwork), at which point the conductor had the choice of either detraining the 15-year-old unsupervised or carrying him to his destination. My guess is that he determined that the latter had less liability/paperwork for him.

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But one can always buy a ticket online without an ID. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but all the time I've taken the train, I've never been asked to see my ID. The only time when I've been asked for ID has been at the ticket window. So there is nothing stopping someone from buying a ticket online with a different name.

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You need a reservation to board a train. Yes, on some trains you may be able to pay for your ticket onboard, but I believe the Conductor still calls in to say that John Doe is going from X to Y. As soon as that name is entered into the computer (and a reservation is made), it will be flagged and he or she will be made to get off at the next stop.

 

Somebody could possibly take a train from Milwaukee to Chicago (the Hiawatha isunreserved) but if they were continuing to St Louis, Galesburg or Cleveland, a reservation must be made for the entire trip as the second train is reserved.

 

Definitely you'll need a ticket, and all tickets have to have a name attached to the ticket.

 

However, there are still a few 10-ride tickets that are "transferrable". This used to be possible on Capitol Corridor, although that ended a while ago. The rule is that the named passenger must be on a particular ride, but that additional passengers can use one of the rides. I don't know if they require the additional passengers to give their names.

 

https://www.amtrak.com/multi-ride-tickets

However, on the following routes only, more than one person may use a ten-ride ticket at one time. The person named on the ticket must be one of the passengers traveling and all passengers must travel together.

  • Pacific Surfliner
  • Amtrak Cascades (Eugene, OR - Portland, OR only)
  • Heartland Flyer

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If this kid did this type thing at the airport, he is arrested, no questions asked, no matter whose son he is. The same should apply to Amtrak. There is no reason for anyone to attack any member of the crew so the LEO should take the person off. Failing to do so is disrespectful to the entire Amtrak crew.

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I have noticed that some people used the word LEO. What does LEO mean, anyway?

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I have noticed that some people used the word LEO. What does LEO mean, anyway?

Law Enforcement Officer.

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Sometimes I might be angry at an LEO, but smiting an LEO would be the last thing I would do, and more so as a 24yo, as I would be subject to tougher penalties for doing so.

Edited by bmjhagen9426

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