About Amtrak Unlimited Amtrak Unlimited is an independent discussion site. The site is not owned or controlled by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Any questions, comments, complaints or suggestions that require review or action by Amtrak should be submitted directly to Amtrak via amtrak.com. Amtrak Unlimited exists to facilitate wide-ranging discussion of Amtrak, rail, travel in general, and other topics. We are a community that welcomes and respects diversity of opinion. It is the aim of staff to allow discussion to flow naturally with as little moderation intrusion as possible. However, to maintain a cordial atmosphere and comply with legal and behavioral standards, rules and guidelines are required. The main forum rules and Terms of Service agreement are available at https://discuss.amtraktrains.com/tos/. The guidelines below are further detail on how the Amtrak Unlimited moderating team will carry out those rules. If there is any conflict between these guidelines and the rules in the Terms of Service Agreement, the Terms of Service Agreement will supersede these guidelines. Personal Conduct of Members and Posting Guidelines Post in a friendly, respectful, welcoming manner. Personal attacks, insults, baiting and offensive language will not be tolerated. Debate the value of ideas, not the value of the person expressing the ideas. Stay on the topic of the thread in which you are posting. We provide some latitude for the discussion to proceed in off-topic directions with the aim of not interrupting the flow. If, in the opinion of staff, the discussion veers too far off course, we will issue a request to return to the topic. Any additional off-topic posts will be removed. Avoid starting multiple topics on a single current subject. Staff reserves the right to merge active topics covering the same subject. Posts that misquote or mischaracterize posts of other members, or contain deceptive, dishonest or knowingly inaccurate information are not permitted. Supporting, encouraging or promoting illegal or unethical activity or fraud is prohibited. The use of profanity is prohibited. The board software includes a “bad word filter.” This filter finds any of a list words deemed offensive and replaces those words with asterisks. Attempts to intentionally bypass the filter through use of spacing, substitution of symbols for letters, intentional minor misspellings, or other filter bypass tricks will result in the post being removed. Intimidation, Harassment and Bullying The intimidation, harassment or bullying of any member, either through public posts, private messaging or email will not be tolerated. Members who engage in such activity will be banned. Members who feel they are the target of intimidation, harassment or bullying can contact any staff member. Political Discussion Discussion of politics, political ideologies, office holders and candidates for office is not permitted unless directly related to the forum and topic where posted. Including political content within a post that is unrelated to the topic will result in removal of the entire post. The AU Lounge forum hosts discussion of topics unrelated to rail and travel. Non-Amtrak political discussion is not permitted in The AU Lounge, nor is discussion of divisive topics. This is to further the goal of having a friendly and welcoming community for all. Political topics will be removed. Topic Titles The title of topics should clearly identify the subject of the discussion. Non-specific titles such as “Question?” or “Info Needed” should be avoided. Topics posting a question or citing speculation should include a “?” to clearly identify that the topic is not posting established facts. Subjects relating to specific events should include the date, not terms like “today” to avoid confusion concerning timing. A topic titled “NEC Service Delayed Today” should be titled “NEC Service Delayed March 14.” Staff may edit topic subjects to provide clarity. Commercial Content The offering or promoting of items or services for sale or barter is prohibited. Posts and signatures shall not include links or references to commercial sites. Limited promotion of non-profit, rail-related activities is permitted. Such activities include private rail car or tourist train trips operated by rail groups and local rail memorabilia fairs. Sale or Barter of Amtrak Tickets and Amtrak Guest Rewards (AGR) Benefits Offers of the sale, purchase, or barter of Amtrak tickets, AGR points, coupons or other AGR program benefits is prohibited. Offers to gift AGR coupons or other benefits, or seeking those who are willing to gift AGR coupons or benefits with no payment or other consideration, is permitted. Copyright and Intellectual Property Posted text, images and videos should be your content, content which you have permission to post, or content that you believe to be within the public domain. In the case of news articles, a “fair use” portion of an article maybe be posted. Fair use is a small portion of the article (a paragraph or two) and must be accompanied by a link to the original article. Articles copied and pasted in the entirely will either be removed or will be edited to conform to fair use. Screen Name Changes We recognize that as time goes by and circumstances change, you may wish to change your Screen Name. To do so, please Personal Message any staff member. If your desired Screen Name has been taken by another member, we will inform you and you can select another name. Screen Names that imply you are a public figure or could easily be confused with an existing, active member will not be approved. Requests to change Screen Names should be infrequent. Frequent requests for Screen Name changes (“frequent” subject to the opinion of staff) will not be honored. Signatures Members may add a “signature” to their profile. A signature is a section of text that will be shown at the bottom of each of that member’s posts. Content shall meet the same requirements as posting. The following rules apply to signatures: Font no larger than the default size No more than five lines Links to personal websites only: no commercial or inappropriate sites One image may be included, maximum size 400x100 pixels Staff reserves the right to edit or remove signatures that are not in compliance with these requirements. Moderation Members who feel a post is in violation of AU rules should notify the staff by clicking the “Report” button in the lower left side of the post. Describe the nature of your issue with the post. The report is sent to all staff members. Amtrak Unlimited staff will review reported posts for adherence to the site rules. Posts found to be in violation will be hidden from view. Staff will not edit posts to remove unacceptable content. Posts found with any unacceptable content will be removed in its entirety. Members who feel their post was removed unfairly, or who have other issues or suggestions regarding the moderation of the site, should express those opinions privately by means of a private message to any staff member. Current staff members are PRR 60, pennyk, jebr, and Railroad Bill. Suggestions concerning moderation policy outlined in these guidelines shall be made by PM and are welcome and will be considered. Suggestions about site features can be made in the Help Desk and Suggestion Box forum.