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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Recent Trips on Amtrak -- did you feel safe?

   
Author Topic: Recent Trips on Amtrak -- did you feel safe?
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My wife and I will be taking the California Zephyr from Emeryville to Ottumwa, IA on Sept. 8-10, 2020. Anyone travel recently -- did you feel safe? We are going with the deluxe bedroom because we will have our own sink, toilet, shower, and all of that. Will probably eat meals in our room and avoid the lounge car and wear masks.
Posts: 153 | From: Northwest Wisconsin | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
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Mr. Moderator:

I have to think that "self quarantine" in an Amtrak bedroom is a very good idea, as well as eating meals in your room. Are meals, on the Zephyr, cold, contemporary boxed meals or can you still get hot meals delivered to your room? A lot of travel time to Ottumwa, IA. so I hope your meals are, at least, edible. I have heard that air circulation, aboard Amtrak, is better than that of airplanes, but I don't really know. Amtrak talks a lot about disinfecting surfaces but sometimes what Amtrak says it's doing and reality are different. I would think plenty of hand washing and wearing masks outside your bedroom are common sense. I suppose the biggest concern, regarding virus contact, would be congestion at the train station.

Have a nice journey.

Richard

Posts: 1828 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Memma
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If you're in a private room logic dictates you're ok - however there are a couple of inherent risk areas...
1. Stations - stations can be less organised than airports and can attract large crowds, for example NYP has a lot of commuter traffic
2. Moving around the train - trains have small hallways and couplings that can cause tight encounters
3. Shared facilities - shared bathroom facilities in Amtrak Roomettes are something to be careful about

In all I think Amtrak do a good job, but I believe there are definitely things to be careful of.

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Memma
Train Lover and Avid Traveller!

Posts: 9 | From: Melbourne | Registered: Jul 2020  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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We decided to go ahead and do the trip. We'll be on #6 (9/08) from EMY to OTM (Ottumwa, Iowa) in a Bedroom in the 0631 car. I'll let everyone know how it goes for sure.
Posts: 153 | From: Northwest Wisconsin | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Tabern, from looking at your LinkedIn photo, I would guess you still are 40-ish.

Should you or Mrs. T "get it", you will "get over it".

I too, along with many others at the site, if infected, will also "get over it". But too great the chance that will be "in the box six feet under".

For myself @ 79, I haven't been near a hotel, used a public restroom, and not been near any commercial transportation since "it all began". I did go out to Dinner (outdoors; waitress masked) during June - and "caught hell" from my Primary Care physician for doing so.

I do not foresee "any of the above" again until '22 when I'm 81yo.

Posts: 9560 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Would you believe it?

Amtrak has a half page ad in The New York Times today stating "we're ready...".

In addition to an excellent photo of an Empire Service taken somewhere I think near Storm King, the copy says all about the "great things we're doing to keep you safe".

But most interesting is a blurb "private rooms available"; could they really be thinking of assigning Sleepers to Regional and Empire consists to sell as Day Rooms?

The history of Day Rooms I think is "mixed". Sure, people like myself not known as "people persons" booked them wherever possible pre and post-Amtrak. Now so far as the general population goes, Day Drawing Rooms to accommodate up to four persons "did OK" on both the PRR and NH ends of the Corridor. However, the NH went one beyond; and had Day Roomettes built into some of their lightweight cars. Those ended up as "baggage rooms" and "broom closets". There was, however, 14-4 "--Point" sleepers assigned to the Merchants Limited, but that was an "over and done" before I got out to "railview" as a kid.

While there is a report of at least one V-II (eleven reported as "on the property") in a consist of #97, and a video of a Phase III liveried in same (there are several V-I's so liveried out there), and further with the release of Sleepers as tri-Weekly frequencies are initiated, this would certainly suggest they would be in a position to do so.

Posts: 9560 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Mr. Norman -- 41 years old, today. [Smile]

Please be safe, especially at 79. We need people who remember the "Golden Age" of railroading around for as long as possible.

And I 100 percent agree with you -- I don't see things going back to "normal" ("the old normal") until 2022, like you said.

Even if we have a vaccine in January 2021... I can see it being for doctors and nurses only for perhaps Jan & Feb. Then maybe other medical workers like pharmacists, etc. in March. Maybe those 80+ and very high risk general population in April. Maybe 60-79 in May and June. Then general population July to end of the year?

Not to get too off-topic, but I wonder if 40-50 percent of the population do not trust it and do not get vaccinated --- will the mask mandates be lifted at all on Amtrak and elsewhere? Or will we have to wear masks from here on out on public transit such as Amtrak because so many people will not get vaccinated?

That makes me sad.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Tabern, "before your time", if one was to go overseas, as I first did during '60, you had to have your "shot card" to reenter the US. This was a yellow World Health Organization booklet into which your immunizations were recorded by the physician administering such. Smallpox was still endemic in parts of Europe back then.

And yes, there will be those, especially those holding religious convictions forbidding immunizations, that simply will not. If mandatory immunization laws are enacted, well, some lawyers - heavy hitting lawyers - will happily "drop the meter".

Posts: 9560 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ocala Mike
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Gil, I still have one of those yellow "shot record" booklets somewhere and remember them well. As far as vaccines go, I sold my Novavax stock after making a killing (for me - not enough shares, though). I still think they will be successful in providing a safe, effective vaccine for the world, but the entire vaccine race became too politicized for me, so rotated my profits into chip makers and e-sports companies.
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yukon11
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A report on the safest mode of travel during the Covid 19 pandemic:

https://is.gd/b0SWf9

Cars safer than Amtrak which is safer than airlines (perhaps marginally). I thought it interesting to note that Delta and Southwest airlines block middles seats, while American and United do not. I didn't know that most airlines make use of HEPA filters for air circulation. Does Amtrak?

I'm a little more optimistic regarding a possible plane trip, next year, as long as the virus death rate doesn't start to soar.

Richard

Posts: 1828 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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