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Shhhhh! Silence is Golden in the Quiet Car

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I have a bee in my bonnet lately about something: When did everyone lose their manners? In the span of ten years, everyone—from the undergrad to the blue-haired grandma—has a wireless device. And everyone seems to be blabbing on it with no regard for their fellow human beings. Cell phone etiquette is at an all time low, if you ask me. And nothing puts my nerves to the test more than having to endure some type A conducting a full-scale business meeting at high volume three feet away from me on the train, in the airport, or on an airplane before it takes off. What will happen when cell phones are fully operable on planes in flight?

Which brings me to the point of my rant: Thank God for Amtrak’s Quiet Car. It’s the one place left on earth where it’s fully permissible to shush your neighbor when he or she answers that cell phone (usually following some really annoying, personalized ring).

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I travel to and from Washington, D.C. a lot and I go straight to the Quiet Car when boarding. The conductors take it seriously, too. I’ve seen people kicked out of the car for refusing to get off their phones. In my mind, it’s justice served.

Clark Mitchell is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of Clark Mitchell

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