Sound of Silence: The Amtrak Quiet Car
Let us introduce you to the Amtrak Quiet Car. The Quiet Car is located at the opposite end of the train from the Café Car and is marked off with special signs so loud-talkers don’t wander in by mistake.
The library-like atmosphere of the Quiet Car can be enjoyed on all Northeast Corridor trains as well as other trains like the Chicago-to-Milwaukee Hiawatha service and the Capitol Corridor, which runs between Sacramento and San Jose. (A full list of Quiet Cars can be found here.)
Over the years, the Quiet Car has established a cult-like following amongst our frequent riders, even garnering love notes praising the Quite Car as the most civilized way to travel.
What many don’t realize is that the Quiet Car was actually an idea brought to us by our great customers. In an interview with Leigh Gallagher of Fortune, our Chief Marketing Officer at the time, Matt Hardison, explained:
“In early 2000, a group of regular commuters on the Philadelphia to Washington leg of train 151—an early morning Northeast Corridor train that travels southbound from Boston to Washington—had become fed up with obnoxious cell phone chatter. They pleaded with their conductor until he decided to informally set aside a single car as a noise-free zone. It caught fire, and soon Amtrak expanded the quiet zone to several trains.”
If you’re not familiar with rules of the car, don’t worry – conductors make announcements alerting passengers of the Quiet Car, its rules, and how to avoid it if you’re not planning to spend your trip in silence.
Thinking of trying out the Quiet Car on your next Amtrak adventure? Just remember cell phones are not allowed, quiet talking only and any music or movies have to be listened to at low volumes using headphones at all times. Enjoy!