Getting from car to car on an Amtrak train. - DESCRIPTION" "Getting from car to car on an Amtrak train.
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If you haven't been on a train before, you might be wondering how you safely get from one train car to another while the train is moving.

The Superliner Train Cars allow passage between cars only on the upper floor. You cannot move from one train car to the next from the lower level.

There are sliding doors at the end of each train car. In the Superliner, these are operated automatically from a button push. There is a large button on each door near the door handle that is labeled "Press Here". A simple press invokes a motor to quickly open the door for you. Like an elevator door, it will automatically close a few moments after you pass through the door. Don't worry about getting clobbered by the door. Like an elevator door, if the door bumps into you it will automatically re-open. If your hands are full while you are trying to get through the door, no problem. Just kick the door, but do it gently and accurately. There is also a big button near the base of the door that also says "Press Here", specifically designed so you could open the door with your foot!

Whatever you do, NEVER walk between train cars with either bare feet or just in your socks. For saftety, always wear normal shoes on the train. Individual Train Cars are attached very closely to each other. The passageway is covered by a seal to keep out the weather and to keep passengers from tumbling out between cars. However, there is about an inch between the two car platforms. Not enough room for a shoe to get into, but plenty of room for a toe to slip into! If the two adjacent train car platforms moved closer while your toe was between them, you don't even want to think of the results. Thus, you are required to wear shoes when moving about the train so that you leave the train with just as many toes as you came on with!

But, don't let that scare you. People barely notice the transition from car to car. People well into their retirement years are soon navigating back and forth through the train like old pro's at it! Come to think of it, most of the old pro's at this are retirees.

One last little warning if traveling with children: Make sure they always are wearing good shoes when moving between train cars and not just soft bottom slippers. Also, make sure they don't play in the passage between train cars. The train is a fairly safe place for children, but the space between cars is not the place where anyone should loiter. I've even seen adults that could not resist the temptation to "surf" the corridor by placing one foot on each train car and just standing in that space.

Wonder what trains had for passengers before automatic doors?

I've seen many prior designs that were used. The Pacific Parlor Car on the Coast Starlight is a train car out of a past generation of trains. Thus, they have an older door mechanism. I've see doors that manually slide and doors that swing open into the car. I just saw an older generaltion of the automatic sliding door on a Pacific Parlor Car today. It is a slider like the new doors, but much slower. I had to stand and wait for a few seconds after pressing the button. Normally they just open immediately after you press the button with almost no delay at all.

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Website content provided as an educational volunteer effort of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Please help support the preservation and promotion of passenger rail heritage. Join the APRHF today! Website hosting made possible by TrainWeb, LLC and our sponsors.
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