I’m currently on an Acela bound from New York to Boston. The train’s unfortunately full, so I got stuck in the quiet car. I’d much prefer to be able to talk on my cell phone, but because the upper half of the Northeast Corridor is absolutely beautiful, I placed a high premium on getting a window seat. Choosing between facing backwards on an aisle with my cell phone or looking at the lakes and forests rush by at 120 MPH, I’ll take the latter.

That said, I’m somewhat dumbfounded by how few people are actually respecting the quiet car rules. The fellow sitting in front of me markedly refuses to silence his Blackberry, which fires every several minutes. Cell phones in general are going off every couple of minutes. A few people are listening to music through headphones, but have them turned up so loudly that I can hear them quite clearly.

If Amtrak is going to have a “quiet car,” the least they could do is actually enforce their own rules. As-is, it’s only penalizing people who are trying to be respectful.