Shorter Amtrak Routes To Become Smoke-free

Posted: May 09, 1993

Smokers will have to give up cigarettes while they're aboard Amtrak's shorter routes, beginning this month. The railroad has banned smoking on all train routes of 4 1/2 hours or less, including Metroliners.

Up until last week, smoking was allowed in smoking cars and designated lounge areas.

The new policy comes in response to comments and requests from passengers, according to an Amtrak spokeswoman.

Amtrak also will experiment with a no-smoking policy in sleeping cars aboard two longer routes: the Capitol Limited, which travels between Washington and Chicago, and the Coast Starlight, which goes between Los Angeles and Seattle.

The no-smoking rule means that many of the trains stopping at 30th Street Station will be smoke-free, except for long-distance trains such as the Montrealer and the Silver Meteor. Between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, the only trains allowing smoking will be the Broadway Limited and the Pennsylvanian.

To check on a particular train, call 800-872-7245.

CRUISE DUMPING. Princess Cruises pleaded guilty last month to dumping garbage from a ship off the Florida Keys, and the line paid a fine of $500,000. The cruise line admitted that 20 garbage bags were dropped from its Regal Princess - a passenger's videotape caught the nighttime jettisoning during a Caribbean cruise in October 1991.

The tourist, from Michigan, reported what he'd seen to the Coast Guard when the ship returned to Port Everglades, Fla., and nine months later his videotape appeared on the TV show I Witness Video.

The cruise line acknowledged the dumping, condemned it and said it had been unable to determine which crew member was responsible. It also said it had increased efforts to educate crews to avoid such incidents.

The dumping violated the 1988 Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

CHESAPEAKE GAMBLING. To encourage big cruise ships to stop in Baltimore, the Maryland legislature approved shipboard casino gambling for Baltimore- bound ships on the Chesapeake Bay bounded by Maryland. Because Maryland forbade gambling, cruise ships had to close their gaming operations for the 10 hours it took to reach Baltimore on the bay. Tourism officials said that impeded Baltimore's efforts to develop its cruise-stop business. The new law would not allow other types of waterborne gambling, such as cruises to nowhere or day-tripping riverboat types of gambling cruises.

TRANSATLANTIC IN PAJAMAS. British Airways now is offering pajamas to first- class passengers on some flights to London from Philadelphia, Newark and Detroit. The PJs are part of a new "sleeper service" that allows passengers to eat before takeoff, then settle into their sleeper seats, complete with sheets, big pillows and comforters. The idea is to afford them maximum sleeping time on the overnight flight to London. Such comfort has its price: A first-class, round-trip ticket from Philadelphia to London on British Airways costs about $6,600.

CHUNNEL DELAY. Completion of the Channel Tunnel, which someday will allow travel between London and Paris in three hours, has been delayed from June of this year to April 1994, according to a letter to shareholders from the company building it. Construction of the tunnel under the English Channel began in 1988.

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