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Quiet Train Sounds Good to Briarcliff Rider

SCARBOROUGH, N.Y. – Ellie Underwood thinks it's a good idea that one car on Metro North trains will soon be reserved for passengers who want to ride in silence.

"Sometimes when I'm doing my work, it can be kind of annoying when people are talking," said Underwood, of Briarcliff, as she headed towards the Metro North Scarborough train platform to catch a train headed to Grand Central.

According to the MTA, about 31 trains on the Hudson and Harlem lines will have designated quiet cars on some trains during peak hours. The schedule will designate such trains with a "Q," and the cars are known as "Quiet CALMmute" cars.

The pilot program begins on Oct. 17.

Marjorie Anders, spokesperson for the MTA, said that commuters have wanted a quiet space to ride, and that previous success with other trains led to the idea.

"The railroad has been watching Amtrak's very successful implementation of quiet cars," Anders said. "Then Metro North did its own pilot west of Hudson. It just seems like the march of progress to begin east of Hudson."

The last car on the designated trains will become a quiet car during the morning peak hours, while the first car will be designated a quiet car during the evening peak hours.

The MTA encourages passengers on these cars to not use their cell phones and to silence their computers and other electronic devices. Riders should also speak quietly and lower the volume on their headphones so other passengers cannot hear the sounds or music.

Conductors on these trains will distribute as needed special "Shhhhhh" cards that explain the guidelines for the quiet cars in both English and Spanish.

Anders said the quiet cars could also expand to the New Haven Line at a later date."Connecticut is watching what happens in New York," Anders said. "I know that they're actively considering it. It just hasn't happened yet."

Nancy Acqu of New York City who was waiting for a Metro North train at the Ossining station on Thursday, said she doesn't think riding in a car where talking on the phone is not allowed is a good idea for her.

"You sit in the train for 30, 35 minutes. What are you going to do?" she said. "And sometimes you need to call to tell someone you're going to be late."

Winnifred Thompson of Ossining agreed.

"You must use your cell phone on the train, sometimes it's necessary," she said.

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