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Darien Train Riders Understand Quiet Cars

DARIEN, Conn. – Darien resident Amanda Rivers doesn't ride the train every day but understands why commuters would want to avoid people who use their cellphones or talk loudly. Those riders will get their wish soon, when the Danbury branch of the New Haven Line of Metro-North Railroad unveils "Quiet Cars," which will be added on a trial basis in October.

"I can see that for some people, it would be nice to have a chance to sit in a quiet car," Rivers said as she waited for the train at the Noroton Heights train station.

Passengers who board the "Quiet Car" will keep as silent as possible — which will include muting cellphones, computers and other electronic devices, and speaking in subdued voices that can't be heard by others, a Metro-North statement said. If someone needs to make a call or talk, they have to leave the car to do so. Conductors will have business cards to hand out "as needed" to remind people of the rules of the car, the statement said.

Rivers said the level of noise on trains varies depending on the time of day, but it usually doesn't bother her. "I think I would use it, though, if I wanted to read or get something done," she said.

Metro-North partnered with New Jersey Transit to add the cars on the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines on June 1. Although the plan was to expand the service to the east of the Hudson lines later in the year, the cars have received good reviews from riders in New Jersey, said Aaron Donavon, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority .

The cars will be added Oct. 17 when Metro-North's timetable changes, Donavon said. The trial will run until the timetable changes again, which should be at the end of winter, he said. He said the Hudson and Harlem lines will also add the cars.

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