Today's long-distance trains provide passengers with most of the comforts of home, especially if you’re riding in a sleeping car. You have privacy, your own bed to sleep in at night, and a car attendant to look after whatever you night need.
But don’t expect things to be perfect. Despite the impression you may get from Amtrak’s promotional materials, a train is not a cruise ship on wheels. Aboard ship, there’s often nothing to see out there but ocean, so cruise lines provide a myriad of activities to occupy passengers.
The train is different. There is constantly changing scenery right outside your window and, consequently, you’re pretty much left to your own devices for entertainment. That’s when passengers pull out the portable DVD players and other electronic devices.
That said, with several hundred people living together in close quarters for one or two days, there are bound to be some inconveniences. Bear that in mind, and before making an issue out of something, ask yourself if you're being unreasonable under the circumstances.
I once listened to a woman in an adjoining room berate the train attendant unmercifully because he had been unable to silence a minor rattle somewhere in her room. The poor man had tried several times to find it without success and clearly it was time she thanked him for his effort and made the best of things.
So, before boarding, why not resolve to lighten up a bit? There's too much to enjoy on the train to let minor things spoil your trip.