We need to adopt the standard we see in Japan. Cell phone conversation on trains there is frowned upon as bad manners and will draw a physical response from almost everyone on the train.
Today, I went to drop off my rental car before picking up my minivan from the repair shop (was in an accident on the 6th, yes, we’re all okay, thankfully). From the rental counter, the driver was going to drop me off at the repair shop, which was up north of Fort Smith in the town of Van Buren. He was also taking a woman who was picking up another car at another location. I sat in the back of the crew-cab pickup that had been my rental for over a week w/my 3 y.o. son. That woman spent her entire time (about 15+ minutes) texting on her freaking phone. If I had to hear ‘message received’ one more time, I was going to strangle her. What happened to making polite conversation on a ride? So I can understand the frustration of passengers dealing with this for 2/3 of a day.
I once rode the Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Chicago. My first observation was that I now knew where old Metroliners go to die. My second observation was that there was no Quiet Car, and vendors passed through the train selling beer. There was a group of guys behind me who, I learned in the course of the trip, were salesman for IBM. One of them, I’ll call him “Dave,” got louder and louder and more obnoxious as the beer cans piled up, despite some attempts by his companions to restrain him. I bit my lip all the way to Chicago. As we were getting off, I was in line behind them. I tapped one of them on the shoulder and asked politely, though not quietly, “Is Dave still competing for ‘Asshole of the Year’ or is he celebrating his ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award.” Dave spun around to glare at me, but his buddies were laughing so hard there was nothing he could do. I left the train to applause.