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Wilton Commuters Want Peaceful Train Rides

WILTON, Conn. – Debbie Donahue likes to read a good book during her daily commute on Metro-North Railroad to Stamford, where she works as a receptionist for Harman International.

Donohue, a Wilton resident, prefers to be left alone on the way to and from work even if she's not reading – and says people who talk loudly on their cell phones can be more than just an annoyance.

"When someone is talking loudly on their cell phone, everyone on the train just stares to let them know they should tone it down or wait until they get off the train," Donahue said after arriving home at the Wilton train station Tuesday evening. "Most regular commuters like to be left alone on the train."

Donahue said that if she had been on the Metro-North train last week when a rider created a scene after talking loudly and using profanity on her cell phone, she would have likely told the woman to "just be quiet and respect everyone else on board."

A video of that incident, which involved a conductor telling the woman not to use profanities, has gone viral. The passenger, who reportedly boarded the New York-bound train in Westport, was talking loudly on her cell phone when she allegedly used profane language.

The boisterous passenger has been unofficially identified as Hermon Raju. Since the video was posted, social media accounts in that name have been set up on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .

After denying she used profanities, the woman told the conductor she was having a "private conversation" on her phone with a friend. "I don't know if she was just being rude, or if she's crazy, but that's not showing respect to the other riders," said Donahue. "I would think the people on that train must have been kind of scared."

Selma Hartman, also of Wilton, takes the train to and from New York City several times a week for her job as a computer systems consultant and has been the target of profane language.

Hartman said she was surprised the woman in the video "seemed to get so mad over something as mild as asking her not to talk loud on the phone. Once a guy tried hitting on me, and when I wasn't interested he cursed at me," Hartman said.

Some commuters said they are bothered by music from iPods and gaming devices. "It's the times we're living in with cell phones and everyone texting," said one man, who refused to give his name. "They shouldn't let people get away with it."

What can Metro-North do to stop people from talking loudly on cell phones while riding the trains? What are your biggest train pet peeves? Please leave a comment below.

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