No sport caters to American passions for drama, hard-hitting action, and daytime drinking like football. Any gathering of like-minded football fans becomes an impromptu tailgate party; reminiscences of past gridiron glory blend well with the beer-soaked present.
San Francisco 49ers fans living as far off as Stockton can this season catch a special gameday train to and from the team's new Santa Clara digs via the Altamont Corridor Express. And the very first item on the rail line's FAQ section — perhaps the most frequently asked of the frequently asked questions — is "Is alcohol allowed on the train?"
It is not.
"We do not want people drinking on the train. The train is moving. We want to make sure people don't fall down," explains Steve Walker, ACE's safety and security coordinator.
Unlike Muni and BART riders, however, ACE passengers are free to sip temperate drinks and gorge themselves on elaborate rolling feasts. Walker confirms that Friday pot-lucks and birthday parties are common.
Tippling passengers at these fiestas are made to pour out their booze, though. Security will be on board for the Niners Express as well, but, Walker confirms, "we're not going to be the beer police."