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Amtrak sleeper cars
Old 04-30-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
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Amtrak sleeper cars

Hey all, new to the forum here and I posted to the Hi, I am forum. As stated in my thread there, I am thinking of rewarding my pending retirement with a long leisurely trip around the country by Amtrak. However, and since I am a bit of a light sleeper, does anyone here have any experience with the comfort level with the bunks/beds on the sleeper cars? I have a white noise sleep app on my iphone that should help some. Just wondering if the mattresses are hard as a rail, or what...

Thanks in advance,
John
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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I took the Empire Builder to Seattle last year and had one of the smaller rooms. It hold bunk beds with literally NO room around the sides to even put one foot down. The beds do fold up nicely during the day for a reasonably comfortable sitting area.

The first night neither of us slept much at all due to the new circumstances. The second night we both slept soundly due to the comforting rocking of the train. The mattresses seemed just fine; no problems there. However, if I ever get a sleeper again I'd get the larger, more expensive one in a heartbeat. Again, the space in the smaller one was so tiny, and the person in the upper bunk has no headroom at all. There's no place whatsoever, in short, to even attempt to change clothes. Hope this helps!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:35 PM   #3
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I've taken 2 trips on Amtrak using the "Roomettes" not the full-up rooms.

They say the roomettes are built for 2 but unless it's just a few hours trip I'd say it's really just for one person.

Comfort/cleanliness/amenities were just swell. No complaints. Even though they are sound-proofed a train makes a constant roar/rumble. You probably won't need a white noise machine. The train will lull you to sleep. I plan on using Amtrak from now on instead of driving halfway across the country and back again just for a 4 day visit.

If you want to spend bigger bucks and go all the way with a -room-, that can only be better. More space, private bathroom and shower.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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DW and I did the Coastal Starlight in a roomette. As others have said, they are VERY cozy. I had no problem sleeping with earplugs (which I use in just about any new sleeping environment). DW had a bit more trouble but it was the stops in the middle of the night with the train whistle that bothered her, not the noise of the train while it was moving.
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oh yeah..
Old 04-30-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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oh yeah..

After making the mistake of buying a travel trailer with a bed that was too short for me (I'm 5'10"), was that an issue for anybody?
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:14 PM   #6
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I'm 5'10" and fit just fine
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:25 PM   #7
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Or if you are extremely cheap, just ride coach. Find you an empty car, and take up two seats, the footrests flatten out giving you a nice comfy bed. Take a blankie, pillow and bottle of wine!
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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I took an Amtrak auto train down the east coast with DD#2. She's 5'11" and I'm (at least I was) 6'1" and we were fine. Agree with razz, you won't need the white noise machine and if needed a tylenol PM will help. You might try a short trip to see. Sounds like fun.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:33 PM   #9
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There is an Amtrak forum that may be of help to you.
RAILROAD.NET € View forum - Amtrak

As to your particular question about comfort - I've found the full bedroom compartment to be roomier as far as bunk size. A plus for a long leisurely trip in my opinion. Full bedrooms or larger also have personal in room facilities that roomettes do not have.
For shorter trips (1-2 nights travel) I think a roomette is fine. I find the roomette to be more comfortable during the day, seating wise.

The room and bunk dimensions vary some depending on the particular sleeper car. This link may help with that.
Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Sleeping Accommodations
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:47 PM   #10
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I took the Coast Starlight once with a roomette (solo) and thought it was great, if a bit pricey. No problem with space (6'2"). I have taken the same trip many times coach and just slept in the lounge car. It empties out at night since they turn off the heat there.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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I take the Zephyr between Denver and Chicago. The small roomette works for me. I sleep very well on a train (actually it's hard for me to stay awake). I have also had the two seats in coach and sleep well there, too.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:51 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies all! I suppose any of the arrangements will be better than when I used to ride the cabooses when I was a brakeman/conductor on the Katy railroad, lol. Could be quite a rough ride if you had an inexperienced or ticked off engineer pullin ya!

Sent from the new ER app on my iPhone. Pretty handy...
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by johnnyfuego View Post
Thanks for the replies all! I suppose any of the arrangements will be better than when I used to ride the cabooses when I was a brakeman/conductor on the Katy railroad, lol. Could be quite a rough ride if you had an inexperienced or ticked off engineer pullin ya!

Sent from the new ER app on my iPhone. Pretty handy...
Hah! Now I know what that line in the blues song is "She caught the Katy...and left me the mule to ride"

Quote:
... the Missouri - Kansas - Texas Railroad, also known as the Katy.
-ERD50
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:13 AM   #14
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Hah! Now I know what that line in the blues song is "She caught the Katy...and left me the mule to ride"







-ERD50

Another service brought to you by your friendly E-R members. A great tune
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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For a short while, hopefully, I'm just a lowly AR - almost retired
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:23 PM   #16
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Hah! Now I know what that line in the blues song is "She caught the Katy...and left me the mule to ride"







-ERD50

Yep, that. Wet Willie did a great version of that song.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #17
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I've not taken a sleeper trip (but hope to some day), but I find the Amtrak Unlimited Discussion board has lots of good info. Also, to find the "lowest bucket price" use AmSnag
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #18
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Thanks for the tip bhoferp! I'll research, but the tightwad in me is wondering for now if one can, assuming there is availability, upgrade mid trip to a sleeper. Last trip I took, I think the conductor had a hand held credit card device. Other than an occasional nap, I would only need the sleeper at night. Part of me says nah, not worth the hassle, but if there are savings to be had...
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:36 PM   #19
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The cost of the sleeper includes meals in the dining car. The cost of a sleeper mid-trip is very expensive. Sometimes you can make your coach reservation and then call a couple of days before the trip and upgrade to the sleeper.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #20
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Just curious, about what do these train trips cost? Never been on a train but always wondered about train travel after watching PBS train specials.
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