When to Use a Travel Agent … and How to Find a Good One.
Both the Amtrak (800-USA-RAIL) and VIA Rail (888-VIA-RAIL) reservations people are very good and you will get good service working directly with them if you choose to go that way.
But you might wish to use the services of a travel agent … again, if your itinerary is complicated and you’ll need help with other bookings: hotels, rental cars, etc.
In my experience, however, many travel agents can sell you a plane ticket and reserve a hotel room, but really don’t know a lot about booking train travel.
If they quickly respond that the Viewliner roomette includes a toilet and washbasin while, in the Superliner sleepers, the facilities are “down the hall”, you can be reasonably sure you’ve found a person who will do a good job for you. There is also a second window in the Viewliner roomette (see photo) for anyone sleeping in the upper berth, a feature not found in Superliner sleepers.
If you can’t find a rail-savvy travel agent on your own, contact Sylvia or Ted Blishak at Train Travel Consulting in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Call them at 800-347-0645. The Blishaks have traveled the world by train and are bonafide experts.