Comparing Two Super Rooms With a View

On my recent cross-country trip on Amtrak, I made a point of comparing the roomette in the Viewliner sleeper, which I had on the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Boston, with the roomette in the Superliner I occupied from Washingto back to Chicago on the Capitol Limited.

The most obvious difference is that there is a fold-down washbasin and a small toilet in the Viewliner roomette, as shown in the photo below, while the lavetories are “down the hall” in Superliners. Having those facilities in your room seems like a big plus at first, but after a number of overnight trips in each type of room, I’ve decided I really prefer the Superliner roomettes.

To make room for the toilet and wash basin, the lower berth in the Viewliner actually narrows where your legs and feet go. And, even in the daytime, the room just feels a lot smaller to me. Furthermore, if there are two of you in the Viewliner roomette, decorum pretty much requires that one person go out into the hallway while the other uses the facilities. That’s a lot of fun in the middle of the night!

When I’m traveling in a Superliner roomette, I sleep in a comfortable pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt. If I have to use the facilities during the night – and at my age that’s a given! – I just slip on a pair of rubber flip-flops and head off down the hall.

There’s one other plus, too: Where the washbasin and toilet are located in the Viewliner sleeper, the Superliner roomette has a wide shelf/armrest which will just accommodate a medium-sized suitcase.

Both roomettes are small, but very well designed and both provide the all important comfort and privacy that makes them well worth the extra cost. (Besides, I’m too damn old and creaky to sleep sitting up all night in coach!)