Amtrak Sleepers: Lots of Choices.
I often get inquiries from people wanting to know about the various options for sleeping car passengers traveling overnight on one of Amtrak’s long-distance trains. So here are some of the suggestions I usually make. Note that Superliner equipment is used on all long-distance trains operating west of Chicago and New Orleans. The Capitol Limited is the only overnight train using Superliners in the eastern part of the country. All other overnight trains in the east use Viewliner equipment.
This isn’t a big deal, but if you have the choice, avoid roomettes 1 and 2, which are closest to the upstairs lavatory, and numbers 9 and 10, which are next to the door at the end of the car.
Bedroom A is a bit smaller than the other four, but there is a solid wall between you and Bedroom B. There’s a removable wall separating B from C and D from E, so there’s not a lot of privacy in any of those rooms.
Consider asking for two roomettes opposite each other instead of a bedroom. You could save some money, you will each have privacy when you want it, no one has to climb up into the upper berth, and you will have a window on both sides of the train. There are no “facilities” in a Superliner roomette, so you’ll have to leave the roomette for one of the four lavatories when nature calls.
When that occurs in the wee hours, it’s a real hassle to get dressed and leave your roomette. My solution is to sleep in a comfortable pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt. When the inevitable occurs around 2:00 a.m., I just slip my feet into a pair of rubber slippers and off to the lavatory I go.
Sleeping car space often sells out well in advance, but remember that the handicapped bedrooms (there’s one on the lower level of every Superliner sleeper) go ons sale to the general public 48-hours before the train’s scheduled departure.
There are 12 roomettes and two bedrooms in a Viewliner sleeping car. There is also one bedroom adaptable for a handicapped passenger with attendant, and there are two large bedrooms.
Veteran travelers on these eastern trains ask the car attendant to make up the upper berth in the roomettes. That leaves the lower level free for moving around and provides a little more room or dressing and undressing. Plus there’s a window for people in the upper berth and it’s high enough so people on the platforms can’t look into your bedroom wit’s “down the hall” when the train is stopped at a station during the night.