What About a Superliner Sleeper?

I often hear from people planning their first overnight train ride who are unsure about their options. So today, here are the basics about the Superliner sleeping cars; tomorrow the Viewliners.

 The bi-level Superliner sleepers are about 90 feet long and 16 feet high. They’re used on all of the long-distance trains traveling west out of Chicago. In addition, Superliners are used on the City of New Orleans (Chicago-New Orleans) and the Capitol Limited, which operates between Chicago and Washington, DC.

 Each Superliner has five bedrooms, all on the upper level and fourteen roomettes—ten on the upper level and four on the lower. Both room types can accommodate two people. The lower berth in the bedroom is 40-inches wide, just a couple of inches wider than a conventional twin bed. Upper berths in both roomettes and bedrooms are just a bit over two feet wide. All berths are about 6’ 2” long.
There is one family bedroom on the lower level, which accommodates two adults and two children. The adults get full-sized berths—both 6’2” long; the two berths for the kids are shorter: 4’ 9” and 4’ 7” respectively.
There is also a wheel-chair accessible bedroom on the lower level for passengers needing such a facility plus a companion. These rooms are reserved until 48 hours before the train’s departure, at which time they’re made available to regular passengers. This is important information should you need last-minute sleeping car accommodations on an overnight train with Superliner equipment.
The five bedrooms and the accessible bedroom all have en suite lavatory facilities. Passengers in roomettes use the “public” facilities: one on the upper floor and three on the lower level.
TIP: Book bedrooms through Amtrak Reservations and ask for Bedroom A because there is a solid soundproof partition between it and Bedroom B. There are flimsy removable partitions between B and C and between D and E; as a result, conversations are easily overheard.

 TIP: Roomettes 3 through 8 are preferred. Numbers 1 and 2 are close to the lavatory; 9 and 10 are at the end of the car with the door to the noisy vestibule opening and closing; 10-14 are on the lower level next to the luggage rack and with more track noise.
TIP: My wife and I often get two roomettes across the hall from each other. One can nap while the other sits and reads or watches the passing scenery; no one has to climb up into the upper berth; and you have viewing out of both sides of the train. And the cost of the two roomettes is usually a bit less than the cost of a bedroom.
Tomorrow: the Viewliner Sleeping Cars


  1. I bought a roomette last night and was assigned to room 2. I read this helpful blog and contacted Amtrak. They were able to move me to room 3. Thanks for the tip! This will be an an amazing adventure for me and my teenager.

  2. Just got assigned roomers 13 (Lower Level) I have never had a LL roomette. Any thoughts?

    1. I’ve been on the lower level a couple of times and in several ways it’s actually more convenient: Don’t have to lug suitcase up these narrow stairs, almost no pedestrian traffic outside your door, close to three lavatories and the shower. Downside is a little more track noise and not quite as good a view, got to climb the stairs three times a day to get to the dining car.

  3. I’ve just read this blog and discovered that roomette #10 on the California Zephyr is not the greatest. The roomettes are sold out so I think it’s too late to ask to change rooms. I’ve also just purchased your boo, All Aboard. Maybe I’ll discover so tips to make room #10 a little better.

    1. I forgot to ask which sleeper you’re going to be in.There will probably be there sleeping cars on that train. If you’re in the car closest to the locomotive, it won’t be a problem at all; if you’re noxt to the dining car, there will be people walking through the car to meals, It’s life on board. Enjoy it!

  4. We just got our roomette assignments for our trip on California Zephyr in October. They say #006 and #004 in sleeping cars 0631 and 0532. Does that mean we’re in the Upper level? I hope so! The diagram only shows 4 and 6 without the 00 in front. Thanks!

    1. According to the numbers you included in your email, you now have the same two roomettes (number 6 and number 4) on both the eastbound train and the westbound train.

      Your two roomettes are in car #0631 on the eastbound train and there should be one sleeper (car #0630) between you and the dining car.

      The same two roomettes (#4 and #6) are in car #0532 on the westbound train and there will be two sleepers between you and the dining car.

      I’m assuming you booked through an Amtrak Reservations center, and I would call back and ask if you can get roomettes directly across the corridor from each other. That way you will be able to see out of both sides of the train and conversation from one to the other is much easier.

      Roomettes 1 through 10 are all on the upper level. Preferred numbers are roomettes 3 and 4, or 5 and 6; second choice would be roomettes 7 and 8

      1. Yes indeed. Those other pictures were labeled correctly. You may want to consider correcting your image. (Or not. Keep up the good work either way.)

        1. I’m still learning this new version of Word Press and haven’t any idea how to do that. I guess they’ll have to stay as is for the time being.

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