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