More Questions About Amtrak Travel.

Q. How much should I tip my sleeping car attendant?

A. There are a lot of factors that go into the answer: How many nights was your journey? Did you ask for any meals to be brought to your accommodations? Was he/she friendly and courteous?

My personal rule-of-thumb is to start at $20 or $25 per night and add to that amount for exceptional service and subtract for poor service and/or a poor attitude.

Q. I will probably choose to dine in my accommodations instead of going the dining car.

A. In that case, please remember that your car attendant will have to make three trips to the dining car for every one of your meals: the first trip to place your order with the dining car staff; the second trip to pick up your meal and bring it back to your accommodations; and the third trip is to return your dirty dishes to the dining car. Your tip needs to recognize that effort.

.Q. The man in the roomette across the hall keeps hitting on me. What  should I do?

A. If you’ve asked him to leave you alone and he persists, tell a conductor. If the male passenger continues to bother you, even after a warning from the conductor, he risks being put off the train at the next stop. Amtrak has a very low tolerance for that kind of thing.

Q. I’ve been assigned to a roomette in what the reservations agent  described as “the dorm car”. What does that mean?

A. It means you’ll have a nice quiet ride! The dorm car is a special Superliner sleeping car located at the front of the train, usually right behind the baggage car. It has individual roomettes for the train’s on board crew—the car attendants, the chef, his assistant, the dining car staff, and the lounge car attendant.

These folks work long hours, so once off duty and in their dorm rooms, you won’t hear a peep from any of them.

The dorm car also includes offices and work space where the conductors can relax and deal with their paperwork. Depending on the need, space in th dorm car is sometime sold to regular passengers.