Amtrak long distance trains - Power Socket types

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Arranging a multi train and Thruway bus journey around the US, by train using both roomettes and coach. Coming from Europe I will need plug and power socket adapters for the usual electronics we all carry around with us.

Normally I take a couple of simple socket to plug adapters, but this time want to have USB outlets on the adapter too. Have just bought one with the regular US 2 flat pins but this time also with a 3rd round pin, for earthing is my guess.
Looking at the older US adapters I have there are the 2 flat pins plus a circular hole, not a pin.

Which type type of power plug socket is used on Amtrak trains, and is that for all equipment or does it vary?

Basically I want to know if the new adapter is useful on Amtrak or not.

Many thanks

NB: Can send a photo if needed.
 
All the roomettes and coaches I've seen on long-distance trains have the NEMA 5-15 socket: two flat slots and a circular hole for ground. You should be fine with what you have, but you can always send a photo to check.

Here's a zoom-in of a Viewliner I power outlet I was in last week.
 

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Thank you, I can see how they both work now.

Here's a photo of the older type with the new one. The older one can also be used in recessed sockets, but that could be for other countries using the same pin system?

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Nope, the upper one is a "wall wart" power supply, probably with some current conversion for electronics, and sits flush. It has nothing to do with outlet standards anywhere the North American standard is used. Not sure about the second one. Perhaps a combination voltage and plug converter.

As far as I know, the electrical code anywhere the North American standard outlet is used calls for outlets to be grounded and allow 3 prongs and has been that way for decades now.

Finally, note that in some Superliner roomettes the outlet is recessed and allows only for a "straight in" plug. The upper example wouldn't fit. That is a design choice, God knows why, not anything to do with electrical standards. Actually, I kind of doubt the lower one could be used in the recessed roomette outlets, either.
 
All the roomettes and coaches I've seen on long-distance trains have the NEMA 5-15 socket: two flat slots and a circular hole for ground. You should be fine with what you have, but you can always send a photo to check.

Here's a zoom-in of a Viewliner I power outlet I was in last weekI'm pretty sure
I'm pretty sure the pictured receptacle is 5-20 not 15, but that does not change the spacing....

Nope, the upper one is a "wall wart" power supply, probably with some current conversion for electronics, and sits flush. It has nothing to do with outlet standards anywhere the North American standard is used. Not sure about the second one. Perhaps a combination voltage and plug converter.

As far as I know, the electrical code anywhere the North American standard outlet is used calls for outlets to be grounded and allow 3 prongs and has been that way for decades now.

Finally, note that in some Superliner roomettes the outlet is recessed and allows only for a "straight in" plug. The upper example wouldn't fit. That is a design choice, God knows why, not anything to do with electrical standards. Actually, I kind of doubt the lower one could be used in the recessed roomette outlets, either.
Railcars are not covered by the NEC, although following many of its standards is likely in relevant specs. The 3 prong receptacle became the NEC standard in the 1968 edition of the code, jurisdictions would have adopted it over a period of time after that. Replacement of existing 2 prongs with like was allowed, and they can be left in place, except in some very specific circumstances. A GFCI can protect a 2 prong if it is wired properly as a downstream device, despite its name a GFCI does not need the EGC to protect.
 
If needed, one could buy a short extension lead to plug into the recessed Amtrak socket, and then plug the usb charger to that cable. Nothing is easy these days!
The matter of power (Amps) that an adapter can handle is only concerning the devices that are plugged into it, the adapter/usb charger draws miniscule current in itself.
My 650 watt travel kettle always worked well in roomettes...
 
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View attachment 36932 These are called 'ground adapters' because they allow a three prong plug into a two prong outlet. They also extend the outlet so they could be useful in a recessed socket.
These only provide a true ground if the box containing the outlet is itself grounded which is not always the case especially in older homes e.g. with the old "knob and tube" style wiring. Our house in Maine built in 1903 still had knob and tube upstairs until we had the whole house rewired.

Our local hardware store still sells 2 prong receptacles as replacements since there are a lot of older houses in our neighborhood.
 
People with 2 prong receptacles that have no ground available for upgrade ( I am fortunate enough to have all metal boxes and BX cable, properly installed so the armor is a solid ground to the box) should use gfci where possible. (RCDs to our European friends)
 
I travel with two standard household extension cords (2 conductor), three outlets each - a 9 foot and a 6 foot. Easier to pack than a power strip and it provides me with multiple outlets.
The 9 footer is run across the top of the couch to the window where my wife can plug in her phone charger and I plug in the 6 footer with the triple outlet on the floor under the table. There I can plug in my scanner and GPS. My phone is usually plugged in at the sink and lays on the vanity.

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I don't travel with any devices that use or require a three-prong grounded outlet.
 
You're right, definitely has the horizontal 20A slot. Makes me wonder just how much a sleeper car can take though... maybe someone more experienced can chime in.
The Superliners have a breaker for each room (Edit - I originally said room. Some rooms have more than one outlet). ISTR the Roomette breakers are behind the access panel in the hallway.
Plan on a 15 amp circuit. (might be a 20 amp breaker, but I don't remember). I have run my Keurig and my Peltier Chip cooler bag at the same time with no issues.
The bedrooms usually have a breaker mounted under the sink. You can get to it by inserting a pencil to undo the latch to open the door.
The SLs I rode on the Eagle last week had a duplex grounded outlet with a Ground Fault Interrupter on the wall next to the mirror, and a more or less recessed outlet in the seat back with a reading light and the heat control knob.
Take an extension cord or one of those nifty extension cords with a couple of USB outlets available from Amazon. Make sure the plug is straight and no one of those flat space saving plugs. And a Ground lifter. ISTR non grounded outlets once in a while.
Belts and Suspenders, that's me!
 
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The Superliners have a breaker for each room (Edit - I originally said room. Some rooms have more than one outlet). ISTR the Roomette breakers are behind the access panel in the hallway.

This sounds like an upgraded or refurbished arrangement to me.
My impression was that each block of 5 roomettes was on its own circuit, and I have had the circuit go out in my room while I wasn't doing anything but charging a phone. If that happened in the middle of the night, the power stayed off until the attendant discovered at 6 in the morning that the coffee pot in the hall wouldn't start.

I think the people who have gotten lucky with high-draw appliances have just happened to not have anyone nearby doing the same.

But I only was there to see the attendant open the panel once, several years ago now, and I didn't take a photo.
 
The Superliners have a breaker for each room (Edit - I originally said room. Some rooms have more than one outlet). ISTR the Roomette breakers are behind the access panel in the hallway.
Plan on a 15 amp circuit. (might be a 20 amp breaker, but I don't remember). I have run my Keurig and my Peltier Chip cooler bag at the same time with no issues.
The bedrooms usually have a breaker mounted under the sink. You can get to it by inserting a pencil to undo the latch to open the door.
The SLs I rode on the Eagle last week had a duplex grounded outlet with a Ground Fault Interrupter on the wall next to the mirror, and a more or less recessed outlet in the seat back with a reading light and the heat control knob.
Take an extension cord or one of those nifty extension cords with a couple of USB outlets available from Amazon. Make sure the plug is straight and no one of those flat space saving plugs. And a Ground lifter. ISTR non grounded outlets once in a while.
Belts and Suspenders, that's m
Unless someone has a background or knowledge like yours, I would say they should stay away from "ground lifters" as a general rule. There are small filter circuit devices for eliminating hum in AV now that work, and don't create the safety hazard that a ground lift might if used by a less than knowledgeable person.
 
A "Ground Lifter" or 3 prong to 2 prong adapter is not intrinsically unsafe. You can buy them anywhere from supermarkets convenience stores and truck stops. A proper Ground Lifter has a ground wire attached which can easily be grounded to the outlet ground. It merely allows a three prong plug to fit a 2 prong socket. This is the main purpose in my including it in this discussion. Much better than breaking off the ground pin.
If the device to be powered is operating and is operated properly, there is no great risk unless someone does something really dumb. Same as a hammer or a pistol.
 
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