Calif Zephyr sleeper car question

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indianapolis
My sister and myself will be taking a amtrak train for the first time in June. We are going from chicago to sacramento on the zephyr. My question is I know there is coffee available on the sleeper car. But is there access to hot water as my sister prefers tea and is wondering if she brought her own tea bags would she have access to hot water. I am wondering if you have access in the sleeper car to drinkable water and is it cold or is there access somewhere to ice? We each will have our own roommette and I can't see anywhere in those where you can put a cup so would it be better to bring your own cup with a lid for the trip.
 
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Your attendant can help with the ice, there is potable water, but your SCA will provide bottled water as well. I don't remember if we had in car HW or if we went to the diner or lounge to pick it up. Your SCA will be able to advise you what is up on your train. I can't recall if the little table that folds out from the wall or the window sill has depressions on it for cups to keep the from sliding. I' sure someone will answer.
 

joelkfla

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My sister and myself will be taking a amtrak train for the first time in June. We are going from chicago to sacramento on the zephyr. My question is I know there is coffee available on the sleeper car. But is there access to hot water as my sister prefers tea and is wondering if she brought her own tea bags would she have access to hot water. I am wondering if you have access in the sleeper car to drinkable water and is it cold or is there access somewhere to ice? We each will have our own roommette and I can't see anywhere in those where you can put a cup so would it be better to bring your own cup with a lid for the trip.
There are cup holders on both sides of the table but they are very shallow. A cup with a lid would be wise.
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"Customers are entitled to hot water in cafe/lounge cars by request." A good SCA will fetch it for you; a lazy one may tell you to get it yourself. I don't think it's available in the car. The coffee station is just a percolator or an urn.

Bottled water is supplied, and additional bottles should be available from the SCA or out at the coffee station. It is room temperature.
 

zephyr17

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The "cup holders" are very shallow and not to be trusted.

Coffee is available in the car from 6 to 9 am. Some attendants keep coffee on most of the day, some don't. Policy is 6 to 9.

Hot water is NOT available in the car. You can get some from the cafe car attendant for free. Your SCA should get ice. They no longer have ice in the car, they have to get it from the diner or lounge.
 
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I am an all day coffee drinker. Amtrak coffee is pretty weak and coffee service varies wildly from SCA to SCA. Coffee wasn't even available in sleeping car my last trip Feb 2021. I found a great way to have my coffee and drink it too ;) I found a very slim and compact coffee maker that uses k-cups and a 14 oz. travel mug (which sat very well in cup indention) You can use it to heat water for tea too. I can't provide link but it is called 'chefman instacoffee' available at walmart.com. it packs well in suitcase as its profile isn't very large.
 
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I just completed a trip from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh PA and booked a room and roomette on Western Chief, Capitol Limited. There was bottled water available by the coffee maker in our car on all trains except the return trip on Western Chief Chicago to LA., on that train, the attendant did not have water for us, did not make coffee, and we didn't even have bath towels available. The sleeping car attendant was mostly absent, didn't turn down beds etc.... I requested hot water at breakfast in the dining car and brought my own matcha and non dairy creamer with me.
 

zephyr17

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First, this is not Amtrak. It is a railfan discussion board that is not at all affiliated with Amtrak.

Unfortunately, your experience on the Southwest Chief is not unique. Amtrak's on board service varies wildly and there is no supervision on the road. You should take it up with Amtrak Customer Relations. Call Amtrak, ask for an agent, ask the agent to connect you with Customer Relations. Customer Relations is only there normal business hours Eastern Time, M-F.

Have your reservation number and travel dates.
 
S

Sfs

Guest
First, this is not Amtrak. It is a railfan discussion board that is not at all affiliated with Amtrak.

Unfortunately, your experience on the Southwest Chief is not unique. Amtrak's on board service varies wildly and there is no supervision on the road. You should take it up with Amtrak Customer Relations. Call Amtrak, ask for an agent, ask the agent to connect you with Customer Relations. Customer Relations is only there normal business hours Eastern Time, M-F.

Have your reservation number and travel dates.
Thanks, I did file a complaint with Amtrak, the service was not what is advertised and aside from comfort, I believe it was a health and safety issue. I just wanted to give folks a heads up that services differ greatly from what is promoted by Amtrak.
 

zephyr17

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Unfortunately, many here are painfully aware of such experiences, having had them.

Amtrak on board service seems to follow an almost perfect bell curve. A few really bad ones, like this, a few really excellent ones, most in the mediocre middle. Okay, not great, not terrible.

I am a bit surprised that you experienced this on the SW Chief, the OBS crew is based out of LA, and that tends to be one of the better crew bases.
 
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