Direction of Superliner Sleepers

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Sorry, bit of a basic question but here goes.

The Superliner Sleeper cars, are they directional? On the upper level are the bedrooms always toward the front/direction of travel and roomettes at the rear?

Said it was basic, thanks
 

PVD

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Other than a transdorm, where the low end needs to point to a baggage car if there is one a superliner can point either way. Viewliners are a bit different, in that the VL sleeper next to the diner will have the H Room end with the vestibule pointing to the diner, since the diner has none. Other VL sleepers may point either way
 
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Rasputin

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In my experience, it seems that in the majority of the time the bedrooms are toward the rear of the train but you certainly cannot always count on it.
 

zephyr17

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My experience is the orientation of Superliner sleepers is pretty random (even in the same consist, I've been on several trains where the sleepers were oriented differently, roomettes to roomettes or bedrooms to bedrooms). If there's any tendency, it's pretty slight and very far from something that can be counted on.
 

Cal

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Sorry, bit of a basic question but here goes.

The Superliner Sleeper cars, are they directional? On the upper level are the bedrooms always toward the front/direction of travel and roomettes at the rear?

Said it was basic, thanks
Nope, don’t count on getting a certain side unless you know the consist of your train beforehand. Even then, they switch them out.
Just last week I checked the inbound consist of the Southwest Chief into LA, as I was leaving on the Chief that night. It’s usually the same consist. However my consist was different for whatever reason. So really, don’t count on it
 

Bob Dylan

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My experience is the orientation of Superliner sleepers is pretty random (even in the same consist, I've been on several trains where the sleepers were oriented differently, roomettes to roomettes or bedrooms to bedrooms). If there's any tendency, it's pretty slight and very far from something that can be counted on.
Ditto, it's up the yard Crews when they make up the consist, you just dont know till you board!
 

Seaboard92

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Superliners its up to the yard crews really. Now the Viewliners you can almost always predict because the vestibule end (B End) is almost always facing the direction of the food service cars. Now this isn't always the case but it is normally.

Back in the old days it was customary to run vestibule forward I believe back during the private railroad era.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Ditto, it's up the yard Crews when they make up the consist, you just dont know till you board!
Saying it's up to the yard crews implies they have some sort of plan or awareness of orientation but so far as I can tell in the case of Superliners orientation is dictated by whichever random movements brought the car to the train to be connected as is with no rhyme or reason. Personally I think a predictable orientation could be used to collect a bit more money from folks who may prefer a specific view and be willing to pay a little more to ensure it (within reason). Many hotels I've visited offered upgrades for better views and airlines charge extra for some seats. I feel Amtrak is leaving money on the table by assembling trains in a haphazard manner and leaving everything to chance instead.
 
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zephyr17

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Well, the Superliners were deliberately designed either end forward. Probably in order to save the switching costs of turning a "backwards" car.

The prior generations of sleepers had a definite orientation of fore and aft. Look at the floorplans of any sleeper that had "real" roomettes. All the seats face the same way, and there was no second seat unless you count the cover over the toilet.
 

jiml

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As a frequent railcam viewer, I can attest to seeing Superliner sleepers in both directions about equally - sometimes one of each. It really is hit or miss. Trains like the SWC and Zephyr, which can be seen several places, as well as the Capitol at Elkhart, have seldom had transition sleepers recently. Those three usually have standard sleepers with the forward-facing upper door occasionally covered with the tarp, but mostly exposed.
 

Rasputin

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I agree that it is very random. A friend and I have kept notes of the sleeper orientation in our separate trips the past few years. These are notes of the sleeper orientation of our particular sleeper only and not of other sleepers in the train.

In 20 trips on superliners, our sleeper has been oriented with the even numbered roomettes on the engineer's side of the train 9 times and on the fireman's side 11 times. Our notes specifically indicate that on two trains we noted that at least one other sleeper in the train was oriented in the opposite way.

In 9 trips on the Lake Shore (some in the Boston sleeper) and 1 trip on the Crescent, even numbered roomettes were on the engineer's side on 4 trips and on the fireman's side on 6 trips. In my experience the Boston sleeper is generally oriented with the even numbered roomettes on the fireman's side although I recall one trip when the Boston sleeper was oriented in the opposite way which the attendant (Bob Heath) considered quite incorrect.

Obviously these are random observations and others may have different experiences.
 

IndyLions

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Just a point of interest here. In early 2019 I made a trip from LA to Oakland on the Coast Starlight. I was waiting in the LA Metropolitan lounge when there was an announcement made that "odd" numbered roomettes were going to be oceanside on that train. Furthermore, they said that if you were in an "even" numbered room, they would assist you in changing sides if you were interested. As it turned out, I was already in an odd numbered room.

To me, it seems like it would be difficult to change people that late in the game without screwing things up. But maybe it was a very light sleeper load leaving LA.
 

Way2Kewl

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You mentioned upper floor (Superliner) but not your route. As mentioned it’s mostly 50/50 unless your traveling Coast Starlight or possibly the Empire Builder depending on the individual car. (more accurate numbers below)



I ride allot, usually get a bedroom, like to sit on the couch (hate the chair) and really like to be facing forward while sitting on the couch watching the scenery coming at me and not watching it pass.

A few years back when trying to determine if I should be booking room B or D, or if I should be booking E, C or the dreaded A in order to get a couch facing forward I figured if I could watch the orientation of trains as they pass they the webcams I’d have the metrics to calculate the odds of which way they face the sleepers and I could be relatively sure what room to book so I would not be stuck sitting in the chair.

So I decided to watch a few WebCams with DVR’s in 2018 ad 2019 and here’s some of the statistics regarding which way the sleepers were faced.
(click to zoom)

hope that helps put some numbers to the question.
Cheers,
 

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Bob Dylan

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You mentioned upper floor (Superliner) but not your route. As mentioned it’s mostly 50/50 unless your traveling Coast Starlight or possibly the Empire Builder depending on the individual car. (more accurate numbers below)



I ride allot, usually get a bedroom, like to sit on the couch (hate the chair) and really like to be facing forward while sitting on the couch watching the scenery coming at me and not watching it pass.

A few years back when trying to determine if I should be booking room B or D, or if I should be booking E, C or the dreaded A in order to get a couch facing forward I figured if I could watch the orientation of trains as they pass they the webcams I’d have the metrics to calculate the odds of which way they face the sleepers and I could be relatively sure what room to book so I would not be stuck sitting in the chair.

So I decided to watch a few WebCams with DVR’s in 2018 ad 2019 and here’s some of the statistics regarding which way the sleepers were faced.
(click to zoom)

hope that helps put some numbers to the question.
Cheers,
Thanks for the info, but it's still a "Crap Shoot" when it comes to Superliner Sleepers!
 

Way2Kewl

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Thanks for the info, but it's still a "Crap Shoot" when it comes to Superliner Sleepers!
Crap shoot for CZ Superliners with 56/44; 49/51 and 56/44
and TE Superliners with 43/48
And crap shoot for the EB Seatle 31 car or the EB Portland 20 car.

But a good "probably" for the EB Seatle 30 car (closest to the diner)
EB 54/46; 76/24, and 63/37

And pretty predictable for the CS Superliners with 10/90; 18/82, and 9/91
 

Seaboard92

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At one time the New york Central would try to always have the bedrooms on the Hudson side of the train. So they would cut the sleepers out of the consist before running a wye with the cars that needed to be turned. Then reassemble the train.
 

Siegmund

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And crap shoot for the EB Seatle 31 car or the EB Portland 20 car.
But a good "probably" for the EB Seatle 30 car (closest to the diner)
For the Builder, in my experience when the transdorm roomettes are being sold to the public, the sleeper adjacent to the transdorm is fairly reliably 'roomettes forward' so that 1-10 in the sleeper are immediately next to 11-18 in the transdorm, and passengers board through the sleeper door even if their room is in the transdorm.

If the transdorm isn't in use, all bets are off, and presumably when the Seattle section runs with a coach-baggage instead of a transdorm (this 'never' happened before covid but has happened quite a bit in the past year) all bets are off.

If I hadn't seen your spreadsheet, I'd have guessed it was almost a guarantee for the forwardmost EB sleeper. (Of course what we CAN'T tell from your spreadsheet is what days the transdorm space was for sale and what days it wasn't.)
 

me_little_me

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Amtrak seemingly can't even tell you in advance whether the sleepers are in the front or back so you know, upon arrival at the now more common staffless stations, where to stand to board the train.
 

Rasputin

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I don't know about the situation during the pandemic but pre-pandemic it seems that the sleeper placement was fairly reliable. On the western trains the sleepers were near the head end except for the Texas Eagle sleeper on the Sunset and the Portland sleeper on the Empire Builder which were usually on the rear west of San Antonio and east of Spokane. On the Lake Shore, the Boston sleeper is on the head end and the New York sleepers are on the rear.

The Crescent seems to have had some inconsistency. I recall a couple of trips a few years ago where the sleepers were on the head end but on our last trip (2019) they were on the rear. I can't comment on the Cardinal or Capitol as I have never been on those trains.
 
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I don't know about the situation during the pandemic but pre-pandemic it seems that the sleeper placement was fairly reliable. On the western trains the sleepers were near the head end except for the Texas Eagle sleeper on the Sunset and the Portland sleeper on the Empire Builder which were usually on the rear west of San Antonio and east of Spokane. On the Lake Shore, the Boston sleeper is on the head end and the New York sleepers are on the rear.

The Crescent seems to have had some inconsistency. I recall a couple of trips a few years ago where the sleepers were on the head end but on our last trip (2019) they were on the rear. I can't comment on the Cardinal or Capitol as I have never been on those trains.
The order of cars in the consists is pretty consistent, but the inconsistency is on which end of the car faces forward. I'm booked in an upcoming Portland EB roomette, and I know I'll be in the last car on the whole train but even though I know my roomette number, I don't know which direction I will be facing yet since it varies so much.
 

jis

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I don't know about the situation during the pandemic but pre-pandemic it seems that the sleeper placement was fairly reliable. On the western trains the sleepers were near the head end except for the Texas Eagle sleeper on the Sunset and the Portland sleeper on the Empire Builder which were usually on the rear west of San Antonio and east of Spokane. On the Lake Shore, the Boston sleeper is on the head end and the New York sleepers are on the rear.

The Crescent seems to have had some inconsistency. I recall a couple of trips a few years ago where the sleepers were on the head end but on our last trip (2019) they were on the rear. I can't comment on the Cardinal or Capitol as I have never been on those trains.
It depends on which specific year one is talking about. There were years when the estern LD consists (except the LSL) were consistently flipped between summer and winter. IIRC in the winter they carried the Sleepers in the rear while in the summer they were in the front. Then at some point they stopped doing that and stuck with the Sleepers in the rear and also moved the Bag to the rear.
 

Rasputin

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It depends on which specific year one is talking about. There were years when the estern LD consists (except the LSL) were consistently flipped between summer and winter. IIRC in the winter they carried the Sleepers in the rear while in the summer they were in the front. Then at some point they stopped doing that and stuck with the Sleepers in the rear and also moved the Bag to the rear.
Thanks. I should have clarified that I know nothing about the Florida trains (except for the Floridian but that was so long ago it doesn't count and I don't recall where the sleepers were placed in that train anyway.).
 
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