Empire Builder Superliner Roomette - power and charging sockets

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Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
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Good afternoon from a very wet and windy Wiltshire in the UK!

I am travelling from Seattle to Chicago in May - big bucket list item tick - with the usual electronics - phone, Kindle, ear-buds, laptop, hairdryer and so on and wonder if I right in thinking there is only one socket in a Roomette.

Here are my questions:

1. Is the plug socket Type A - two flat pins, or Type B - two flat pins and a larger round pin?

2. Is there a USB socket?

TIA
Best wishes
Samantha
 

SarahZ

Conductor
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May 8, 2011
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It's a Type B outlet, and there is only one. You'll want to bring a power strip so you can plug in multiple items (this will also give you more reach). I usually set my power strip along the window rail, behind the table (folded up). It stays put 99% of the time.

There are no USB sockets.

I hope you have a nice trip. That's one of the most scenic routes in the country. :)
 

the_traveler

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There is only one socket - which is on the wall behind your head near the reading lights. I would highly recommend bringing an extension cord, especially if you have more than 1 item, and even if you just want to use it by the table between the seats. I do that all the time.

There is no USB plug, but some extension cords also have them.
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
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It's a Type B outlet, and there is only one. [...]
There are no USB sockets.
I hope you have a nice trip. That's one of the most scenic routes in the country. :)
Many thanks Sarah - good to know! I'm really looking forward to it :)
 

Samsbigtrip

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[...] I would highly recommend bringing an extension cord, especially if you have more than 1 item, and even if you just want to use it by the table between the seats. I do that all the time.

There is no USB plug, but some extension cords also have them.
Thanks Traveler - now that I know, that's what I'll do :)
Best wishes
Sam
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
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Would a Lencent Charge Universal Adaptor Worldwide work? I tried to post a link but it just did a screen dump ;-(

I'm going to get an extension gang with 3 or 4 sockets too, and if the USB charger didn't fit into the space I could plug it into the extension gang.

Best wishes
Sam
 

Attachments

FrensicPic

Conductor
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I take a couple of household extension cords with three outlets on the end. Easier to pack than a power strip and sufficient for charging my phone/tablet and spare batteries.
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
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Jan 10, 2018
Messages
271
What is the wattage on your hairdryer? I was once told by a Service Car Attendant that hairdryers generally draw too much power to be used. So, as a result, I don't bring even my little travel-sized one and make do without. I'd love to know whether that is true or not, but if it is, you might as well skip bringing it. Any hotel or motel you stay in at either end will have one available for you.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
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Aug 7, 2004
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Would a Lencent Charge Universal Adaptor Worldwide work? I tried to post a link but it just did a screen dump ;-(
I'm going to get an extension gang with 3 or 4 sockets too, and if the USB charger didn't fit into the space I could plug it into the extension gang.
Best wishes
Sam
One note of caution about the single USA standard 3-prong grounded outlet in Superliner rooms...Some of them will NOT allow a 3-way 'cube-tap' (converts 1 outlet to 3) to be plugged directly into it account the socket is recessed about 1/2" or so. I think the problem was only in the Superliner Is and was corrected in the Superliner IIs. Somewhere along the way in their 40 years or so of Superliner I existence, the problem has been corrected. But I recall running into one of the recessed ones just last year.

For that reason, I carry a standard 3 prong extension cord with 3 connections on the end. And in the unlikely event I run into a 2 prong socket in a hotel room or somewhere, I carry a 2-prong to 3-prong converter as well. Also of note is that most 2-prong only indoor extension cords have 'blanked out' areas that prevent the use of a 3-prong plug being used with it! Furthermore, it's near to impossible to find a 6 or 8 foot indoor extension cord that's 3 prongs these days as most retail devices these days are self-grounding 2 prong variety with a polarizing (larger) prong on one side.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I'd love to know whether that is true or not...
I personally believe that one or two people using a high wattage device at the same time is workable, and we've have several firsthand accounts claiming as much right here on the forum, but if several people tried it at the same time then the whole car might lose in-room socket power as a result.

I would highly recommend bringing an extension cord...
I take a couple of household extension cords...
The OP's household extension cords won't work on their own and the SL's power jacks may not work with a bulky universal power adapter. For that reason I'd suggest a purpose-made small form factor converter like this...
UK2US.jpeg
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
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So...if we don't want to be responsible for nuking the power to the whole car, the best idea would be to shower and use the hair dryer in the wee small hours, when power consumption by others is likely to be low. Unless, of course, several people in the car have read this thread, in which case, forget that, dry your hair mid-day. Unless they've read this too. These infinite loops get confusing.o_O
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
Messages
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One note of caution about the single USA standard 3-prong grounded outlet in Superliner rooms...Some of them will NOT allow a 3-way 'cube-tap' (converts 1 outlet to 3) to be plugged directly into it account the socket is recessed about 1/2" or so. [...]
I ordered the one shown below - hoping that will fit even the oldest of sockets!

[...] Also of note is that most 2-prong only indoor extension cords have 'blanked out' areas that prevent the use of a 3-prong plug being used with it! [...']
I don't think that will be a problem for me (if I understand you correctly!) because I will be plugging in hefty UK 3-prong plugs! Many thanks for your advice - much appreciated!
Best wishes
Sam

Screenshot 2020-02-16 08.21.34.png
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
75
So...if we don't want to be responsible for nuking the power to the whole car, the best idea would be to shower and use the hair dryer in the wee small hours, when power consumption by others is likely to be low. Unless, of course, several people in the car have read this thread, in which case, forget that, dry your hair mid-day. Unless they've read this too. These infinite loops get confusing.o_O
Love it!
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
75
[...]
The OP's household extension cords won't work on their own and the SL's power jacks may not work with a bulky universal power adapter.
I don't know what an OP is but I've purchased a UK charger plugie thingie (technical term!) which I can plug into my extension lead - the bonus being that I will be able to use it when I go to Italy :)
Really hoping all these arrangements will work, but I do have a couple of power banks and on the strength of the advice given here I will take both of them with me!
Many thanks,
Sam
Screenshot 2020-02-16 08.40.49.png
 

John Santos

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
59
I don't know what an OP is but I've purchased a UK charger plugie thingie (technical term!) which I can plug into my extension lead - the bonus being that I will be able to use it when I go to Italy :)
Really hoping all these arrangements will work, but I do have a couple of power banks and on the strength of the advice given here I will take both of them with me!
Many thanks,
Sam
View attachment 16952
The "OP" is the "Original Poster", i.e. You! :) Common Internet acronym.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
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A UK hairdryer likely will not work on US 110 volt power, and may cause serious problems. Most phones/tablets/laptops are dual-voltage (look for the 110-240V label), but items like a hairdryer or iron are not.

A plug adapter does not change the voltage, for this you need a voltage converter, a much heavier and more expensive item. Easier (and cheaper) to buy a hairdryer in the US.
 

Skyline

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Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
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greatwestern

Train Attendant
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Dec 6, 2017
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Thanks Traveler - now that I know, that's what I'll do :)
Best wishes
Sam
I can confirm that the Lencent universal charger worked with no problems last year both on Via Rail and Amtrak (I just took the UK adapter to complement the "inbuilt" USA pins).

(Note - my post is valid but may have replied against wrong quote).
 

me_little_me

Conductor
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Jul 16, 2010
Messages
2,976
A UK hairdryer likely will not work on US 110 volt power, and may cause serious problems. Most phones/tablets/laptops are dual-voltage (look for the 110-240V label), but items like a hairdryer or iron are not.

A plug adapter does not change the voltage, for this you need a voltage converter, a much heavier and more expensive item. Easier (and cheaper) to buy a hairdryer in the US.
Sorry, you are wrong. We have two hairdryers - and they're not special ones and are different common brands - and they both have switches on them to go from 120V <--> 240V. All you need is a plug adapter.

I like low heat, high fan which my cheapie one doesn't have so I tried to switch them to 240V and plug into 120 hoping the fan was one of those fixed 24V ones no matter what the input was. Some hairdryers are (were?). But not this one. Fan ran slower. Switched it back.

I wouldn't try the opposite as it would likely burn out the hairdryer.
 
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