First Trip roomette questions

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I am a 50 year old woman and will be traveling alone on the California Zephyr in January. I'm concerned about safety at night in a roomette. Are the locks secure? Should I bring something with me to secure the door? How well is the temperature control in the room? Should I bring an extra blanket? Any suggestions for a first time rider? Thank you!


50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Gathering Team Member
Jul 5, 2009
Orlando, FL
I have been traveling alone for years (and I am a woman well over 50 years old) and have always felt safe on the train. I have never had a problem with the lock on a roomette or bedroom door (which are locked from the inside). I would not try to additionally secure the door since that may be a problem in case of an emergency.
I do not think the temperature controls in the rooms are adequate. Quite often, it is too cold or too hot, but in my experience, the temperature has been too warm more often than too cold. I would not bother bringing an extra blanket. I would dress in layers, so you can add layers if you are cold and subtract (maybe down to a tank top) if you are too warm.

oregon pioneer

Feb 15, 2011
near Seneca, Oregon
I am also well over 50, and my last few coast-to-coast trips to see my family were solo. I have never felt insecure in my room. In the daytime, I only lock the roomette door because the motion of the train sometimes causes it to slide open. At night, I always lock it so no one will disturb my sleep, since I know people may make mistakes when they are drowsy. I have never experienced or heard of anyone entering a room with bad intent.

The lock is constructed so it can't fall open or be jimmied. It's very secure. Here's a short video showing how to close and secure the lock:
As far as I know, this is accurate for all sleeper cars currently in service. It's the only sleeper compartment lock I have seen on Amtrak.

I'd also like to note you cannot lock your compartment from the *outside* when you are away from your room. I just close the curtains, close the door, and leave. No one has ever disturbed anything while I was gone.
Mar 5, 2014
Not a solo female traveler, but I have found that lock on the Roomettes door quite adequate. I have had more issues with getting the velcro on the curtains to keep the curtains securely closed at night.

Don't bother with taking a blanket. If you need one, your SCA ought to be able to supply one from the linen supply for the unused berth in your Roometee.