How cold does it get on Amtrak Trains

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Kbyrdleroydogg

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I'm taking a trip to NYC from CHI and will be on the Lake Shore Limited in the heart of December 2021 in a sleeper. I've been going over and over in my mind what to bring in terms of sweaters or layers or clothes, etc but was wondering if the cars are actually too hot in the fall. Who else rides in December, Jan, Feb months? Can you clue me in?
 

pennyk

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I rarely have been too cold in the winter months inside the train. I wear layers.
 

20th Century Rider

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I rarely have been too cold in the winter months inside the train. I wear layers.
Heat has been the problem often during the winter months... when the heater in the roomette or bedroom is hot to the touch and hot air is blowing out; there is no window to open, and of course the controls in have never worked when I wanted to get things cooler... including the overhead vent. When my personal thermometer reaches the 90's I will try to track down the conductor on duty and he will do a reset of the ventilation unit downstairs by the door. This for me has been the biggest issue with the Superliners... and while some like sauna temperatures, there should be control options for those who don't.

Never had this problem on a viewliner where the temperature controls seem to work.
 

FrensicPic

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In our sleeper (the entire car) on #1 in mid-August it was pretty chilly...especially for my wife.
The SCA said a service request had been placed for the car but hadn't been acted on yet.
 

danasgoodstuff

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My memory of the CNR on Xmas trips home to SK is that it got fully frosted between cars but fine in coach. But that was a long time ago in different equipment and it gets crazy cold in CND in the winter.
 

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I've been going over and over in my mind what to bring in terms of sweaters or layers or clothes, etc but was wondering if the cars are actually too hot in the fall. Who else rides in December, Jan, Feb months? Can you clue me in?
My problem riding Amtrak in the winter was too much heat. In my experience the in-room controls did nothing to lower the temperature and asking the staff to adjust the thermostat had a 50% chance of being ignored. All the layering in the world will not help when the temperature is set to "Florida Summer." I used to ride Amtrak during Thanksgiving and Christmas each year but not anymore. Maybe it's better now?
 

Triley

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My problem riding Amtrak in the winter was too much heat. In my experience the in-room controls did nothing to lower the temperature and asking the staff to adjust the thermostat had a 50% chance of being ignored. All the layering in the world will not help when the temperature is set to "Florida Summer." I used to ride Amtrak during Thanksgiving and Christmas each year but not anymore. Maybe it's better now?
I've mentioned it before on AU, and I'll mention it again. It may not be that your request "had a 50% chance of being ignored", but rather that it was one of the many, many cars that's unfortunately just unable to be adjusted. Honestly, this is probably my biggest gripe about most equipment.

Granted the vast majority of my roomette experiences are in dorms, I don't think I've ever had an in-room thermostat not work. They just take an insanely long time to allow rooms to cool off, due to only turning on/off the floor heat. Several times I have set my room as cool as possible out of SEA, only to wake up before SPK because I was too cold.

I find that turning the dial back up a tad, but bringing a small portable fan fixes everything for me. These days I'm getting a lot of use on the Horizons, because the plexiglass kills the airflow and it gets toasty behind the counter.
 

Exvalley

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I am interested to see how well the Viewliner II temperature controls work this winter.
 

PVD

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Since the original question is about the LSL, only the Viewliner matters. The in room temp control is for the supplemental strip heater along the window wall, you also have warm air coming in overhead, that is common with the whole car, the sca may be able to help with that, but not always. I haven't had a problem, but comfortable room temp is very subjective.
 

caravanman

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One is "supposed" to have some degree (no pun intended ;)) of control over the room temperature, but this is hit and miss. I like it warmer myself, everyone is different. I doubt that you will be very cold, but it would be foolish not to have warm clothing with you. Layers of clothing are the answer, but no need to dress like the Michelin tyre man!
 

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Granted the vast majority of my roomette experiences are in dorms, I don't think I've ever had an in-room thermostat not work. They just take an insanely long time to allow rooms to cool off, due to only turning on/off the floor heat. Several times I have set my room as cool as possible out of SEA, only to wake up before SPK because I was too cold.
The heating element, which is the only aspect I can really control on the trains I ride, works fine. If I need heat Amtrak has me covered, which is why I can work around cold summer thermostats without issue. But in the winter I'm screwed. Bringing a fan can help when the temperature is a little too hot, but when it's crazy hot forget about it. Many winter trips were fine but the risk of ending up in an unfixable sauna for days on end was too much for me.
 
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bratkinson

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The good news is that on the LSL, you'll be riding in the new Viewliner II cars. Hopefully, the heating/cooling 'bugs', if any, will have been solved by December.

In my opinion, the Viewliner I cars were the ONLY equipment where the temperature control worked and it usually was comfortable in my roomettes within 30 minutes or less. Having 4 different airflow outlets helps in getting/keeping control.

In Superliners, the room temperature control is more decoration than functional. As I understand it, there's a master control in one of the locked downstairs cabinets that apparently have a heat/off/cool setting and 'low/medium/high' range setting.

However, Amfleet I and, to some degree, Acelas, have similar settings but their 'function' settings are: blast furnace/off/arctic winter. I've ridden the NEC extensively in the past 20 years and in the summer, experienced passengers always wear something with long sleeves, usually an easily-removed outer layer. I opt for a wind breaker style jacket. In the winter, it's just the opposite. Ones' overcoat and sweater are soon removed.
 

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It may not be a matter of being ignored as much as your request is just the opposite of another passenger. I have been in many situations where I feel too warm while someone else is wrapping themselves up because they are too cold.
That could be true but it still does not change the fact that...

1️⃣ The result is the same regardless
2️⃣ Cold passengers can bundle up with clothes and blankets while hot passengers can only remove so much 🥵
 

Maglev

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My round trip on the Empire Builder in January, 2017, was memorable for below-zero temperatures. My rooms were fine, and most of the train was comfortable. But the bathrooms in the coaches were blazing hot, and for part of the outbound trip, the heat was out in the Sightseer Lounge and they closed the cafe (but you were allowed to sit upstairs if you wanted to brave the cold--probably about 40˚ F).

They salt the heck out of the passageways between cars--I feel sorry for the Superliners! A door in a coach had a tiny crack, and all this snow came in:

IMG_6609.jpeg
 
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My advice/experience on the V-I's heat control is this...the white round thermostat on the wall seems to control the heat. BUT do not rely on the numbers on the dial. Move the dial very slowly and you will hear a "click". When you hear that click, moving upwards (counter clockwise), the heat is on...moving downwards (clockwise) the heat is off. So if you want to warm up the room, move up past the "click"...cut the heat off, move down past the "click".
 

west point

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Whenever a person travels in possible winter weather be it auto, bus, train ferry or hiking certain preparations need to be enacted. Take with you enough clothing ( layered is best ) that if heat fails you can remain at least warm enough to avoid frost bite. Further have a working cell phone.

For travel around locations with spotty or no service recommend renting a working satellite phone. The sat phone is an all year around piece of equipment that many persons have needed but did not have during an emergency..
 

TheVig

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Wife and I like things on the cold side. Last year some moon bat insisted that the car be kept at Florida summer temps. It was Florida temps outside as well. That went over like a fart in church with me and other passengers. Myself and others took up a collection and bribed an attendant to either move her or drop the temp. We were told she was already moved from another car for the same thing. Our monetary collection brought the temp down to winter Siberian levels. It was great for us. Not so much for her.

Money sometimes really can fix things for those that have it.
 
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