Quantcast

How reliable is Air Conditioning in Bedroom cars

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
We are taking AMTRAk from Seattle to Chicago and then on to NYC. We have a bedroom on both trains. Here is the question? I have a health issue with heat. Above about 78F I can feel unwell and above 85F I can get really sick. How reliable are the AC units on these cars. Forecasts show in the highs in the high 80's for most of the trip. Thanks.
Overheating can be a real problem... I've taken the H room on the lower level several times and have recorded temperatures as high as 86 F. Sometimes you can get the conductor or the attendant to have the system do a reset.

Regardless, heating and cooling on the superliners is extremely problematic and can not be controlled from inside the room. Important to note that heating and cooling can be controlled from your room in the single level trains in the east.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,608
Location
Texas
I also take rubber door stops and WD-40 which is excellent for that residue if needed.
Unfortunately WD-40 replaces a sticky residue with an oily residue.

How would painter's tape or electrical tape do in this regard? I have painter's, electrical, and duct tape, but no gaffer tape.
Painter's tape works similarly to gaffer's tape in my experience. Electrical tape is probably the worst formulation for leaving residue.

Gaffer’s tape is hard to find and much more expensive.
If you can find an Amtrak station and afford a sleeper ticket you should be able to find and afford a role of gaffer's tape. One roll should be enough to last several years of train rides.
 
Last edited:

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,457
Location
Orlando, FL
MODERATOR NOTE: Please try to keep comments on the topic of air conditioning in bedroom cars. Thank you.
 

jimmrl

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
56
Here is the REAL answer to the original question.

1. The thermostat, if working, does not do much either way USUALLY. Once in a while you will get a room that works better than normal.
2. The BIG ONE, if you are normally hot, you will roast on Amtrak, if you are normally cold, you will freeze. They try to keep the temperature somewhere in the middle.

Any other questions?

Jim
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
11
Location
PNW
My question is, why are they allowing ill-functioning HVAC carriages to be in service? Do they really need a legal case related to illness from heat exhaustion. 🤷‍♀️
 

MilwaukeeRoadLover

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Milwaukee
We took the EB Sep 15 CHI to WFH, fmreturn Sep 21. We tried playing with the Cool-Normal-Warm control and the ceiling vent slider control. Although it was uncomfortable at times, I just noticed it on occassion: sleeping was one.

Just for comparison, I'd say the same challenge exists as a passenger for 30 hrs straight in a car where you can't open the window.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
190
Location
northwestern Montana
My question is, why are they allowing ill-functioning HVAC carriages to be in service? Do they really need a legal case related to illness from heat exhaustion. 🤷‍♀️
The Superliner HVAC works about as well today as it did 40 years ago when the cars were new. Unless it fails completely in midsummer, no danger of heat exhaustion, just discomfort.

But people's expectations for climate control have risen considerably in that same 40 years. (My family bought its first air-conditioned car in 1985, for instance. Neither the school I went to nor the house I grew up in had AC.)
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
11
Location
PNW
But people's expectations for climate control have risen considerably in that same 40 years. (My family bought its first air-conditioned car in 1985, for instance. Neither the school I went to nor the house I grew up in had AC.)
That's a fair reply, and you are correct. However, we must acknowledge that we are progressing through 2020 now; and your family did upgrade your vehicle in 1985, and not to mention that most vehicles today comes with ever evolving climate-control. The issue is, we are not piling onto a rickety Amtrak bus with chickens on our heads to get to the next village; we are paying a substantial amount for a rewarding travel experience. If the growing consumers are wanting quality climate control, wouldn't that be in your company's best interest to provide it?
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,171
Traveling in a Roomette on the Auto Train during January, I found my temperature control knob to be more effective than on other Superliner Sleepers that I have had. Trying to change the temperature of the room took a "bit of time"--did not happen instantly. I remember lowering the temperature when I retired for the night and woke up 2-3 hours later and I needed to unpack the blue blanket from its plastic bag.
 

Sauve850

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
551
Location
West Palm Beach, Florida
That's a fair reply, and you are correct. However, we must acknowledge that we are progressing through 2020 now; and your family did upgrade your vehicle in 1985, and not to mention that most vehicles today comes with ever evolving climate-control. The issue is, we are not piling onto a rickety Amtrak bus with chickens on our heads to get to the next village; we are paying a substantial amount for a rewarding travel experience. If the growing consumers are wanting quality climate control, wouldn't that be in your company's best interest to provide it?
Ive had a few issues over many years as have most travelers, mostly too cold for me and have never had great luck with thermostat. I think we all would like the climate control and other things to be improved. Without money how does Amtrak accomplish this task? No help from Congress.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
190
Location
northwestern Montana
I think we'd find widespread agreement on this forum that Amfleet and Superliners are both old enough to be nearing replacement. (Funny how the 40-year rule that forced the Heritage sleepers out of service in the mid 90s has been repealed now.) Or, failing that, a complete interior redo.

My point was just that the problem was a bit more fundamental than Amtrak allowing poorly maintained cars to remain in service.
 

nferr

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
279
That's a fair reply, and you are correct. However, we must acknowledge that we are progressing through 2020 now; and your family did upgrade your vehicle in 1985, and not to mention that most vehicles today comes with ever evolving climate-control. The issue is, we are not piling onto a rickety Amtrak bus with chickens on our heads to get to the next village; we are paying a substantial amount for a rewarding travel experience. If the growing consumers are wanting quality climate control, wouldn't that be in your company's best interest to provide it?
The company's flat broke so there is a choice between putting all new air conditioning systems in almost 50 year old cars and maybe cutting a bunch of service to somehow pay for it.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
11
Location
PNW
Well.... 😁 if they ran a better show; improved management and marketing; if they were savvy in their relationships with airline partnerships and non-partisan inter-city governances; avoided nepotism & cheap graduates into overall management; avoided the destructive technique of “we need more money, let’s cut staff/customer experience first”; and invested in real-estate... America might have a rail system that rivals Europe, the Pacific, the East & well, pretty much every where else in the world. 🤷‍♀️
 
Top