Roomette temperatures

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Train Attendant
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Aug 15, 2012
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Hi

Can anyone advise if it gets to hot or to cold overnight in the sleeper cars during August?.

We have 3 overnight trips planned with a roomette on each leg and would like to know if it will be hot, cold or just comfortable when we are in the roomettes?

I am assuming because it is a multi roomette carriage there is no way we can control the temperature for our little area independently of the other roomettes.

Many thanks.

John
 

Devil's Advocate

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There are two controls in each room. One near the headrest adjusts temperature and the other along the ceiling adjusts airflow. How much these controls actual change anything depends greatly on the design and maintenance of the car in question. I've had controls that could keep my individual room much hotter or colder than the rest of the car. However I've also had controls that appeared to do absolutely nothing no matter where I set them. Even in the best cases you're still largely dependent on the car's primary temperature control, which doesn't even have a thermostat to my understanding. Also, if you happen to be on a Superliner car then it's not uncommon for the lower level to become cold while the upper level becomes hot. I'm not sure what they were thinking when they designed these systems, but I've had several trips where the temperature was difficult if not impossible to adjust. Bottom line is that you won't really know what you'll get until you're already on board.
 
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Ryan

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The HVAC system is somewhat complicated.

During the summertime, the carwide A/C should be blowing cooled air into your roomette through the ceiling vent. There is a lever on that vent that allows you to open and close the vent. If you're still too cool, the temperature control by your headrest controls an in room electric heater that you can use to warm your room up even further.

If you're too warm even with the vent wide open and the electric heater off, you can ask the car attendant to lower the temperature in the whole car.
 

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The HVAC system is somewhat complicated.
Ask any SCA to explain how it works and you'll see that in reality it's absurdly simplistic. According to every SCA I've ever talked to the HVAC is basically Hot, Cold, or Off with surprisingly few options for fine tuning and no option for automatic balancing. If the temperature outside drops due to a rain storm or the sun setting the SCA must get up and change it again manually or it will blow super cold air after it's no longer competing with a warm exterior. Even when I'm happy with my own temperature I know someone else is probably being baked or frozen at the same time. I often hear older folks remaking how cold it is and younger remarking how warm it is as they walk down the hall. The poor SCA has to say sorry to everyone because there's no way to fix it without making it worse for someone else.
 
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crescent2

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My experience on the Crescent has been that for the past ten years or so, the temperature has been acceptable in the H unit (Viewliner). Prior to that, it often was too warm in the summers. On only one trip was it unbearably hot, though, and they moved us to an empty bedroom which was noticeably cooler. We never found that adjusting the room control made much difference one way or the other. Others may have had different experiences from ours.

If you are uncomfortable, do mention it to your sleeping car attendant. Hopefully you will have a pleasant trip!
 

Ryan

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Ask any SCA to explain how it works and you'll see that in reality it's absurdly simplistic. According to every SCA I've ever talked to the HVAC is basically Hot, Cold, or Off with surprisingly few options for fine tuning and no option for automatic balancing.
It's a little more complicated than that. There's a poster here that used to work on them (Oldtimer?) that has explained them pretty well. I think it's a 3 phase cooling system, a 2 phase heating system (not including the in room strip heaters) with variable dampers that change the ratio of fresh air to recirculated air depending on outside air temperature. Some of the heaters have to stay on all the time (even in full cool mode) to prevent the cooling coils from icing over and killing the whole system.

There is a thermostat (but only like a car with Cool<-------->Hot, not a set temperature). There's also a "cool override" and "heat override" that cuts out the thermostat for a set period of time and runs full heat/cold as requested.

I've probably got some of the details wrong, but that's the gist of it.

I do agree that the problem is made even more difficult by different people finding different temperatures comfortable. When my grandparents come over, they always used to complain about being cold (until I started adjusting the temp before they come over to make it uncomfortably hot for me). On the train, the best solution seems to be to run the car a little on the cool side and allow the people that are cold to use the in room heaters to bring the temps up to something comfortable. Unfortunately, a bunch of folks complaining to the car attendant usually gets them to warm the car up and then I'm out of luck.
 

amamba

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I agree that sometimes you can't control the temperature in your room. I had one trip on the CS where I was soooooo hot during the entire trip (in March). I stripped down to a tank top and was still sweating in my room just sitting and doing nothing. Meanwhile the elderly folks on the train were complaining that it was cold.
 

Ryan

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Yeah, you're never going to be able to make it any cooler than the air coming out of the ceiling vent. If the SCA acquiesces to the people complaining about it being cold (instead of turning up the heat in their rooms), you're hosed.

Going the other way, if the breakers are turned off for the electric heat in your room, you won't be able to warm things up no matter what you do with the knobs.
 

mediaman

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If I remember correctly, I think one leg of your trip is on the Crescent. This route utilizes Viewliner equipment whereas other parts of your route will be utilizing Superliner equipment. In the Viewliner the circulated air enters the roomette through vents located under the window. Here you will find a knob that slides back and forth to limit/restrict the airflow. I usually find the diner on the Crescent to be rather cold, so prepare for your time in the diner. With the Superliner equipment the air enters the room through a vent in the ceiling. There is a lever to close off air flow but I usually find that the vent can not be closed all the way or the lever is broken.
 

FriskyFL

OBS Chief
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I never find the roomettes cool enough for my taste. I'd be happy if they'd chill it down to where I could see my breath.
 

Linda T

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During my trip on the Eagle at the end of April '12, the sleeper was so cold I had to call in the SCA to make sure I had the overhead vents turned off. He assured me that they were but cold air continued to pour out. During one of the meals it was being discussed and everyone was having the same problem. I told them I had Duct tape, and they had their newspapers and we covered the vent with newspaper and secured it with Duct tape.

Image BTW, everyone reported that their rooms became bearable (warmer) after taping up the newspaper. :)
 
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chakk

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On the Superliner roomettes, you can feel warmth on the window sides of the wall near the floor if the resistance heating is on. The rotary knob on the seat back by the reading light is supposed to turn that heat off and on.

The cool air comes in from the ceiling vent, whose damper has various effectiveness in controlling that flow of cool air. Opening or closing your door and curtains can also moderate the roomette temperature to some extent.
 
G

Guest

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I had one trip on the CS where I was soooooo hot during the entire trip ... Meanwhile the elderly folks on the train were complaining that it was cold.
IMHO, that makes a very good point. Its difficult to predict if someone else will find that the temperature is hot, cold, or just right.
 

zephyr17

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Simple answer: Two controls, one labeled "temp" which is a dial in the control panel with the light switch and call button. That controls the heat level coming from the room's electric heating ONLY, it does not control cooling at all. The other control is the level in the vent controlling how much airflow is coming in, that controls how much air conditioned air is coming in (if the car's A/C is on). The vent also has louvers you can somewhat use to control how much air is coming out in a given direction.

Fairly frequently, one or both controls do not work. The heat dial may not do anything, and you are stuck with the heat on or off. On a couple of my recent trips the lever controlling airflow has been broken. If the lever is not working, and you want to reduce airflow, many SCAs know how to do a trick with a hand towel and rolling it up tightly and stuffing in the louvers, which blocks the air flowing directly at the seats.
 

Boogs

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Many thanks for all the help.

I suppose we will just have to wait until we get there and then see which, if either, of the levers work. Hopefully it will not be too unbearable. I can stand it being a bit chilly but would prefer it not to be too hot, my wife however is the other way round.

As has been pointed out it will not be possible to get the temperature right for everyone in the same car, my task is to try and get it right for the 2 of us in the same room!!!!!!!!!

Regards.

John
 

Shanghai

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During my trip on the Eagle at the end of April '12, the sleeper was so cold I had to call in the SCA to make sure I had the overhead vents turned off. He assured me that they were but cold air continued to pour out. During one of the meals it was being discussed and everyone was having the same problem. I told them I had Duct tape, and they had their newspapers and we covered the vent with newspaper and secured it with Duct tape.
Image BTW, everyone reported that their rooms became bearable (warmer) after taping up the newspaper. :)
I was in a Superliner roomette where the air was cold and blowing out of the overhead vent.

I went to the shower room and "borrowed" a couple of towels and stuffed them in the vent.

It worked. I returned the towels the following morning.
 

FunNut

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I always make sure I have layers to wear on the train. You never know if it will be too hot or too cold.
 
S

SilverStar092

Guest
I carry a fairly small travel fan that can be plugged into the power outlet in my room. This usually helps mqake a warm room bearable and also provides white noise to drown out sounds from rude people talking in the hallway in the middle of the night or when I want to take a nap. Unfortunately, I find sleeper rooms warmer than desired most of the time. When it is pleasantly cool, someone usually complains and the cool air is gone for good. It's always best to not mess with the temperature when a sleeping car is cooling nicely.
 

winterskigirl

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I was just on the SW Chief and my roomette was too warm. Couldn't get hardly any airflow with vent open. Asked my SCA about this and she said that the one bedrooms were too cold. Hallway was cold too so I left my door open most of the trip. Closed curtain when I wanted privacy. As others have noted there's not much the SCA can do. One can dream of new and improved equipment :giggle:
 
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