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Superliner vs Viewliner personal opinion

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v v

Conductor
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Have now ridden in sleeper 2 Superliners and 1 Viewliner LD trains, all three times there were two of us and I am the tallest at 5' 8"

We both preferred the Viewliner roomette to the Superliner ones as they 'felt' more spacious due to layout and a little more practical too. Having a wash basin and toilet in the cabin was 'just' for us a benefit, mainly due to the wash basin. We often wondered how larger passengers managed though in either type of room.

The upper bed operation in the Viewliner was superior by far, as was the window for the upper bunk.

The crews on the two Western trains were matter of fact, not good or particularly bad, the one crew we encountered on the Viewliner were good to very good, almost a different old fashioned attitude which came across as though they cared more about their customers.

All in all we have now ridden 5 LD Amtrak trains, the outstanding single fact is they are amazing value for money whether in Coach or Roomette and a credit to the USA.

These are personal views which you can agree or disagree with, but it's how it came across to us.
 
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jis

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Single level Sleepers will always be better than bi-level Sleepers simply because there is way more headroom available to play with in the single level cars.
 

Palmetto

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I've done both traveling alone, and like the Viewliners better. I've traveled with another person in a Superliner bedroom, and the upper bunk was way too claustrophobic. And while it's nice to have the enclosed shower and bathroom in the room, don't plan to turn around in it.
 

zephyr17

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I like the Viewliner roomettes better, too. The greater height and upper windows just makes the rooms feel bigger. With that said, I like the Superliner trains better as a whole, primarily because they have actual lounge facilities instead of the cafe car which is not a good social space.
 
C

claustrophobic

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Don't forget that the Viewliner I roomettes also have that storage cubby, in the area up over the hallway ceiling. Nice place to tuck your carry-on bags so they're out of the way.
 

FormerOBS

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I have very little experience in Viewliners. I do think it's worthwhile to mention that the Superliners are much heavier & I think they ride more smoothly than any single level car I know. Their only rivals in this are the ex-GN Great Dome cars.

Tom
 

zephyr17

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4 once all the PPCs come back online. Zero sleepers. There never were any, although Santa Fe at one point did some design for a Hi-Level sleeper, none were ever built.

Regardless of the car type, the Hi-Levels rode great. Back in the day when they were common if I was in coach, I'd always try score a seat in a Hi-Level over a Superliner. Especially before they re-did the interior and replaced the original Santa Fe seating with the much inferior seats used on Superliners.

The only Hi-Levels still in service are the Pacific Parlour Cars, which are former Top 'o the Cap Hi-Level lounges, unless some of the coaches brought back specifically for Heartland Flyer are still there. In either case there are more Hi-Levels in service than ex-Great Northern Great Domes, of which there's only one left on the Amtrak roster, which is active but isn't in "regular" service, and which wasn't a sleeper, either.
 
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Sauve850

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I travel on both Viewliners and Superliners each year. I mostly stay in a bedroom as I prefer the enclosed bathroom with a shower. At times I have traveled in roomettes. I prefer Viewliners as noted due to the height and the windows making for a much more open space feeling. New Viewliner roomettes will only have a sink I believe.
 

Dakota 400

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For what this view is worth: an October trip on the Crescent, Sunset Limited, and Southwest Chief, all in a Roomette.

I saw no major differences in the size of the accommodations. Both Superliner and Viewliner accommodations were much the same. Yes, it is nice to have another bank of windows near the ceiling on the Viewliners. But, the Superliner Sleeper that had the small closet (one did not) has much more value to me than the extra windows. As to a wash basin in the Viewliner: yes! Appreciated! But, who was the genius that designed the toilet seat in the Viewliner Roomette? One has to sit at an angle to properly cover the seat and when the lower bed is in place that leaves little--very little--room for one's legs. I will choose the public facilities on the Superliner Sleepers over that poorly designed "feature".

A poster mentioned the advantage of the "cubby hole" storage space above the door in the Viewliner Sleepers. Yes. It is there. If one can reach it. And, if what one has to store has little thickness. In my opinion, I found the storage space on the Viewliners to be less than the Superliners.

I did find that the PA system on the Viewliner worked much more clearly when the SCA or the Conductor made an announcement. Neither of my SL or SWC PA systems worked as clearly.
 

StriderGDM

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A poster mentioned the advantage of the "cubby hole" storage space above the door in the Viewliner Sleepers. Yes. It is there. If one can reach it. And, if what one has to store has little thickness. In my opinion, I found the storage space on the Viewliners to be less than the Superliners.
I've easily fit my smaller roller-bag up there. The height though is admittedly an issue.
 
P

pvd

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Well , the toilet will be gone in the new viewliner sleepers on order, some folks love them, quite a few don't. If the roomette is used for 2 people, they are much less poular than for singles. The narrow closet is replaced by the open space with strap in the newer SL. People used to complain the closet was too skinny and hard to keep clean, but I've always found a use for them. I use the rooms as singles, so I usually am ok with space in either car, but I do like being able to throw a large bag in the downstairs rack. I lay out the next morning's change at the top of the big bag downstairs, and pick it up when I take my early morning shower.
 

Dakota 400

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A poster mentioned the advantage of the "cubby hole" storage space above the door in the Viewliner Sleepers. Yes. It is there. If one can reach it. And, if what one has to store has little thickness. In my opinion, I found the storage space on the Viewliners to be less than the Superliners.
I've easily fit my smaller roller-bag up there. The height though is admittedly an issue.
I could not reach the space unless I stood on the seat. And, on a moving train, is that a great idea?
 

Dakota 400

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Well , the toilet will be gone in the new viewliner sleepers on order, some folks love them, quite a few don't. If the roomette is used for 2 people, they are much less poular than for singles. The narrow closet is replaced by the open space with strap in the newer SL. People used to complain the closet was too skinny and hard to keep clean, but I've always found a use for them. I use the rooms as singles, so I usually am ok with space in either car, but I do like being able to throw a large bag in the downstairs rack. I lay out the next morning's change at the top of the big bag downstairs, and pick it up when I take my early morning shower.
Replacing the closet for the "strap" seemed to me to be a bad idea. But, experiencing both situations, it was OK. Closet was more "classy" and it was of good use for me; strap was less so. Both were properly functional.

I appreciate having a wash basin and a toilet within the accommodation. But, the toilet needs to be better positioned.
 

TraneMan

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The only thing I did like about the Viewliner is the window, and extra head room on the upper bunk. I did not like sitting on the toilet side, as that seat is narrower than the other, so I couldn't really sit back and relax as I would on the Superliner.

Otherwise, as whole, I like the Superliner better as for comfort of the ride, being up higher with more to see above, and the lounge car..
 

neroden

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(First note that this is strictly a roomette review; I've never sprung for the ferociously expensive Bedroom options.)

The Viewliners are my favorites, because of the upper-bunk window, and the upper-level luggage compartment.

I like the Superliner IIs second-best.

Superliner Is, with the almost-unusable coat closet taking up a large hunk of space, are my least favorite. We usually have a fair number of bags and we can fit more bags into the room in a Superliner II. Also, our coats (winter parkas) don't actually fit in the coat closet!
 
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VentureForth

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I have very little experience in Viewliners. I do think it's worthwhile to mention that the Superliners are much heavier & I think they ride more smoothly than any single level car I know. Their only rivals in this are the ex-GN Great Dome cars.

Tom
I'll just state that my personal opinion is contrary. I've enjoyed both, but the height above the rails on the top bunk of the top level Superliner Roomette is so high off the ground that you get a lot of moment-arm sway. I distinctly remember my first time on the Texas Eagle in particular wondering every five minutes if we were going to derail. Now, the ride on the lower level (downstairs, not lower bunk) is probably a LOT smoother. I've never noticed any really rough riding, sleeping in a Viewliner roomette on the top bunk. On both, I usually keep the seats in day time mode and sleep on the top bunk. I'm 6'0" and [was] about 270. Certainly can't move around on the top bunk or change head position without getting down and climbing up again.

Now, I also believe that CSX and of course the NEC have better quality tracks than the TE, SWC, and Capitol Ltd. that I've plied the steel snake over.

Isnt there room above the Viewliner Bedroom shower, extra storage space
Yes, and it is wonderful. A small child could sleep in that space!
 
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spacecadet

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For me this is complicated if we're limiting it to roomettes.

I normally travel with my wife and we both dislike the in-room toilet of the Viewliner I's. She's a nurse and I've watched Mythbusters enough times so we both know that it's impossible to use a toilet without spreading germs all over the room. You're basically sitting in pee and poop. Plus, you have to be REALLY close to someone to use a toilet in front of them. So we end up using the shared toilet in the hall anyway. So in that sense, I prefer the Superliners with no in-room toilet and multiple shared toilets.

However, I do feel extremely claustrophobic on the top bunk of a Superliner roomette.

I think the Viewliner II roomettes with be the best of both worlds.

I have always felt the ride quality was a little better on Superliners, although that's hard to be definitive about because it could just be a combination of track quality and how long it had been between maintenance on the particular cars I've been on. But I do feel like there's a consistent difference in that the extra height between you and the trucks on the Superliners means some of the smaller bumps get absorbed before they reach you. It *seems* like both smooth and rough track feel a little smoother in a Superliner. And I was surprised at how much the Viewliners swayed my first time in one, considering they're shorter cars.
 
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jis

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Now, I also believe that CSX and of course the NEC have better quality tracks than the TE, SWC, and Capitol Ltd. that I've plied the steel snake over.
Yeah, I have also noticed that the CSX track on the Atlantic Coast Line has improved remarkably over the last several years! OTOH, they are a walking disaster on the Water Level Route. Each interlocking is like a special roller coaster treat!
 
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andersone

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The upper on a Superliner is somewhat claustrophobic but i have survived two rounds (almost seventy sessions) of radiation after radical head and neck surgery - where they make a mask of your head, have you lie down and then bolt the mask over you face. I will take the upper in a Superliner every day.
 

VentureForth

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The *BIGGEST* bummer regarding the top bunk on the Superliner is, of course, the lack of windows. Now, I get why they don't have them on the upper level - because of the curvature of the chassis would make putting in privacy curtains difficult (of course, you're so high up, who'd even notice?). As for the windows, they already have the curved glass in the lounge car.

But I don't know why they didn't think about windows for the upper bunk on the lower level rooms.

I have never thought about this before, but the clearance from the top bunk in a roomette is the same as it is in a bedroom, correct? I guess the claustrophobia comes from the 12 inches from the edge of the bed to the door...
 
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