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Viewliner Sleeper Bathroom Question

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Qapla

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Having roomettes without toilets and bedrooms with toilets gives both sides an option for their specific situation
Only if both these options are charged at the same rate. I would not want to have to pay for the larger room if I really didn't need it just to have the toilet in the room when the current roomettes on Viewliners have in room toilets. Often the price difference between a roomette and a bedroom far exceeds a reasonable cost for the convenience of having a private toilet.

It would be better to find some way of providing an in room toilet in a roomette without having it so close to the bed.
 

pennyk

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Only if both these options are charged at the same rate. I would not want to have to pay for the larger room if I really didn't need it just to have the toilet in the room when the current roomettes on Viewliners have in room toilets. Often the price difference between a roomette and a bedroom far exceeds a reasonable cost for the convenience of having a private toilet.

It would be better to find some way of providing an in room toilet in a roomette without having it so close to the bed.
I feel very strongly about having a private restroom and realize that on superliners, I will have to pay signficantly more for a bedroom. I am not sure what the reasonable cost is to others, but either it is reasonable to me or I do not travel.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Only if both these options are charged at the same rate. I would not want to have to pay for the larger room if I really didn't need it just to have the toilet in the room when the current roomettes on Viewliners have in room toilets. Often the price difference between a roomette and a bedroom far exceeds a reasonable cost for the convenience of having a private toilet.
Maybe I want a larger room for a given trip but because of my needs I get stuck with the smaller room instead. I did not say this was a perfect solution that works miracles or can defy the laws of physics. I simply said it was a reasonable compromise that gives both groups an option to satisfy their needs.

It would be better to find some way of providing an in room toilet in a roomette without having it so close to the bed.
Where do you think the toilet should go instead?
 

Ferroequinologist

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Amtrak should try this. Have budget sleeper fare where you buy your food in the cafe or premium sleeper fare that includes meal in the VII diner—lounge serving quality food prepared by a chef with half the seating area In the car with swivel lounge chairs (like the PPC) for ‘refreshments‘.
As things stand I'd prefer lower fares without meals. That would allow me to bring my own food, purchase whatever least offensive airline food is available for sleeping-car passengers or purchase from the cafe car which may have one or two items preferable to the current sleeping-car fare.
 

Qapla

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I agree. It is not the cuisine that is or isn't served that has me riding coach instead of sleeper - it is pure economics ... the price difference in the fares puts the cost of a sleeper out of my reach/budget/desire.

Unlike some have expressed, I can sleep just fine in an Amtrak coach seat - would I like to try a sleeper, you bet I would! However, I only have so much I can budget for any trip I take and if taking a sleeper in both directions takes a large share of that budget I will ride coach and use the rest of the money for expenses I encounter at my chosen destination.

A good example - the trip we have had to cancel for the past two years (last year due to a hurricane and this year do to COVID-19) I considered taking a sleeper (thought the wife would like it) but, the added cost of the sleeper would take the money we needed to rent a car to do the things we planned to do once at the destination. So, weighing renting the car against traveling in the sleeper - well ...... we were going to that particular destination to view the places we needed the car to get to once we arrived.
 
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Skyline

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As things stand I'd prefer lower fares without meals. That would allow me to bring my own food, purchase whatever least offensive airline food is available for sleeping-car passengers or purchase from the cafe car which may have one or two items preferable to the current sleeping-car fare.
Yes, THIS. And I would add, let coach pax dine in the diner if they want to pay for the occasional meal.
 

Exvalley

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I would add, let coach pax dine in the diner if they want to pay for the occasional meal.
Assuming you are talking about Flexible Dining, I have no problem with offering Flexible Dining meals to coach passengers as long as sleeping car passengers can order ahead and be guaranteed their meal of choice. But I think that the dining car should remain a lounge exclusively for sleeper passengers. This is for a couple of reasons:
1) Flexible Dining results in an inferior experience. Anything Amtrak can do to make the experience is a little better goes a long way. Offering a private lounge on the train is one such step.
2) Coach passengers can still eat in the cafe car if they want to sit at a table.
3) The meals are designed to be portable and do not require the assistance of waitstaff. There is no logistical need to eat the meal in the dining car.
4) There is nobody to control the flow of passengers eating in the dining car. It's bad enough that the Flexible dining is being offered to sleeper passengers - but I would be royally upset if I couldn't find space at a table to eat because coach passengers have taken the available seats.
 
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pennyk

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Moderator Note: Please limit the comments in this thread to a discussion of Sleeper Bathrooms. Thank you.
 

MARC Rider

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Assuming you are talking about Flexible Dining, I have no problem with offering Flexible Dining meals to coach passengers as long as sleeping car passengers can order ahead and be guaranteed their meal of choice. But I think that the dining car should remain a lounge exclusively for coach passengers.
Whoops. I think you meant that you believe the dining car should remain a lounge exclusively for sleeper passengers. :)
 

Qapla

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I realize that the rooms in the sleeper cars have been designed to get the most money per square inch/foot - however, as I have commented on before, since Amtrak "should" be fully funded (since they are owned by the Gov't) there should not be a need to squeeze such revenue out of each sleeper car. There could/should be less rooms with more space in each room, allowing for an enclosed toilet for each room priced affordably.

Think about it ... how would you react if, when you pulled into a rest top on the Interstate you found pay toilets in the restrooms - the same holds true of the Gov't owned passenger rail system - it should not be viewed as a revenue generating business but a service.

I do not disagree with charging for tickets, even a reasonable upcharge for a sleeper - but doing away with bathrooms in sleeper compartments so you can squeeze extra revenue from already over priced roomettes would be akin to installing pay toilets in National Parks and Interstate Rest Stops
 

PVD

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Doing away with the toilets did not change the size of the roomette in any measurable way. It doesn't generate extra revenue, very much the opposite, the same size car now has one less revenue roomette.
 

Qapla

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O know the size of the room was not changed - I think my point was ... make the roomettes larger and add enclosed bathrooms. The entire roomette only takes the same floor space as a living room sofa. Quit trying to squeeze so much into such a small area. Just because you can do something does not mean you should do it. With more floor space per roomette/room there would be room for the toilet. Yes, yes - that would mean less rooms per car than currently exists - but they would be much more comfortable and desirable.

It would mean less revenue per square foot/inch - but if Amtrak were FULLY FUNDED that wouldn't make a difference.
 

Ferroequinologist

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I realize that the rooms in the sleeper cars have been designed to get the most money per square inch/foot - however, as I have commented on before, since Amtrak "should" be fully funded (since they are owned by the Gov't) there should not be a need to squeeze such revenue out of each sleeper car. There could/should be less rooms with more space in each room, allowing for an enclosed toilet for each room priced affordably.

Think about it ... how would you react if, when you pulled into a rest top on the Interstate you found pay toilets in the restrooms - the same holds true of the Gov't owned passenger rail system - it should not be viewed as a revenue generating business but a service.

I do not disagree with charging for tickets, even a reasonable upcharge for a sleeper - but doing away with bathrooms in sleeper compartments so you can squeeze extra revenue from already over priced roomettes would be akin to installing pay toilets in National Parks and Interstate Rest Stops
I think they didn't want to bother with the plumbing. Easier maintenance - who cares about passengers.
 

pennyk

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Moderator Note: Please limit the comments in this thread to a discussion of Sleeper Bathrooms. Thank you.
Staff attempted to move comments in this thread that are unrelated to train restrooms to new threads in the Non-Rail Transportation forum pertaining to Cruises and Road Trips. Thank you for trying to keep your comments on topic.
 

me_little_me

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Doing away with the toilets did not change the size of the roomette in any measurable way. It doesn't generate extra revenue, very much the opposite, the same size car now has one less revenue roomette.
I thought the new cars had 11 roomettes vs 10 on the old ones? Am I mistaken?
 

me_little_me

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yes, VL1 has 12 + attendant VL2 is 11+ attendant since one roomette becomes the 2 toilets.
So what happened to the space they saved by not having toilets? Are they reserving it for a larger management boardroom? :)
 

tricia

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So what happened to the space they saved by not having toilets? Are they reserving it for a larger management boardroom? :)
The Viewliner I roomette toilet fits in the space between the bed and the hallway. Each roomette still requires enough of the train's length to accommodate a bed--six feet or so. In the Viewliner IIs, one of the spaces formerly occupied by a roomette is used for shared bathroom space.
 

PVD

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I believe the sink and mirror are still there, and what was the top of the toilet will still be the step up to put baggage in the over hall space, or climb into the upper berth, so not having a toilet in a roomette doesn't yield any appreciable added useable space
 

Qapla

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Notice the dimensions of the roomettes:
1596138845265.png

1596139416668.png

The entire roomette is about the same floor space as a living room sofa

1596139894666.png

Sofa Length: Though sofas can be anywhere between 70" and 96" long, standard three-person sofas tend to be between 70" and 87" long, and the most common length is 84".
Sofa Depth: Standard sofa depth (from the very front to the very back) is 35", but most sofas are 32" – 40" in depth.
 

JRR

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In my opinion, listening to your customers and potential customers is rarely a foolish move. A lot of people are grossed out by having an unenclosed toilet in the Viewliner Roomette. If you are trying to appeal to a wider audience it is probably the right move.

And let’s face it, we’re averaging about one significant pandemic every 50-100 years (1915 flu and this one) - I don’t think EVERY decision should be made based on the potential for a pandemic. Public restrooms aren’t suddenly going to go the way of the pay phone...
Somehow, having your own private bathroom that you can keep clean, not to mention being able to go in the middle of the night in your room, is a big plus to me not gross!
 

Palmland

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I think the first sleepers with roomettes that included the toilet were the pre war streamliners in the late 30’s. They remained popular until the heritage cars were retired in the early 2000’s. I thought they were great. Unlike Viewliners the toilet was across from the seat nicely disguised with a padded cover that was handy for your feet and it was not next to your head at night. Of course the big difference was they were designed for one passenger not two.

But Amtrak was after the additional revenue from cramming two into the same space. I wonder if they would have been better to copy the slumbercoach model with staggered level rooms enabling 24 single rooms and 8 double rooms.
 

districtRich

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Well I certainly vote for removing them and having two shared ones down at the end of the car.

1. Traveling with someone makes it an annoying dance when someone has to use the toilet. Even worse in the middle of the night. Do you wake the person up to leave the room or do you just do it next to their feet?

2. Keeping it clean? Unless you drop your friends off at the pool directly over the hole the vacuum suction doesn't clear all the excess off the plastic bowl and then you're stuck with that the rest of the trip since there is no toilet brush

3. Maintenance must be ridiculous. All of these vacuum toilets that people probably clog a lot must be a nightmare to service and take care of.

4. It's a very narrow seat. I imagine much of America doesn't exactly fit overtop like they used to when these were introduced.

Bring on the shared toilets for the roomettes, please!
 
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