Viewliner Sleeper Bathroom Question

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Ferroequinologist

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
113
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!
Why not have toilets in the Roomettes and a couple of public bathrooms down the hall? Also I'd remove the upper berth in the Roomette. The Roomette was designed nearly a century ago for ONE person, not two. As you point out, Americans are a lot bigger today, so what was considered too small for two in the 1930s is FAR FAR too small today.
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,065
Why not have toilets in the Roomettes and a couple of public bathrooms down the hall? Also I'd remove the upper berth in the Roomette. The Roomette was designed nearly a century ago for ONE person, not two. As you point out, Americans are a lot bigger today, so what was considered too small for two in the 1930s is FAR FAR too small today.
Some of us love to sleep in the upper berth in a Viewliner, even when traveling alone. The window and extra headroom make it much more comfortable than the Superliners' upper berth.
 

Ferroequinologist

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
113
If the Roomette returns to its original one passenger only status, how would the upper berth be more roomy than the lower berth without an upper berth?
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,065
If the Roomette returns to its original one passenger only status, how would the upper berth be more roomy than the lower berth without an upper berth?
You can have the bed made up above and still use the chairs as a sitting and dressing area. When the lower bed's made up, there's very standing room, and of course both seats are turned into a bed.
 

joelkfla

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
130
Why not have toilets in the Roomettes and a couple of public bathrooms down the hall? Also I'd remove the upper berth in the Roomette. The Roomette was designed nearly a century ago for ONE person, not two. As you point out, Americans are a lot bigger today, so what was considered too small for two in the 1930s is FAR FAR too small today.
I don't see how the upper berth reduces the amount of floor space available. It's like it's not there when it's folded.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
989
Having an upper berth is not the problem - the size of the roomette is. Why not just do away with roomettes, have only bedrooms with enclosed shower/toilet. Just have less rooms per car and FULLY FUND Amtrak and quit trying to squeeze every possible dollar per square foot/inch out of the car.

Oh, and charge a more affordable rate.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,955
Having an upper berth is not the problem - the size of the roomette is. Why not just do away with roomettes, have only bedrooms with enclosed shower/toilet. Just have less rooms per car and FULLY FUND Amtrak and quit trying to squeeze every possible dollar per square foot/inch out of the car.

Oh, and charge a more affordable rate.
Because Congress wants to reduce or eliminate an operating subsidy to Amtrak...funding infrastructure and equipment is one thing, but paying part of a passenger's ticket is another...much more likely to encounter fierce opposition.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,437
Having an upper berth is not the problem - the size of the roomette is. Why not just do away with roomettes, have only bedrooms with enclosed shower/toilet. Just have less rooms per car and FULLY FUND Amtrak and quit trying to squeeze every possible dollar per square foot/inch out of the car. Oh, and charge a more affordable rate.
"Why not just do away with roomettes?" says the man who already informed us he never travels in sleepers. Maybe because they're still useful and appealing to other people? We all have preferences but I'd rather keep imperfect roomettes rather than lose them entirely. It's telling that you're so willing to sacrifice something which will have zero impact on your own trips but affect others substantially.
 
Last edited:

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,916
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.
I have experienced a couple of these roomettes. They seemed more roomy than the current versions. The major disadvantage was when the bed was lowered, it rested on the top of the toilet. To use the toilet, the bed had to be raised and then lowered back into position in order to return to the bed.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
989
"Why not just do away with roomettes?" says the man who already informed us he never travels in sleepers.
I guess that I'm not that much different than the ones who said the consist could/should be "all sleepers" or the ones who indicate that no one can sleep in coach.

Yes, we all have different preferences. It is not that I "prefer" coach - I would gladly use a sleeper if I could afford one - but that also does not preclude that I could wish for them to be a little larger than they are .... just sayin'

The problem comes from those who have the attitude that "you can prefer whatever you want as long as it agrees with what I prefer" - which seems to be what the Amtrak Leadership thinks - thus the degradation of service billed as "upgrades" and "temporary cut-backs"
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,955
I have experienced a couple of these roomettes. They seemed more roomy than the current versions. The major disadvantage was when the bed was lowered, it rested on the top of the toilet. To use the toilet, the bed had to be raised and then lowered back into position in order to return to the bed.
That was to allow a much larger and more comfortable bed...more akin to that found in a section sleeper. That's why they still had the heavy zippered curtain outside the door...to allow you to back out a little into the aisle during the night, to raise or lower the bed to use the toilet. Postwar streamliner's compromised a bit, by cutting away a small part of the foot end of the bed, so a slim person could stand in that space to accomplish the same without needing to back into the aisle.
Those single roomette beds besides being wider than the modern ones, also were much thicker, since they operated like a murphy bed, and the mattress didn't have to be thin enough to fold...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
4
"Why not just do away with roomettes?" says the man who already informed us he never travels in sleepers. Maybe because they're still useful and appealing to other people? We all have preferences but I'd rather keep imperfect roomettes rather than lose them entirely. It's telling that you're so willing to sacrifice something which will have zero impact on your own trips but affect others substantially.
I love traveling in the Roomette.
 

Night Ranger

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
44
The upper bunk I slept on in the Army in a Barracks with at least 50 snoring guys making strange noises ranks above the upper bunk on the Auto Train.
You got that right! The upper bunk I had at Fort Sam Houston had a semi-bright electric bulb directly above it that burned all night due to some sort of fire regulation. I finally was able to ignore it and get some sleep but it took awhile. Take away that light and I would prefer that bunk to the upper bunk on any Amtrak accommodation we have traveled in.
 

ehbowen

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,322
I have experienced a couple of these roomettes. They seemed more roomy than the current versions. The major disadvantage was when the bed was lowered, it rested on the top of the toilet. To use the toilet, the bed had to be raised and then lowered back into position in order to return to the bed.
That was deliberate...and to ensure that a passenger didn't use the lavatory as a urinal, a concealed rod locked the sink closed whenever the bed was down!
 

Ferroequinologist

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
113
Having an upper berth is not the problem - the size of the roomette is. Why not just do away with roomettes, have only bedrooms with enclosed shower/toilet. Just have less rooms per car and FULLY FUND Amtrak and quit trying to squeeze every possible dollar per square foot/inch out of the car.

Oh, and charge a more affordable rate.
Yes exactly. Why shouldn't Amtrak function like a FIRST WORLD railway? Why do we permit the downgrading of standards?
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,065
Wouldn't you love riding in a compartment with a private bath/shower even more?
Not speaking for finleyd, but for myself: When traveling alone, I find Amtrak's roomettes more comfortable than the bedrooms, especially the Viewliners. I don't really care much about whether there's a toilet in the room, but do like having the head-to-foot of the bed oriented in the direction of travel. I find the roomettes snug, cozy, and ideally arranged for sitting and looking out the window.

Bedrooms, with fully enclosed toilet/shower, take up more space than roomettes and should cost more accordingly. Roomettes should be priced as a mid-range option, between coach and full bedroom.
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
293
Bedrooms, with fully enclosed toilet/shower, take up more space than roomettes and should cost more accordingly. Roomettes should be priced as a mid-range option, between coach and full bedroom.
Aren't they? While the AT had $99 Coach seats, I remember paying $3,600 for 2 adjoining bedrooms at Xmas r/t.
 

PVD

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,623
Occasionally, due to an anomaly in demand, odd things can happen. Once, out of many trips, I got a very cheap B/R on the CL and it was below the roomettes on the LSL. (CHI-NYP)
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,990
Yes exactly. Why shouldn't Amtrak function like a FIRST WORLD railway? Why do we permit the downgrading of standards?
Actually, first world railways have couchettes as an option. They're even more basic than a roomette, and you have to share it with strangers, but at least you can lie down and get some sleep. And the bathroom is down the hall.
 
Top