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Viewliner Sleeper Bathroom Question

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Mailliw

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
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52
Location
Northeast PA
Young Americans might think it's cool to sleep with strangers in Europe's budget couchettes but how many of Amtrak's patrons, mostly older people, will be willing to do that?
Amtrak needs to attract younger passengers and people already sleep with strangers in the coaches. A Slumbercoach like setup would be ideal, but baring that I think sections would better than couchettes since there would be privacy curtains and strangers wouldn't be in as confined a soace together.
 

Qapla

Conductor
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Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,207
Location
Gator Country Florida
Reconfigure the sleeper cars to only have rooms with enclosed toilet/shower (similar to the bedrooms) with a mini-fridge and a small microwave. Call them roomettes, bedrooms, suites, lounges, private space - whatever ... the name is not all that important.

Just admit that, post C-19 maximum dollar per square foot/inch is just not feasible and live with the larger rooms/less people per car and FULLY FUND the trains.

Let people bring their own food if they like or buy food from some sort of redesigned food car (café, diner, lounge, again, the name is not important) - but do not include food in the price of the room. Provide some sort of car for the people in sleeper to use to spend time in if they want to eat, sit or just be with other people someplace other than their room.

It's not rocket science - if it were, they would cram even more things into a space smaller than the current roomettes.
 

joelkfla

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
179
May never be a totally effective vaccine.....how's that AIDS one comin'?
That was explained by an expert on a recent news report. Vaccines work by boosting the human immune system to build defenses in advance of infection. HIV attacks the immune system, so there's no defense available to boost. Coronaviruses do prompt an immune response, so vaccines can be developed to create antibodies before infection.
 

ehbowen

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Mar 22, 2011
Messages
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Houston, Texas
That was explained by an expert on a recent news report. Vaccines work by boosting the human immune system to build defenses in advance of infection. HIV attacks the immune system, so there's no defense available to boost. Coronaviruses do prompt an immune response, so vaccines can be developed to create antibodies before infection.
Careful, though...an experimental coronavirus vaccine for cats boosted the immune response TOO MUCH...all of the kittens who later were exposed to the actual virus died because their immune systems freaked out and over-responded.

I'm not going to take any vaccine for this virus until it's been in actual human use, successfully, for well over a year.

Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2: Lessons from Other Coronavirus Strains
 

PVD

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NYC/Queens
While we don't have an AIDS vaccine, we have a very wide range of HIV medications that have made an enormous difference, allowing people to live relatively normal lives. If there was no effective vaccine, but treatments advanced to the level they have for HIV things would be very different. With today's treatments, HIV infections don't advance to full blown AIDS cases like they used to.
 

Bob Dylan

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May 31, 2009
Messages
20,295
Location
Austin Texas
While we don't have an AIDS vaccine, we have a very wide range of HIV medications that have made an enormous difference, allowing people to live relatively normal lives. If there was no effective vaccine, but treatments advanced to the level they have for HIV things would be very different. With today's treatments, HIV infections don't advance to full blown AIDS cases like they used to.
Millions of people alive with HIV thanks to Science!;)
 

PVD

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NYC/Queens
I was the resident field engineering and tech services person at a group of hospitals in NYC in the mid 80's . When AIDs cases first started appearing nobody was sure of transmissibility, it was a death sentence, doctors and nurses were really worried about dealing with those patients. We didn't engage in idiotic partisan debates over mortality rates, it was 100%. How long was the only question mark. At the same time, TB was coming back, and Hepatitis B was becoming an issue. The first effective HB vaccines were made out of blood products, how was that for a choice? Now of course, they are not....
 

jiml

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Feb 27, 2019
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Toronto area
Reconfigure the sleeper cars to only have rooms with enclosed toilet/shower (similar to the bedrooms) with a mini-fridge and a small microwave.
You're suggesting passengers should be allowed to cook in their rooms? That won't end well, as anyone who has smelled burnt popcorn in an office or workplace lunchroom can attest.
 

Qapla

Conductor
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Jul 15, 2019
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Location
Gator Country Florida
You're suggesting passengers should be allowed to cook in their rooms? That won't end well, as anyone who has smelled burnt popcorn in an office or workplace lunchroom can attest.
That is a valid concern! However, the mini-fridge might be nice. Just throwing ideas out there.

The thing is - there is no "perfect solution" since some would rather full food service and others would rather bring their own - cooking in the room may not be ideal -but, almost anything would be better than the current option of being charged excessive rates for less than desirable meals.
 

Winecliff Station

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
122
Location
Hudson Valley
That's not one of them. Sorta like flying with a seatmate having a tuna-fish sandwich. Or, my favorite: liverwurst & onion on rye.
At least enclosed in a roomette you wouldn’t smell the refrigerated items... I see the argument against the microwave but I doubt a fridge would be problematic
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
62
The prices of berths and bedrooms on the Canadian are outrageously high,even accounting for the devaluation of the dollar. Before the pedemic we checked on an upper and lower berth from Toronto to Vancouver in June. $2300 US. Our canceled Alaskan cruise from Vancouver was less than that and that was seven days,not three and a half. Outrageous!
 

Skyline

OBS Chief
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Feb 19, 2016
Messages
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While we don't have an AIDS vaccine, we have a very wide range of HIV medications that have made an enormous difference, allowing people to live relatively normal lives. If there was no effective vaccine, but treatments advanced to the level they have for HIV things would be very different. With today's treatments, HIV infections don't advance to full blown AIDS cases like they used to.
I have been much too close to the AIDS epidemic since we first learned of it in 1981. Lost count of the losses. The newer meds, from the mid-'90s forward, have been literally lifesaving and have allowed people who would have likely died to actually thrive. There are still way too many who cannot obtain those meds, and they are way too expensive, in this nation and worldwide.

It is conceivable that the initial improvement in the Covid-19 pandemic may mirror that of AIDS. That is, effective treatments and not an effective vaccine. I hope we have learned something important from the AIDS era -- that to truly stem the infection rate of Covid-19 it will take rapid testing and treatment that is available to all, regardless of ability to pay.
 

PVD

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NYC/Queens
We also need people to recognize their personal responsibility and role in stopping the spread. To many A-H worried about their own situations without considering the impact on others. Just the other day, a student lied about symptoms and went into school. Not a good result. Nice job of parenting.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
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Apr 5, 2011
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Location
Baltimore. MD
If you want cheap. private sleeping accommodations for single passengers on a train, reviving the slumbercoach is the only way to go that I can think of. (Open sections take up the same amount of space as an Amtrak roomette, though it's true they would be able to sell the berths individually, and thus more cheaply.) Amtrak sleepers are expensive for single travelers because you're paying for space for two. When two people share, the seemingly ridiculous fares start looking a little more reasonable.

By the way, the slumbercoach, at least the one I rode in on the Crescent in 1990, had a toilet in the room. However, if the bed was set up, you couldn't use it, at least not without folding up the bed. The current Amtrak roomette is an improvement in that regard.
 

railiner

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South Florida
By the way, the slumbercoach, at least the one I rode in on the Crescent in 1990, had a toilet in the room. However, if the bed was set up, you couldn't use it, at least not without folding up the bed. The current Amtrak roomette is an improvement in that regard.
Are you talking about a Slumbercoach or a Roomette?
The beds in the Slumbercoaches were narrow enough to allow use of the toilet without raising the bed, IIRC....
 

Bob Dylan

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Barb Stout

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Mar 13, 2019
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It is conceivable that the initial improvement in the Covid-19 pandemic may mirror that of AIDS. That is, effective treatments and not an effective vaccine. I hope we have learned something important from the AIDS era -- that to truly stem the infection rate of Covid-19 it will take rapid testing and treatment that is available to all, regardless of ability to pay.
With regard to treatments for Covid19, I read an article (NYT?) that several clinical trials for non-vaccine treatments for Covid19 were having trouble getting enough subjects in the trials due to the delay between the test and getting the results and also the hospitals or other health care facilities where the clinical trials would normally take place are/were at capacity and the doctors who might be otherwise interested in getting involved with the trials were too busy with full ICUs. It was news to me that clinical trials are run at hospitals.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
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Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
My own opinion is that the VL H room is the best room on Amtrak, and the Superliner H room is the worst room on Amtrak.
I've traveled on both. The viewliner room is outstanding... but the small commode is ... well ... really really difficult to maneuver. Now, on the the Superliner H Room... beware of all the problems!

Problem 1 - Some of the coaches have battery operated fire alarms just outside the H room door. The batteries are never changed and the warning 'chirping' occurs frequently. When this happens I have called the conductor who says he can't touch it as it is a federal offense to remove the battery.,, and that if I removed the battery I would be arrested on a federal offense. I mean, so the battery is dead and the alarm keeps chirping and you need to live with it.:mad: Pure stupidity!

Problem 2 - You are at the end of a bank of bathrooms... it gets smelly. Also when folks don't close the doors they slam back and forth as the train rolls along. So you hear all that noise until you go out and shut the door yourself.:mad:

Problem 3 - This is one of the hottest and stuffiest rooms on the train and there is no window to open. Something about the arrangement of the heating and cooling systems makes the room hotter than most others. :mad:

Problem 4 - Lots of people tend to gather and talk outside the bathrooms. More noise! :mad:

So beware of the Superliner H rooms!!!:mad:
 
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