Showers on Amtrak
Showers on Amtrak

Showers On Amtrak: What You Need To Know

All passengers with Amtrak accommodations or rooms have access to a shower throughout their journey, and some accommodations have them in the room! Coach passengers do not have access to showers on Amtrak trains. Amtrak provides almost everything you need to get squeaky clean!

If you are a coach passenger, I include tips for you to keep clean while traveling the rails!

Taking a shower at 79 miles per hour (or more) can be fun!

Kev of Travels with Kev

Can Coach Passengers Use Showers On Amtrak?

As you learned in the intro, sadly, there are no showers for coach passengers on Amtrak trains, but you can do a few things to freshen up for the day.

The bathrooms are available to freshen up and change your clothing, but some are tighter than others.

Each Amtrak bathroom has a sink with potable (drinkable) water for brushing teeth and has hand soap and paper towels, and they have an outlet for shaving or other grooming gear you may need.

How To Freshen Up In Amtrak Coach Class

Those of us who have traveled for a while know there are a few things you can pack to make your trip more manageable, and one of those things is a small package of wet or baby wipes. They are handy because they can clean up tray tables and help you feel fresh in a flash. Another option is a small refillable travel bottle of Dr. Bronner soap, which works well, and a little goes a long way.

When freshening up, be courteous to others, and try not to take too long, especially during peak hours.

It is essential not to use the toilets as trash cans; even flushable wipes should be tossed in the garbage and not flushed.

Each bathroom has a trash can; let the car attendant or conductor know if they become full.

A side note about restrooms on the train: if the ones in your car are full, you can use the bathroom in another coach car.

Try to make sure you leave the bathroom cleaner than you found it.

Showers on Amtrak for sleeping car passengers

Here is the dirt you came for!

What does Amtrak provide for showers?

Amtrak provides:

  • Bar or soft soap
  • Washcloths, hand and bath towels.

If you need unique soaps or shampoos, don’t forget to pack those.

Where are the showers located?

Knowing where the shower is located is helpful if you want to use it. For those passengers in a Viewliner-accessible room or a Viewliner or Superliner bedroom, the shower is part of the ensuite restroom.

Note that Superliner Accessible rooms do not have a shower in the room but are not far from your room.

Remember, the layout of your train could vary from those below, but the showers on Amtrak trains should be in a similar location.

Superliner cars (two store cars)

The shower is on the lower lever, the opposite side of the vestibule from the stairs; if you look at the accessible room, it should be the first door on the right.

Viewliner (Single level)

The shower is at the end of the car, the roomette hallway’s end.

Amtrak Viewliner 1 Sleeper
A look at the layout of an Amtrak Viewliner Sleeper car.

How To Operate The Showers On Amtrak

Operating the showers is not hard once you get used to them, but often, it is a two-part process. The showers often have some handles and a place to sit for stability, and the shower head is on a hose.

Depending on the car’s vintage, either you turn the knob and go, like at home, or the newer systems have a two-valve system.

To get the water flowing, turn the temperature knob to the right, especially for hot showers, and press the button (sometimes it gets stuck on); if you look at the photo, the timer button is on the top. The order is not essential, but you only need to adjust the water temp if the timer button is stuck.

You can keep hitting the start button when showering to keep the water flowing; this is important to do right before washing your hair!

When you finish cleaning yourself, turn the temp handle to the left till the water turns off. I do this even if the water shuts off on me.

Remember that trains sway, so if you have balance issues, you may want to sit while showering or wait for a fresh air stop when the train is not moving.

Set Your Shower on Amtrak Up For Success!

From Kev’s experience, ensure clean towels are available before showering! I know of a traveler who made that mistake. There are often extra hand towels and washrags in your room.

If supplies are out, like fresh towels, talk to the car attendant so they can fill them, and if you take the last of something, be nice and let the car attendant know; the next person will thank you.

Fun shower note: the drain water from the Amtrak showers goes directly onto the tracks.

Etiquette For Showers On Amtrak

These are not Amtrak’s rules, but what I follow to improve the shower experience for fellow travelers.

  • Keep your showers as short as you can.
    • Saving water helps the environment and ensures there is hot water for others.
    • While the train does have a few water stops, these cars only hold so much water.
  • A hand towel in front of the outside of the shower door prevents water from going all over, especially when you step out or over rough tracks.
    • It also catches the water that drips off you when you get out of the shower.
  • Put all soiled towels and washcloths in the bag (often red) or bin. Leave a clean shower if you want to come into a clean shower.
    • Ensure you do not accidentally put your clothing (or anything else) in that bag; while it may get washed, your things will not get returned.
  • If supplies become low, let the car attendant know so that the issues can be addressed.
  • Before leaving, make sure you have everything you bring with you.

What To Bring To Use Showers On Amtrak

Dr Bronner's Soap
Dr. Bronner’s All-One Soap is the minimal packer’s best friend. It can clean you and your clothing, plus more!

Some people suggest wearing water shoes or sandals when you shower.

If you bring soap or shampoo, a good toiletry bag will make your trip to the shower more manageable and efficient. I do not carry much as I travel, so my toiletry bag is a TSA-compatible 3-1-1 bag that looks like a pencil bag.

Amtrak does not provide hairdryers or curling irons; if you need them, pack them. Several great YouTube channels cover the topic with great suggestions.

Many experienced travelers use refillable squeeze bottles filled with Dr. Broners All-One Soap. This soap is environmentally friendly, plus the company treats its employees well and manufactures it in the USA! I found a squeeze bottle works best.

Another Kev’s travel tip: Dr. Broner’s soap works well for washing my clothes and me; plus, it can work as shaving cream. It comes in a few fragrances; the peppermint works well for clearing your head in the morning.

Wrap-Up For Shower On Amtrak

I hope this information prepares you for your next Amtrak adventure. Shower styles vary depending on the car’s vintage, but they all operate similarly.

Taking a shower on your next Amtrak adventure will be refreshing, and your fellow travelers will thank you for doing so. I find it fun, and who doesn’t like the idea of showering down the tracks at 79 mph (in some areas, even faster)?

Safe travels!


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Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Jen

    I’m excited to take my first overnight train trip and wanted to know what to expect with a roomette. These articles and tips you’ve put together are really helpful, thank you.

    1. Awesome! I am glad that I could help!
      Safe Travels!

  2. stu

    Thanks re showers. Are there Grab Bars in showers?

    1. From what I remember, they do. The newer cars and rebuilt cars often have a bench as well.

      Save Travels,

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