Showers on Amtrak
Showers on Amtrak

Showers On Amtrak: How to stay fresh on the train

Passengers with Amtrak sleeping accommodations have access to a shower throughout their journey; some accommodations, like bedrooms, have showers in the room! The showers on Amtrak provide almost everything you need to stay clean.

Coach passengers cannot access showers on Amtrak trains, but I have included tips in this article for staying clean while traveling in coach class!

Depending on your adventure, you may travel for hours or days. A few things make you feel clean and pleasant to be around. It is always a welcome choice.

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?

Amtrak Superliner coach seats
Amtrak Superliner lower-level coach seating (Photo courtesy of Amtrak.com)

As mentioned in the introduction, Amtrak coach passengers cannot access showers. However, there are several ways to freshen up for the day.

Although not luxurious, the bathrooms are convenient places to freshen up and change, though some may be smaller than others.

Each long-distance coach bathroom has a sink providing potable (drinkable) water for brushing teeth or drinking, hand soap and paper towels, and an outlet for shaving or other grooming needs.

Experienced travelers know that certain items can make the trip more manageable.

One of these items is a small package of wet or baby wipes, helpful in cleaning tray tables and helping you feel fresh quickly. Another option is a small refillable travel bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, which is effective and requires only a tiny amount.

How To Freshen Up In Amtrak Coach Class

One style of an Amtrak Superliner bathroom

When freshening up, there are a few things to remember. Most importantly, be courteous to others and try not to take too long, especially during peak hours. That is one advantage I have as an early riser; I can get in and out before things get busy.

Toilets are not trash cans. Even flushable wipes should be thrown in the garbage, not flushed. If a toilet gets clogged, it could affect all the other toilets. If they go out, often they are out for the rest of the journey.

Let the car attendant or conductor know if the trash can has filled up. 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.

After using the restroom, I leave it as clean as I found it, if not cleaner. It only takes a second to pick up paper towels or tidy up around the sink, and if we all do our part, we all benefit.

Showers on Amtrak for sleeping car passengers

Amtrak sleeper car exterior view.

All sleeping car passengers have access to a shower. Those in roomettes, family rooms, or Superliner-accessible rooms share a shower with an attached dressing room.

Passengers in any bedroom or Viewliner-accessible room have a private shower, which they do not have to share with anyone except their travel buddy.

What does Amtrak provide passengers for showers?

Amtrak provides bar or soft soap, washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels.

You can bring your soaps or shampoos if you prefer specific brands or need special toiletries.

The showers have handles and usually a place to sit for stability, and the shower head is on a hose.

Where are the showers located?

The location of the showers depends on the train you are on and your accommodation.

Bedrooms

For those with a bedroom, shower, and tiny bathroom space within the room, it is compact yet efficient.

Amtrak accessible room

Amtrak Bedroom Bathroom
The shower and toilet room on an Amtrak bedroom

Viewliner-accessible rooms have an ensuite shower.

Superliner Accessible rooms do not have showers, but one is nearby, down the hallway on the left, just past the restrooms.

Viewliner roomettes

There is a shower in the roomette hallway near the exit. If you are in a dorm baggage car, such as on the Cardinal, the shower is in the middle of the car, close to the door leading to the baggage area.

Superliner cars (two store cars)

The shower is on the lower level, on the opposite side of the vestibule from the stairs. When looking at the accessible room, it should be the first door on the right.

Superliner Sleeper
The layout of a Superliner Sleeper Car.

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

Shower instruction
Shower instruction

Operating the showers is easy once you get used to them, but often, it is a two-part process.

Amtrak shower controls
Amtrak shower controls, the top button starts the water flowing, and the bottom controls temperature.

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 start the shower, turn the temperature knob to the right, especially for hot showers, and press the button (sometimes it gets stuck on); check 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!

Make sure to check for clean towels before taking a shower. If supplies are out, such as fresh towels, you can ask the car attendant to refill them.

If you use the last of something, be considerate and inform the car attendant. Your room usually has extra hand towels and washcloths. Also, note that the drain water from the Amtrak showers goes directly onto the tracks.

This section comes from my experience; I may not have checked to ensure everything was there and have had to improvise.

Etiquette For Showers On Amtrak

Amtrak Viewliner II shower
A Viewliner II shower

Here are some guidelines for enhancing the shower experience for you and your fellow travelers on the train:

  1. Keep your showers as short as possible to save water and ensure enough hot water for others. The train has limited water reserves.
  2. Place a hand towel in front of the outside of the shower door to prevent water from spilling out, especially when the train is moving.
  3. After your shower, put all used towels and washcloths in the designated bag or bin.
  4. Leave the shower clean for the next person.
  5. Be careful not to accidentally put your clothing or personal items in the designated towel bag. Amtrak may wash them, but they cannot return them.
  6. If the supplies are running low, inform the car attendant so they can address the issue.
  7. Before leaving, ensure you have all your belongings with you.

Things you can bring to use showers on Amtrak

Dr Bronner's Soap
Dr. Bronner’s All-One Soap

Some travelers suggest wearing water shoes or sandals in the shower to make the experience more comfortable. Also, having a well-organized toiletry bag enhances your shower routine. I like to keep things simple using a TSA-compatible 3-1-1 bag resembling a pencil case.

Amtrak doesn’t provide hairdryers or curling irons, so pack these items if needed. You can also find some excellent travel advice on YouTube channels dedicated to travel tips.

Many seasoned travelers love using refillable squeeze bottles filled with Dr. Bronner’s All-One Soap. Not only is this soap environmentally friendly, but the company also values the fair treatment of its employees and manufactures its products in the USA. A squeeze bottle is the most convenient option, lasting a while. A drop or two will go a long way,

Here’s another travel tip from Kev: Dr. Bronner’s soap is great for personal hygiene—it also doubles as laundry detergent and shaving cream. Plus, with various fragrances available, like peppermint, it’s perfect for starting your day feeling refreshed.

Wrap-Up For Showers On Amtrak

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

Showering on Amtrak will be refreshing, and your fellow travelers will thank you for doing so. I find it fun, and who doesn’t like showering while traveling at 79 mph (in some areas, even faster)?

Safe travels!

Kev

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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. Kev

      Awesome! I am glad that I could help!
      Safe Travels!
      Kev

  2. stu

    Thanks re showers. Are there Grab Bars in showers?

    1. Kev

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

      Save Travels,
      Kev

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