What You Need To Know About Amtrak Showers

by Kev
Showers on Amtrak trains

When planning for an adventure, learning about the small details helps with packing and setting realistic expectations. Many people asked questions about Amtrak showers, so here are some answers!

What is answered: what does Amtrak supply, do coach passengers have access showers, and where are they located on the train? So let’s take a look at the topic.

It is fun to bathe while traveling down the rails at 79 mph.

Kev of Travels with Kev

Showers For Coach Passengers

Amtrak's long-distance coach seats
Amtrak’s long-distance coach seats. These seats include foot and leg rest, trays, and an outlet.

Sadly there are no showers for coach passengers on Amtrak trains. However, there are a few things you can do to freshen up for the day.

Keeping “Fresh” While Riding In Coach Class

The bathrooms are available for you to freshen up. You can change clothing, but be aware that some bathrooms are tighter than others, depending on the last time the car got rebuilt. Amtrak offers sinks with potable (drinkable) water for brushing your teeth, hand soap, paper towels, and outlets.

Experienced travelers know a small package of wet wipes help you feel fresh as you travel and come in handy for other cleaning uses.

When freshening up, be courteous of other travelers, and try not to take too long, especially during peak hours. Make sure to clean up after yourself, and it doesn’t hurt to do a little more.

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

Each bathroom has a trash can, and if they become full, let the car attended or conductor know.  If you don’t want to walk into a dirty bathroom, make sure you don’t leave one.

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

Showers For Sleeper Car Passengers

Amtrak sleeper
Amtrak branding on Superliner Sleeping Cars

If you reserve sleeping accommodations, you’ll have access to showers! Amtrak provides soap, washcloths, plus hand and bath towels. Amtrak may offer amenity kits with shampoo and other such things, but at this point, it is on select trains such as the Auto Train.

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.

Showers For Roomette, Family, and Accessible Passengers

Amtrak Bedroom Bathroom
Amtrak bedrooms have a small bathroom that contains the toilet and shower.

Passengers with roomettes, family rooms, or accessible accommodations have access to the public shower with an attached dressing room located in each sleeper car.

The dressing room has a place for your soiled towels and washcloths.  If you are an early riser, you may want to bathe early because the facilities could get busy with a peek time around breakfast time.

The Dressing And Shower Room Location

For Superliner trains (bi-level cars), the facilities are on the lower level near the bathrooms.

On Viewliners (Single level cars), the shower is on the left at the end of the roomette corridor just beyond the coffee station.

Bedrooms

Bedrooms have their showers in the suite; both the toilet and shower are in the same small room.

To Operate An Amtrak Shower

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

Operating the showers is not hard once you get used to them; it is a two-part process.

Depending on the vintage of the car, either you turn the knob and go, like at home, or the newer systems have a two-valve system; one regulates the temperature, like at home, and the other times how long the water flows, so you can’t leave it running forever.

The showerhead is on a hose, and to prevent cold water spurting at you, either point the showerhead away or take it off the rod.

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

When showering, you can keep hitting the start button to keep the water flowing; this important to do right before you wash 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.

Experienced traveler note: before starting your shower, make sure there are clean towels available; I know of a traveler who made that mistake before. If supplies are out, talk to the car attendant so they can fill them before your shower. If you take the last of something, be nice and let the car attendant know, the next person will thank you.

Etiquette For Amtrak Showers

These are not Amtrak’s rules, but they make the shower experience better for your fellow travelers.

Superliner Shower
The shower and changing room on an Amtrak Superliner
  • Don’t take too long of a shower.
    • Saving water not only helps the environment but saves water for others.
    • Others may want to use it after you.
  • Placing a hand towel in front of the shower door gives you something to stand on when you get out of the shower and catches the water that might have snuck out.
  • Put all soiled towels and washcloths in the bag (often red) or bin in the room.
  • If the area is getting low on supplies, let the car attendant know to address the issues.
  • Clean up after yourself by getting rid of any packaging you opened.

Toiletries For Amtrak Showers

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!

The beautiful thing about Amtrak is the TSA 3-1-1 rules do not apply. You can bring as much soap or shampoo as you want. Some people suggest wearing water shoes or sandals when you shower.

Many experienced travelers use refillable squeeze bottles filled with Dr. Broners All One Soap. This soap is environmentally friendly, and the company treats its employees well, and manufactured in the USA!

On a personal note, I use it to wash not only me but also my clothes, and it can dub as shaving cream. It comes in a few fragrances; the peppermint works well for clearing your head in the morning. Lately, I use their almond fragrance.

Wrap Up on Amtrak Showers

I hope this information preps you for your next Amtrak adventure. Shower styles can vary depending on the vintage of the car, but all operate the same.

Taking a shower on your next Amtrak adventure will be refreshing, and your fellow travelers will thank you for doing so. As I said initially, it’s fun to get clean, going 79 mph down the tracks.

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Safe travels!

Kev

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