Showers on Amtrak
Showers on Amtrak

Showers On Amtrak: What You Need To Know

We must figure out the small details when planning a trip, like keeping clean while traveling on the train. Figuring out how you will do this will help you pack better and set realistic expectations. This article will help you learn about showers on Amtrak and some ideas for keeping clean while traveling!

This article covers what Amtrak supplies, answers the question of if coach passengers have access to showers, and more, so let’s get started.

Taking a shower at 79 miles can be fun!

Kev of Travels with Kev

Can Coach Passengers Use Showers On Amtrak?

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

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

The bathrooms are available to freshen up and change your clothing.

Some bathrooms are tighter than others; it depends on the car’s age or the last time Amtrak rebuilt the coach car.

Each Amtrak bathroom has a sink with potable (drinkable) water for brushing teeth, and they have hand soap and paper towels.

The bathrooms also have an outlet for shaving or other grooming gear you may need.

How To Freshen Up In Amtrak Coach Class

Experienced travelers know a small package of wet wipes works well to help you feel fresh in a flash as you travel. Another option is a small refillable travel bottle of Dr. Bronner soap that works well because a little goes a long way.

One style of an Amtrak Superliner bathroom
One style of Amtrak Superliner bathrooms

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

My motto is, if I like to come into a clean bathroom, I need to leave one.

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.

Showers On Amtrak For Sleeping Car Passengers

Amtrak sleeper
Amtrak Branding on Superliner Sleeping Cars

If you reserve a room on a train, you can shower while traveling, and Amtrak provides bar or soft soap, washcloths, plus hand and bath towels. If you need more than that, bring those with you.

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.

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

Amtrak Bedrooms

Bedrooms have showers in the suite; the toilet and shower are in the same small room. As seen in the photo.

Viewliner Accessible Room Shower

Viewliner-accessible rooms have showers, but Superliner-accessible rooms do not.

Showers For Roomettes and Family Rooms

Passengers in roomettes, family rooms, or Superliner-accessible accommodations can access the “public shower” and its attached dressing room.

The dressing room has a place, either a bin or bag, 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 peak time, around breakfast time.

For Superliner trains (bi-level cars), the facilities are on the lower level near the bathrooms. Viewliners (Single-level), the shower is at the end of the roomette corridor on the left.

How To Operate The Showers On Amtrak

A control for on of Amtrak showers
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; 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.

Set Your Shower on Amtrak Up For Success!

Experienced traveler note: before starting your shower, ensure clean towels are available; I know of a traveler who made that mistake. Often extra hand towels and washrags are in your room.

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.

The water from the showers on Amtrak does dump directly onto the tracks.

Etiquette For Showers On Amtrak

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

Superliner Shower
The shower and changing room on an Amtrak Superliner
  • Don’t take too long.
    • Saving water not only helps the environment but ensures some for others.
    • While the train does have a few water stops, these cars can only hold so much water.
  • Placing a hand towel in front of the shower door prevents water from going all over if you go 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 in the room. 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, it will not return.
  • If supplies become low, let the car attendant know to address the issues.
  • Before leaving, make sure you have everything you bring with you.

Showers on Amtrak are for all sleepers; if you want to come into a clean shower, leave one for your fellow passengers.

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!

The beautiful thing about Amtrak is the TSA 3-1-1 rule does not apply, so you can bring as much soap or shampoo as you want, although it might not be necessary. Amtrak supplies body soap but not shampoo on most routes.

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

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

If you need to carry a little more, a toiletry bag with a hook or even a suction cup could help you stay organized and make it easier to stay organized and get back and forth to the shower.

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!

On a personal note, Dr. Broner’s soap works well for washing me and my clothes and 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 preps you for your next Amtrak adventure. Show r 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. Getting clean is fun, especially when going 79 mph (in some areas even faster) down the tracks.

If you are new and looking at getting sleeper car accommodation, check out the articles on sleepers.

Safe travels!


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Kev has been traveling with Amtrak since 2012, celebrating over ten years of travel! Over those years, he has been on over 700 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.

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!

  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,

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