Learning about the small details helps you pack and set realistic expectations when planning an adventure. Many people asked questions about Amtrak showers, so here are some answers!
What is answered: what does Amtrak supply, do coach passengers have access to showers, and where are they are 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
Sadly there are no showers for coach passengers on Amtrak trains. However, you can do a few things 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 helps 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; let the car attendant or conductor know if they become full. If you don’t want to walk into a dirty bathroom, make sure you don’t leave one. 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 For Sleeper Car Passengers
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
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), you’ll find the shower at the end of the roomette corridor on the left.
Bedrooms have their showers in the suite; both the toilet and shower are in the same small room.
How To Operate An Amtrak Shower
Operating the showers is not hard once you get used to them; often, 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 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.
When showering, you can keep hitting the start button 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.
Experienced traveler note: before starting your shower, make sure clean towels are 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.
- 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
The beautiful thing about Amtrak is the TSA 3-1-1 rule does not apply. You can bring as much soap or shampoo as you want, although Amtrak supplies body soap but not shampoo on most routes.
Some people suggest wearing water shoes or sandals when you shower.
Having a good toiletry bag will make your trip to the shower more manageable and more efficient. I do not bring much with me, 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, so if you need one, you will need to pack it. A few travelers told me there are some great small or travel-size ones you can buy.
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 they manufacture it in the USA!
On a personal note, I use it to wash myself and my clothes, and it can work as shaving cream. It comes in a few fragrances; the peppermint works well for clearing your head in the morning. Lately, I have used 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 car’s vintage, 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 (in some areas even faster) down the tracks.
If you are new and looking at getting a sleeper car accommodation, make sure you check out the articles on sleepers, which can be found by clicking the riding Amtrak button below.