My first Amtrak Superliner roomette was room 14 on the 421 Texas Eagle from Chicago to Los Angeles. I loved it! The year prior, I went from coast to coast in coach class and found roomettes to be my new happy place.
Like you, before I set out on this trip, I researched information on these rooms. While the Amtrak website gave me some information, I wanted to know more.
I tried an Amtrak forum with mixed results. And overall, found them and now Facebook groups to be a less than positive experience. I hope that this page will answer your questions.
Amtrak Superliner sleepers are a fun way to travel the rails comfortably and enjoy the scenery. Superliner Sleeping Cars contain roomettes, bedrooms, assessable (for special or mobility needs), and family rooms.
Sleeper Cars are compact but comfortable, similar to giant RVs, but on the rails.
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Roomettes are small private rooms within an Amtrak Superliner Sleeping Car, and if you reserve one, you will not share it with someone you do not know. You can book one with your favorite travel companion and you, though.
Amtrak Trains With Superliner Equipment
|Superliner Routes||The End Cities|
|Auto Train||Lorton, VA – Sanford, FL|
|California Zephyr||Chicago, IL – Emeryville, CA (San Fransico)|
|Capitol Limited||Chicago, IL – Washington, D.C.|
|City of New Orleans||Chicago, IL – New Orleans, LA|
|Coast Starlight||Los Angeles, CA – Seattel, WA|
|Empire Builder||Chicago, IL – Seattle, WA/Portland, OR|
|Southwest Chief||Chicago, IL – Los Angeles|
|Sunset Limited||New Orleans, LA – Los Angeles, CA|
|Texas Eagle||Chicago, IL – San Antonio, TX/ Los Angeles|
All the other long-distance trains use single-level Viewliner equipment. Amtrak has two equipment styles because of the tunnels leading to New York Penn Station. While the Superliner equipment holds more people, they do not fit through the New York tunnels.
Interactive 360 Views Of An Amtrak Superliner Roomettes
These interactive photos are a neat and handy way to discover what the roomettes look like from different angles. The links below contain interactive “360 photos” (these photos are not mine). A quick note: depending on when the car was built or rebuilt, there can be differences in the interiors.
Not all Amtrak routes have beds made up like in the photo. New bedding and towels are on Amtrak trains.
Amtrak Superliner Roomette: Size
Roomettes are the smallest of Amtrak’s accommodations.
These rooms are 6.5′ by 3.5′ and serve two different purposes.
During the day, two chairs face each other, and you can pull out a fold-out table. The two chairs become the lower berth or bed ( 2.3′ by 6.5′), and the second berth comes down from above (2′ by 6.2′).
The upper berth does not have windows, and stairs are needed to get up there.
Sleeper Car Layout
Superliner Roomettes are on both floors of the car. Rooms one through ten are on the upper level, and eleven to fourteen are on the lower.
The car attendant has room number one.
Roomette two is closest to the upper-level bathroom (that could be handy for some). Eleven to fourteen are on the lower level, with thirteen and fourteen next to the family room.
Three types of Superliner Sleeper Cars are Standard Sleeper, Delux (only on the Auto Train), and Transdorm.
Most people will find themself in a standard sleeper with fourteen roomettes, one of which is the car attendant’s room. Roomettes 1-10 are located upstairs, with room one being the attendant’s room with 10-14 on the lower level.
Standard Sleeper Car
These cars only have roomettes and are mainly used by Amtrak staff. Amtrak does have passengers in these cars.
Deluxe Bedroom cars only appear on the Auto Train.
Amtrak Superliner Rommetes Outlet and Lighting
These railcars were designed and built before our mass use of electronics, so be advised that there is only one wall outlet in the room.
A simple extension cord will solve this problem for most people; this allows you to charge more than one item at a time.
Lights in the room include ceiling lights, a nightlight, plus reading lights. Amtrak is switching many of these lights over to more efficient LED lights.
Currently, Amtrak uses two different switches; Amtrak changed to touch controls as the car’s upgrade (like in the photo).
Travel tip: the upper bunk has a reading light that works well for mood lighting through the Rockies’ tunnels if you are aboard the Califonia Zephyr. This light also works well when you head to dinner because your room will have a little light when you return.
Amtrak Superliner Roomette: Windows and Doors
Roomettes have a large window to watch the country roll by, plus interior windows facing the hallway giving your room a more open feel. All windows have drapes to keep the light out or for privacy.
The room door is only lockable from the inside. Before leaving your room, hide your valuables. I have never had an issue, but I don’t leave my valuables out when I am not in the roomette.
Amtrak Superliner Sleeper Roomette: Storage
Storing gear in your roomette
Whereas there is not much room in a roomette, some storage space is available.
When you walk into a roomette on one side of the door, you will see a step (the right photo above); you can slide your bag to the wall, and the headrest should keep it from moving (I have never had it fall).
The opposite side is either a small closet or a hook and hangers (canter photo above). There is some storage under the seats, but there is no access to that space when they come together.
Other storage options
For additional space, there is a rack downstairs.
If, for some reason, you have too much baggage and traveling alone, talk to your car attendant about lowering the upper bunk and storing your luggage up there. If you do this, you will lose headspace.
Checked baggage service is available between some stations, but not all, so check before leaving. If your first station does not have a checked service, but your layover station does, you can check bags at that station.
For example, you are going from Sturtevant, WI, an unstaffed station, to Omaha. NE, with a layover in Chicago. You can carry your bags on the Hiawatha and check them in Chicago, provided you can do so 30 minutes or so before departure.
Amtrak Superliner Roomette Amenities
Besides the sleeping areas and little storage, there is more to these small rooms.
Each room has a fold-out table between the two chairs, and the safety card is behind. Rooms come with bottled water, fresh towels, blankets, sheets, and pillows.
In the morning, coffee and juice are available at the station on the car’s upper level by the stairs.
There is a shower on the lower level for all to use.
Your room tickets include meals in the dining car during your trip and complimentary beverages during your trip, and an adult beverage with dinner.
There is a car attendant to help you along the way. The attendants will put your bed up or down, help with luggage, and help maintain the sleeper car.
If you need help, such as bringing meals to your room, let your car attendant know ahead of time. Remember, the attendant is there to help the whole car; it may take some time before they can get to you.
Most Superliner trains do not have Wifi. It is best to plan on not having Wifi. It is cellular and not set up for streaming movies and shows if you do have it.
Getting Around A Superliner Train
Getting around a Superliner Train is easy if you remember two things. First, to walk from one car to another, you need to be on the upper level. Trains are linear, so you may walk through a few cars to get where you want to go. And the other point is you need to go downstairs to get on or off the train.
Can I Request A Room For The Best View?
This question comes up a lot on forums. A ticket agent cannot guarantee which way a room faces because sleeper cars run in either direction. Since they run in either direction, Amtrak may put sleeper cars together in whatever order they come into the yard.
The direction your room faces could be the luck of the draw; the onboard staff might be able to move you, but this is not guaranteed. For a different view, try the Sightseer Lounge, or for passengers on the City of New Orleans and Auto Train, try the Sleeper Lounge.
Booking An Amtrak Superliner Roomette
There are several ways to book a roomette, including staffed stations, Amtrak’s app or website, over the phone, or with a travel agent.
Booking on your own is simple, and booking multiple rooms for groups is possible, although roomettes are randomly assigned.
After making your reservations, Amtrak sends an email with your receipt and ticket.
The ticket shows your room assignment and can be found in the app if you booked with your Amtrak Guest Rewards Number.
If you and a travel companion share a roomette, make sure you book both travelers together on one ticket. If you search for two people, the price you see on the screen is the total for the trip.
Reasons to call Amtrak or visit a staffed station:
- If you are booking multiple rooms near each other
- Do you want a specific roomette, or don’t you like the assigned location of the roomette?
- For example, you have a lower-level room, and you want an upstairs room or vice versa.
Amtrak will try to fulfill these requests, but it is not always possible. It is best to book as soon as you are able.
How Much Do Roomettes Cost?
One of the most asked questions but not easy to answer because there are too many variables. Variables include the destination and starting point. Other factors include when you book and how many rooms are sold on the train, the higher the cost. The number of travelers in your party affects the price as well.
Amtrak Superliner Roomette: Packing List
There are a few things I pack to make my trip more enjoyable.
- Electronics (typically, there is no internet on the train)
- Extension cord
- Chargers and cables
- A tablet with downloaded entertainment can help buy time at night or if there is a delay.
- Here are some more ideas for entertainment on Amtrak.
- Snacks and drinks
- I usually use a small foldable bag that easily packs after consuming my snacks.
- Depending on the trip and snacks, I buy them for my trip in one direction and then replenish them at my destination for the journey.
- Many big stations, such as Chicago and LA, have shops that sell snacks, but you will pay more.
- A refillable water bottle is a handy way to stay hydrated and lower your travel footprint.
- When writing, you can bring your alcohol and consume it in your room.
- The conductors will remove you from the train if you get out of control, regardless of your destination.
- Sleeping and misc
- Eyeshades if you are super sensitive to light at night
- Earplugs, if you need them for a quieter night
- Sleep aides
Amtrak Superliner Roomette: Car Etiquette
Basic manners apply, but a few things I want to go over.
- Inside voices are essential; the walls are thin, so be mindful of your neighbors.
- If you don’t use headphones, keep your electronics at a low volume.
- Treat your car attendant with respect, there is only one for the whole car, and they try to help everyone the best that they can
- Tipping on Amtrak is not mandatory, but a great way to say thanks!
- Clean up after yourself in common areas for the betterment of your fellow passengers
My Experience With Roomettes
Roomettes are my happy place! I have enjoyed thousands of miles in these rooms with happiness. Being on a train helps me decompress, but roomettes are more so because I can shut the door, close the shades, and be in my little world.
Occasionally I didn’t get the best car attendant, but it was the exception to the rule.
I try to get a superliner roomette because of personal space, food, shower, and sleeping horizontally.
My favorite part of having a roomette is stretching out, watching the scenery go by, and listening to music without headphones (at a low volume).
Sometimes I will “watch” videos while rolling along, but often it is on just for background noise, or I watch the parts I like.
Your basic needs get covered with a sleeper once you are on board. Train now offers complimentary non-alcoholic beverages throughout your journey and a few adult beverages with dinner. If you want additional alcoholic drinks, you can purchase them at your expense from the cafe car.
You may also want to check out the 21 Questions on Amtrak Sleepers article.