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Lower level vs. upper level on EB

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#1 Guest_SeanH_*

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:20 PM

Just wondering if there are any differences comfort / noise wise between upper and lower level travel on the Empire Builder. Looking at travel towards the end of May and the $550 (est.) roomette is a bit out of price range. Any input appreciated.

#2 Acela150



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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:23 PM

Upper and Lower level coach is pretty much the same... IMO. I don't know much about the Superliner equipment as I live on the East Coast and don't travel on the AT or CL much. I've only been in coach on the Superliners once and that was back in 2000. Sat on the Upper Level on the CS. The other times it's been in Sleepers...
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#3 The Cardinal

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:30 PM

Just wondering if there are any differences comfort / noise wise between upper and lower level travel on the Empire Builder. Looking at travel towards the end of May and the $550 (est.) roomette is a bit out of price range. Any input appreciated.

If you are traveling on the Empire Builder and will be on there for more than one night, then by all means get a lower level seat. You will actually be able to get a decent nights sleep down there.

#4 dan72


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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:25 PM

When I have been on the EB over the past couple of years, it seems many times, lower level coach seats facing backwards - sometimes half the seats, sometimes all of them. If you don't mind riding backwards, then as others mentioned you would get a pretty good night's sleep down there.

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:36 PM

and you can always go to the SSL to enjoy the day ride...... :P
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#6 SP&S


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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:12 AM

A diagram of the Superliner cars, including the coach car may be found here. As you can see, the downstairs area is a small room which, depending upon the other passengers there, could be a good or a bad thing. I don't know if the passenger mix would be different, although this would be the place where you'd find those who would have trouble negotiating the stairs. The seats and the pitch are the same. Being closer to the trucks it would be a bit noisier but for the same reason there would be less side to side pitching. The view would be not quite as good. Somehow or other it's always looked like a backwater to me. Given my druthers, I'd rather be upstairs.

#7 TraneMan



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Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:21 AM

I'd think the lower area is abit louder since I noticed it when I was down there to use the restroom.

I think the lower level would allow you to sleep since there no foot traffic going by you, and think it is a great area if you are traveling with a group of friends.

Amtrak Train travel: Empire Builder = 1677; Silver Meteor = 668; Capital Limited = 780; Hiawatha Service = 172; Cascade = 312; Lincoln Service= 640; Southwest Chief = 2,265;  Total = 21,514

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#8 Railroad Bill

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:07 PM

We usually ride in the lower level seats on the Capitol Ltd from CLE to CHI (or sometimes only to TOL if we are riding with AGR points). :P

It is much quieter than the top floor with no thru traffic. There are only a few seats there and sometimes there are several people with physical handicaps (which this section is reserved for by some conductors) As long as the door between the seating area and the outer deck with restrooms and exit doors remains closed, it is a nice quiet ride. There seemed to be an older passenger group there and the expectations are that it stay quiet, at least at night. :)

But if I were on the EB and traveling coach across the country I might prefer the upper deck since the view is a bit better in my opinion. And of course, as mentioned above, I would be in the lounge car looking out both sides on that trip :D

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#9 PA Traveler

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:24 PM

We've done coach on the CL to DC and back from Pittsburgh and had upper both times. We were in the last car close to the back, and we thought it was fine both ways. I did see the lower level room and had to step into there for few minutes. That's a scenic ride, so I would always go for the upper level. But even in the sleeper from Pittsburgh-Chicago-Seattle, I prefer the upper level. I'm more interested in the scenery and it's better there, I think. Hubby is also a little claustrophobic and the lower level bothered him. But then, when we were on the lower level, hubby got to step out at a longer stop and clean the window! :lol:

On the EB both on the way to Seattle and on the way back to Pittsburgh, the observation car was always packed, so we spent all our time in the roomette. On the trip to DC, which I think is more scenic, we spent both days in the observation car and it was never full.

#10 gregoryla


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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:04 PM

My experience on the EB is only in the roomettes, but I've been both upper and lower and did not notice any real difference in noise or ride. View is better from upper level, but I usually ended up in the lounge car anyways for the scenic parts (and there is spectacular scenery!).

#11 Everydaymatters



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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:32 AM

I've been in both upper and lower level coach from Chicago to Seattle. As stated above, the lower level is sometimes used mainly by the elderly and those with walking difficulties.

The upper level has much, much better views. On the last trip I actually saw two moose (what's the plural for moose?) when I was on the upper level. I'd never seen them in the wild before. Great views from the upper level.

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#12 Bierboy



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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:12 AM

... On the last trip I actually saw two moose (what's the plural for moose?)...

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