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A roomette designed for only one person?


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#1 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:21 AM

On a non AU forum the discussion of Amtrak roomettes came up and I related my experiences and explained with links about Superliner roomettes.

 

One man insisted that roomettes are designed for only one person, and when I pressed him on it he said he had been in a roomette designed for only one person in 1969 aboard a BN train from Chicago to Minneapolis.

Thusly, he insists roomettes are only built for a single passenger. 

 

Being the kind soul that I am, I politely reminded him that 1969 was almost 50 years ago.

 

Does anyone know if there was ever a roomette designed for only a single passenger?



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:10 PM

Yes Crabby, the Canadian still runs the Budd Sleepers with what they call "Cabins for One" but are Roomettes.

All the Class Is had Sleepers with these Roomettes,back in the Golden Days of Passenger Rail.

Slumber Coaches also had Roomettes for One and Two Passengers!
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#3 the_traveler

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:56 PM

Yes, slumbercoaches had "Single Slumbercoach" for 1 person and "Double Slumbercoach" for 2 people. In fact, my 1st experience in a sleeper was in the 70's on Amtrak (soon after they inherited cars from the other railroads) in a Single Slumbercoach.
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#4 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:49 PM

Does any one know how a 'slumbercoach room' would compare to a modern Amtrak roomette?



#5 railiner

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:54 PM

Does any one know how a 'slumbercoach room' would compare to a modern Amtrak roomette?

A double Slumbercoach room is very similar to a modern Amtrak 'Roomette' in some ways...The modern beds are a bit larger, but the Slumbercoach had its own toilet and sink within the room...I suppose the Viewliner's are more similar to them than the Superliner's...


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#6 railiner

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:59 PM

There was also a slightly larger single accommodation in the Pullman era known as a 'Duplex Single Room'...it was a crosswise oriented bedroom in the car, staggered either up or down with the adjacent room to save space...a relatively rare accommodation, as was the duplex roomette, slighty smaller than a roomette, but roomier than a single slumbercoach room...


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#7 ehbowen

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 05:34 PM

In the streamliner days a "roomette", whether standard or duplex, was an accommodation for a single traveler with a full twin-size bed and a private toilet and washbasin (the toiled dumped straight down on the tracks). Duplex roomettes squeezed a few more passengers into the space by staggering the roomettes upper-and-lower; in the example I am most familiar with (we have one at the Galveston RR museum collection) the berth for the upper roomettes folds down from behind the seat while the lower roomettes' berths are in large drawers which pull out from the front of the room.

 

When the Superliners first entered service in 1979 the present "roomette" accommodations were called, and sold as, "economy bedrooms". Later (early '90s, I think), the "economy" was dropped in an attempt to give these rooms more cachet and the present Bedrooms were sold as, "Deluxe Bedrooms". However, this quickly backfired. "Bedroom" was traditionally a term for a private room with a sofa by day and upper/lower berths by night, much like the present Bedrooms (although Superliner bedrooms would probably have been sold as "Compartments" in the streamliner days...one step up from the traditional Bedroom). Passengers who thought they were purchasing a Bedroom were shocked by the former economies, and those who paid extra for a "Deluxe" bedroom, possibly anticipating a real double bed and room to move around, were likewise disappointed.

 

Amtrak eventually adopted the old single room term of "roomette" for the former economy rooms and returned to the traditional usage of "Bedroom" for rooms A-E on the upper level. New travelers can still be shocked by how small the rooms really are, but the truth-in-advertising complaints seem to be muted.


Edited by ehbowen, 12 June 2017 - 05:35 PM.

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#8 railiner

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:57 PM

In the streamliner days a "roomette", whether standard or duplex, was an accommodation for a single traveler with a full twin-size bed and a private toilet and washbasin (the toiled dumped straight down on the tracks). Duplex roomettes squeezed a few more passengers into the space by staggering the roomettes upper-and-lower; in the example I am most familiar with (we have one at the Galveston RR museum collection) the berth for the upper roomettes folds down from behind the seat while the lower roomettes' berths are in large drawers which pull out from the front of the room.

 

When the Superliners first entered service in 1979 the present "roomette" accommodations were called, and sold as, "economy bedrooms". Later (early '90s, I think), the "economy" was dropped in an attempt to give these rooms more cachet and the present Bedrooms were sold as, "Deluxe Bedrooms". However, this quickly backfired. "Bedroom" was traditionally a term for a private room with a sofa by day and upper/lower berths by night, much like the present Bedrooms (although Superliner bedrooms would probably have been sold as "Compartments" in the streamliner days...one step up from the traditional Bedroom). Passengers who thought they were purchasing a Bedroom were shocked by the former economies, and those who paid extra for a "Deluxe" bedroom, possibly anticipating a real double bed and room to move around, were likewise disappointed.

 

Amtrak eventually adopted the old single room term of "roomette" for the former economy rooms and returned to the traditional usage of "Bedroom" for rooms A-E on the upper level. New travelers can still be shocked by how small the rooms really are, but the truth-in-advertising complaints seem to be muted.

An excellent clarification....


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