Jump to content

Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.


Sleeping in coach vs room for single overnight trip

  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#21 KmH



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,975 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
  • Interests:Astronomy, photography

Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:53 AM

On my last trip, 5 consecutive nights on an Amtrak long distance train, I did the first 2 nights in coach, a night in a sleeper, and then 2 more nights in coach.

I slept good enough to be sufficiently rested the entire trip.




I usually ride the California Zephyr OTM to DEN (DEN - OTM) in coach . I book a sleeper from DEN to SAC (SAC DEN).

Edited by KmH, 12 August 2017 - 10:57 AM.

California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.

#22 NorthShore



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 816 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:57 AM

I typically travel coach overnight. And, while a Roomette is certainly more comfortable (especially on a two night trip) coach is do-able to save on costs. Plus, I like the camaraderie which evolves among fellow travelers. But, admittedly, my sleep is usually sub par. If I manage to get two seats together to stretch out upon, that definitely helps. And I've slept in Superliner lounges.

#23 me_little_me



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,460 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

At our age (70s), sleeper is a must when overnighting.

#24 RSG


    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 410 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rocky Mountains USA
  • Interests:Travel, rail travel, libraries, current events

Posted 11 August 2017 - 03:57 PM

I will usually observe the 5 hour rule for a maximum in coach; I think that's a good line of demarcation. As with others, I can't sleep well in coach (if at all) and I don't sleep well on trains--or planes, for that matter--to begin with. So having sleeper accommodations is a must. Plus, when I'm ensconced in a roomette (or on very rare occasion, a bedroom & up), I feel like a bug in a cocoon. It's totally relaxing with just me and my thoughts. [Even more so, when I recline the seats as Amtrak Blue suggested, enabling me to put my feet up for stretches at a time.]
I concur with the "interesting people" comment regarding coach travel. On a trip from EMY to FMG a couple of years ago, I was in coach from DEN to FMG and I was panhandled by my seatmate. I couldn't have assisted him if I wanted to, as I didn't have any cash on me at that point, but it made for a slightly uncomfortable trip, even though short. It reminded me of why I travel in sleepers to begin with.

#25 Skyline


    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 248 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 August 2017 - 04:17 PM

When I was young and broke, riding on a 14-day $150 USA Railpass, it was coach coast-to-coast and everywhere in between. I survived. Some trips I even thrived! Those were the days of Heritage cars and Vista Domes!


Then the Railpass disappeared, and my income increased. But mostly, I got OLD. Coach is for hearty young people, and if I couldn't afford a sleeper at my age I'd stay off LD trains. With apologies to anyone of any age who has no choice.

#26 LookingGlassTie


    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 321 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth, VA

Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:08 PM

Well the next LD trip I anticipate taking will be to Orlando next year or a location TBD the following year.   Booking a roomette sounds better all the time.   :)


That doesn't mean I would NEVER again travel in coach on a LD train; just that I at least want to experience sleeping accommodations.     :)

"And you know that notion just crossed my mind............"

#27 Dakota 400

Dakota 400

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 492 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:17 PM

I have spent an overnight in a coach.  But, I prefer a sleeper.  On my recent EB trip, I was surprised that I slept both nights as well as I did.  Never awoke with the operations that take place at Spokane and I have done so in the past.


I like the Superliner Roomettes.  Cozy with just enough storage space for a 2 day trip.


The Viewliner Roomettes are OK as well.  But, as another poster mentioned, having the commode near where I'm sleeping is not a great situation.  And, having to use the facility when the bed is in position:  well, that is another issue!

#28 amamba



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,093 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Providence

Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:09 PM

I'm with Sarah - sleeper or I fly.

#29 Lonestar648



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,493 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:22 PM

Though difficult for me, I climb into the upper bunk on the VL, leaving the lower in day mode. I think the ride is better at night and I still have a window.

#30 Eric in East County

Eric in East County

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East San Diego County
  • Interests:Traveling onboard AMTRAK, monitoring railroad and police radio traffic, collecting and photographing vintage O-scale trains made by MARX

Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:59 PM

Having once spent a night in coach and another night in a roomette, we will accept nothing less than a bedroom for overnight trips. In fact, our departure and return dates are determined by the availably of bedrooms on the overnight trains we will be riding on.  (It is only after these bedroom reservations are confirmed that we make our hotel and rental car reservations.)  To be sure of getting bedrooms for the dates we want, we usually purchase our tickets at least four months prior to when we plan to leave.


Last summer, after traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago onboard the Southwest Chief, we were both asked by Amtrak to complete surveys about our travel experiences.  One of the questions asked was if we would still travel by train if bedrooms weren’t available.  We both answered NO.   ‘nuff said.

#31 SarahZ



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,297 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:06 PM

I have spent an overnight in a coach.  But, I prefer a sleeper.  On my recent EB trip, I was surprised that I slept both nights as well as I did.  Never awoke with the operations that take place at Spokane and I have done so in the past.


I always sleep better the second night, probably because I barely sleep during the first night. (I'm a night owl, so I have issues adjusting to "train hours".)


When I traveled from Chicago to Seattle a couple years ago, I woke up briefly during the operations at Spokane. My body must have registered Something Was Different. I noticed we weren't moving, checked to see where we were, and realized it was the long stop at Spokane. I tried to see what was happening, but I fell back asleep almost immediately and slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. :) 

Amtrak Miles: 48,312


Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine


Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro

#32 caravanman



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,172 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:24 AM

When I first began riding the Amtrak long distance trains, around 2004, I always got a double seat to myself to sleep in coach due to lack of passengers on all routes.

I did use the old "unlimited segment" 15 day railpasses for a couple of marathon Amtrak coach tours, each around 12,500 miles in coach over the 15 days.

I do like the folk one meets in coach, but the ability to lie flat is the main attraction of a roomette. Sadly, retired, the only place I can afford to lie flat on Amtrak now is the lounge floor, but it keeps me traveling. :D



#33 anumberone


    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 341 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:22 AM

If you can afford the room get a room, if you can't, let us know how it works out. Good luck!

Edited by anumberone, 12 August 2017 - 01:23 AM.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users