Jump to content




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

Taking Amtrak in the Winter


21 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_kendoggbyrd_*

Guest_kendoggbyrd_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 September 2017 - 01:01 AM

I'm booked on a Amtrak trip from Chi to Wash in December in Superliner roomettes.

I've never taken Amtrak in the winter. Is there things I should know? Are the rooms warm? Is heating a problem? Should I bring an extra blanket?

Any special sleepwear you recommend? 



#2 Rail Freak

Rail Freak

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,502 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Interests:Experiencing the country by RAIL!!!
    U.S. & Native American History

Posted 04 September 2017 - 04:17 AM

A few years ago, I flew to Denver for a winter trip ( Feb 22 ) to see snow (I'm from Florida). During the trip (DEN - SAC - PDX - CHI - WAS - STP) , all was GOOD!!! Comfortable & Beautiful. Wishing you the same!

Have Fun


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#3 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:59 PM

I have made at least 100 winter trips in both Superliner and in Viewliner.  Both are very comfortable with the heat adjustable.  Never needed an extra blanket and wore the thing I wear at night Summer or Winter.  I have been very comfortable in my room, watching it snow outside, was great.  Love seeing it snow, with an inch or so outlining everything, especially on the trees.  Just after Connelsville, the train follows the river along some areas with lots of rapids, beautiful in the winter, even better during peak Fall foliage. 


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                 Coast Starlight                          
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 211,000


#4 oregon pioneer

oregon pioneer

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,750 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Seneca, Oregon
  • Interests:Cross-country skiing, forestry, botany, solar power, gardening and food!

Posted 04 September 2017 - 03:16 PM

I don't have the free time to travel in summer, so I take all my Amtrak trips between mid-November and mid-March. I am in eastern Oregon, so the closest trains to me are the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, and Coast Starlight. There is usually snow at least somewhere on my trip, sometimes the entire thing! I find the cars to be plenty warm. Though I take a  fleece throw as an extra blanket, I use it way more at my sister's house in Boston than I do on the train, LOL!

 

If you want an extra blanket, the SCA (sleeper car attendant) will get one for you, but you have to think of it before they take their nighttime rest..They have to be awake for certain stations in the night, so at some point they disappear to catch as much sleep as they can. It's best to check early with them about putting the bed down and anything else you need. They are supposed to check with you, but not all do.

 

I wear a long dark plaid flannel nightie, which covers me like a tent. It can occasionally be too warm in the roomette, and as others have said, the heat is adjustable (assuming the controls have been refurbished, not always the case).


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#5 Dakota 400

Dakota 400

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 382 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 September 2017 - 06:10 PM

I have not had as much experience as others on this Forum for Winter Amtrak travel.  But, just wearing my usual long sleeve, long pants PJ, non-flannel type, perfectly comfy during my trips.  As "thin" as the Amtrak-supplied blanket first appears, I found it to do an excellent job of helping me keep warm.  (This Summer on the EB, too warm, at times. with a shorty PJ.)



#6 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,024 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 04 September 2017 - 06:31 PM

I'm always too warm when traveling during the winter, despite the "adjustable" heat controls. The car itself is always too warm, so even if you turn the heat "off" in your room, it doesn't do much good.

 

My trick is to sleep with the door open but the curtain closed. (The curtains have velcro attachments along the door frame, so nobody can peek in unless they un-velcro the curtain, which would wake me up.) This allows the air to circulate better, and the room doesn't feel so hot and stuffy. I sleep in pajama shorts and a tank top. If I need to get up during the night, I just throw on a sweatshirt.

 

Now, keep in mind I can't sleep in a warm room, so take my feedback with a grain of salt. While the "normal" house temperature of 72 may be comfortable for some, it's too warm for me. I keep my heat set at 68 during the winter and turn it down to 64 at night. The cars generally feel like they hover between 72 and 75, which is perfect for those who like feeling like lizards. :) 

 

I also like fresh air when I sleep, so I bring a little travel fan with me. At home, I sleep with my bedroom window cracked, even during the winter. Having a travel fan is the next best thing.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

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


#7 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Америка
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:40 PM

I have made at least 100 winter trips in both Superliner and in Viewliner. Both are very comfortable with the heat adjustable. Never needed an extra blanket and wore the thing I wear at night Summer or Winter. I have been very comfortable in my room, watching it snow outside, was great. Love seeing it snow, with an inch or so outlining everything, especially on the trees. Just after Connelsville, the train follows the river along some areas with lots of rapids, beautiful in the winter, even better during peak Fall foliage.


That sounds great. Except that it leaves out half the story. The only (sometimes) functional temperature option in the room is to add even more heat. You cannot remove too much heat or add cold air, at least not in any practical sense. If the SCA has set the car's heat too high there is nothing you can do other than beg and plead with them to please turn it down. If they refuse you have no other practical recourse. None. Nada. In the past you could go grab some ice and either eat it or throw it in a bag to cool off whenever you wanted it, even in the middle of the night when you just want to sleep, but not anymore.


 

I'm always too warm when traveling during the winter, despite the "adjustable" heat controls. The car itself is always too warm, so even if you turn the heat "off" in your room, it doesn't do much good.


I wouldn't say it's always too warm, at least for me, but on those occasions when it is I dread having to explain the problem to the SCA. If they were able to comprehend the issue they wouldn't have set it too warm in the first place. Each room has the option for extra heat and for bundling up, so there is no need to set the whole car to sauna or to argue with those who calmly and politely ask for a more reasonable setting.

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 04 September 2017 - 07:44 PM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#8 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,024 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:51 PM

I wouldn't say it's always too warm, at least for me, but on those occasions when it is I dread having to explain the problem to the SCA. If they were able to comprehend the issue they wouldn't have set it too warm in the first place. Each room has the option for extra heat and for bundling up, so there is no need to set the whole car to sauna or to argue with those who calmly and politely ask for a more reasonable setting.

 

You're from Texas. Your default heat tolerance is likely much higher. ;) 


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

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


#9 Dave Van

Dave Van

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 163 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hills of West Virginia

Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:47 AM

JAN 2015 the SWC lead loco failed when the fuel 'jelled' and had to be replaced. This after we left Chicago late due to water frozen aboard the cars. We ended up 7+ hours late in LA. 

Things happen at all times of the year.....just different per season.

I always travel with my own blanket. 


25000+ miles on Amtrak to So Cal.....

Read about my trips.......

http://www.currtail.com


#10 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Америка
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:12 AM

 

I wouldn't say it's always too warm, at least for me, but on those occasions when it is I dread having to explain the problem to the SCA. If they were able to comprehend the issue they wouldn't have set it too warm in the first place. Each room has the option for extra heat and for bundling up, so there is no need to set the whole car to sauna or to argue with those who calmly and politely ask for a more reasonable setting.

You're from Texas. Your default heat tolerance is likely much higher. ;)

 


Texas is all about extremes. If it's 100F with 90% humidity outside it'll be 65F at 20% inside. Which would make you think that we like it cold. But in the winter we reverse everything so that when it's cold outside it's like a sauna inside. I have no idea why that is but I know it's been like that since long before I came here.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#11 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,026 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

Good post Chris!😎

You shoulda been here before we had A.C. in the Summer!😥
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#12 me_little_me

me_little_me

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,291 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 September 2017 - 04:22 PM

Zephyr goes through Donner Pass. So no problem with Amtrak running out of food! :giggle:



#13 Maglev

Maglev

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 208 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orcas Island, Washington
  • Interests:Trains, environmental science, planetary volcanism.

Posted 05 September 2017 - 04:30 PM

 

I always travel with my own blanket. 

 

I set out with a blanket on my cross-country journey in January, but ditched it in Minnesota after two nights on the Empire Builder (in favor of carrying a pair of boots for possible use in New York City because snow was forecast for when I was there).  I did not feel that the blanket was necessary, but the other item in my duffel bag was a pillow and in the future I'll try to bring two of those.  The two pillows provided in Superliner roomettes are not sufficient to comfortably sit up in bed at night.


Northeast corridor Heritage, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 

#14 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,026 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:42 PM

[quote name="me_little_me" post="723189" timestamp="1504646537"]

Zephyr goes through Donner Pass. So no problem with Amtrak running out of food! :giggle:[/quote]
ROTFLMAO!😂
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#15 Dakota 400

Dakota 400

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 382 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:15 PM

Maglev's comment about two pillows in the Superliner Roomette not being adequate for sitting in bed during the night.  I agree.  That makes me wonder:  does the SCA have additional pillows that can be issued without taking them from other accommodations?



#16 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,024 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:27 PM

The two pillows provided in Superliner roomettes are not sufficient to comfortably sit up in bed at night.

 

 

Nope. Plus, the back of the "chair" kind of gets in the way and pushes my head and neck into a weird angle. I usually just slide down a bit farther and put my backpack (stuffed with a sweatshirt) under the pillows.

 

Someone on AU taught me a nifty trick for daytime, though. If you put one of the chairs in "bed" mode and then recline the other, you end up with sort of a chaise lounge. The angle is perfect; I use the two pillows as back support. 


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

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


#17 KmH

KmH

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
  • Interests:Astronomy, photography

Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:37 AM

I didn't know roomette seats have a recline feature.

Or is the recline just putting the seat part way down towards bed mode?


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#18 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,024 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:18 PM

I didn't know roomette seats have a recline feature.
Or is the recline just putting the seat part way down towards bed mode?


Right. There's a notch or two before "bed mode".

Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

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


#19 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Америка
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 06 September 2017 - 01:33 PM

It's unclear to me if the roomette seats were intended to stop for extended periods between seat and bed mode, but regardless of the original design it seems to work if you fiddle with it a bit.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#20 Mystic River Dragon

Mystic River Dragon

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,241 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 06 September 2017 - 02:36 PM

About the pillows--if you're traveling by yourself, just ask the SCA for an extra pillow. They will just pull out the pillow (two if they're really nice about it) from where the other person's bedding would be if there were two of you.





Reply to this topic



  

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users