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Sleeping in coach/LSL coach seating


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#1 Guest_kendoggbyrd_*

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:14 PM

I can't afford a Bedroom this time around to my trip to NYC so I was going with coach.

But I've heard horror stories of rude people on their cell phones in the middle of the night, its too cold in coach, and too crowded, the seats on the trains are too uncomfortable, etc.

Can someone who has rode in coach please school me on a typical overnight trip in coach? 



#2 Maglev

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:31 PM

I took a cross-country trip in coach when I was a teenager, and recently rode the overnight train from Washington to Boston.  If you are sensitive to noise, lights, and physical discomfort, you will not have a good trip sitting up in coach overnight.

 

I find the temperatures on Amtrak to be generally comfortable.  It is a good idea to dress with layers so that one may adapt to the surrounding temperature. 


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#3 tomfuller

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:38 PM

If this is the Lake Shore Limited, pay the extra to ride in Business Class which is in the front section of the Cafe car. The seats are more comfortable and is in a 2+1 arrangement. You are less likely to have anyone talking on a cellphone. In the past 16 years I have slept many thousands of miles in coach. I carry a pillowcase in my carry on. If it is warm enough, I stuff my coat in the pillowcase to use as a pillow..

Last May, my wife and I rode Business Class from Chicago to Erie and Erie back to Chicago about 10 days later. I used my CPAP both ways and slept pretty well.



#4 KmH

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:43 PM

I sleep good enough in coach that I'm sufficiently rested the next day, even if I have a seatmate overnight.

I think a large part of it has to do with a person's attitude. Many convince themselves in advance there is no way sleeping in coach could work.

 

My last train trip I slept 2 consecutive nights in coach, had a Roomette for 1 night, and then slept 2 more consecutive nights in coach.

I had a neck pillow and a travel blanket with me and both definitely helped.

 

I've slept in way less comfortable circumstances from time to time. Like sitting to sleep on a narrow rock ledge 1800 feet up a cliff in Yosemite Valley during a snowstorm.

For warmth we each had a bivouac bag, a down jacket w/hood, and wool mittens.

You just tie an anchored rope around your waist so you don't fall to your death if somehow you fall off the ledge

  

I've never had trouble with people on their cell phones

No doubt, I sleep better in a sleeper.


Edited by KmH, 08 March 2018 - 03:44 PM.

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#5 zepherdude

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:56 PM

My sleep has been hit and miss. I take a pillow and small bankie. The seats are not that bad and have a good foot rest. One eventually falls asleep out of pure fatigue.


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#6 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:04 PM

Out of dozens of trips I cannot recall sleeping soundly in Amtrak coach even one single time.  When I was a child I was too excited to sleep and as an adult I'm too uncomfortable to sleep.


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#7 SarahZ

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:31 PM

If I can’t get/afford a room for a trip involving an overnight, I fly.

Coach is perfectly fine for day trips.
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#8 Rail Freak

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:44 PM

If I can’t get/afford a room for a trip involving an overnight, I fly.

Coach is perfectly fine for day trips.

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#9 Lonestar648

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:42 PM

I used to travel overnight sometimes in Coach, but my body can not tolerate over night coach anymore.  As a light sleeper, I brought something to cover my eyes, a sweatshirt for night since it seems to be colder at night ( I prefer colder to being too warm, one can always add clothes, but sweating makes the trip miserable). I have noise cancelling headphones I use to block sounds whether in coach or flying.  I also brought comfortable foot wear for night, seems you are more comfortable that way.



#10 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:01 PM

I have traveled overnight in Coach before, and I would only do it if it's a single overnight.   Otherwise, I would get a seat in Business Class or get a room (depending on what is available on a given train and what I can afford at the time).   

 

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#11 Sauve850

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:48 PM

I would not ride a train if I had to overnight in a coach car.


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#12 Dakota 400

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:40 PM

I have traveled overnight in Coach many years ago.  I survived.  Did I sleep?  No.  I dozed.  But, then, at my age then, that was OK.

 

Would I do it now as a Senior Citizen?  Not unless I had to do so and had no other choice.


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#13 bratkinson

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:58 PM

For me, the key to sleeping in coach is to not let my pillow/arm/shoulder 'slide down the gap' between the arm rest and the wall of the car.  I've learned to keep a couple of inflatable pillows I found on Amazon and stuff them down.  The gap is noticeably wider in 2/1 business class seating (4-5" as I recall), so it takes even more inflatables.  Then I have something 'solid' that my 'real' pillow (a roll-up, compressible one I found on Amazon) or my coat or anything else that works.  Using a winter coat as a blanket in the winter works well, otherwise, I have a compressible roll up blanket, too.  Obviously, getting an entire seat to oneself  works great as I can spread out a bit more. 

 

It also pays to have a piece of 'thin' card board or card stock and some tape to block off one or more overhead aisle lights from blinding you while trying to sleep.

 

But like Dakota 400 above, now that I've reached my 'golden years', I'll only ride overnight coach when I have to, such as riding train 66/67 or being 'reaccomodated' due to late arrival in Chicago from the western trains and only coach is available.



#14 caravanman

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 08:52 AM

My most recent visit to America was to celebrate my 65th birthday. I traveled around by Amtrak, sleeping in coach seats, or sometimes in the lounge. Like any situation, you may get an inconsiderate passenger nearby, or you may not. I don't sleep well sitting up anywhere, but I know that, and coach fare is what allows me to continue to travel by train. Most folk manage a few hours of sleep, some sleep well, some not at all.

To travel in coach for such a low fare, and then to moan about not having a bed of your own is just plain silly, in my opinion.

 

One persons "horror story" is the next persons mini adventure...

 

If you can view it as a mobile refugee camp, then your experiences will be better than anticipated, mostly!

 

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Edited by caravanman, 10 March 2018 - 08:55 AM.


#15 KmH

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 08:55 AM

If you can view it as a mobile refugee camp, then your experiences will be better than anticipated, mostly!
 
Ed.

You made me laugh out loud Ed.  :giggle:


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#16 AcrossTheOcean

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 06:35 AM

I have never traveled Amtrak, but I have done many overnight transatlantic flights in coach.  My tips for sleeping while sitting up on a plane/train are:

  1. If feasible depending on your departure time, get plenty of exercise the day you board.  If you are physically tired, you are more likely to fall asleep.
  2. Have something to block sound.  I usually put in ear buds and listen to a playlist of music I consider calming.
  3. Have something to block light.  I always bring a bandana with me (my abbreviated version of a Hitchhiker's Towel) and make it into a blindfold.
  4. Don't pressure yourself to fall asleep.  Be okay with "resting with your eyes closed." 

That usually gets me enough rest/sleep that I am at least able to function the day we land.


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#17 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:37 PM

Whether in the Sleeper or Coach at night, I take Melatonin to help me fall sleep.  I like this natural OTC med for trips when many times it is hard to sleep.


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#18 nshvlcat

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:55 PM

Whether in the Sleeper or Coach at night, I take Melatonin to help me fall sleep.  I like this natural OTC med for trips when many times it is hard to sleep.

Lonestar's suggestion is excellent. I ocassionally take a 5 mg tab of Melatonin for those sleepless nights.

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#19 Dakota 400

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 06:00 PM

I have never traveled Amtrak, but I have done many overnight transatlantic flights in coach.  My tips for sleeping while sitting up on a plane/train are:

  1. If feasible depending on your departure time, get plenty of exercise the day you board.  If you are physically tired, you are more likely to fall asleep.
  2. Have something to block sound.  I usually put in ear buds and listen to a playlist of music I consider calming.
  3. Have something to block light.  I always bring a bandana with me (my abbreviated version of a Hitchhiker's Towel) and make it into a blindfold.
  4. Don't pressure yourself to fall asleep.  Be okay with "resting with your eyes closed." 

That usually gets me enough rest/sleep that I am at least able to function the day we land.

 

 

I also find your #4 to be effective for me.  That is what I try to do:  rest with eyes closed.  Sometimes, it works!



#20 KmH

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:36 AM

Melatonin being given to children without parents knowledge at a child care facility was recently in the news.
That caused me to find out more about OTC melatonin.

Over the counter melatonin is available in both synthetic or so called natural form.
The label on the pill bottle should list the type. If it doesn't, ask the pharmacist to be sure.
Why?
'Natural' melatonin is made from the pineal gland of animals that could harbor a virus, so 'natural' melatonin is not recommended by most doctors.
 
Melatonin in pill form doesn't function like your body’s naturally produced melatonin.
It affects the brain in a burst and rapidly leaves the system, instead of the slow build up and slow build-down through the night provided by your body’s naturally produced.
According to research conducted at MIT, melatonin dosage should be 0.3-1.0 mg.
Most of the many OTC forms are quite high doses and there is some evidence that the OTC melatonin high doses are less effective.

In Europe, melatonin at very high doses has been used as a contraceptive.

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