frost-bitten on the SWC in July in NM, AZ, and CA

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Barb Stout, Jul 15, 2019.

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  1. Jul 15, 2019 #1

    Barb Stout

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    Barb Stout

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    Although I did prepare for intense AC on my latest trip with a long sweater with hood and an Amtrak blanket, I still got cold overnight on the Southwest Chief (coach, but they say it doesn't matter) in July in the southwest. I'm just curious at this point (because I know one needs to be like a boy scout-and there are a lot of them on the SWC-and be prepared for all eventualities), but is there a master control for the AC for the entire train or are there areas that are controlled separately?
     
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  2. Jul 15, 2019 #2

    Barb Stout

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    Barb Stout

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    I accidently came upon my seat mate in one of the bathrooms that had a lounge all curled up on the bench trying to find a non-tundra locale in which to sleep. She had not come prepared with winter gear.
     
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  3. Jul 15, 2019 #3

    zephyr17

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    Controls are per car and are not very precise. They can't be, the cars are steel cans with relatively little insulation compared to a building and can get heated up very very quickly in the desert sun.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2019 #4

    Sauve850

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    My travels are in bedrooms on long distance trains and have encountered full blast a/c. Cold. As suggested by others i have a pizza box top and tape the a/c vent shut. Always have long sleeve t shirts and a hoodie. I ask for extra blanket and that seems to work. Its not always that cold but best to be prepared. I have had the opposite (rare) also and traveled in oven like temps.
     
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  5. Jul 16, 2019 #5

    frequentflyer

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    Never understood the freezer like nights on Superliners, one would think the crew would turn up the temp for the evening even if the thermostat is not precise.
     
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  6. Jul 16, 2019 #6

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    Honestly, I would rather be too Cold on a Train than Ride in a Sweatbox like occurred on the Sunset in Arizona when the AC went out totally on our Train.

    It's amazing how one can Walk the Train and find such a difference from Car to Car, especially on Superliners.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2019 #7

    CAMISSY55

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    CAMISSY55

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    I was just on the #3 (CHI-LAX) last week and was pleasantly surprised how cool, and for me very comfortable, it was throughout the the trip.

    There was one exception. We stopped on a siding just before Lamy, NM to transfer an engine to the #4 train that had been having trouble since leaving LA. During the procedure, the power was off for about an hour and fifteen minutes. It didn’t take long for that “steel can” to begin to feel like a “Sweatbox!”

    So, I agree with Bob D, I’d much rather be too cold on the train (or anywhere for that matter) than to be hot.
     
  8. Jul 16, 2019 #8

    Barb Stout

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    Barb Stout

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    Yes, one can always put more clothes on (if you brought extra aboard), but taking off clothes will get you in some trouble.
     
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  9. Jul 16, 2019 #9

    Devil's Advocate

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    I've visited lots of thin mobile trailers in 110F weather with far more precise control than Amtrak's rubbish HVAC. They even had this thing called a "thermostat" which electrically modulated the output based on a predetermined target.

    This is why I no longer ride Amtrak in winter. Way too hot and no practical options to cool off.
     
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  10. Jul 16, 2019 #10

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

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    Fortunately, the sleeper car attendant MAY take requests to adjust the thermostat. Us senior citizens feel cold much more easily than the days of our youth. In coach, maybe the attendant will listen to shivering passengers.

    On the NEC, it's a different story. The set the HVAC to "mid winter arctic blizzard in the summer and 'mid summer Sahara noonday' in the winter. Of course, once the majority of passengers get off the train, those continuing on get frostbite or heat stroke.
     
  11. Jul 17, 2019 #11

    SarahZ

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    That's the problem. I've had many SCAs tell me they had multiple requests to turn the thermostat up because people couldn't be bothered to put on a sweater and use the spare blankets they offered.

    Meanwhile, those of us who are under the age of 65 were dying of heat stroke. :rolleyes:

    It is so much easier to warm up than it is to cool down. There is absolutely no escape from the heat; it's been absolutely stifling at times. Like DA, I can hardly tolerate Amtrak sleepers during the winter.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2019 #12

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

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    I definitely hear you on that one.

    40 years ago, my mom was comfortable at 65-70 degrees in her apartment. 20 years ago, in the middle of winter, she had the thermostat set to 82! When I'd visit, I'd have to strip down to my tee-shirt! Slowly, but surely, I'm becoming more like her and it seems like I keep the thermostat set one degree higher than the previous year...This summer, my A/C is set at 73...last year was 72. Maybe it's because I'm bald and my head gets cold more easily??

    I forgot to mention...right now, I'm on a 2 car 'shuttle' to Springfield (#474). It must be 80 in here! Almost as hot as Penn Station this afternoon!
     
  13. Jul 17, 2019 #13

    SarahZ

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    Strangely, my tolerance for heat has gone down as I've gotten older. I can't stand stuffy air, either. I have a small fan on my desk at work; I use it even in the winter.

    My friends who are bald (or shave their head) often wear knit caps even on warm days, so you may be onto something. I have the opposite problem - thick, long hair that feels like I'm wearing an afghan on my head. I keep a hair tie on me at all times so I can pull it into a twist and get it off my neck.
     
  14. Jul 17, 2019 #14

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    I was on the LSL in October last year and it was uncomfortably warm. I Should’ve packed a t-shirt and shorts.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2019 #15

    Skyline

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    We lose more heat from our bodies above the neck than anywhere else. A good knit cap is a great assist when it's cold.
     
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  16. Jul 17, 2019 #16

    CAMISSY55

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    CAMISSY55

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    Well put! I wanted to end my post with that idea and made a couple of attempts to do so. But, when I reread what I’d written, it sounded sort of crude/lewd. You said it without conjuring a scary image in my mind!
     
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