Riding backwards SEA to CHI

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by oregon pioneer, Jun 26, 2019.

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  1. Jun 26, 2019 #1

    oregon pioneer

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    My nephew is currently on the Empire Builder (#8 - 6/24) going from Seattle to Chicago. It was one of the last seats on a full train, and the only seat available was on the lower level. People on the train are saying there are more cars than normal in the consist.

    He is riding facing backwards. I asked him to check around, and see if all the cars are that way, or only his. He reported back that ONLY THE LOWER LEVEL COMPARTMENT IN HIS CAR has all the seats facing backwards -- the rest of the train, and the upper level in his car, are all facing forwards.

    Of course, I told him to spend more time in the SSL. He's enjoying the trip, and hoping to get to CHI close enough to on-time to spend a couple hours with his brother who lives there, before getting on the Cap Ltd.

    Has anyone else been on a Superliner car with their seats facing backwards? I have taken many trips on western trains, and I walk the train every time, and I have never seen this.
     
  2. Jun 26, 2019 #2

    Just-Thinking-51

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    The seats can be rotated, you might suggest he get a crew member to do this. Or since it a small amount of people on the lower level he could get them all to agree to rotate the seat themselves.
     
  3. Jun 26, 2019 #3

    Michigan Mom

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    Yeah this sounds like a good situation for taking things into one's own hands, with the others of course. :)
     
  4. Jun 26, 2019 #4

    oregon pioneer

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    He's not the kind to make any waves -- and with only one more day, I doubt he'll do it. But I will suggest it and see what he says.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2019 #5

    Seaboard92

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    I would have a crew member do the actual rotation from experience. In the past we’ve had someone on New River Train want their coach seat rotated and when they did it. They completely messed up the assembly under the seat which was quite the repair job. Best to let someone who knows the equipment to do it.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2019 #6

    oregon pioneer

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    Well, I am sure he won't do it because it would require organizing everyone in the downstairs compartment to get up and move their stuff, and he's just not a pushy person. I am just really surprised and disappointed that they let it go out that way.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2019 #7

    Bob Dylan

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    It's pretty common for the Lower Level seats on Superliners to be facing "Backwards".

    Whether due to Crew Laziness in the yards or aboard, in my expierence it's a 50/50 thing.

    I've seen the Upstairs seats turned around during the layover in San Antonio on the Cutout Coach due to switching from the Eagle to the Sunset before it heads out in a different direction of travel.

    Another frequent thing is half the seats facing in each direction on such Trains as the Pennsylvanian and the Heartland Flyer( which I'm riding this week to/from OKC).due to push/pull Operation and Switching Manuvers during the trip.

    I dont care for riding "backwards" myself ,so try to snag a seat facing in the direction of Travel .
     
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  8. Jun 26, 2019 #8

    oregon pioneer

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    This is what I suspected - crew laziness. I have just never seen it before myself. Nephew's ticket was specifically for lower level. He says he got two seats to spread out on last night, so good sleep. He's taken many a commuter train, so is used to riding backwards some of the time. Says he doesn't mind, he can always go to the SSL.
     
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  9. Jun 26, 2019 #9

    JRR

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    When two people are in a roomette, one of the two has to ride backwards. Initially I thought it was unpleasant but After riding backwards for awhile, I found that you can actually see the scenery better as it stays in view longer. Looking forward, by the time you can focus on something, it flies by.
     
  10. Jun 26, 2019 #10

    Rasputin

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    I have made a pact with family members whenever two of us are riding in a roomette. The person who is going to doze off during the day sits in the backward facing seat.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2019 #11

    Seaboard92

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    My theory to who sits backwards in a roomette and who gets the top bunk is. Whomever paid more gets the front facing seat and lower berth.
     
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  12. Jun 26, 2019 #12

    Dakota 400

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    I agree. That's been my experience.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2019 #13

    ehbowen

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    That's the tradition going back to the Pullman days...although when I share with one of my parents, they get lower berth!

    (I spent three years living in a coffin-sized berth aboard USS Missouri (BB-63). If I laid down, pointed my toes, and placed one hand above my head I would touch both ends at the same time. If I put both arms at my side, one arm would hang over the edge. If I bent my elbow and raised my arm, my elbow would touch the bottom of the berth above mine. To me, a Superliner upper is no hardship!)
     
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  14. Jun 26, 2019 #14

    bratkinson

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    Before Superliners and Viewliners, a 'standard' roomette consisted of a single, folds down from the wall, very comfortable and wide bed. When folded up, it became a single seat. Like todays Viewliners, the roomettes were configured so that the toilets and sinks above them were 'together' between rooms, ie, less than 2 feet apart. As a result, every other roomette on each side of the car had backwards facing seats. And as with todays Superliners and Viewliners, the bedrooms 'back up' to each other, placing the couch in every other room going backwards. But at least the bedrooms have a 'loose' chair so one can face forward, if desired. Or flip coins with your wife to decide who rides backwards. Oh, and the Family Room on Superliners faces one way or the other, depending on car orientation.
     
  15. Jun 26, 2019 #15

    Bob Dylan

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    A Tin Can and a Sub have even Less Room in the Racks but the Coffin Upper Bunk in a Superliner comes Close!!!
     
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  16. Jun 26, 2019 #16

    ehbowen

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    That's an unusual configuration. On all the classic roomette sleepers I've seen the roomettes were all configured so that they faced the same direction. Now, bedrooms and compartments were almost always back to back so that they could be sold combined as a 'bedroom suite' to traveling groups of three or four, but railroads normally spent the time and effort to turn coach seats, sleeper cars, and (where a suitable wye or reversing loop was available) even the entire train so that as many passengers as possible would face the direction of travel.
     
  17. Jun 27, 2019 #17

    zephyr17

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    Most streamline era sleeping cars had roomettes (single occupancy) facing the same direction. There may have been exceptions and I don't include slumbercoaches because I don't have much familiarity with them.

    An example today are the 1955 Budd-build Chateau and Manor series built for CP and run by VIA. Those cars have a definite orientation and the roomettes all face the same way.
     
  18. Jun 27, 2019 #18

    bratkinson

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    My memory must be fading faster than I think! I definitely remember riding backwards in 10-6 sleeper roomettes a fair number of times before the Viewliners displaced them. Probably I'm mixing back-to-back bedrooms with roomettes.

    Won't be long now, before I forget my name, too!
     
  19. Jun 27, 2019 #19

    ehbowen

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    If you're talking Amtrak before the Viewliner era, well, they may not have been as diligent as, say, Santa Fe or Union Pacific during the streamliner era. Also, the Broadway Limited, which operated with Heritage sleepers until the end, was hauled "backwards" from NYP to Philadelphia 30th street, and reversed there for the trip west to Pittsburgh and Chicago. (In the Pennsylvania Railroad days, through trains from New York to the west bypassed 30th Street; the Philadelphia stop was made at North Philadelphia, just north of the very complex Zoo interlocking, and the trains took the Pittsburgh Subway directly to Harrisburg and points west.)
     
  20. Jun 27, 2019 #20

    OBS

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    All the 10-6's I worked had all roomettes facing same way.
     
  21. Jun 27, 2019 #21

    cocojacoby

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    You better get used to it. Seems like the wave of the future. Amtrak's new Acelas are going to have permanent seats with half facing rearward. So how about riding backwards at 160 mph!

    Personally hate this new trend and hope somebody wakes up before it's too late but I'm sure the writing is on the wall.
     
  22. Jun 27, 2019 #22

    caravanman

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    As far as I can remember, the lower level coach seats always face towards the entry door. It would be very odd to have seats face a blank wall? The only way to turn those lower level seats would be to physically turn the whole coach, it seems to me?
     
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  23. Jun 27, 2019 #23

    Seaboard92

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    Back in the day cars used to be oriented fairly consistently. For instance the vestibule would run forward so the rear never had an open platform. It wasn’t a rule but it was fairly customary.
     
  24. Jun 27, 2019 #24

    AutoTrDvr

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    I feel for your relative. I always need to face forward when traveling or it affects my equilibrium. When riding the Autotrain, I always tried to make sure the full bedrom I'd hire would have the couch facing forward, as those small seats that face the opposite direction were just way too uncomfortable. I was lucky in that the orientation of the cars was pretty predictable for the Auto Train. Not so much for other Superliner consists. I'll have to hope it just works out that way if I choose to travel with them. One option would be to go for a roomette (which has equivalent couches facing both ways), but it is smaller and the Superliner roomettes have no private bathroom.

    When awaiting seating in the diner car, I might often have to let people go ahead of me in order to get a seat that faces the direction of travel.

    Ah well.
     
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  25. Jun 27, 2019 #25

    ScouseAndy

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    It seems to be very American and Japanese thing to have an inherant issue with riding backwards. I once spent 5 days traveling backwards in Russia none stop as did 50% of all passengers and in the UK and most of Europe seats are fixed in one direction. Japan and USA are the only 2 countries which come toind with rotating seats
     
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