In this excerpt from my Amtrak New York trip report (full video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvJjB5ySdCo), I try to give you the most detailed tour possible of an Amtrak Viewliner roomette. Overall, it’s an incredibly unique and private way to travel. I was fascinated by the amount of engineering and design work that must have gone into this coach. Every square inch serves a purpose. And as a lifelong air traveler, the Amtrak long distance product had me completely out of my element. A few notes from my experience:
-If you’re alone, sleep on the bottom bunk. It’s easier to control the temperature, easier to get in and out, and it seems to provide a smoother ride (perhaps the rocking of the train is exaggerated in the top bunk?).
-On that note, if you decide to split a roomette with someone… be careful who you decide to split it with. It’s lots of space for a single traveler, but this would be a tight fit with 2 people. And with the toilet in the room… yeah.
-The shared shower isn’t that great. Doable if you need it, but there’s little room to change and the water pressure/temperature is hard to control.
-Onboard meals are surprisingly good, but be prepared to be seated with total strangers unless there’s 4 people in your party. This can be lots of fun or somewhat awkward depending on who you’re seated with.
-You can’t lock your cabin door from the outside. Take valuables with you when you leave.
Please note – this is a VIEWLINER, not a Superliner (more common). Viewliners are single-level sleeper coaches only used on routes in/out of New York’s Penn Station. Though very similar to the Superliner roomettes, the Viewliners have extra windows up top and in-room toilets.
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