Amtrak Superliner Toilets & Showers
Amtrak Superliner Passenger Train Accommodations, including photographs and
detailed descriptions of seats, rooms, train cars and services.
Are there enough restrooms in the Amtrak Superliner Sleeper Cars?
You bet there are! But, you've got to learn a little secret.... The
ones downstairs are almost always empty!
The Superliner Sleeper Cars are configured with 10 Economy Bedrooms
(renamed to "Standard Bedrooms") and 5 Deluxe Bedrooms on the upper level
plus 4 more Economy Bedrooms, 1 Family Bedroom and 1 Handicapped Bedroom
downstairs. The 5 Deluxe Bedrooms, numbered "A" through "E" each have their
own combination toilet/shower. The 10 Economy Bedrooms on the upper level
are numbered 1 through 10 with Room 1 being the Car Attendants room and
closest to the center of the car. Room 10 is nearest the end of the
car and the door that goes to the next car. Downstairs, the Economy Bedrooms
are numbered 11 through 14. The Family Room is numbered 15, but is also
called "Room F". The Handicapped Bedroom is called "Room H".
ach Economy Bedroom can hold up to 2 people which theoretically means that up
to 28 people from those rooms, up to 5 from the Family Room, and up to 2 from
the Handicapped Room for a total of 35 people compete for the same 4
toilets and 1 shower. Don't panic! This isn't as bad as it seems. First,
seldom is every room booked, and even when they are all booked, most rooms
are have less than maximum occupancy. Also, a large portion of those
travelers will not be on the train long enough to need to take a shower on
the train and several others just avoid using the shower on the train.
As far as the bathrooms are concerned, in over 50,000 miles of travel over
2 years, only once was I not able to immediately walk into one of the
4 toilets in my Superliner Sleeping Car. Even then, the wait was less than
Only one toilet has been placed on the upper level for the use of these 10
Economy Bedrooms. As long as that toilet in unoccupied, that is the one
that everyone uses. The secret is that 3 more toilets are located on the
lower level, but there are only 4 Economy Bedrooms and 1 Family Bedroom
on that lower level. Most people on the upper level don't realize this and
usually just wait for the toilet on the upper level to become vacant when
they are in need of this facility. Thus, the secret is that you can almost
always find one or more toilets empty on the lower level of any Superliner
Sleeper Car! One of the rooms on that lower level is also a combination
shower and dressing room.
A quick note about the Superliner toilets that frustrate some people
the first time they use one: you won't find any handle or button to flush
the toilet! Don't bother looking for one. Just close the lid to the
toilet and it will automatically flush. As with everything to do with
trains, you will find an electronic signaling system to tell you when to
go and when to stop. It really isn't as weird as I just made it sound.
When the red light is off, the toilet is ready to be used. When you close
the lid, the toilet flushes and a red light comes on and remains on until
the toilet is ready for use again. This takes less than a minute. If the
red light starts flashing, the the toilet has become stuck and you better
go get the car attendant. One stuck toilet unattended can stop the plumbing
from working throughout the entire Sleeper Car!
I've owned my own boat with similar toilets to those on Amtrak trains. The
important thing to remember is that the toilet was only designed to accept
human waste and a very limited amount of toilet paper. Anything else or
even an excessive amount of toilet paper can easily jam the toilet. What
you flush is actually stored on the train until a specific stop where the
tanks will be emptied. On trains older than the SuperLiner, what you
flushed was actually dumped onto the tracks! Thus, for curtosy to people
waiting in train stations it was common practice to not flush in the
stations nor anywhere that men where workin on the tracks! The SuperLiners
do not dump on the tracks so it is ok to flush their toilets anywhere.
A little side note about a difference between the original SuperLiner car
and the newer SuperLiner II cars. The older SuperLiner car does appear to
have a "FLUSH" button for the toilets. It is located on the right side
of the sink cabinet and is not hard to find if you are sitting down.
Taking a shower on the train is certainly a unique experience!
Amtrak recommends that you take your shower sitting down, but you certainly
can do so standing up with little fear of having anywhere to fall! The
instructions tell you to push the button and water will flow out the shower
head for 20 seconds. During this first 20 second burst, the instructions
tell you to adjust the water temperature to the desired level. Well, I
gave it a shot and things didn't seem to work exactly according to the
directions. A push of the button did start the water and I was able to
adjust the water temperature. But ... the water did not stop after 20
seconds. At that point I was in fear that I would have to run down the
hall stark naked to get a Car Attendant before all the water in that
Sleeping Car was gone! I saved myself that embarassment when I discovered
an "OFF" position on the "Warm/Cold" adjustment. I was able to turn the
water off, but I still haven't gotten the hang of it. It seems to me
that "Warm" is synonymous with "Low Pressure" and "Cold" with "High
Pressure". Maybe it is intentional on the part of Amtrak that you can get
Cold water to pour out fast while Warm water will only pour out slowly.
I'll have to examine this matter further on future trips.
When I do occassionaly travel in the Deluxe Sleeping Accomodation, I
definitely appreciate the fact that I have a private toilet, shower and
sink to myself and don't have to worry if anyone is standing outside the
door waiting to use the shower. Though, as mentioned above, you really
don't have to worry about anyone waiting to use the toilet except maybe
for the one and only toilet that is on the upper level of each sleeping
Personally, I did not mind using the toilets, sinks and showers on the
train once I became familiar with them. They were always very clean
and stocked with paper towels and other supplies. Your Car Attendant
also makes sure you have plenty of towels, face cloths, soap, shampoo,
tissues and other ammenities in your private sleeping accomodation before
you ever step into it! You will also find mirrors and electric outlets for
use of shavers in both the restrooms and your private sleeping accomodations.
They do warn you, however, that these outlets are for shavers only. I don't
know if they have the amperage to support a hair dryer and the warnings seem
to be recommending against it.
Please select one of the following:
Photographs of the toilets & showers.
Superliner Sleeper Page
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