Differences Between Superliner I and II Cars
Amtrak Superliner I Passenger Train Accommodations, including photographs
and detailed descriptions of seats, rooms, train cars and services.
Special Note: This page has not been updated for a few years. Several of both the Superliner I and Superliner II Cars have
been refurbished such that the differences described that were valid in the 1990's and early 2000's are no longer valid for
all cars since 2005.
There are only minor differences between Superliner I and Superliner II Cars.
Click here to go back to the Superliners page
if you want a full description of the Amtrak Superliners. On this page I
have only listed the differences between the Amtrak Superliner I and
Superliner II cars. I will list those differences here as I find them.
I'll place the most recent differences that I find at the top of the page so
you can find them easily if you have been to this page before.
The Superliner II Sleeping Cars are named after the 50 states in the
United States. Does that mean there are not more than 50 of the Superliner II
Sleeping Cars? The Superliner I Sleeping Cars do not have names.
Here are two items that I think were better in the Superliner I than in
the Superliner II cars. The curtain to each bedroom uses velcro strips to
hold the curtain closed. In the Superliner II, there are three 4 inch velcro
strips in the doorframe and a corresponding number of strips on the curtain.
Thus, you have to match up one with the other to keep the curtain closed.
In the Superliner I, there are still the three 4 inch velcro strips in the
doorframe, but there is one long strip of velcro on the curtain that goes
all the way from the top to bottom. Thus, you just need to touch any part
of the curtain to the doorframe to keep the curtain closed. You don't have
to match up the velcro strips with each other. Another difference where I
think the Superliner I design was better is the door to the upstairs
bathroom. In the Superliner I, the door opens into the bathroom. In the
Superliner II, the door opens out to the hallway. Actually, it opens out
to bump into anyone that has just filled his coffee cup at the refreshment
stand and is heading back to their room! I have a feeling the new design
was probably necessary to meet certain safety standards. I think there are
some new design rules that say a door has to open out from a room so that
one doesn't get stuck in the room by trying to push the door open in a
panic. It takes more brain power to realize you have to step back and open
the door into the room to get out than to just turn the handle and push
your way out. But, I bet there are more accidents of people opening that
door out to the hall and bumping it into people, especially people carrying
hot coffee from the refreshment center, than the number of people
convenienced by a door that opens out.
Toilets: The toilets on the Superliner I Rail Cars have a "FLUSH"
push button located on the right side of the sink. The Superliner II
Rail Cars have no flush button but rather flush automatically when
you close the lid on the toilet.
Closets in Economy Bedrooms: In the Superliner I Economy Bedroom,
there is a narrow closet. In the Superliner II Economy Bedroom, they
have kept the same amount of room, but have turned it into additional
hanging space in the main part of the bedroom itself. Thus, in the
Superliner I, you could "hide" more stuff out of the way, but had a
harder time squeezing the stuff into the closet. In the Superliner II,
it is easier to use the extra space, but what you place into it is more
out in the open than in the Superliner I.
So far, every Superliner II that I have been in has had a very well
coordinated blue interior with fabric seats. Every Superliner I that
I have been in seems to have the old color combination out of the
early 70's of beige/brown plastic seats and walls of green throughout
the train. Weren't these the "earthtones" that were so popular in the
I don't know if it is my imagination, but the Superliner II seems to
give a much smoother ride than the Superliner I. My guess would be
that the Superliner II has gone though some improvements in the way
that it is build that helps to provide a more smooth ride. It could
also be that the Superliner II is being used on routes where the tracks
have more recently been upgraded.
Other than the above, the differences between the Superliner I and
Superliner II seem to be minor and you can actually make a game out of
trying to discover the differences. They are not unlike the differences
that you might find an automobile goes through as minor changes are made
from the design of one year to the next.
I discovered the following differences on one of my trips from Los Angeles
to Orlando on the Sunset Limited: They seemed to have fixed the locations
of lighting in the Family Room. In the Superliner I, there is no
individual lighting for the opposing child seat nor for the upper child
sleeping bearth. From what I recall of the Superliner II, there seemed
to be an abundance of individual lighting, including for every individual
seat and every individual sleeping berth.
Special note added on Feb 25, 2002:
Amtrak has been in the process of refurbishing the Superliner I cars for the
last couple of years. As they refurbish each car, the fabric of the chairs is
replaced with the same color that is used in the Superliner II cars. Thus, you
can no longer tell if you are in a Superliner I or II just by the color of the
chairs! The surface material is also being replaced in the restrooms, hallways,
and the bottom of the beds. Sometimes it is replaced by the same grey color pattern
laminate that is used in Superliner II cars. Sometimes it is replace by a
corrogated vynl material. The sink basins in the restrooms are also being replaced
by a much deeper bowl. These new sink basins are great because the water from an
over-pressured faucet no longer splashes back out of the basin and onto your clothes.
There is also a grade to the counter top so that any water that gets onto the counter
flows back into the basin instead of remaining on the counter top. In some ways, these
refurbished Superliner I Cars are better than the newer Superliner II Cars.
Information from TrainWeb Reader Michael Hansen:
Hi steve, coming from a blind person, this may have some value on you're
superliner page of the trainweb website, or on any other page you think
it would work.
The first thing I noticed upon entering Superliner 2 car number 32006
the stairs leeding to the upstairs of the car. I had traveled on a
onboard The Texas Eagle, and the railings were much thinner then in this
car. Another thing worth noting is the walls. Instead of the carpited
material found in the superlinerI coaches and sleepers, this sleeper has
a smooth material on the wall, like found in the Reconditioned Herison
coaches. For some odd reason, I had the feeling that the sleeper cars,
yeah, the SuperlinerI and the SuperlinerII cars have more room on the
stairway then the superlinerII coach I traveled on on another trip on
Texas Eagle. In the delux sleeper, which I traveled in on my southbound
trip, one of the main things that I noticed is the toylets. There is no
flush button, the toylet autimaticly flushes after you close the lid.
Also, the sound is quite different, and it only goes for a few seconds,
ware as the superlinerI cars, be it coach, sleeper, lounge go for longer,
and sound different.
The wall when the bed is made up also feels different, as does the
with all the controls. In the superlinerI cars, the pannols are of a
very ferm, rubber feeling material. On the SuperlinerII cars, the
material is of a different rubber. There is not as much support in the
control pannol hear, and the rubbber material doesn't feel so hard.
Another difference, something I noticed on my way back, in a superlinerI
car, the handle that allows you to move the small light around is not
there in the superlinerII cars. I found this when exploring our
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