Amtrak Superliner Bedroom on Coast Starlight Review

Amtrak Superliner Bedroom on Coast Starlight Review

On Amtrak Superliner trains, there are five types of seating.  For those that want a seat, there is Coach and Business Class.  For those that want a private compartment, there is the Roomette, the Bedroom, and the Family Bedroom.  For my Coast Starlight trip from Los Angeles to Seattle I decided to book a Superliner Bedroom.  I also booked the Superliner Bedroom for my journey on the California Zephyr from San Francisco to Chicago.

Note: While this review is based on the Coast Starlight route, the Sleeper Cars are identical on most long distance Amtrak routes.

Each Superliner Sleeping Car has a total of 14 Roomettes (10 on upper level, 4 on lower level), 5 Bedrooms (all on upper level) and 1 Family Room and 1 handicap room (lower level).  In addition, there is one public toilet on the upper level and three toilets plus a shower on the lower level.

In addition, in the middle of each car is a coffee and juice station.

All five Bedrooms are on one side of the train.  A hallway runs along the side with doors to the compartments on one side and windows on the other.

The other half of the upper section of the car has Roomettes on each side of the hall.

I was in Bedroom E in the first Sleeping Car on the train.  This mean that there were two cars between me and the dining car which meant a longer walk for meals but also less traffic.  Bedroom E is closest to the stairs and nearly exactly in the middle of the train car.  The car starts with Bedroom A and works its way back to E in the middle.

Here is a graphic borrowed from the Amtrak website that gives an idea of the layout of the Bedroom.  The room is 6.5′ by 7.5′.

The door to the Bedroom is narrow but has a window taking up a good portion of it.  It can be locked from inside only.  A curtain can be drawn for privacy.

Just inside the door is a small coat closet with two hangers and not room for much else.

Across from that is the vanity with a small sink.  Like many airplane sinks, you must hold the lever down to get water.  There is a hot and cold lever, but my water was always cold (maybe I needed to let it run to get it warm).  The water pressure was extreme; any time I washed my hands the spray got my clothes and the door wet.

Below the sink was storage for garbage, toilet paper, soap and towels.

Against the opposite wall (and next to the closet) is a large bench seat that can easily seat 2+ people.  On it were a couple of pillows and a blanket.  The bench can fold out to a bed.  In addition, a second bed folds down from the wall above the bench seat.

Across from the bench is a single “captain” seat that faces backwards (at least in our train’s set up).

Behind the captain seat (the mirror in the photo above) is a door that can open into Bedroom D by the staff (think of it as adjoining hotel rooms).

In between the captain seat and the bench is a small table that can fold out.  It doesn’t lay very flat, I think it has been broken down over years of use.  On either side is a shallow cup holder.

The toilet/shower combo is accessed through a door next to the captain seat.  Inside is just enough room for the toilet.  The handheld shower head attaches to the side wall with controls next to the toilet paper.

Overall the shower is a cleaver set up.  A shower curtain pulls across the door and snaps in to place to prevent water from escaping into the room.  There is a hook on the door but behind the curtain to keep your towel dry.  The toilet paper is covered by a plastic door to keep it dry.  The water was warm and surprisingly good pressure.  There is not much room to move, but I was able to shower just fine.

Throughout the rest of the compartment there are plenty of hooks for towels and clothes, shelves, lights and one outlet by the door in addition to two by the sink (this placement seems terrible; I suppose originally meant for electric razors?).  The airflow is controlled by a lever in the air vent to moderate the volume of conditioned air coming into the room.  A dial allowed for temperature control.  I was surprised how chilly I was able to get my room.

At night the train agent converts the lower bunk into a double bed.  If two (or three) were traveling in the bedroom, the top can also be made up as a bed.

In addition to having a bed, bathroom and shower, those with a Bedroom booked (as well as Roomette) get all meals included in the dining car or delivered to your room.  You can read about the meal options and dining services and my review of the trip here.

Overall, having a Bedroom on the Superliner is a very comfortable experience.  I didn’t sleep great but more likely that was due to sleeping  a new environment.  It is definitely the best way to travel on train the US.  It is an old product that hasn’t been updated very much.  If you have the points or find a good cash deal, it is definitely worth booking.  And if you are traveling with a companion, the price is even more reasonable as the second person only needs to pay for the equivalent of a standard Coach ticket to join you in the room and for all meals.

Amtrak Coast Starlight Train LA to Seattle
Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge at Union Station in Los Angeles
Amtrak Superliner Bedroom on Coast Starlight Review
Dining on the Amtrak Coast Starlight

20 thoughts on “Amtrak Superliner Bedroom on Coast Starlight Review”

  1. Awesome review! Thank you so much. My husband can only sleep in a recliner so the information about the Captains seat was valuable to us! It looks like something he could adapt to. Just find something to put under his feet a bit to raise them.

    Reply
    • I believe for the bedroom they always put the cars on with the bedrooms facing the ocean. If you are looking at getting one of the roomettes, I’m not sure if there is a pattern for getting an ocean view room.

      Reply
      • Alan, unfortunately, you cannot predict the consist of the rooms. I’ve been on trains with the bedrooms facing the ocean and trains with the bedrooms facing inland. In fact, I’ve been on the train with 3 sleeper cars and 2 faced one direction and one another.
        Amtrak staff will say they never know how train will be assembled until it is ready to pull out.

        Reply
          • That is unfortunate that they don’t guarantee that the rooms will face the ocean. You would think they would take that into consideration. My wife and I are planning the trip but will be mega disappointed if the windows are facing inland.

          • I agree. This seems like a no-brainer. Just face all the cars so the rooms face the ocean. I would think this would be simple. Mine did face the ocean, so maybe though they don’t guarantee it, it is usually set up that way.

  2. Just returned home via the Southwest Chief. Had the smaller compartment. Great trip. Great service. Yummy food. We are seasoned train travelers, doing both coach and sleeper a few times. Nice handicap accomodations. Took handicap coach once. It is downstairs and private…12 chair recliners only and plenty of room. The attendant will also bring you meals if you need him….all in all we love going by train…

    Reply
  3. We went last year to Anaheim California but we took business class it was different but it was hard to sleep in the chair for my grandson that’s 14 I think I fell asleep in the business class that needs to make the chair longer it was uncomfortable but we seem to keep occupied this time we booked an track bedroom car from Seattle to Los Angeles California we’re going to mi to Disneyland again we’re where in bedroom c but we’re on the top floor I guess trying to find picture what it looks like I do like your blog it’s got three outlet that’s good and bring an extension cord my grandson has a portable PlayStation 4 case and TV so we need a plug-in for that I’m taking it DVD player and my DVD movies and I looked at some pictures it’s comfortable I just got to figure out where grandpa’s going to sit at and put the grandson but I might sit up against a closet with a pillow so I can use the plugin do they have a separate sightseeing car from the regular one that all the passenger use and do they have a lounge car on the top floor separate from the one they have on the bottom floor
    If you can please try to send me a picture of bedroom c

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading the post and for your comment. I don’t think I have any photos of Bedroom C but it should look nearly identical.

      There is a lounge car that has lots of windows to view the scenery. There is a cafe on the bottom of the car and seating on top.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for the amazing review! I was wondering about luggage and personal belongings. You said that the room only locks from the inside, so how do you secure personal belonging while you are in the dining or observation car?

    Reply
    • Honestly you can’t. What I would do is close the curtain before closing the door so no one could see in. I figured anyone looking to steal something would not risk going into a room if they weren’t sure it was unoccupied.

      Reply

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