Amtrak Roomette, Bedrooms, and Seat Compared
In this video, you'll see each one, including the pros and cons of each option, and if you stick around to the end, I’ll even show you how much they all cost!
In this Guide to Amtrak, you’ll see the differences between Amtrak’s Coach and Private Rooms. You’ll get a sense of each of the five types of Private Rooms offered by Amtrak: Amtrak Roomette, Amtrak Bedroom, Amtrak Family Bedroom, Amtrak Bedroom Suite, and Amtrak Accessible Bedrooms.
You’ll see the pros and cons of each option and even see how much you might have to pay for each option on Amtrak.
I’ll share what you get when you travel on Amtrak, no matter what kind of ticket you booked as well as what comes with each step “up” in price and accommodation level.
Whether you want a Coach Seat, Amtrak Roomette, Amtrak Bedroom, Amtrak Family Bedroom, or something else, this video will help you narrow down the right choice for you.
For even more about an Amtrak Roomette, check out this video about the Amtrak Cardinal:
For even more about an Amtrak Family Bedroom, check out this video about the Southwest Chief:
For even more about an Amtrak Bedroom, check out this video about the Empire Builder:
And, while you’re at it, why not watch this video about the California Zephyr:
Or, this one where a plane and train compete to see which is faster:
Or, here’s one about Amtrak’s Acela:
Awww, shucks…why not just watch this playlist of train videos!
2:35 Amtrak Coach Seat
4:13 Amtrak Roomette
5:35 Amtrak Bedroom
6:30 Amtrak Bedroom Suites
7:06 Amtrak Family Bedroom
8:05 Amtrak Accessible Bedroom
8:39 Wrap Up
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Way Back When (Instrumental Version) – Gamma Skies
Lagom – Ooyy
Golden Crates – Dusty Decks
Burth Within Sight – Dylan Sitts
Mad Zach – Smartface
Let Me Know in Time – Tomas Skyldeberg
All Comments (21)
I work for Amtrak, great job to have! I have a few tips for travel on my trains. If you can always get a bedroom! They are the best on the train. Try to avoid room E though, it’s the smallest. If you travel by coach try to go business class! Better seats by far. In a bedroom, after using the toilet rinse it out with the shower. The toilets are vacuum operated so don’t flush anything but bodily waste and toilet paper!! That goes for all of them btw. We’ve upgraded the blankets and pillows! They are much nicer now. Bring snacks too. By all means enjoy a meal on the diner, but snacks are a must. Enjoy the ride and know there are guys like me doing everything we can to make your trip safe and comfortable.
My brother and I shared a bedroom accomodation from Chicago to Los Angeles back in the summer of 2010. It was a great trip, since we traveled through so many states the scenery was always changing. I took the upper berth and slept like a baby. My brother took the lower berth and didn't sleep well either of the two nights we were on the train. He joked with me both mornings that as he sat up and looked out the window at 3am he could hear me snoring! My brother passed away in 2019 but i'm so glad we got a chance to take that trip together.
I just want to say it's awesome Jeb is mixing in trains with his flight adventures. If you see this Jeb, the train community thanks you!!!
Love me some Amtrak!!
One thing to remember about sleeper cars - for the price you pay, you are getting gas, food and lodging plus personal service from your car attendants. Yes, it's a bit spendy, but I think the money is better spent on a train than a sardine can of a jumbo jet. You might (MIGHT) get there faster by jet, but you won't have to take your shoes off, get scanned or wanded, fight over an armrest, and you will probably be a lot happier and more relaxed when you arrive.
I have traveled in a bedroom suite with my two kids ages 10 and 16 at the time. We went on the Sunset Limited in 2002, before hurricane Katrina took out the tracks, and so were able to travel from LA to Orlando. Three nights on the train! The food was great and two bathrooms a real plus. It was the trip of a lifetime.
A nice, succinct summary. Of course, a lot also depends on how long you're going to be on the train. If one is traveling overnight or for a longer distance, a sleeper is probably the way to go. As I've gotten older, I've gotten to the point where I don't mind paying a bit more for added comfort on a longer trip.
What I learned: The stand alone showers on the superliners are wider than the ones in the bedrooms; the ones in the bedrooms taper narrower from front to back, so you can get 'stuck' in the little shower. So I always shower in the 'public' showers. The fold away bed in the bedroom, well, the seats slope towards the floor, so I always felt like I was sliding off the seat, and couldn't lay down on the long seat at all. And the regular chair was bolted to the floor, so I had no legroom trying to use that. For a single traveler, the roomette was perfect; I'm six foot four, and there's room enough for me to stretch out when lying down on the 'bed', and the seats were quite comfortable, and will sliightly recline as well. there is very little leg room between the opposing seats in the roomettes, but traveling alone, there is plenty of room for one person; two would be cramped. I would often use the opposing seat as an ottoman. The food was surprisingly good, but the snack bar food was mediocre, horrible hot dogs and hamburgers and bland breakfast sandwiches, all of which had to be microwaved. So I stuck to the snack cakes and candy from there. As I have severe arthritis, I would send the car attendant to the snack bar for me once a day, to collect everything I would need throughout the day, as on superliners I would have to climb up and down two sets of narrow stairs TWICE just to go to the snack bar and back.
The car attendants were all very good. On the viewliner, the toilet is in the roomette under a countertop type cover. Handy in the middle of the night, but awkward if you're traveling with another person. However, there is also a public toilet at the end of the cars for the 'coach' passengers, which can be used, as well. Down side? Few outlets in any of the rooms, and check beforehand if your train has wifi or not, because you WILL be traveling through some areas where cellular service just doesn't exist for any cellphone carrier. Hope this augments the info in the video.
Rooms on Amtrak have had many changes in management procedures over the years. I used to buy a coach seat, and once the train started, I would approach the attendant in one of the sleeper cars, and see if he had vacancies. IF so, you could usually get a room at half off for cash. They have stopped this because the cash often did not get turned into the Company. So today, the farther out you book your trip, the cheaper the price. Last minute bookings are full tilt prices!
Great summary video. I recently upgraded for the first time to a roomette on my return trip back home from Florida and I am so glad I did. The privacy and comfort were well worth the difference in price. I was like a kid at Christmas .... seeing all the beautiful scenery instead of just flying over it. Beautiful rural areas and even the big cities somehow seem smaller when you enter them by rail. Thanks Jeb for another great Amtrak video ....
GREAT VIDEO! Ive been traveling on Amtrak since for over 30years. Always been coach or business class. Coach does offer the "quiet car" which helps immensely. No talking on cell phones and no conversations above a whisper, "library like atmosphere".
I just noticed that they have started allowing you to "bid" for an upgrade. I originally booked a coach ticket from NJ to BOS for about $65 and was sent an email regarding a potential upgrade. I followed the steps and "won" the bid. I was able to upgrade to a roomette for $60
I've traveled in all the Amtrak accomodations. As you noted, so much depends on budget and because of dynamic pricing, you can't tell what the upgrades will cost until you make your reservation. Also any room is more of a Per Room than per person. The pricing is really coach plus Room Surcharge, the room surcharge is less per person if 2 people occupy a room.
Several notes - the bedroom can sleep up to 3, but the two on the lower bed had better be a close couple. It's tight but doable.
The Bedroom Suite is just 2 Bedrooms with a door between them opened up, so you don't have to go out into the hall to be with each other. Get your reservation in early so you can get the adjoining rooms. This is great for families with Money.
I look at the Family Room as a Roomette that can sleep 4. Warning 2 of the beds are short. But the bathroom is Roomette style, ie down the hall.
And the handicapped room is a Roomette with a toilet and sink inside your room for the Superliner. It is Roomette priced, which is its advantage over a Bedroom. And they give you special attention because you are handicapped. My husband loved it in his declining years. But that toilet is IN your room, so privacy and smell are an issue. The shower is the Down the Hall and the same one the Roomettes use.
And then there is the new Business Class, which has basically Coach with some Roomette perks. It has its own attendant. And a food allowance. And they go to Business Class for dining car reservations after the Roommimg Cars. This class has sadly been discontinued during Covid-19, but keep your eyes open. It's a good compromise between coach and Roomettes for shorter runs.
And another note for Handicapped. If you are traveling Coach, they have a lower section of coach seats and the car attendants will note your location and give you special help, like getting food from the Cafe Car, so you don't need to go up the stairs. They were very kind to us.
Good summary. One option you did not discuss was a couple traveling together booking a roomette each, across the aisle from one another. I've done that several times. At least a couple years ago, the price point was between a roomette and a bedroom. More space, views out both sides of the train, and nobody has to crawl into the upper bunk.
Very good rundown. One thing I'll add is that I travelled with someone in a wheelchair, so we had an accessible bedroom. Like the family bedroom, it spans the car so you have windows on both sides. We loved that.
Hubs and I have traveled Amtrak’s AutoTrain for many years (AutoTrain travels exclusively from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL). We first booked coach seats (comfortable but very little sleep), moved up to a Roomette for many trips until the shared hallway bathroom experience became unacceptable. Amtrak started eliminating some pleasant niceties and I’m guessing overnight bathroom cleaning was one of them. I couldn’t handle the amount of cleaning I needed to do before using the facilities so hubs now books a bedroom. I’m certain our next trip in 2 weeks will be our last and final one for several reasons. Amtrak’s prices have climbed too high. We had to change our reservation from Thanksgiving to July (family business reasons) and we were charged $700!!!!! That’s nuts. The train used to offer big boxes of fresh bananas and oranges, and almost unlimited bottled water. They’ve stopped both. They used to offer wine and cheese at departure but stopped this. They used to offer a better menu for dinner, but stopped this. Higher prices and reduced amenities have taken away the big enjoyment of train travel for us.
Discovered Amtrak roomettes about 10 years ago. Marvelous experience ! For me, the privacy compared to the chaos and "luck of the draw" of coach is well worth the cost difference. Meals are included, making the cost difference even less. You get a bed to sleep in and a personal assistant, usually free coffee, water, and some fruit. And you pass through people's backyards ! The sights are routinely amazing.
Great review. Do it !
I've done both the coach seat and roomette between North Dakota and Seattle, and if you can afford it, the roomette is completely worth it. More comfort, more private space, and just far more relaxing. Great video!
EXCELLENT video! You covered all the bases including sleeping in roomettes going the direction of travel. I'm now a retired sleeping car attendant (32 years) and can attest to your thorough explanation of Amtrak's different types of travel accommodationa.
From my experience, the accessible room has 2 different styles, one has a private attached bathroom that is separated from the rest of the bedroom with an actual door. The other has only a heavy curtain that separates the bathroom and bedroom areas. We decided not to use the curtain and went out the door to the bathrooms as they are located right next to the accessible room. The problem we ran into was towards the end of our 2 1/2 day trip, the smell came through the seat. We recommend use poopourri in the toilet and maybe bring a well liked scent of airfreshner.
Reading other posts here and watching other videos it might vary even more than this, so I would talk to the Amtrak representative to find out the specifics of each train.
I've taken amtrak so many times and while I love the bedroom for its privacy, its price is really off putting for a solo traveler (but a fantastic splurge if you want to avoid domestic first class). The roomette is perfect for me since I travel alone. Being in a smaller space like that really does make you want to get up and walk around, and I get to meet random people (occasionally, western culture seems to be so absolutely isolationist to the point that individual conversations are seen as an annoyance rather than something fun to pass the time with).
Overall, roomette for me. I've traveled charter rail once (a company party) and it was quite a unique experience, but I wouldn't recommend it for people who travel often (booking charter cars from one city to the next seems like a nightmare). Would love to fly private charter one day, but my pockets just aren't that deep.
My husband and I have traveled both booking the roomette and the bedroom accommodations. I thought we would really like the bedroom option better because of the en suite bathroom. I actually feel perfectly comfortable in the roomette and really, using the common shower is roomier and not really used a lot.