I've taken long distance trains from Vancouver to Regina—back when it was Canadian Pacific, before CP and CN passenger trains were merged into VIA—but those trips were while trying to sleep in coach. In more recent years, I've taken a roomette from NYC to Spokane and back, to Kansas City and back, and last year, to the Bay Area and back. Retired, can afford the far higher cost than flying.

Attached is a photo of the interior of my roomette on one trip. I found that having ear plugs is a big plus. I slept comfortably. All my trips were during the summer. There's a feet first versus head first question which I've never fully explored.

On the Penn Station NYC to Chicago Union Station portion, there's a wash basin and toilet in the room. On the Zephyr and Empire Builder out of Chicago, the bathroom is down the hall. I understand that new roomettes will NOT have a toilet in them. 

The photo shows the Lake Shore Limited roomette, with washcloth on the fold-out sink. The toilet is out of sight at bottom left. The bottom of the upper bunk—which I didn't use—is just visible at top.



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A couple of thoughts on the ride quality of passenger cars:

  • Part of it is track.  You can't get a good ride when the track is rough.  We went from Los Angeles to Minneapolis on a through Pullman over Union Pacific to Omaha, and on the CMStP&O (Omaha Road) across Iowa and Minnesota.  The ride was not as smooth on the Omaha Road, but I can understand why.  I drove the highway that parallels the route, and it was still 90-110 lb rail on light ballast.  Same car, two different ride qualities in the same trip, due to track quality.
  • Part of it is trucks.  Many improvements in the design of passenger car trucks occurred over the 1937-1965 period, which coincides with the production of lightweight, streamlined North American passenger cars.  Some railroads upgraded the trucks on their passenger cars and some did not.  Thus, the Coast Daylight, rolling along on the original 1937 Pullman-Standard "Challenger" trucks was very dependent on the condition of the track, whereas Union Pacific and Santa Fe cars, riding on late-design trucks, were more forgiving of irregularities in the track.



Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

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