• Section sleeping

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by Scoring Guy
Reference "EastCleveland's" question about the sections on the VIA Rail Canadian:

I didn't have a section, but I did walk the 24 (on that trip) car consist from end to end and noticed that even though the bedrooms and roomettes appeared to be "sold out", it seemed to be that the majority of the sections were empty,
thus, if privacy isn't an absolute need (you still have the curtains at night) it may be a good and comfortable and economical way to ride the Canadian and still enjoy all of the other amenities of the "Silver & Blue" section of the train. It could turn out that you end up with that 3 section end of the car all to yourself. On my car, a family, in a section, upgraded to an available bedroom on route - it would be interesting to know how that worked out financially.

  by vector_one75
My only trip in a section overnight was on the New Haven "Owl" from Boston to New York. Due to the late departure, short trip time, and early arrival, the lower berth was all set up for me when I pre-boarded at South Station. So I didn't have the opportunity to "check out" the day seaqting arrangements.

All I could say for sleeping in the lower berth was that it was one of the most comfortable sleeps I ever had, either statically in a room of a house, or mobile on a train. The contours of the mattrass over the seats were just right to match my hips, knees, and shoulders, and I wished I could travel cross-country this way, which by then, at leasty in the USA, was no longer possible. I could even prefer the lack of privacy of a roomette in favor of the comfort of the section bed.

Since soon even this accommodation was on its way out shortly, you might find it strange that if travelling alone in a sleeper, I began preferring the single slumbercoach. Since the roomette bed was noty as good as a section lower berth, the inability to use a toilet in the middle of the night without folding up the bed, I started actually preferring the single slumbercoach room, since one could easily use the toilet in the midle of the night without fussing with the bed. But now again, neither the omfortable bed nor the toilet on Amtrak for single sleeper passengers? Well at least on a couple of trains we have here in Australia, our roomette cars with bacl-to-back romette seat-backs and serpentine corridors we still have single roomettes of reasonable comfort of bed and toilets alongside without having to fold it all up. But then of cost, our sleeper fares are astronomical!

Since the section type berths were so comfortable compared with the typical ligtweight trains of the 40's, 50's and 60's, why did not the carbuilders keep some of the original lightweight sleepers (like Budd Super Chief, maybe a few more) that had been used for drawing rooms and compartments with the "heavyweight" style of accommodation, using section berth components, rather than the compoartments and drawing rooms which became typical in lightweight cars. There was no reason to stop using "section berth" type compartments and drawing rooms in lightweight cars, as was the case in a few of the originals


Vytautas B. Radzivanas
Perth, Western Australia

  by Gilbert B Norman
I am plesantly surprised to learn, Mr. Radzivanas, you had a good sleep aboard "The Owl".

The Berths, and for that metter the Roomettes in the New Haven's 6-4-6 "---Beach" sleepers were over the wheels - and in its latter years, the New Haven track maintenance, while safe, did not enhance overnight sleep.

Regretably, my several trips aboard "The Owl' did not result in the best of night's sleep - and that was for a "twentysomething'.

Unfortunately, for this now "sixtysomething', it seeme like one of our 'hooter' friends likes my Chinese Elm in my front yard. He doth not help a fuill night's sleep!!!!