Do you want to know a ball-park price for a bedroom in an Amtrak Sleeping Car
for one day? Do you want to see how the price of travel in Coach compares to
travel in a Standard Bedroom or a Deluxe Bedroom? The answers are here!
The following are just example fares that I obtained from the Online
Amtrak Reservation System at:
The cost of your particular journey will vary from what I have listed
below, but these examples should give you a ball-park idea of what it costs
to travel by Amtrak and how the price of various accommodations compare.
Each of the following fares were obtained almost one-year in advance of
travel. Thus, the fares reflect the lowest discount you could possibly
expect for advance booking. You don't need to book that far in advance
to get the best advance booking discount, but somewhere between 3 and 6
months before your travel, the lowest advance booking discounts will begin
to vanish. Advance booking discounts probably vanish sooner than 3 to 6
months for peak travel times such as holidays and school vacations.
These fares also reflect the 10% Automobile Club (AAA) discount, but only
for the railfare portion of the ticket. There is no AAA discount for the
"accommodation" portion of the ticket price.
Having 2 people in a Standard Bedroom or 3 people in a Deluxe Bedroom does
not add to the "Accommodation" charge over having less people in the same
bedroom. Amtrak charges for the bedroom and not for the number of people
in the bedroom. Thus, the "Accommodation" charge will remain the same
regardless of how many or how few people use the bedroom. However, the
"railfare" portion of the ticket is based on the number of people in your
party and will vary accordingly.
Generally, Amtrak will try to limit booking 2 people into a Standard
Bedroom and 3 into a Deluxe Bedroom. This is really all that comfortably
fit into these rooms. If you have more people in your party, you should
either book the Family Bedroom or additional bedrooms. Some of the
Deluxe Bedrooms can be combined together to make "Deluxe Suites" which
will comfortably accommodate 6 people. Ask your agent when you make your
reservations to give you adjoining Deluxe Bedrooms that can be combined
into a Deluxe Suite if you wish this option.
If you are traveling with one toddler, the agent will probably let 2
adults and one toddler be booked into a single Standard Bedroom. It might
be a little tight, but with a bit of lap sitting, it will work. You can
also book as many as 5 into a Deluxe Bedroom, but I wouldn't recommend it
if you actually intend to sleep in the room! For a daytime only trip, it
has enough seating space for 5. However, meals are included with your
accommodations but that is only meals for 2 in a Standard Bedroom and meals
for 3 in a Deluxe Bedroom.
Example & Comparison Fares
The following examples are based on round-trip travel for 2 adults from
Fullerton to Oakland, California. That is a distance of 489 miles each
way. Travel north takes 12 hours and 10 minutes. Travel south takes
12 hours and 33 minutes.
I've traveled over 50,000 miles in bedrooms in Amtrak Sleeping Cars between
1985 and 1987. Although I haven't found an agent to confirm this, the price
quotes I have received indicate that Amtrak accommodation charges are based
on a 24 hour clock that runs from midnight to midnight. In other words, you
will be charged the full price for one day in a bedroom on the train
regardless of the time that you board the train. If you are still on the
train after midnight, you are then charged for another full day in a bedroom
on the train regardless of how early your journey might end that day. Thus,
the price quoted below is going to be fairly close to what you will pay for
each day that you spend in a bedroom in an Amtrak Sleeping Car. Since most
people board the train before midnight and don't get off the train until
the next day, it is difficult to avoid a 2 day accommodation charge each
way. If you have information contrary to this, please send e-mail to me at
email@example.com. I'd sure love
to discover the official method that Amtrak uses to establish the price
RailFare/Accommodation/ .Total. - Type of Accommodation
As you can see, the RailFare is the same for 2 adults regardless of
which accommodation is selected. The Deluxe Bedroom is usually about
twice the price of the Standard Bedroom. There used to be a discount
applied to the RailFare portion of the ticket when you booked a
bedroom since you are not using up a seat in the Coach Cars, but that
did not show up in these fare quotes. I'm not sure why. It could be because
the RailFare was as low as it could get using advance booking and the
AAA 10% discount. I'll have to examine this issue further.
The Standard Bedroom Accommodation charge does include meals for 2 people
and the Deluxe Bedroom Accommodation charge does include meals for 3 people.
Since this particular trip is on the Coast Starlight, also included is
a Continental Breakfast served in the Pacific Parlor Car shortly after
the train heads north out of Los Angeles at 9:30 a.m. Both lunch and
breakfast will be served on this trip between Fullerton and Oakland. Food
in the Dining Car is valued somewhat higher than your average family
restaurant and those are the prices that passengers have to pay that are
traveling in the Coach section. You can have soup and/or salad along with
your main selection as well as a beverage, bread, desert and coffee. You
do not pay for any of that. Also, the Pacific Parlor Car features an
afternoon wine or champagne tasting which also includes fruit, crackers
and cheese. Up to 3 glasses of wine or champagne are served to each
passenger before the end of the event. Unlimited coffee, soda, juice and
spring water is available in your Sleeping Car or from your Car Attendant
without charge. Thus, a Standard Bedroom would include 3 meals for 2
passengers on this particular journey, a total of 6 meals, plus all those
other extras. When you examine the $166 that it cost to upgrade from
Coach to Standard Sleeper, you have to take into account the value of all
of these ammenities. A gift is also usually presented to each Sleeping
Car passenger which can vary from nominal value (like a pen) to something
of moderate value (like a slit of champagne with 2 serving glasses
engraved with the Coast Starlight logo). This upgrade price also includes
access to the Pacific Parlor Car with its seating and private bar only
open to Sleeping Car passengers.
As I get the time, I'll be checking out the prices of several other
common types of trips and will be reporting those results on this web
page. Just keep your eye on the TrainWeb
page for updates.
Whenever you wish to get a quote for railfare and accommodations for a
specific Amtrak rail journey, go to
or call 1-800-USA-RAIL or your travel agent.