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Sleeping car question

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  • Member since
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Sleeping car question
Posted by NYBW-John on Thursday, May 04, 2017 10:33 AM

In sleeping cars with roomettes on one side of the car and the aisle on the other, was there a standard side that the aisle would be on such or would the railroad put the roomettes on the side they deemed to be most scenic?

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:49 AM

Roomettes are single person rooms. They are on both sides with the aisle running down the middle. The larger family bedrooms are on the left side with the aisle running down the ‘port’ side (right) of the car.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 04, 2017 12:51 PM

Generally, which side the corridor was on wouldn't matter, so there wouldn't be a set way to do it. But there were some cases where a railroad did have a preference.

An example would be the New York Central. On it's "Water Level Route" along the Hudson River, you have the river on one side of the tracks, and a steep bluff on the other. NYC tried to keep cars with a corridor on one side set up to always run with the corridor side facing the bluff, so the passengers had a good view of the river scenery.

Stix
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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, May 04, 2017 12:59 PM

This thread from 2008 has some discussion of car orientation  

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/13/t/140928.aspx

For sleepers the answer appears to be "it depends" 

2013 Discussion of AMTRAK sleeper orientation

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amtrak-guest-rewards/1447460-coast-starlight-sleeper-car-orientation.html

 

 

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Posted by challenger3980 on Thursday, May 04, 2017 6:54 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe wrote:

Roomettes are single person rooms. They are on both sides with the aisle running down the middle. The larger family bedrooms are on the left side with the aisle running down the ‘port’ side (right) of the car.

 

 

Unless Railroad terminology is backwards of Maritme terminology, "PORT" is LEFT, and "STARBOARD" is RIGHT.

 That said, I have never heard railroads use "Port" and "Starboard" just left and right.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

ACY
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Posted by ACY on Thursday, May 04, 2017 7:44 PM

To get some clarity, we have to agree on terminology. The "B" end is the end with the brake wheel and vestibule, and is usually considered the front. So the "A" end is usually the rear. When we identify the left or right side of the car, we are assuming you are looking at the car from above, with the B end at the top of your view and the A end at the bottom.

The most common configuration of sleepers in the last days before Amtrak was the 10-6, which had ten roomettes and six double bedrooms. There were others, but the 10-6 was the most common. However, not all 10-6's were the same. The configuration that seemed to be most popular, and which lasted longest in Amtrak service, was set up this way:

Let's say your passenger enters from another coupled car at the A end (bottom of your view). The entry door is on the car centerline, so the corridor jogs to the left (port, if we were on a ship). There is a linen locker for storage of bulky extra blankets and pillows on the right, and a small electrical locker in the corner on the left. The six bedrooms are on the right side and are (in order from door to center of car) A, B, C, D, E, and F.  Rooms A and B can be combined into a single suite by hingeing the partition to a new position against the wall. Same for C-D and E-F.  

At room F, the corridor jogs to the centerline of the car. There is a small electrical locker in the left side corner, by the outer wall, and the main linen locker for sheets, piloow cases, towels, wash cloths, etc. is located on the right side. Then there are your ten roomettes, five on each side, ranging towards the "B" end. The numbers started with 1 and 2 at the center of the car, and 9 and 10 near the end. Then you had a small public restroom on the left side, across from the luggage storage area. The attendant's enunciator board, indicating that a passenger had rung for assistance, was located in this area, and the attendant stored his step box under the luggage shelves. The car's line numbers were also visible to the outside through windows in the luggage area on the right and the restroom on the left. Amtrak installed intercom stations in this area, but I don't think any of the cars had them as built.  Then there were electrical panels on both sides, and then you emerged at the vestibule. 

This arrangement was probably the most common. 

Please note that I have been very liberal in my use of terms like "usually", "most common", "most popular", etc. There were lots of exceptions and variations because the various operating railroads had their own preferences in car design, layout, and accommodations. I understand there were 10-6's with the aisle on the right (starboard) side, but I don't think I ever rode in one and I'm sure I never worked one.

Tom

 

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