Took the Empire Builder from WI to Seattle & back. Paid a premium price for a bedroom.
I am not a complainer by nature & I have travelled extensively here in US & abroad. These are my observations:
1- The train in general was worse than dirty. It was filthy! The windows had not been washed for quite some time. There was so much dirt on the glass the camera had a hard time auto- focusing! On the trip out I was in a newer car, a shade better. On the return trip I was in an older version and it was bad news! The carpets, walls, & doors were in terrible shape.
2- the bedroom was in complete disrepair. The door would not close completely & could not be locked. The door curtain along with it's aluminum rod fell off & barely missed my head. They had to duct tape it into place. I noticed that the brackets holding the railing were loose & worn out. The toilet would not flush properly. The armchair was loose at it's connection to the floor and wobbly. The fabric on the bunk was torn & frayed. The carpet was filthy. All surfaces showed excessive wear & tear or were rusty. In summary, the whole place was not only " first class" as advertised, it was third class or worse.
3- The conductors & attendants were accommodating & not rude as some others that were mentioned in other reviews. The attendant on the trip out, Rolando, was especially helpful.
4- Food on the trains is not good. I brought my own snacks and completely avoided the dining car which I found to have harried service and mundane food. People are herded in & out before the dining car closes. It is hardly a great " dining" experience.
In summary, trains are a great way to travel but unfortunately the maintenance & service on American trains leave a lot to be desired. My wife, whose late dad worked for passenger rail in the old glorious days did not go on this trip with me. She was afraid she would be greatly disappointed. She was right!
Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.