Where Do Train Engineers Go To The Bathroom? Do Locomotives have Toilets?

So where do train engineers go to the bathroom? Toilets, seats with plastic bag captures and full bathrooms are all possible options. Generally freight trains in The United States have very simple toilets in the cockpits.

While for the railroad workers the topic this might sound weird. For many others with less knowledge about trains and how they operate it’s a mystery.

Whether it is a freight train with hundreds of cars or a passenger train with half a dozen cars, you need a train engineer. Chances are that that train engineer will need to go to the toilet.

A train engineer often referred to as a train driver in some parts of the world is responsible for the train & it’s cargo or passengers. This job is extremely important, but so is going to the bathroom. So where do train engineers go to the bathroom

where do train engineers go to the bathroom

So Where Do Train Engineers Go To The Bathroom

Let’s break down the toilet options in the United States . A modern train will have a toilet in the cockpit, there are generally no sinks and people are expected to bring and use hand sanitizer. They are simple, but they do the job.

Others options are:

  • None: Many trains are built with no consideration for bathrooms for the train engineer. You are ideally meant to do your duties before and after your journey.
  • Seat & Bag: These are few and far between these days, but a seat with a fitted bag underneath was an option too.
  • Off The Edge: Yes, I have seen it before, multiple times, as the train is moving and also at a stop! Highly illegal and If you got caught I think you’d lose your job, but it happens!

When Do Train Engineers Go To The Bathroom

where do train engineers go to the bathroom

Ok, so you where do train engineers go to the bathroom, now it is time to discuss “when”.

There are a few potential scenarios that can happen:

1. For any reason there is more than one locomotive engineer on board, which would allow one of them to take a bathroom break.

2. There is just one locomotive engineer on board and he has to use the bathroom, he has to stop the train in order to do so.

3. There is a planned upcoming stop, either red signals or siding signals.

Let’s start with the first scenario, in this case the option is simple, while the main engineer uses the bathroom, the other one will take control of the train, of course if allowed by law and or dispatcher ( if applicable in this situation).

In the second scenario, assuming the conductor and the engineer are the only personnel in the cab at that moment, the train engineer has to fully stop the train and have the conductor contact the dispatch to let them know they’re stopped.

Nobody except a fully licensed train engineer is allowed to operate the train.

This scenario is for an emergency bathroom stop, most of them are not an emergency, which takes us to the 3rd scenario.

Where Do Train Engineers Go To The Bathroom – Conclusion

It all comes down to the train, its’ facilities, how many staff there are and how long the shift is. Ideally it is always better to do your business before getting on the train.

However, it is not unusual for train engineers to operate in intervals of 2 to maximum 3 hours at the time before having to stop for a red signal. This gives the opportunity to the engineer to use the bathroom and is the most common scenario.

I hope this helps you answer where do train engineers go to the bathroom.

Happy Travelling