Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Stainless Steel Toilets

Stainless Steel Toilets

Toilet on board MARC between Washington and Baltimore.

Toilet facilities made entirely of stainless steel are not the warmest environment, in either the literal or figurative sense, but sometimes ruggedness is more important than creature comforts. It's hard to damage a stainless steel lavatory.

Stainless steel toilets and associated fixtures and panels are usually manufactured from SAE 304 stainless steel, the most commonly used alloy of stainless steel. It typically contains 18–20% chromium and 8–10.5% nickel, in addition to no more than 2% manganese, 0.75% silicon, and 0.1% carbon.

This gives stainless steel much higher resistance to corrosion than typical steel alloys. A very thin passivation layer of Cr2O3 forms on the surface, and re-forms quickly if the surface is scratched.

On Trains

This stainless steel toilet is part of a largely stainless bathroom suite on board a MARC (Maryland Rail Commuter Service) train between Washington and Baltimore on the east coast of the US.

During the 1970's the U.S. federal government nationalized most all passenger rail service in the United States, forming Amtrak. The resulting trains are nice inside, and along the East Coast they maintain useful schedules.

Amtrak toilet.
Amtrak toilet.

These toilets, however, are from The Cardinal, which links Chicago and New York via Cincinnati and Washington, loosely approximating a three-times-weekly schedule, and Chicago and Indianapolis on the other four days. At least the stainless toilets are fairly nice!

They're the classic holding tank design, which means that the tank can fill and the lavatory be closed en route on the 26-hour trip between New York and Chicago.

On Buses

Greyhound bus toilet.
Greyhound bus toilet.

Yes, Greyhound buses have on-board toilets. They have a holding tank with the traditional blue juice. I was surprised to see that the design is just a straight drop down a wide shaft into the tank. I would think that the toilet could get awfully smelly on a long hot trip. There is a small air vent directly to the exterior just to the right of your head if you were sitting on the seat.

The toilet compartment occupies the right half of what would be a full-width rear bench seat and what would be the pair of seats just in front of that on the right side of the aisle.

Note to self — do not sit in the back two rows of a Greyhound bus, where the door to the toilet is directly across the aisle.

Megabus bus toilet.
Megabus bus toilet.

Megabus, one of Greyhound's competitors, connects major cities with luxury buses that you can board without venturing into the always dicey Greyhound terminal. Greyhound's market seems partially based on brand loyalty based on fond memories of rides home from prison.

Anyway, the Megabus buses are quite nice, and they include an on-board lavatory. But as you see here, they're very similar to the Greyhound ones. There are only so many things you can do with the design of a long-haul bus toilet.

On Ships

The Staten Island Ferry provides free rides between the lower tip of Manhattan and Staten Island, across New York harbor and past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

If you need to go before you board, the first toilet shown here is an all-stainless-steel model in the Manhattan terminal.

The second is one of the heads on board the ferry itself.

Staten Island Ferry terminal toilet.
Staten Island Ferry on-board toilet.

Also see the Toilets at Sea page if you are interested in that category.

In The Park

Stainless steel toilet at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem.
Public toilet building at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem.

The public toilets at Jackie Robinson Park in northern Harlem in New York, around 153rd Street at Bradhurst Avenue, have stainless steel fixtures.

This was a stop along my path skateboarding the length of Manhattan.

At The Beach

At Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, and in need of a public toilet? This is what you'll find.

Public toilet at Venice Beach, southern California.
Public toilet at Venice Beach, southern California.
Public toilet at Venice Beach, southern California.
Public toilet at Venice Beach, southern California.

In Britain

Walking along the Avon River path between Bristol and Bath in the UK, and interested in a public toilet rather than secluded bushes?

The first of these, with the red floor, is what you'll find.

The second one, a sturdy lavatory with stainless steel walls and door awaits you at The Tron pub in Edinburgh, Scotland.

See the British Toilet page for more from the U.K.

Along the Avon River path near Bath, UK.
In the basement of The Tron pub, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Large stainless steel urinal in a London pub.
Large stainless steel urinal in a London pub.
The Prince of Teck pub in Earls Court, London.

British pub toilets tend toward the large, steel, and utilitarian, like these examples from pubs in Earl's Court, London.

See the British Toilet page for more from the U.K.

At The Bar

There are ice-cooled stainless steel urinals downstairs and an entirely stainless steel men's room upstairs in Harry's Chocolate Shop (actually a bar) in West Lafayette, Indiana.. Also see the Ice-Cooled Urinals page.

Ice-cooled urinals in Harry's Chocolate Shop, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Nothing says class like large sheets of stainless steel needed to withstand the abuse of hundreds of drunken yet supposedly sophisticated members of the fraternity and sorority system.

American stainless-steel toilet in West Lafayette, Indiana.
American ice-filled urinal in West Lafayette, Indiana.
American stainless-steel sink and wall panels in West Lafayette, Indiana.

In India and in Prison

Fabrimech Engineers Pvt. Ltd. of Chennai, India, manufactures a wide range of water closets and squatting pans from 304 stainless steel.

The picture that is sadly missing from here is the all-metal toilet I encountered in the Syrian Arab Airlines Tupolev Tu-154m I took from Damascus via Aleppo to İstanbul. It must have been aluminum, but it looked like stainless steel.