Amtrak Dining

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Rasputin

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And on the LSL, only the Boston to Albany leg, not to NYC
Just to clarify, business class on the Lake Shore is offered between Boston and Chicago in the Boston - Chicago cafe car which has a section for business class seating. Passengers from New York can board the business section at Albany for the trip west of there.

As a mixed blessing, business class passengers on the Lake Shore do not have access to the dining car for flex dining.

At least that is my understanding. Current observations would be welcome.
 

jis

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There used to be 2 to 1 BC on the Cardinal. Why was that removed?
Most likely because it needed a full Dinette, since that was the only food service car, and even Sleeper passengers had to be fed in it, and they did not wish to put in *shudder* two food service cars on the train even if they could leave one unstaffed. Typical Amtrak cut your nose to spite your face management.

Frankly the LSL needs a full length Cafe Car in addition to whatever they wish to use for a BC car.
 

MARC Rider

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Most likely because it needed a full Dinette, since that was the only food service car, and even Sleeper passengers had to be fed in it, and they did not wish to put in *shudder* two food service cars on the train even if they could leave one unstaffed. Typical Amtrak cut your nose to spite your face management.

Frankly the LSL needs a full length Cafe Car in addition to whatever they wish to use for a BC car.,
The Cardinal always had a full Dinette, even when they had business class. When I rode business class BAL - CVS in 2016, and sleeper CHI - BAL in 2019, there was a full dinette, and the table seating seating in the 2x1 split bc/cafe car was for the BC passengers. The cafe part was unstaffed, but when I rode BC in 2016, they had laid out cans of soda and a coffee maker for self-service free drinks. If they've changed that, it must be for some other reason.
 

jis

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Well, as I said they figured two food service cars was too much so that was that :) No more BC for you :D Mica must have given them a spanking when he saw so much food service!
 
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Rasputin

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Well, as I said they figured two food service cars was too much so that was that :) No more BC for you :D Mica must have given them a spanking when he saw so much food service!
It is probably the standard Amtrak business practice. They realized that business class on the Cardinal was becoming successful so it had to be eliminated.
 

Cal

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Auto Train is getting new menus starting today. Basically they are replacing the current Auto Train sleeper dinner menu to match what's being served on the western long distance trains. The Auto Train café menu is also being refreshed.
Yay! Source?
 

ScottR

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I guess might be old news but I’m on the Northbound Coast Starlight in the diner this evening for the 7.30 seating and they just brought in 3 tables from business class. $45 for the evening three course including your alcoholic drink. Looks like you pay it there at the table. Still no communal dining…seems odd sitting by a a table by myself in a dining car.
 

me_little_me

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I guess might be old news but I’m on the Northbound Coast Starlight in the diner this evening for the 7.30 seating and they just brought in 3 tables from business class. $45 for the evening three course including your alcoholic drink. Looks like you pay it there at the table. Still no communal dining…seems odd sitting by a a table by myself in a dining car.
From an ambiance point of view, the $45 is a bargain. What restaurant would offer you the kind of constantly changing scenery as you dine?
From a service point of view, it is a tossup whether the meal is worth $45 or $5 as the service is so inconsistent albeit my experience on traditional dining is that the majority of the servers are helpful, friendly and outgoing with great skills.
From a food point of view, the $45 includes the appetizer, entree, salad and dessert as well as the drink. Where I live, that might be a little high but for most places, it would be reasonable and for some, it is a bargain.
 

ScottR

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Yes service was nice and food was very good. I am on a short hop from Salinas to Emeryville, to connect with the CZ in the morning. In a roomette for 160$ I think. Business class was 69 + 45 for the dinner so 114$ So
had I known that dinner could be had, I would have taken business but it isn’t a huge difference. So if dinner is 45$ I wonder what bfast and lunch is?
 

IndyLions

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Was on the Starlight Martinez - Los Angeles on Wednesday. Not my first trip - but the views are so good - every time is the first time.

There are very, very few restaurants with views that approach this train. The food is pretty good - but the views are spectacular.
 

Willbridge

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Was on the Starlight Martinez - Los Angeles on Wednesday. Not my first trip - but the views are so good - every time is the first time.

There are very, very few restaurants with views that approach this train. The food is pretty good - but the views are spectacular.
My parents rode "The Most Beautiful Train In America" on their honeymoon in January, 1946. My dad had been to San Francisco from Portland several times and to Los Angeles on the Coast Line at least once but my mother had never been out of Oregon and Washington. It was a memorable trip.

 

Ziv

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I have a friend who was the director of an MBA program at a large DC university. At least once a year I used to tell her that I believed that MBA's knew the cost of everything down to the penny but they hadn't a clue about what value anything had that wasn't completely monetized. I told her that customer satisfaction and a corporations reputation are much more difficult to measure and just how much they impact your future bottom line is much more difficult to quantify. She laughed at my comment for years. She basically said they had an app for that, before there were apps for anything, mind you. I think her comment usually sounded something like, "We train them to look at the big picture."
Then a couple years ago we had the same discussion and her eyes popped wide open and she said that there had been a lot of discussion in her field that year about how MBA programs were discouraging the valuation of "intangibles" that are in fact very important. I was shaking my head because it isn't an "intangible", it just isn't a direct dollars and cents equation. But MBA's are a large part of why American corporations have lost both their direction and their soul.

This is not just Amtrak.....
 
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jis

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Then a couple years ago we had the same discussion and her eyes popped wide open and she said that there had been a lot of discussion in her field that year about how MBA programs were discouraging the valuation of "intangibles" that are in fact very important. I was shaking my head because it isn't an "intangible", it just isn't a direct dollars and cents equation. But MBA's are a large part of why American corporations have lost both their direction and their soul.
What is worse is that no amount of federal trillions and tinkering with taxes and duties will fix the problem. Teaching MBAs to handle non-quantifiable factors in decision making in a meaningful way is what will fix it, and that training is way more difficult than teaching how to write spreadsheet cell formulae. Indeed, it is likely that most MBA faculty have no clue either since they have zero experience actually dealing with such thing either. This makes the situation even more bleak. The pandemic has to some extent forced the issue upon everyone. We'll see how things come out of it.
 
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PVD

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With the air conditioning itself powered by steam in some cases, with steam ejector air conditioning still in use after steam engines themselves were gone.
Try and explain absorption chilling to a group of people who have never seen it (or don't know they did) In Manhattan, there are huge buildings with absorption chillers running off Con Ed steam. And many CHP projects are tri gen, using the heat to supply absorption ac in the appropriate season.
 
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