Amtrak dining

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Joined
Mar 5, 2014
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3,652
Even if you don't want to eat healthier, frozen french fries have been around since the 1940s, and can be prepared very easily in an oven.

Maybe that's what they were doing in the galleys of the dining cars of the 1940's.

Diets have radically changed.

Oh? "Would you like Fries with that?" Based on my observations, the usual answer is "Yes".
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,859
Location
Baltimore. MD
Oh, Lord. They chips are fine. I an just happy the dining options on the western trains are good again.

I do find it interesting that VIA manages to have a toaster without burning the diner down, though.
Amtrak has toasters in the Amfleet 1 cafe cars. It just depends whether the attendant is able to take the time to use it. Back before Covid, when they had bagels in the cafe cars, I regularly got them toasted if the cafe car wasn't too busy. Same with the hot dogs and burgers. They'd take the burger/hot dog out of the package, toast the bun and nuke the meat. I wish they'd do that with the breakfast sandwiches. I hate microwaved bread.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
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Last night's Crescent 19(23) was operating with a VL2 diner instead of an Am Cafe/Lounge as observed on Spartanburg railfan cam. Would be interested to see how they managed cafe service out of the new diners. Also interesting to see if this is something new they are trying or just a once off. 20(23) had the AmCan. Will have to check Friday and see if 19(26) runs with a V2.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
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Location
Long Island, NY
Amtrak has toasters in the Amfleet 1 cafe cars. It just depends whether the attendant is able to take the time to use it. Back before Covid, when they had bagels in the cafe cars, I regularly got them toasted if the cafe car wasn't too busy. Same with the hot dogs and burgers. They'd take the burger/hot dog out of the package, toast the bun and nuke the meat. I wish they'd do that with the breakfast sandwiches. I hate microwaved bread.
Not correct. The Acela's have toasters. The Amfleet I cafe cars have the small convection ovens which if heated to 450 and left operating can be used as a pseudo toaster if the ovens were working and if they were clean.
 

mediaman

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
64
Location
Georgia
Last night's Crescent 19(23) was operating with a VL2 diner instead of an Am Cafe/Lounge as observed on Spartanburg railfan cam. Would be interested to see how they managed cafe service out of the new diners. Also interesting to see if this is something new they are trying or just a once off. 20(23) had the AmCan. Will have to check Friday and see if 19(26) runs with a V2.
I was on the Crescent 19 (23) with the VL2 Diner. When I boarded the train in WAS, I was so excited to see the diner that I didn’t realize there was no cafe car. When I asked the SCA she replied that there was an equipment shortage and they would have to run the cafe out of the diner. It appeared they served coach passengers from the kitchen door at the end of the car. We asked to eat our meal in the diner, and I was surprised at how many other sleeping car passengers were doing the same. It was great to be in the diner, probably made our flex meals taste better!! The cafe car attendant and the two SCAs made the best of it getting everyone served with smiles on their faces.
 

Amtrak709

Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
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159
Location
Columbus, GA
I was on the Crescent 19 (23) with the VL2 Diner. When I boarded the train in WAS, I was so excited to see the diner that I didn’t realize there was no cafe car. When I asked the SCA she replied that there was an equipment shortage and they would have to run the cafe out of the diner. It appeared they served coach passengers from the kitchen door at the end of the car. We asked to eat our meal in the diner, and I was surprised at how many other sleeping car passengers were doing the same. It was great to be in the diner, probably made our flex meals taste better!! The cafe car attendant and the two SCAs made the best of it getting everyone served with smiles on their faces.
Thanks very much, mediaman, for your post. I am glad to see a positive comment about the Crescent. As a frequent traveler on the Crescent for the past 22 years and as one (me) who has been very critical of its operations since COVID, your comments are encouraging. As a railfan for my entire 74 years of life I have tried to be tolerant for Amtrak's inconsistencies--realizing that COVID has had its effect. Will look forward to my trip ATN-WAS-ATN next month.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
6,524
Location
Chicago
Hey, they used to have barbers on board some trains who would give you a haircut and a shave. With a razor. At 90+ mph. The railroads bragged about it, too!
How rough was the track back then. I remember reading that the 20th Century Limited had a barber. I can think of a few places between Englewood and south Bend that would result in decapitation if someone tried to shave with a razor.
 

ehbowen

Engineer
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
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Houston, Texas
How rough was the track back then. I remember reading that the 20th Century Limited had a barber. I can think of a few places between Englewood and south Bend that would result in decapitation if someone tried to shave with a razor.
That's kind of the point. The existence of an on-board barber was an implicit advertisement that, "Our track is so smooth that you'll be willing to let a complete stranger hold a razor to your throat anywhere on it!" Of course, for some like Rock Island, that might have been a bit of a stretch at many points....

To be honest, however, as far as I'm aware onboard barbers generally used safety razors. Still had a blade that could do damage, though!
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
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I was on the Crescent 19 (23) with the VL2 Diner. When I boarded the train in WAS, I was so excited to see the diner that I didn’t realize there was no cafe car. When I asked the SCA she replied that there was an equipment shortage and they would have to run the cafe out of the diner. It appeared they served coach passengers from the kitchen door at the end of the car. We asked to eat our meal in the diner, and I was surprised at how many other sleeping car passengers were doing the same. It was great to be in the diner, probably made our flex meals taste better!! The cafe car attendant and the two SCAs made the best of it getting everyone served with smiles on their faces.
Was the diner seating for sleeping car passengers only?
 

daybeers

Conductor
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Jan 6, 2016
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NHV
Hey, they used to have barbers on board some trains who would give you a haircut and a shave. With a razor. At 90+ mph. The railroads bragged about it, too!
That's so cool. I doubt there are many places today where track is smooth enough to allow that. In my area, maybe the Hartford Line New Haven-Springfield, and the Shore Line New Haven-Providence (the section to Boston is rougher). Certainly nothing else on the NEC.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
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Arlington, MA (near Boston)
When my son and I took the VIA Ocean, the waiter asked us how we would like our breakfast eggs. My 6 year old son said "soft boiled". The waiter disappeared and returned shortly with the news that the chef did, indeed, know how to make a soft boiled egg. He was served a perfect 3 minute egg in a glass with toast sticks.

Take that, Amtrak...
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,181
When my son and I took the VIA Ocean, the waiter asked us how we would like our breakfast eggs. My 6 year old son said "soft boiled". The waiter disappeared and returned shortly with the news that the chef did, indeed, know how to make a soft boiled egg. He was served a perfect 3 minute egg in a glass with toast sticks.

Take that, Amtrak...
The Ocean hasn’t had a Chef for many years. The food is plated and served in a classy manner, but it is all pre-made and heated on board now.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
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Baltimore. MD
I was just looking at the Man in Seat 61. On business class (the top-level service) on the Beijing - Hong Kong HSR, all they serve is the same microwaved flex-style meal that they sell to first-class and second-class passengers. Nonetheless, 8 hours for a 1,500-mile trip is pretty impressive, and business class has lie-flat seats.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
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Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
The Ocean hasn’t had a Chef for many years. The food is plated and served in a classy manner, but it is all pre-made and heated on board now.

It was in April 2017. For some lucky reason, the regular Ocean consist had gone in for service, and was replaced by a spare Canadian consist. I guess the Canadian diner came with a Canadian chef.

The egg:

egg.jpg

Does anyone have a memory of getting a soft boiled egg on Amtrak? I bet most of the Superliner chefs know how to make one!
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,181
It was in April 2017. For some lucky reason, the regular Ocean consist had gone in for service, and was replaced by a spare Canadian consist. I guess the Canadian diner came with a Canadian chef.

The egg:
Does anyone have a memory of getting a soft boiled egg on Amtrak? I bet most of the Superliner chefs know how to make one!
Oh interesting! I think during the holidays they will use heritage equipment on the ocean as needed as well. Maybe they bring a chef along for those trips as well.

I’m not sure if Amtrak chefs can boil eggs if they wanted to, they probably don’t have anything to boil them in.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,181
A post over on trainorders claims a recent trip on the Capitol they were told SCA had to deliver all meals to the rooms. The tables in the CCC were for “active eating and drinking only” and they were not allowed to bring an iPad into the CCC car.

Remember, this is the CCC car that is supposed to be the “sleeper lounge”
 
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