Amtrak dining

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I've never been on the Cardinal, but I'm skeptical that there is an actual, bona fide chef on board for Flex Dining. On the Silver Star, there's been just one lonely LSA (Lead Service Attendant) heating up the prepackaged meals and doling them out from a makeshift counter in the diner. (On one trip, the LSA delivered them to the table.)
You are correct.
 

Hytec

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An agent just told me she believes that "real" dining has been, or is about to be resumed on the Crescent. Can anyone confirm this?

I understand that daily Crescent service will resume on 10/2. Perhaps dining car service also will resume at that time. 🤞
 
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An agent just told me she believes that "real" dining has been, or is about to be resumed on the Crescent. Can anyone confirm this?

I understand that daily Crescent service will resume on 10/2. Perhaps dining car service also will resume at that time. 🤞
I suspect if and when Traditional Dining returns to the Eastern trains, the Florida trains and maybe the Lake Shore Limited would go first. ,The Crescent will probably be further down the list.
 

jis

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I suspect if and when Traditional Dining returns to the Eastern trains, the Florida trains and maybe the Lake Shore Limited would go first. ,The Crescent will probably be further down the list.
With the current count in the active fleet, they will not have enough Diners to equip the Silvers, Crescent and LSL with Diners unless they cut down on PM/BO and Overhaul, or bring out a few from mothballs. I am waiting with bated breath to see which train reverts back to Amfleet II Table Car only.
 

jis

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Perhaps I slept through it but has anyone in authority at Amtrak given any indication that the return of traditional dining to any eastern train is being considered.
I asked my RPA contacts who are on the F&B Working Group set up by Congress. Their response is that there is nothing official yet. The issue is being worked on.
 
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I asked my RPA contacts who are on the F&B Working Group set up by Congress. Their response is that there is nothing official yet. The issue is being worked on.

Nope.theyre too busy playing their Violins and rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic!🤔🤪

Both meaning pretty much the same thing.

“The issue is being worked on” has always been office speak for “We don’t have a clue how to deal with this so we’ll try to put you off with our stock phrase and hope you’ll just go away and forget about it while we shove the file back down to the bottom of the pile and hope it disappears.”
 

jis

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Both meaning pretty much the same thing.

“The issue is being worked on” has always been office speak for “We don’t have a clue how to deal with this so we’ll try to put you off with our stock phrase and hope you’ll just go away and forget about it while we shove the file back down to the bottom of the pile and hope it disappears.”
It is not quite that bad, but feel free to interpret it whichever way suites :p
 

Cal

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I suppose the fact that the new viewliner diners have not (yet) been scrapped or sold should give us great confidence that traditional dining will be returning to the eastern trains.
I disagree, even Amtrak doesn’t usually sell perfectly good use cars that they just bought AFAIK. They could always renovate them to be a cafe/diner like the CCCs
 

jis

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I disagree, even Amtrak doesn’t usually sell perfectly good use cars that they just bought AFAIK. They could always renovate them to be a cafe/diner like the CCCs
Apparently the flyboys tried and even put together a prototype but fortunately their wings were clipped before they could proceed further. :D
 

Cal

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Apparently the flyboys apparently tried and even put together a prototype but fortunately their wings were clipped before they could proceed further. :D
Oh what a shame! If they can’t do that it wouldn’t make sense that they’d be able to get ‘em scrapped.
 
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Why can't the powers be more receptive to the demands of the traveling public on Amtrak? In my opinion dropping dining cars has been the main complaint to Amtrak since they discontinued them. Can I get an Amen on that?

I'll give you an Amen, but, the executives seem to be very hard of hearing. Or, very slow learners. Or, both.
 
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Why can't the powers be more receptive to the demands of the traveling public on Amtrak? In my opinion dropping dining cars has been the main complaint to Amtrak since they discontinued them. Can I get an Amen on that?
Amen. I remember several years ago I ate on the Capitol Limited with full dining services and it was great. Not sure why they would drop the dining cars; in fact, eating in the dining cars and seeing all that scenery go by you is one of the highlights of any train trip!
 

JWM

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Part of the reason for dropping full service dining cars is cost. However, Amtrak does not help in that area by limiting access to sleeping car passengers only. Properly managed with, for example, four sitting per evening for dinner and with adequate staff, the red ink could be greatly reduced. The "California Zephyr" decades ago had an early seating discount, too.
 
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Part of the reason for dropping full service dining cars is cost. However, Amtrak does not help in that area by limiting access to sleeping car passengers

You are making too much sense for some Amtrak executives. The way to increase revenue is to sell a product that people want and make it available to the largest number of potential customers as possible. It doesn't take a person with a MBA to know that.
 

WWW

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Going to be riding the Cardinal to the ACE event in Huntington WV late October
My question inquiry ?
When or what are the hours of the complimentary sleeping car meals ?
What can I expect ? (open loaded question LOL )

Leave Chicago 6pm - arrive Huntington 7am next day going
Leave Huntington 10pm - arrive Chicago 10am next day returning
 

danasgoodstuff

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Meal Times​

Breakfast: Available 6:30 - 10 am; board by 9:30 am
Lunch: Available 11:30 am - 3 pm; board by 2:30 pm
Dinner: Available: 5:00 - 9:30 pm; board by 8:30 pm
Exceptions apply to certain trains and adjustments may be made in the event of a delay.


Subject to change, as always. I recently went cross country on the Empire Builder, the Lake Shore, Cap, and Silver service, and while the food is definitely better out west, it's not as bad as it's been made out to be in the east, IF you get a crew who take a little care.
 

saxpower

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I road the Cardinal round trip few weeks ago and while "Flexible Dining" wasn't exactly 4-star Restaurant quality, I was pleasantly surprised. I will say I found the french toast a little "tough" (hard to cut with plasticware), but the omelette was fine. I found the spare ribs tasty and liked the Chicken A La Rosa. The Baked Ziti was okay-probably the dinner/lunch entrees I liked least of the three I tried, but certainly not bad.
 

Irelandvegas65

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Sadly I haven’t tread through this thread fully. It’s been a while since my last (and only Amtrak trips empire-coast starlight-zephyr) I was fortunate to have bedrooms for those trips. Full service dining had recently returned so I was very lucky. My question is, has the dining car opened up to coach passengers? I’m looking into taking the Empire chi to sea but coach this time. TIA
 
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