Amtrak Dining

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Sidney

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
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472
The CONO,CL and the TE are trains sans Sightseer cars. Could be they are one night trains and scenery is not as good as the other trains. Probably a cost cutting measure,nothing to do with Covid.

Like traditional dining the cars are an important part of an Amtrak trip and I hope they are restored.
 

PaTrainFan

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
368
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
The CONO,CL and the TE are trains sans Sightseer cars. Could be they are one night trains and scenery is not as good as the other trains. Probably a cost cutting measure,nothing to do with Covid.

Like traditional dining the cars are an important part of an Amtrak trip and I hope they are restored.
On the CL scenery is great between Pittsburgh and Washington. Of course, best viewed in the longer daylight of summer, and mostly eastbound.
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
282
The CONO,CL and the TE are trains sans Sightseer cars. Could be they are one night trains and scenery is not as good as the other trains. Probably a cost cutting measure,nothing to do with Covid.

Like traditional dining the cars are an important part of an Amtrak trip and I hope they are restored.
I have not seen a clear explanation of why the Sightseer cars were removed from these trains. From the timing, I had assumed it was a cost-cutting measure related to low passenger counts during the pandemic. But I have read several times of the current/recent Amtrak managers' dream of consolidating food service to a single car, rather than running separate diners and lounges, so I fear this could be the trial of that.

I can't fathom why someone in charge of running long-distance passenger trains wouldn't understand that when you're on a train for 20 or 30 hours, you want to find places to spend time other than your seat or room. But of course, this is the same bunch that's been telling us that flex meals are just as good -- better, really -- than traditional dining service.

When I rode the Capitol from Pittsburgh to Chicago early last year, just before the pandemic, I remember thinking that with the dining service dead, the Sightseer Lounge was the one feature that distinguished that train from others in the east, so it would probably be the next thing they'd try to eliminate.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,652
The CONO,CL and the TE are trains sans Sightseer cars. Could be they are one night trains and scenery is not as good as the other trains. Probably a cost cutting measure,nothing to do with Covid.

Like traditional dining the cars are an important part of an Amtrak trip and I hope they are restored.
These trains all operate with cross country cafe cars correct? That’s probably the reason, because they can drop the SSL cars on those trains during a pandemic and not affect service.
 
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anumberone

Conductor
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In these times with the Pandemic were all on a FLEX something. I know I am and that includes meals.
How does the song go when Great Britain was in such despair during WW2
🎶 They'll Be Blue Birds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover Just You Wait And See. 🎶🎶
That's when I'm booking. other than that, you get what you ask for.
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
282
If it's just because of the pandemic, I'm OK with that. And even now it still seems like a bad idea to be traveling unless it's essential, given the still large outbreaks we're having in places like Michigan. But I'm expecting that we'll be freer to do things by later this year as vaccination becomes more widespread, so I'm hoping Amtrak will be able to offer something approaching normal service by then.

And given the pre-pandemic experience with flex dining, let's just say I don't have 100 percent confidence in the current Amtrak management to make the quality of the onboard experience a priority. The announcement of restored dining service on the western trains is a good sign, and I'm glad to hear reports that improvements are under discussion for the eastern trains. But after the past three years, there's a part of me that won't really believe it till I see it.
 

TEREB

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
81
My son is currently going north on the Silver Star. He's in car 12. It's the new car. He promised to send pics of his meals that I'll share. I hope he doesn't forget. He said he pre ordered his meals online before his trip. My trip north won't be sometime in June.
 

jiml

Conductor
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Somewhere in Southern Ontario
I have not seen a clear explanation of why the Sightseer cars were removed from these trains. From the timing, I had assumed it was a cost-cutting measure related to low passenger counts during the pandemic. But I have read several times of the current/recent Amtrak managers' dream of consolidating food service to a single car, rather than running separate diners and lounges, so I fear this could be the trial of that.
The Sightseer lounge cars have made several guest appearances on Pacific Surfliners in the last few months. This may be to spell off Surfliner coach/cafes which have been seen via railcam several times on the tail of the Southwest Chief - maybe heavy maintenance in Chicago or Beech Grove?
 
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fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
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Jan 25, 2020
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282
The Sightseer lounge cars have made several guest appearances on Pacific Surfliners in the last few months. This may be to spell off Surfliner coach/cafes which have been seen via railcam several times on the tail of the Southwest Chief - maybe heavy maintenance in Chicago or Beech Grove?
Interesting. At least they are using them on a good scenic route rather than just storing them somewhere. That must be a treat for the Surfliner riders.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
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May 31, 2009
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22,710
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Austin Texas
Interesting. At least they are using them on a good scenic route rather than just storing them somewhere. That must be a treat for the Surfliner riders.
Meanwhile The Texas Eagle doesnt have a Sightseer Lounge for its 32 Hour,4 State Trip, and according to the Crews on this Route, it wont be returning when Daily Service Resumes in May!😟🤬
 

MilwaukeeRoadLover

Train Attendant
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Sep 21, 2020
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40
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Milwaukee
Perhaps, but why, then, do the Sightseers still run on the Western trains? Covid is just as present there, I presume.
I think what you call Sightseers are what I call some cars and they are still on LD trains like the Empire Builder. During the early days of Covid, they were off-limits along with the dining cars. But they are currently open...with social distancing. Besides...isnt the cafe car below?
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
795
The Sightseer lounge cars have made several guest appearances on Pacific Surfliners in the last few months. This may be to spell off Surfliner coach/cafes which have been seen via railcam several times on the tail of the Southwest Chief - maybe heavy maintenance in Chicago or Beech Grove?
What do you mean by "spell off" here?
 

Cal

Conductor
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Jan 23, 2021
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Socal
I think what you call Sightseers are what I call some cars and they are still on LD trains like the Empire Builder. During the early days of Covid, they were off-limits along with the dining cars. But they are currently open...with social distancing. Besides...isnt the cafe car below?
That is the Sightseer Lounge, correct.

The cafe is below, but the trains that they were taken off of use a CCC (cross country lounge) which is a diner and cafe in one.So they don’t need a SL
 

TEREB

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
81
I finally heard from my son. There are 3 sleepers. 9210 & 9212 are new cars. There are 2 attendants taking care of 3 sleepers. In the public bathroom, there are 2 buttons. One the flush and the other to call the attendant. Of course, he hit the wrong button.
now,9280BE79-F1CA-4EDC-8E31-1273C27039EC.jpeg getting to the food,, he ordered the chicken which he didn’t like. No blondie offered. Dinner was the beef which he liked enough to order today for lunch. Now to the bad part. There was no food delivery. He was told to go to the dining car where one attendant was microwaving your meal. You sat at one of the tables and waited for it to be ready for you to bring it back to your roomette.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Now to the bad part. There was no food delivery. He was told to go to the dining car where one attendant was microwaving your meal. You sat at one of the tables and waited for it to be ready for you to bring it back to your roomette.
As typical of Amtrak, employees make up their own rules. He should report this to Amtrak after his trip. Room Service is ALWAYS an option and is part of the job of the SCA’s.
 

tim49424

Conductor
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Dec 20, 2010
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Holland, MI
As typical of Amtrak, employees make up their own rules. He should report this to Amtrak after his trip. Room Service is ALWAYS an option and is part of the job of the SCA’s.
Exactly what I was going to say. I've never been turned down for the meal delivery which is an amenity afforded sleeper car passengers, pandemic or not. This definitely should be reported and the SCA should be reprimanded.
 

TEREB

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
81
As typical of Amtrak, employees make up their own rules. He should report this to Amtrak after his trip. Room Service is ALWAYS an option and is part of the job of the SCA’s.
I really think/hope they were just understaffed. 2 SCA’s taking care of 3 cars. Only 1 person microwaving meals. I hope it’s better when we leave end of May, first of June. We’re too old to carry our meals 3 cars.
 
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I really think/hope they were just understaffed. 2 SCA’s taking care of 3 cars.
Even understaffed, this doesn’t sound like the usual attitude of the Silver Service SCAs. The crews I’ve seen work well together, helping each other out, and everything —including meals delivered to rooms—gets done between them pleasantly and efficiently.

Of course, there can always be an exception, and I hope that’s what this was and not a “new normal.”
 

lordsigma

Conductor
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Sep 15, 2017
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Right. That will change later in the year when traditional dining is restored on the eastern LDs
I’m curious to see how they execute it especially as a couple of the eastern trains didn’t have full traditional dining prior to the introduction of contemporary/flexible dining. If they brought it back everywhere it would be the first time in a few years for the Star and Lake Shore to have full service dining and the first time in a long time on the CONO and Cardinal.
 
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crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
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I’m curious to see how they execute it especially as a couple of the eastern trains didn’t have full traditional dining prior to the introduction of contemporary/flexible dining. If they brought it back everywhere it would be the first time in a few years for the Star and Lake Shore to have full service dining and the first time in a long time on the CONO and Cardinal.
They have the equipment now if they want to make it happen.
 

Cal

Conductor
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Jan 23, 2021
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Let's just hope it comes back at all, I don't think it has been confirmed at all yet, still a rumor, right?
 
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