Amtrak Dining

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
368
On Sunday we took our first train trip since the pandemic: Freeport to Boston on the Downeaster, then Boston to Albany on 449 with an accessible bedroom.

On our last prior trip (October 2019) with a room on 448, the sleeper attendant gave us a photocopied menu of the flex dining meals and served these in our room. On Sunday's trip, no flex meals were offered. Instead, the SCA gave us the choice of anything on the cafe menu at no charge. I went back to see what they had, as there was no printed menu, and ordered the pizza for my son and sandwiches for my wife and me. Carried the drinks back to our room, and the sleeper attendant brought the food items when they were ready. It was OK for lunch on a five-hour ride, but I was glad to be going home afterward for a real dinner rather than staying aboard for the overnight run to the west. I assume flex meals would have been on offer west of Albany from the NY-leg "sleeper lounge."
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
30,428
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Traditional Dining Service for Eastern LDs and Dining for Coach passengers are on their way - later this year or early next.

 
Last edited:

Dustyroad

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
164
Traditional Dining Service and Dining for Coach passengers are on their way - later this year or early next.

I want the apple juice back. Some of us can't tolerate orange juice. Also I was sorry to see the sausage patty go away. But, as long as there is real food again, I am happy 😁 .
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,374
Location
Socal
Traditional Dining Service and Dining for Coach passengers are on their way - later this year or early next.

Is the picture of the table what's coming, or is it from 2016? I'm asking because I see flowers

Assuming this article is trustworthy, it seems as if traditional dining is coming back to Eastern trains within a year, which is great.

I'm becoming more and more optimistic.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
583
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Traditional Dining Service for Eastern LDs and Dining for Coach passengers are on their way - later this year or early next.

Wow this far exceeds what I thought Amtrak was capable of at this point in its history. Could it be that they actually listened to riders, railfans and RPA? But yeah, I won't hold my breath on this occurring before next year. Let's thank the removal of the Mica B.S. (I mean, Amendment).
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,974
““And then, once we understand that, we’ll figure out the logistics of what’s going to make sense. Is it opening up the dining room or additional tables for coach customers, or is it more of a take-out kind of menu, or is it a delivery? Those are the things we have to weigh.””

They are still deciding what they will offer coach passengers.

Also... what happened to the old China? Did they throw it away?
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
2,000
Location
Long Island, NY
““And then, once we understand that, we’ll figure out the logistics of what’s going to make sense. Is it opening up the dining room or additional tables for coach customers, or is it more of a take-out kind of menu, or is it a delivery? Those are the things we have to weigh.””

They are still deciding what they will offer coach passengers.

Also... what happened to the old China? Did they throw it away?
"Did they throw it away?" Most likely...
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
368
From the Trains report: "All of this, says Roger Harris, executive vice president, chief marketing and revenue officer, reflects an understanding that premium prices should be accompanied by premium service."

I am not sure how the Amtrak team managed to forget this for the past three years, but I'm glad to see they are remembering the concept of value for price paid. And I'm happy they are at least thinking about how to provide decent meal service to coach passengers. For my own family, it gives me hope that we'll be able to do some train travel beyond the Northeast by sometime next year.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,374
Location
Socal
"The menu isn’t the only thing to getting an upgrade, Jordan said; that food will be served on china again, with real flowers in vases on the tables."

Y'all see that? You're precious flowers are coming back!

They should have also upgraded the overhead racks
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,461
Location
Washington State
Well, I have to say that if this keeps up, i will abandon my belief that Amtrak is being secretly run by Ben Biaggini's zombie. The campaign to drive off long distance passengers just may be ending.

Now, about those schedules...
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,374
Location
Socal
How is restoring a service that was removed an "upgrade"?
Well many of us weren't counting on traditional dining to be returned at all, it sounds like something that Amtrak might do.

The fact that it's also coming back with real China, glassware, cloth napkins, and flowers is also a step up as we haven't had those since 2016. It's an upgrade from 2019 traditional dining.

And the first alcoholic beverage is free with dinner, which is something that hadn't happened in pre-covid traditional dining either, that's an upgrade.
 

Rambling Robert

Train Attendant
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
99
Location
Boston
On Sunday we took our first train trip since the pandemic: Freeport to Boston on the Downeaster, then Boston to Albany on 449 with an accessible bedroom.

On our last prior trip (October 2019) with a room on 448, the sleeper attendant gave us a photocopied menu of the flex dining meals and served these in our room. On Sunday's trip, no flex meals were offered. Instead, the SCA gave us the choice of anything on the cafe menu at no charge. I went back to see what they had, as there was no printed menu, and ordered the pizza for my son and sandwiches for my wife and me. Carried the drinks back to our room, and the sleeper attendant brought the food items when they were ready. It was OK for lunch on a five-hour ride, but I was glad to be going home afterward for a real dinner rather than staying aboard for the overnight run to the west. I assume flex meals would have been on offer west of Albany from the NY-leg "sleeper lounge."
I hope you enjoy the longer trips in the future.

Dec 2017 I was westbound on the LakeShore Ltd and decided to make a reservation for the Dining Car. The diner was about half full and I was seated across from a woman a little younger. We immediately traded Amtrak stories. She takes three or four trips NYC to Chicago a year to visit her daughter.

Then the food arrived at our table.

Holy mackerel! The chicken fricassee was EXACTLY like my Mom’s. I mentioned that the family cookbook is like the family bible. My table-mate was very amused.

I wouldn’t be surprised that Amtrak’s kitchen use the Fanny Farmer Cookbook like my Mom’s from the 1800s. The best.

I spoke to a wonderful booking agent who told me linen tablecloths cloths and heavy white plastic plates with the Amtrak logo will be soon changed to white ceramic plates with logo.

May the Spring 2021 virtual NARP/Amtrak conference there were some nay sayers about communal dining. Had I realized the day's events weren’t archive accessible- I would have taken better notes. haha

keep communal dining!!!

On YouTube I comment a lot about Amtrak. Funny thing Amtrak and Smithsonian - I posted a year or so ago - have similarities- riders/visitors a year and budget.
Smithsonian is free and my last coast to coast I nearly finessed a free trip with the 50th anniversary. You go to the museum to see America and Amtrak you just go!

Thanks. Amtrak.
 

Rambling Robert

Train Attendant
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
99
Location
Boston
On the internet there’s plenty of discussion about OJ and Apple juice.

Both are good but there are truly individual reasons not to take one or the other.

I favor OJ but I’ll vote for both for Amtrak. Who says I’m mixing apples and oranges.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,374
Location
Socal
On the internet there’s plenty of discussion about OJ and Apple juice.

Both are good but there are truly individual reasons not to take one or the other.

I favor OJ but I’ll vote for both for Amtrak. Who says I’m mixing apples and oranges.
It changes for me. Right now I could do with a glass of either one.
 
Top