Amtrak Dining

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cocojacoby

OBS Chief
Joined
May 13, 2014
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547
Pictures of the accessibility area in the new Viewliner diner.

Top left plan shows how it was designed:

large_239027_gw9b4knnqbjyq9jqbhtevou9r.jpg
Bottom picture shows how it really is with the loss of six seats:

large_239027_ts499em24tov2dx5yi9xycwht.jpg
 
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Rambling Robert

Train Attendant
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May 30, 2021
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Boston
My car is parked for free at the Wells ME station (on I-95) to begin an Amtrak xcountry to southern Calif. Right off I have something to report about food service. The young woman working the cafe car on the DownEaster said she still tries offering service to seated passengers as long as the train isn’t too full. She said “she enjoys doing it”

What spirit !!!
 
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My car is parked for free at the Wells ME station (on I-95) to begin an Amtrak xcountry to southern Calif. Right off I have something to report about food service. The young woman working the cafe car on the DownEaster said she still tries offering service to seated passengers as long as the train isn’t too full. She said “she enjoys doing it”

What spirit !!!
That’s good to hear…there are a few like that. I would imagine she gets gratuity’s as well…🙂
 

Rambling Robert

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May 30, 2021
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In October 2020 when the cafe car was closed the waitstaff contracted from a Massachusetts company for the DownEaster. They wore light greenn aprons. Today the cafe gal was in Amtrak colors, she was a sweetheart, as they all were

lster out of Albany on the LSL I was one of the first to make it to the cafe.. I had dijoitno pizza.a cup of noodles (nuked was too hot) and a sprite. $3 top
There was a yuuuuuge line after me. Meal was okay.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
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Oct 21, 2015
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In October 2020 when the cafe car was closed the waitstaff contracted from a Massachusetts company for the DownEaster. They wore light greenn aprons. Today the cafe gal was in Amtrak colors, she was a sweetheart, as they all were
The Downeaster has switched to Amtrak LSA’s?
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
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Jan 10, 2018
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961
Well, good news for apple juice fans. It was available on both the EB and CL earlier this week. Flex dining still, but in the good news, bad news department, by the second night at dinner, four of the flex options were sold out. We were told that they aren't able to get enough to fully stock and Amtrak doesn't want to reship more to the West so they overstock the cafe hot dogs, cheeseburgers and mac and cheese. And that's what everyone ate on the final lunch.

Also in the good news department, they stocked tonic water for G and Ts, though it wasn't listed on the menu. I wondered how many passengers ordered gin neat.
 

AmHope

Train Attendant
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Feb 2, 2021
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Low Earth Orbit
I don't understand the push to make every part of the train accessible since the train itself is so hard to get around for someone who is mobility-impaired anyway. Unless we switch to Brunel Gauge or something I don't see how we could ever make trains truly accessible.

Better instead to have accessible seating/rooms and accessible bathrooms close to the entrances and just cater all food/drinks/etc.. The wheelchair space in the diner is especially silly as there's no way to GET THERE in a wheelchair. I suppose if someone needs oxygen canisters or something you could use that space to hook them up so they can eat in the diner, but you'd still have to somehow carry all the equipment there, etc.

My mother (who passed away last week =/ ) was mobility impaired and the last thing she wanted to do was to try to schlep around inside a train.
 
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cocojacoby

OBS Chief
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May 13, 2014
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I don't understand the push to make every part of the train accessible since the train itself is so hard to get around for someone who is mobility-impaired anyway . . . The wheelchair space in the diner is especially silly as there's no way to GET THERE in a wheelchair.
That's not exactly true. On a single-level consist ONE bedroom on the entire train has the ability for a wheelchair to access the dining car from the first sleeper and only the first sleeper. The other two (?) HP passengers are out of luck. Kind of unfair I guess.

If you are interested here is an idea I had for a Superliner rebuild that better satisfies the ADA requirements for all ADA passengers, adds more revenue space and does not require access to the entire train:

 

Qapla

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Don't get me wrong here - I have mobility issues .... that said, I do not think that all those without mobility issues should be "pushed to the back, as it were, just to accommodate ALL those who may have mobility/disability issues.

I have enough sense to understand that my mobility issues means I cannot do all the things I did when I was younger and more mobile. I do not think that extraordinary measures need to be taken "in case" I would like to do something I can no longer do.

A train only has so much space. While some provision should be made to allow those with mobility issues should be made so we can still ride the train - I do not think that ALL areas of the train NEED to be made accessible to me as long as the actual purpose of the train can be achieved by me - specifically, if I can have a comfortable seat, a window to see out of and access to the restroom and food, I do not need to have that access in every car on the entire train.

To me, it would be much better to have a single train car especially built for ADA and the rest of the train built for those who don't need ADA.
 

AmHope

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I do like the idea of an ADA sleeper/lounge combo. Of course that leaves out the ADA coach passengers. You could even make the upper floor a first class lounge like the old parlour cars. The lift area could open into a small wheelchair-friendly area immediately in front of the elevator.

The problem with an ADA-only car is that it adds an entire car to the consist for what could be an empty car.

Realistically though the physical constraints just make it impossible to try to make a train fully ADA compliant. Nobody demands that airliners allow you to roll your wheelchair around in them. Trains aren't quite as constrained by physics as planes are, but the rail and loading gauges still impose hard limits on what's possible.

Although like I said earlier, we could just bring back Brunel Gauge and have cars the size of manufactured homes rolling down the rails. Plenty of room then. That would be awesome. =) The tunnels would be darn expensive though!
 

lordsigma

Conductor
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On the CS today - some unique aspects in the flexible dining today. They have the flex meals plus a meat or veggie lasagna option which is completely different than the normal flexible meals - looked more like it had been prepared at a comissary and reheated - not the usual flex container. They also had the oven pride cafe car burgers and Hebrew National hot dogs available in the diner as well. The lasagna was pretty good - I should have taken a photo before eating but didn’t think too so there’s the finished container.
 

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Way2Kewl

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Dallas
fingers crossed in 3 more days "Steak" will be back on the Western LD routes. Along with the many other favorites.
 

Cal

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fingers crossed in 3 more days "Steak" will be back on the Western LD routes. Along with the many other favorites.
Traditional dining won't be back for all western routes on every journey until the 26th. it will only be available on trains leaving from their OBS crew base, so trains #4, #422, #2, #14, #8, #28, and #5
 

crescent-zephyr

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Oct 21, 2015
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On the CS today - some unique aspects in the flexible dining today. They have the flex meals plus a meat or veggie lasagna option which is completely different than the normal flexible meals - looked more like it had been prepared at a comissary and reheated - not the usual flex container. They also had the oven pride cafe car burgers and Hebrew National hot dogs available in the diner as well. The lasagna was pretty good - I should have taken a photo before eating but didn’t think too so there’s the finished container.
Interesting! I wonder if the Lasagnas are heated up in the oven. maybe the coast starlight manager listened to the complaints and ordered some lasagnas and burgers and hot dogs for the diner.
 

Way2Kewl

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I'll be gone the first weekend in July so that gives them a full week after the 26th to get their groove back. I've rarely had a bad chef. I've rarely had a good FlexMeal. I swear if the Chef's are not back on the Zephyr by the first weekend in July I'm going to have to find/use UberEats at the daytime layovers and pack cold sandwiches for the rest. (I can handle the fast food omelet but still no comparison for the Egg choices once the diners are back in full operations.) Hopefully by my early July departure.
 

Cal

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I'll be gone the first weekend in July so that gives them a full week after the 26th to get their groove back. I've rarely had a bad chef. I've rarely had a good FlexMeal. I swear if the Chef's are not back on the Zephyr by the first weekend in July I'm going to have to find/use UberEats at the daytime layovers and pack cold sandwiches for the rest. (I can handle the fast food omelet but still no comparison for the Egg choices once the diners are back in full operations.) Hopefully by my early July departure.
Traditional dining will definitely be back by July
 

lordsigma

Conductor
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They definitely appear to be using the oven on the superliner trains for flex dining as they usually are coming with a tin cover. My meals on the zephyr all had the tin over the top and seemed more like oven heated than nuked.
 

Dustyroad

Service Attendant
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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
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I will be riding the Coast starlight one week from tomorrow. Will have lunch and dinner in the diner traveling from lax-emy. Then emu chi on CZ. I’ll take pictures as much as I can and report my take and my gf’s take.
Please let us know if they have coffee in the sleeper cars on the CZ (if you are in one ). And I can't wait to see any pictures you might post. :) Have a great trip.
 
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When I rode the Zephyr last week, there was coffee in the sleeper cars.

The flex meals had the tin cover indicating oven heating, as described above. No lasagna as on the Coast Starlight but at lunch they offered options from the cafe car (burgers, hot dogs, pizza) plus just a couple of the flex meals. My car attendant explained it as not wanting to end up with too many leftover flex meals when they switch back to traditional dining next week.
 
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