Amtrak Single Food Service Car

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
27,858
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
In theory, this could be done well. Nothing is cooked on The Ocean, and look at how much better those meals are compared to Amtrak.
I know among us Amtrak well wishers hope always springs eternal :) Maybe if Amtrak reduces its LD network to the level at which VIA has its, we might actually get good service some day 🤷‍♂️
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
472
In theory, this could be done well. Nothing is cooked on The Ocean, and look at how much better those meals are compared to Amtrak.
Since I've never been on the Ocean (did get to take the Atlantic in a section once!), what uncooked food are you raving about? Please enlighten us :)

Found this after quick search for the Ocean:

From breakfast to dinner, try something from our three-course menu. We offer three choices . . . The main course always include a meat dish, a fish dish and a vegetarian dish of cooked on board main dishes for every meal.

Food and Drinks
 
Last edited:

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
Every train that goes more than 500 miles should have both a Diner and a Cafe Car. A Cafe Car alone is sufficient for 150 to 500 miles. For trips of less than 150 miles, it's probably fine to have no food service because few people buy food on such trips anyway.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,449
BMS: Are you equating 500 miles with a train that takes about 10 hours ? On the other hand what about trains shorter than 500 miles? There fore if an Acela that goes 457 miles in 6:30 BOS - WASH does not need service?. Kind of ridiculous ?
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
879
Location
Denver
They should have designed the baggage cars as the ones with a guard's compartment as is done in several countries. But I don't think that has ever been common practice in the US.
On secondary trains there often were Combines, with baggage and coach seats. The coach was usually used for the "shorts" so it was logical for the conductor to set up in that area to handle all the ons and offs, including cash fares. (I'm not referring to Jim Crow cars in the South.)

The UP and perhaps other roads had conductors' desks and chairs included in some coaches. They weren't always used.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
22,509
Location
Austin Texas
From Amtrak's 5 year plan:

. . . we are soliciting a vendor who can design modifications to our new Viewliner II dining cars to enable them to provide both Flexible Dining service and café/lounge service, which currently requires two separate cars. In addition to cost savings, providing food service in a modern car configured to accommodate our current food service model would improve customer service.
Here we go again!

More BS from the Amtrak Spin Department!!!🤬
 

Shortline

Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,152
Location
All over the United States
If they can find something edible, I don’t think I hate the idea of not returning to the full diners on one night trains. On multi day Trips? It’s a must, for me.

But while I rave about the downgrade in service level, honestly on the Eastern trains, other than something decent for breakfast, I really don’t care too much. It was rare I would eat dinner out of Washington or New York anyway going South, as I almost always ate a decent meal before boarding. And getting off most times in Birmingham, I generally skipped lunch too, and just ate when I got in. If I was going all the way from New York, to Miami, or New Orleans, maybe I’d feel differently.

Same goes with the Capitol or Cardinal. It’s too short, for me to really need a full diner. Something quick, light, and GOOD would be fine for me. I do think, having only a single food service car will largely eliminate the freedom to get out of the room as often, as there will be much less common area space. That, I kinda hate. With bedroom prices through the roof, I’ve been in roomettes most of the time, and am looking foreword to them opening the cafe seating up. That can’t happen soon enough for me.

But...,Sea/LA to Chicago? That, needs a real diner. I had quit taking the train, flying most of last month, and planned to continue. But reading, that they’re putting then meals back on board, I booked a trip SEA-CHI, and then CHI-NOL, and NOL-BHM in June. Wouldn’t have done that, without the return of a real diner on the Builder.

That said, these flex meals are terrible, and need to be improved upon. Especially the breakfast. And I think they can do it. I hope they do.
 
Last edited:

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,177
Location
Ithaca, NY
I just wanted my morning eggs or plain unsugared oatmeal going between Syracuse and Chicago. Easiest done with a short-order cook cooking fresh; there are ways to do it without, but Amtrak has not made a serious effort.

And my evening steak and salad going from New York to Chicago, or vice versa. Again, a boxed meal of high quality which was allergy-friendly would be OK. (The boxes on the Portland section of the Empire Builder were always fine.) But this stuff is crap.
 
Top