Auto Train Meals

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Hans627

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
19
I am considering taking the Auto Train within the next several weeks. I have a few questions relative to dining during this pandemic:

1. Are "standard" meals being served?
2. If so, what is the seating arrangement (social distancing)?
3. Is there an option to eat your meals in your sleeping compartment (bedroom)?

And any other advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

Hans627

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
19
Here's what I found on the Amtrak website"

Coronavirus Update | Amtrak

Click on the "Food and Beverage" tab. It mentions the Auto Train.
Thanks for the info.

Which lead to another question. Has the capacity of the train been reduced to increase social distancing? I was hoping to get a bedroom and I see on many dates the bedrooms are sold out. I was surprised at that considering travel in general has been reduced.

Any input appreciated. Thank you!
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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Jul 9, 2014
Messages
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Has the capacity of the train been reduced to increase social distancing?

Yes, capacity has been reduced but the auto train is still quite busy. They are encouraging people to eat in their rooms and using alternate seating arrangements.
 

Brian Battuello

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
86
I have a friend considering an auto train run in a week or so. I looked at the "Food and Dining" tab above, and it says that flexible (i.e. microwave) meals are being served on all trains except the Auto Train. But it doesn't say what the Auto Train is doing. Is it still as just before the Covid cutbacks, i.e. free "traditional" dining for sleeping car passengers and cafe/snack bar service for coach passengers? Thanks!
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
293
I have a friend considering an auto train run in a week or so. I looked at the "Food and Dining" tab above, and it says that flexible (i.e. microwave) meals are being served on all trains except the Auto Train. But it doesn't say what the Auto Train is doing. Is it still as just before the Covid cutbacks, i.e. free "traditional" dining for sleeping car passengers and cafe/snack bar service for coach passengers? Thanks!
yes
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
293
RichieRich-Have you been on the AutoTrain since March?
Wow...10 r/t's last year...2 this year! Was down for the month of Feb., but not back since. Haven't made any future plans. Nuthin' open in Orlando anyway...."open" as in Pre-Covid open. Since eating out in Disney, my main activity (Vickie & Al's, Cali Grill, Boma, Sanaa, etc), is out, probably the whole rest of this year! Last time I checked - there were 3 (three) people in my entire condo building there!!! All staff let go...engineer answered the phone.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
469
I am considering taking the Auto Train within the next several weeks. I have a few questions relative to dining during this pandemic:

1. Are "standard" meals being served?
2. If so, what is the seating arrangement (social distancing)?
3. Is there an option to eat your meals in your sleeping compartment (bedroom)?

And any other advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!
This is presently posted for Auto Train... of course, these days, anything and everything is subject to change. BTW; this begs the question - why then not on LD? 🤬

 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,915

ET2020

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
127
Wow...10 r/t's last year...2 this year! Was down for the month of Feb., but not back since. Haven't made any future plans. Nuthin' open in Orlando anyway...."open" as in Pre-Covid open. Since eating out in Disney, my main activity (Vickie & Al's, Cali Grill, Boma, Sanaa, etc), is out, probably the whole rest of this year! Last time I checked - there were 3 (three) people in my entire condo building there!!! All staff let go...engineer answered the phone.
Bummer!
I hope we turn the corner on this cray-cray virus before the Fall.
I still have my fingers crossed for our January 2021 trip to Orlando......
 

gwolfdog

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
87
We'd like to go back in Nov/Dec. I have great confidence that the President and the 😂Florida Governor will have it in check by then.😷
 

BLNT

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
97
Rode southbound last month and due for a round trip next month. We enjoyed dinner in our bedroom. Salads are no longer offered (cited COVID, of course). Enjoyed the cod again, picked at the vegetable medley (like always... yuk), and then had the lava cake w/ice cream... TASTY! I wish they'd just GIVE UP on breakfast. Heck, even a coupon for a free sausage biscuit at McDonald's would be an improvement.

No coffee dispenser nor (self-serve) ice.
 

ET2020

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
127
Rode southbound last month and due for a round trip next month. We enjoyed dinner in our bedroom. Salads are no longer offered (cited COVID, of course). Enjoyed the cod again, picked at the vegetable medley (like always... yuk), and then had the lava cake w/ice cream... TASTY! I wish they'd just GIVE UP on breakfast. Heck, even a coupon for a free sausage biscuit at McDonald's would be an improvement.

No coffee dispenser nor (self-serve) ice.
Sounds delightful ! ;)
The breakfast situation is particularly disappointing, as a sit-down breakfast is my favorite meal.
Still holding out hope that we'll see improvements across the board, by the end of this year.
Thanks, BLNT
ET:)
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,915
Re: Auto Train breakfast.

I wonder what percentage of Sleeping Car passengers actually go to breakfast. The service hours are short; one has to arise early in order to go to breakfast. And, if the train is running early, I wonder if the service hours are even shorter and the dining car closes before guests can get there.

When I rode the train in January, the diner did not seem very busy in the morning. And, we were running about 60 minutes late,
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Conductor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,178
Rode southbound last month and due for a round trip next month. We enjoyed dinner in our bedroom. Salads are no longer offered (cited COVID, of course). Enjoyed the cod again, picked at the vegetable medley (like always... yuk), and then had the lava cake w/ice cream... TASTY! I wish they'd just GIVE UP on breakfast. Heck, even a coupon for a free sausage biscuit at McDonald's would be an improvement.
Speaking of salads and McD's, they aren't offering side salads anymore. For adults, it is just their fries now.

And it isn't just McD's. A lot of places stopped offering salads. Is it because the lettuce is served "raw" and uncooked?
 

Exvalley

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
99
Speaking of salads and McD's, they aren't offering side salads anymore. For adults, it is just their fries now.

And it isn't just McD's. A lot of places stopped offering salads. Is it because the lettuce is served "raw" and uncooked?
Because drive through windows are so busy many fast food restaurants have streamlined their menu. It’s all about saving time.
This article explains it well: The real reason you can't get a salad at McDonald's right now
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
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Exvalley

Train Attendant
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Messages
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Interesting that chik-fil-a, who’s average per store revenue is getting close to double the average McDonalds ($4.1 vs. $2.6 ) has no trouble continuing to serve its full menu.
That's because their full menu is smaller and less diverse than McDonald's pre-Covid full menu. As of a couple of years ago there were 145 items on the McDonald's menu.
 

PVD

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Messages
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To further support your point, McDonalds has recently trimmed some items from there menu in recognition of it be too lengthy, and costly in terms of product cost. Unfortunately, some of the items were the healthier choices I preferred. While I'm sure some folks will be put off (myself included) I understand the analysis that went into the choices. Like the salads, where they looked at the costs of handling multiple varieties of lettuce, as opposed to only the one they use on sandwiches. I feel bad for the owners of the one near me, they closed for 6 months and completely rebuilt to have a much nicer dining area, now, you can only go in and pick up, or use the drive thru. At least they made the drive thru better in the renovation.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Conductor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,178
Because drive through windows are so busy many fast food restaurants have streamlined their menu. It’s all about saving time.
This article explains it well: The real reason you can't get a salad at McDonald's right now
Side salads have got to be easier, faster, than fries. McD is simply fishing for an excuse to push their fries.

For the side salads, they just have to reach into the cooler, and take it out. Fries, they have to load the basket and wait for them to cook (at the take out window, I am told to wait for the 5 minutes). I mean, at least they don't attempt to make all their fries for the day, and just scoop them out as needed. 😞
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,561
Side salads have got to be easier, faster, than fries. McD is simply fishing for an excuse to push their fries.

For the side salads, they just have to reach into the cooler, and take it out. Fries, they have to load the basket and wait for them to cook (at the take out window, I am told to wait for the 5 minutes). I mean, at least they don't attempt to make all their fries for the day, and just scoop them out as needed. 😞
Exactly... it’s an excuse to cut costs.
 

PVD

Conductor
AU Supporter
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Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,620
It wasn't just side, it was entree also. Everything is about costs. less choices, lower costs.
 
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