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Bar Compartment on Superliners?

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Deni

Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
204
The thread about the possibility of bringing smoking back to Amtrak (bad idea and not legal to do in really any state or by Federal guidelines) got me to thinking about the old smoking compartments on the Superliners back in the late 90s/early 00s. I smoked back then (19 years as a non-smoker this month) and spent a lot of time in that compartment on my regular trips between Seattle and Chicago. It always seemed to develop in to a party down there with all the bad kids on the train having a lot of fun.

(Those of you who were never rode when they had these rooms, imagine one of the coach cars where the lower level coach section was an empty room with plastic chairs along the two walls, no carpeting, and a ventilation system to almost keep the smoke clear)

Though I don't miss smoking I do miss that space on the train. It was a place to be kind of loud and "party." It got me to thinking that what if Amtrak took that same idea and created an adults-only bar space instead? I'm thinking like a real bar with a real bartender who mixed drinks instead of just giving you a plastic bottle of booze and your mixer and a plastic glass of ice. Beers on tap if logistically possible (kegs might be too hard to deal with on a train), craft cocktails, craft beer, snack food like nuts and popcorn, etc.

I'm thinking you could probably have a few high top table and stools and standing space. I don't know what the capacity could be.

I don't know if it's economically feasible. But the old smoking compartments didn't have any income obviously. It would be a space for your more "rambunctious" riders to hang out and it keeps the Sightseer Lounge family friendly if those kind of folks have a place they can cut loose instead.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,129
The thread about the possibility of bringing smoking back to Amtrak (bad idea and not legal to do in really any state or by Federal guidelines) got me to thinking about the old smoking compartments on the Superliners back in the late 90s/early 00s. I smoked back then (19 years as a non-smoker this month) and spent a lot of time in that compartment on my regular trips between Seattle and Chicago. It always seemed to develop in to a party down there with all the bad kids on the train having a lot of fun.

(Those of you who were never rode when they had these rooms, imagine one of the coach cars where the lower level coach section was an empty room with plastic chairs along the two walls, no carpeting, and a ventilation system to almost keep the smoke clear)

Though I don't miss smoking I do miss that space on the train. It was a place to be kind of loud and "party." It got me to thinking that what if Amtrak took that same idea and created an adults-only bar space instead? I'm thinking like a real bar with a real bartender who mixed drinks instead of just giving you a plastic bottle of booze and your mixer and a plastic glass of ice. Beers on tap if logistically possible (kegs might be too hard to deal with on a train), craft cocktails, craft beer, snack food like nuts and popcorn, etc.

I'm thinking you could probably have a few high top table and stools and standing space. I don't know what the capacity could be.

I don't know if it's economically feasible. But the old smoking compartments didn't have any income obviously. It would be a space for your more "rambunctious" riders to hang out and it keeps the Sightseer Lounge family friendly if those kind of folks have a place they can cut loose instead.
They had smoking rooms in single level lounge cars as well. I never smoked but I agree it always looked like the place to be if you wanted to have a good time!
 

Deni

Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
204
They had smoking rooms in single level lounge cars as well. I never smoked but I agree it always looked like the place to be if you wanted to have a good time!
Yeah, I used one of those on a LSL trip one time. Much more cramped for sure. But still where all the bad kids hung out.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
313
Location
Cleveland
There was a smoking room in the lower level in both directions during my first California Zephyr ride between Chicago and Emeryville in 2001. We had a great time but now that I'm older than 20, it's not too smart to smoke!
 

Exvalley

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
335
An issue with Amtrak is always the staffing. Amtrak staff make much better wages than comparable service positions. So the question is whether or not the revenues would justify the increased staffing costs, including the sleeping accommodation that they would take up. Drinks tend to be a high profit item, so it could work, I suppose.
 
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