Crescent discussion 2023 Q4 - 2024

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In the VLII bag/dorm on the Cardinal as I type this just leaving Staunton. My wife prefers the VL1 with bathroom in the room. I tend to agree. But just happy to be on a train. Riding through the mountains here makes me want a train to Asheville all the more and I wish someone would come up with money to run a scenic train from Greensboro (or Winston-Salem or Rural Hall) to N. Wilksboro as it runs along the Yadkin River. (We just rode by the Buckingham Branch and they have a scenic train behind an engine for the Virginia Scenic Railway.)
On another thread, someone is asking about getting a VLII Roomette on the Card. Can you share what car number (aka line number) you're in?
 
There was a new Viewliner II diner providing full traditional dining on the Crescent when I rode it in the spring of 2018.
There was a new viewliner II diner (No. 68018-Montpelier) on the Crescent on our trip in May 2019 providing full traditional dining and those meals were just delicious. That is the only trip we have taken with a viewliner II diner being used as it was originally designed.

A few days later we were on the Lake Shore with another viewliner II diner (No. 68002-Atlanta) but it was being used only to serve contemporary dining. I recall passengers lining up in the aisle of the dining car to receive their bags of food at the kitchen door. Due to the line in the aisle, it was at times difficult to get in or out of the booths if you wanted to use them. Quite a contrast to the Crescent dining car a few days earlier.
 
The Crescent’s diner was removed during Covid when they began to make cuts. Then when the Star and Meteor went to running as just one train a day the standard consist for both included a diner (previously the Star just had the lounge - originallly doing the starvation experiment and later flexible dining.) when the Star and meteor went back to daily operation as separate trains, both trains had diners - so effectively at that point the star gained it at the crescent’s expense. This is now the first time where four eastern routes have the VLIi diners assigned and the most VLII diners are operating on trains since they were delivered.
 
There was a new viewliner II diner (No. 68018-Montpelier) on the Crescent on our trip in May 2019 providing full traditional dining and those meals were just delicious. That is the only trip we have taken with a viewliner II diner being used as it was originally designed.

A few days later we were on the Lake Shore with another viewliner II diner (No. 68002-Atlanta) but it was being used only to serve contemporary dining. I recall passengers lining up in the aisle of the dining car to receive their bags of food at the kitchen door. Due to the line in the aisle, it was at times difficult to get in or out of the booths if you wanted to use them. Quite a contrast to the Crescent dining car a few days earlier.

I totally agree.

The end of full dining car service was a huge cut and a mistake, imo, and one that affected my desire for long distance train travel both in coach and in sleepers. Not to mention buying all those new dining cars and then not fully using their expensive kitchens. We've traveled many times on the Crescent in sleepers and in coach for day-long trips to New Orleans and to other destinations in the past, and several trips on other long distance trains. The full meal service in the dining car was an enjoyable and important part of the experience.
 
Today June 30 Crescent #19 left ATL station at 1117h and is still waiting at CP Howell at 1215 h. Is this another CSX delay blocking Howell that will be charged to NS incorrectly?
 
Boarding Crescent southbound at Charlottesville, VA to Greensboro. What are the chances we get a flex meal now? I was told on the way up that CVS would still offer a flex meal but that was boarding at 8:47 PM with the dinner closing at 9 PM based on Amtrak.com website. Now we are boarding at 10:18 PM if lucky. I assume the cafe will at least be an option. Being Sunday the few things close by in walking distance closed early in the day.
 
Boarding Crescent southbound at Charlottesville, VA to Greensboro. What are the chances we get a flex meal now? I was told on the way up that CVS would still offer a flex meal but that was boarding at 8:47 PM with the dinner closing at 9 PM based on Amtrak.com website. Now we are boarding at 10:18 PM if lucky. I assume the cafe will at least be an option. Being Sunday the few things close by in walking distance closed early in the day.
There used to be a Buffalo Wild Wings location right at the station. I used it on a Cardinal trip in 2016. I guess thay got hammered by Covid and closed. That's a shame.
 
There used to be a Buffalo Wild Wings location right at the station. I used it on a Cardinal trip in 2016. I guess thay got hammered by Covid and closed. That's a shame.
Yep, restaurant closed. It was a point some of us talked about. I think I ate there on a car trip to the city. And a place like wings is the type of place to stay open late on a Sunday. I was going to walk to the Potbelly but decided too late and they had closed for the day.
 
We boarded around 10:15 PM and I asked the SCA about food knowing it was late, but I mentioned we had our last meal at 12:30 on the Cardinal. He brought back some hamburgers, chips, and brownie. Good service. And for once I noticed an Amtrak employee wearing some union accessories. He was wearing a Unite HERE lanyard.
 
How was the hamburger, chips and brownie?
Here goes something I had not said before-----It was better than the flex meal. There I said it. I hope everyone is happy now. 😀

We kept the brownie and chips for later but it was not a bad hamburger. Better than the last time I had the hamburger from the cafe.
 
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