Crescent discussion 2023 Q4

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Service Attendant
Sep 1, 2013
Does anyone know the current climate in the lounge car for sleeper passengers? Is the section closest to the sleepers usable only for sleeper customers, or is it a "crew lounge"? Is it based on whatever the crew feels like on that particular run? The Amtrak website does indicate that sleeper passengers on all flexible dining trains have an "exclusive onboard lounge to dine and socialize". I would even be OK if the whole lounge was open to the whole train, with space reserved during meal times for sleeper customers.
I can tell you that if the crew decides to make it their personal space, I will be sending in a complaint, as this is unacceptable. There should be no more than one table in a lounge set aside for crew during normal hours (say 6AM to 10PM). Other than that, crews can utilize open coach seats or open rooms as they are available throughout the trip (a train is almost never fully sold out from start point to end point). Crews can also use more lounge tables in the overnight hours.
It's sad that Amtrak makes this dining so much worse than it has to be. Quality of food notwithstanding, it wouldn't be difficult to take tapered reservations for lunch and dinner and have one person serving food at the tables closest to the sleeper. I remember during the days of the Three Rivers, and when the Cardinal lost its diner, they did this VERY successfully, to the point that the experience was almost better than a dining car (where, let's face it, you sometimes get mediocre food and a surly crew anyway).


Service Attendant
Feb 17, 2022
Easley, SC
I just finished a round trip on the crescent in a roomette. Here’s my take on your question.

Amtrak calls the car the cafe. On both my trains it has the snack sale counter amidship and tables on both sides of the aisle on either end of the car. It was behind the coaches and just before the first of the three sleepers. The rear half in each case seemed to be where the entire crew hung out. The front half seemed to be for the passengers. I did not use it long enough in either trip to discern if coach passengers could or did use it or not.

I hope this helps.

I should add that the “dining” experience for sleeping car psgrs is heated up semi complete meals, incl an entree of some sort, from a list of four or five choices, a small plastic dish of rabbit food, a warm roll wrapped in foil, and a dessert from some choices. Also one complimentary glass of red or white grape juice with a bit of a kick to it. When you board, the sleeping car attendant takes your meal order and at the appointed time it is prepared by the staff and brought to you by the attendant, for you to enjoy in your compartment. It was not clear to me if I could have eaten mine in the cafe part of the car or not. I think yes but I’m not sure.
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