CZ CHI-RNO and back for Jul 4th weekend: What should I document?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Nick Farr

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
74
I think this will be my 4th of 5th trip on the CZ, again in a roomette. Leaving CHI on 7/1 and returning 7/6.

I'm pretty sure all meals will still be served in my room, but what I'm wondering is how they'll manage the lounge car.

A recent YT video shows that the dining and lounge cars are still part of the consist (
).

What questions can I answer on this trip?
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
2,834
Lots, Nick, and thank you for being an advance scout!

How boarding is handled—are they handing out face masks to those without and asking people to stay 6 feet away from each other?

How clean is the roomette? Obviously cleaned and sanitized well? Or hard to tell?

What new rules/restrictions are there that the SCA tells you about?

And of course like always with us on AU, how the meals are served and what they are!
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,988
And where are the Meals? How do you allow for 6 feet apart in the dining car, when there are 4 to a table, and the tables are back to back?
 

Nick Farr

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
74
And where are the Meals? How do you allow for 6 feet apart in the dining car, when there are 4 to a table, and the tables are back to back?
"Café service aboard Amtrak trains that still offer food service will be available as carryout only. Seating in the café will be closed. Customers can bring items back to their seats or private rooms."

From what I read elsewhere, all meals will be served in Roomettes Flex Dining style. It'll be interesting to report on it, since I'll be having Dinner on the 1st, three meals on the 2nd, and breakfast on the 3rd.

What I'm wondering is if the sightseeing lounge will be open or closed. If it's closed, that would be a shame.
 

NativeSon5859

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
938
You can eat in the diner or in your room. They have basically blocked off every other booth in the diner for social distancing. If you're traveling alone, you'll have a booth to yourself.

The upstairs lounge area is open for seating, you just have to wear a mask. Downstairs seating area is closed, but the cafe is open.
 

Nick Farr

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
74
Did they do reservations?

I found your SL post, that kind of info was exactly what I was looking for and hope to expand upon.

It'll be weird having a booth to myself, along with the Flexible Dining. I got kind of used to the Signature Steak, it'll be odd to not have it this go-around.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,688
And where are the Meals? How do you allow for 6 feet apart in the dining car, when there are 4 to a table, and the tables are back to back?
If the western trains are still using the diners you only sit with someone you're traveling with and they're only using one table for each "row", so if the tables are numbered it would be 1, 4, 5, 8, etc
 

Maverickstation

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
260
If the western trains are still using the diners you only sit with someone you're traveling with and they're only using one table for each "row", so if the tables are numbered it would be 1, 4, 5, 8, etc
There not, Amtrak has now posted all LD trains are on Flexible Dining, through at least August 31st.

Reports from people riding the trains are always welcome, and greatly appreciated.

Ken
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,688
There not, Amtrak has now posted all LD trains are on Flexible Dining, through at least August 31st.

Reports from people riding the trains are always welcome, and greatly appreciated.

Ken
Flex dining refers to the food. They may still be serving it in the diners.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
829
Someone on the Amtrak subreddit said that the 2nd floor of the Chicago Metropolitan Lounge, was for now closed. Along with very bizarrely, saying that no drinks or snacks were being served, as was the past custom there. I find that part hard to believe, considering they at minimum should serve bagged snacks and sealed up drinks. I guess it is due to COVID worries where in a way I understand, but it's still sad to hear.

Have a fun trip, when you do your trip to Reno! Was thinking in the future that I might do some sort of summer 2020 CZ trip eventually to Glenwood Springs, then perhaps stop in Denver on the way back before going all the way home to Chicago. And of course whenever you do your travel report to Reno, that you mention how the flex dining meals are like. I suspect if I do the Glenwood Springs and Denver travel idea, that I'll probably finally see how flex dining is for myself. Hopefully it isn't as bad as I fear, but will see for myself....
 

Nick Farr

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
74
I heard that too, and it would be a shame. Having that is a highlight of my trip. There's plenty of space on the lower level, but for real peace and quiet you have to go upstairs.

I hope the lounge attendants are the nice ones not the cranky ones.
 

NativeSon5859

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
938
I’m in CUS metro lounge as we speak.

Second floor is closed.

Mini cans of Coke/Diet Coke and light snacks are available but you have to ask the attendant for them. Interestingly, the lounge in D.C still has the soda machine working as usual.
 

NativeSon5859

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
938
You're a braver man than me!! Bet you'll be glad to have some Real Food when you get to NOLA!!!
You know, I was able to do the new dining car meals for 7 days! On dinner on the 7th day, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I hit up the lounge for buffalo chicken nuggets and some chips and man did it ever hit the spot! 😂

Will there be a Travelogue?

I also hope I'll be able to do a review of all the Flex Meals on board.
I might try to put one together. Some pics, at least. It was a really nice trip. The trains are more full than they were two months ago but still nowhere near full. Service was great.
 

Nick Farr

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
74
Just got this e-mail from Amtrak about my trip:

Looks like this is confirms the dining car will be used just to serve the Flexible Dining options. Link to the west coast menu:


Looking forward to trying these and seeing how it all goes. CHI>RNO means 2 breakfasts and 3 Lunch/Dinner options, assuming the train runs on time. Most of the time I've gone out to Reno, it's been late enough I've gotten lunch out of the train. RNO > CHI means 2 breakfasts and 4 Lunch/Dinners so I should be able to cover the menu.

Would some YouTube videos reviewing each meal be...helpful?

We are reaching out with important information about your upcoming trip.

The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority. As a result of coronavirus pandemic, we will be streamlining our onboard food and beverage offerings on your trip.

Flexible dining service will be available for Sleeping Car customers. Flexible dining offers a recently expanded menu of hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a wide selection wine, beer and spirits (the first one is on us) and unlimited soft drinks throughout the journey. The complimentary service will be provided in the Dining Car, though room service will be offered by the Sleeping Car attendant to provide more options for social distancing while on the train.

Café service will be available for Coach customers. Located in the Sightseeing Lounge, our Café offers a variety of meals, snacks and beverages for sale during breakfast, lunch and dinner. During this time, traditional dining service will be temporarily suspended and access to the Dining Car will not be permitted.

Learn more and browse our menus at Amtrak.com/flexdining and Amtrak.com/cafe. Thanks for riding Amtrak. We look forward to seeing you onboard.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,764
Just got this e-mail from Amtrak about my trip:

Looks like this is confirms the dining car will be used just to serve the Flexible Dining options. Link to the west coast menu:


Looking forward to trying these and seeing how it all goes. CHI>RNO means 2 breakfasts and 3 Lunch/Dinner options, assuming the train runs on time. Most of the time I've gone out to Reno, it's been late enough I've gotten lunch out of the train. RNO > CHI means 2 breakfasts and 4 Lunch/Dinners so I should be able to cover the menu.

Would some YouTube videos reviewing each meal be...helpful?
Yes, please give us reviews of the Menu offerings.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,945
Mini cans of Coke/Diet Coke and light snacks are available but you have to ask the attendant for them. Interestingly, the lounge in D.C still has the soda machine working as usual.
At some of the convenience store chains in my area, they closed off the self-service drinks, and you have to ask for them or just buy bottled drinks. The Slurpee machines are also shut down. At other chains, it's business at usual.

From what I've read, the medical experts don't believe you can catch covid-19 from ingestion of the virus. Apparently your stomach acids will destroy it as well as any sanitizer. (So much for the extra benefit of drinking bleach :) ). I think that some places are concerned about people's virus-laden grubby hands leaving a little gift of virus on the serving device that can be transferred to someone else's grubby hands, then the second person touches their grubby hands to one of their facial orifices, and then the virus gets transmitted. I'm not sure that there are actual regulations or guidelines about that, or whether it's just a judgement call about the risk on the part of the lounge management.
 

Ferroequinologist

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
57
Just got this e-mail from Amtrak about my trip:

Looks like this is confirms the dining car will be used just to serve the Flexible Dining options. Link to the west coast menu:


Looking forward to trying these and seeing how it all goes. CHI>RNO means 2 breakfasts and 3 Lunch/Dinner options, assuming the train runs on time. Most of the time I've gone out to Reno, it's been late enough I've gotten lunch out of the train. RNO > CHI means 2 breakfasts and 4 Lunch/Dinners so I should be able to cover the menu.

Would some YouTube videos reviewing each meal be...helpful?
Same menu for lunch and dinner? Is wine included?
 

Ferroequinologist

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
57
Just got this e-mail from Amtrak about my trip:

Looks like this is confirms the dining car will be used just to serve the Flexible Dining options. Link to the west coast menu:


Looking forward to trying these and seeing how it all goes. CHI>RNO means 2 breakfasts and 3 Lunch/Dinner options, assuming the train runs on time. Most of the time I've gone out to Reno, it's been late enough I've gotten lunch out of the train. RNO > CHI means 2 breakfasts and 4 Lunch/Dinners so I should be able to cover the menu.

Would some YouTube videos reviewing each meal be...helpful?
Same menu for lunch and dinner? Is wine included?
 
2
Top