Dinner on Westbound LSL from NYP

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supportamtrak

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
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Jul 11, 2019
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What time does dinner start at on the Lakeshore Limited from New York to Chicago? Can we eat before Albany?

Thanks!
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
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Feb 15, 2011
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I don't know exactly what time dinner starts (I presume 5pm? Someone that gets on at NYP regularly will have more specific info...), but I do know that pax from NYP are strongly encouraged to east before Albany, as the hungry pax from Boston have to wait till after Albany to have access to the diner. I've gotten on at both NYP and BOS, and while I prefer the station at BOS, it was very nice the one time I got on at NYP to have dinner earlier!

Caveat: things have changed with the new "contemporary dining", and I have not ridden since the change. But I presume that the Viewliner Diner (now the sleeper lounge) still comes with the NYP section, and the Cafe Car still comes from BOS? Someone please confirm, because I will be taking this train again next year, and I want to know, too!
 

Palmetto

Conductor
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May 12, 2014
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1,936
I think the consist observation you made is correct, which means that since there is no café car leaving New Yok, and coach passengers may not use the dining car anymore, coach passengers cannot eat on the train until AFTER Albany. Kinda ridiculous.
 

supportamtrak

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
26
I don't know exactly what time dinner starts (I presume 5pm? Someone that gets on at NYP regularly will have more specific info...), but I do know that pax from NYP are strongly encouraged to east before Albany, as the hungry pax from Boston have to wait till after Albany to have access to the diner. I've gotten on at both NYP and BOS, and while I prefer the station at BOS, it was very nice the one time I got on at NYP to have dinner earlier!

Caveat: things have changed with the new "contemporary dining", and I have not ridden since the change. But I presume that the Viewliner Diner (now the sleeper lounge) still comes with the NYP section, and the Cafe Car still comes from BOS? Someone please confirm, because I will be taking this train again next year, and I want to know, too!
Just dug the info from Amtrak website: dinner starts at 5. And as of now(this could change), only sleeper car passengers can access the diner car along the entire route. Coach passengers can only use the cafe car emanating from Boston and merging in Albany.
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
331
Yeah, this is really stupid. They need to do something with this train cause this is not working.

Maybe running the cafe to NYP and the diner to Boston makes more sense. West of Albany the diner becomes the exclusive first class lounge with sleeper class food service (7 PM dinner is probably fine with most New Yorkers) and east of Albany the diner is open to all Boston passengers. That train is very short and there should be no problem serving all of the passengers in that car.

They need to figure out a process to give free meals to sleeper passengers and sell food to coach passengers, but with such small passenger counts on this leg it should be doable.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
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May 31, 2009
Messages
19,457
Used to be that the Sleeping car Passengers from BOS-ALB had a choice of 2 Menu items for Lunch that were served by the SCA in the Cafe Car. If you didnt care for the choices (usually a Sandwich or Salad) you could order from the Cafe Menu.(included in the Fare for Sleeper pax).Not sure if this is still true???

After leaving Albany, you had Dinner in the Diner (the NY Section pax were encouraged to eat between NYP and ALB) with the Cafe Car open to all passengers.( it was a Long walk from the Boston Section in front to the Diner and Cafe).
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,234
Used to be that the Sleeping car Passengers from BOS-ALB had a choice of 2 Menu items for Lunch that were served by the SCA in the Cafe Car. If you didnt care for the choices (usually a Sandwich or Salad) you could order from the Cafe Menu.(included in the Fare for Sleeper pax).Not sure if this is still true???

After leaving Albany, you had Dinner in the Diner (the NY Section pax were encouraged to eat between NYP and ALB) with the Cafe Car open to all passengers.( it was a Long walk from the Boston Section in front to the Diner and Cafe).
Probably still true. Westbound, it was always lunch on leaving BOS - from the cafe car, served by your SCA, and you wait till after ALB for dinner. Eastbound, it was dinner in the cafe car. But not a long walk to the cafe car at all, only to the diner! The cafe car is what separates the BOS sleeper from BOS coach, so it's right there. And the diner does the same for the NYP section. So, to get from the BOS sleeper to the diner involves a long walk through the cafe, BOS coach, and several (seems like as many as six?) NYP coaches to the diner. If I'm wrong about that, I am sure someone will correct me, LOL -- it has been a coupla years since I rode.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,457
Probably still true. Westbound, it was always lunch on leaving BOS - from the cafe car, served by your SCA, and you wait till after ALB for dinner. Eastbound, it was dinner in the cafe car. But not a long walk to the cafe car at all, only to the diner! The cafe car is what separates the BOS sleeper from BOS coach, so it's right there. And the diner does the same for the NYP section. So, to get from the BOS sleeper to the diner involves a long walk through the cafe, BOS coach, and several (seems like as many as six?) NYP coaches to the diner. If I'm wrong about that, I am sure someone will correct me, LOL -- it has been a coupla years since I rode.
Thanks, it's been 3 years for me since I rode the BOS Section of the LSL.
 

jiml

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
929
Used to be that the Sleeping car Passengers from BOS-ALB had a choice of 2 Menu items for Lunch that were served by the SCA in the Cafe Car. If you didnt care for the choices (usually a Sandwich or Salad) you could order from the Cafe Menu.(included in the Fare for Sleeper pax).Not sure if this is still true???

After leaving Albany, you had Dinner in the Diner (the NY Section pax were encouraged to eat between NYP and ALB) with the Cafe Car open to all passengers.( it was a Long walk from the Boston Section in front to the Diner and Cafe).
They used to be called "tray meals" IIRC, and weren't that bad.
 

JRR

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
924
Yeah, this is really stupid. They need to do something with this train cause this is not working.

Maybe running the cafe to NYP and the diner to Boston makes more sense. West of Albany the diner becomes the exclusive first class lounge with sleeper class food service (7 PM dinner is probably fine with most New Yorkers) and east of Albany the diner is open to all Boston passengers. That train is very short and there should be no problem serving all of the passengers in that car.

They need to figure out a process to give free meals to sleeper passengers and sell food to coach passengers, but with such small passenger counts on this leg it should be doable.
The Sleeper Passengers do not get “free meals”, they pay for the meals, whether they eat them or not, when they buy the ticket.

As to whether or not Amtrak properly accounts for such payment, that is an entirely different matter.
 
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