Dinner tonight on SW Chief

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We are eastbound on the Chief and right after breakfast they announced that the kitchen was having "issues" and lunch menu would be scaled back. So at lunch we had a choice of Angus burger ( was really good), Hot dog and Mac and cheese from the kids menu, or a salad. Plus the chili. By supper time the kitchen had given up so the train was going to have a pizza party with cocktails and beer/wine. Our next stop is at Raton NM. We shall see if we get delivery or the frozen ones from the Cafe car.
 

Cal

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Update? If this happens on my trip I will be hugely disappointed
 

Just-Thinking-51

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So your dinner had the freezer fail and the food could not be used. Yea it a maintenance issues, sometimes. Other times it just failed without notice. Either way it sucks, but not the end of the world type thing.

Proactive, predictive maintenance is hard to justify. Reactive maintenance is dependent on people writing up the problem.

The ability to gather the current issues, see the history of that piece of equipment, and allocated the required people and parts to fix or replace that part/equipment. Is a art form in itself. Hand held interactive devices or a paper log book the technology spread among companies is wide and diverse.

Sorry to hear your experience was less than desirable, not happy about the amount of food thrown out. However the crew and operations people did feed you warm meals. Well some of the people were feed, my gluten free folks would have issues.

Hope the OP arrived on-time and enjoyed the rest of his travels.
 

west point

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There is certainly no way for Amtrak to track recurring problems. Airlines are required to carry 2 log books on planes. One is present problems that have to be signed off and the first past log book. A second sheet for each log page is removed and entered into the computer. The old log books are then warehoused. That way past problems are searchable by crew and maintenance. IMO the same needs to be applied to each piece of rolling stock on Amtrak.

That procedure prevents too much pencil whipping and holds maintenance personnel accountable.
 

Bob Dylan

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Except in Chic
There is certainly no way for Amtrak to track recurring problems. Airlines are required to carry 2 log books on planes. One is present problems that have to be signed off and the first past log book. A second sheet for each log page is removed and entered into the computer. The old log books are then warehoused. That way past problems are searchable by crew and maintenance. IMO the same needs to be applied to each piece of rolling stock on Amtrak.

That procedure prevents too much pencil whipping and holds maintenance personnel accountable.
Except in the Chicago yards where "Pencil Whipping"and " Looks OK to Me Inspections " have a Long History!🤬
 

jis

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There is certainly no way for Amtrak to track recurring problems. Airlines are required to carry 2 log books on planes. One is present problems that have to be signed off and the first past log book. A second sheet for each log page is removed and entered into the computer. The old log books are then warehoused. That way past problems are searchable by crew and maintenance. IMO the same needs to be applied to each piece of rolling stock on Amtrak.

That procedure prevents too much pencil whipping and holds maintenance personnel accountable.
True. But then again no airline even dreams of using the most advanced Roll In Roll Out maintenance system practiced by certain Amtrak maintenance facilities either. :D
 

OBS

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There is certainly no way for Amtrak to track recurring problems. Airlines are required to carry 2 log books on planes. One is present problems that have to be signed off and the first past log book. A second sheet for each log page is removed and entered into the computer. The old log books are then warehoused. That way past problems are searchable by crew and maintenance. IMO the same needs to be applied to each piece of rolling stock on Amtrak.

That procedure prevents too much pencil whipping and holds maintenance personnel accountable.
There is a somewhat similar system in place, including a computerized mechanical repair history for each car/engine. Unfortunately it partially relies on the mechanical dept. using the multi copy page record properly, and not jus t tearing out the pages and destroying them or simply responding "no defect found"..... In the last several years Conductors have been encouraged to report mechanical defects to the National Operations center to make sure problems are documented in the computer. It certainly doesn't solve the problem but does ensure problems are documented.
 

me_little_me

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Update : We had pizza delivered to the train. Veggie, sausage, cheese, pepperoni. And all the booze was free. Beer wine or mixed drinks that you made at the table. Some people seemed to enjoy it while a few skipped it altogether. Felt bad for the car crew who had to put up with the disgruntled ones.
Probably junk chain pizza. Amtrak should have had REAL pizza flown in from NYC. Had they asked the DoD and requested emergency airdrop, I'd have credited them with having a real "Center of Excellence". :)
 

jis

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There is a somewhat similar system in place, including a computerized mechanical repair history for each car/engine. Unfortunately it partially relies on the mechanical dept. using the multi copy page record properly, and not jus t tearing out the pages and destroying them or simply responding "no defect found"..... In the last several years Conductors have been encouraged to report mechanical defects to the National Operations center to make sure problems are documented in the computer. It certainly doesn't solve the problem but does ensure problems are documented.
And still no one seems to be able to bell the mechanical department cat. At least so far they seem to make sure that wheels don't fall off the axles mid run, like NJT managed to do once. 🤷‍♂️ We should thank our stars for such minor mercies I suppose.
 

daybeers

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Update : We had pizza delivered to the train. Veggie, sausage, cheese, pepperoni. And all the booze was free. Beer wine or mixed drinks that you made at the table. Some people seemed to enjoy it while a few skipped it altogether. Felt bad for the car crew who had to put up with the disgruntled ones.
Any gluten free/non-dairy options? It's great they were able to do this, but sometimes those with food restrictions out of their control are left out.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Well Bruno’s pizza is walking distance from the station. They have a gluten free pizza, but bake in the same oven as the high gluten dough. You could make a dairy free pizza from the toppings, just not offered one. So they might of taken care of some of the normal dietary restrictions.

 

SubwayNut

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Brunos pizza is also the name of a local pizza chain where I live in South Bend, IN (it's terrible).
 
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So your dinner had the freezer fail and the food could not be used. Yea it a maintenance issues, sometimes. Other times it just failed without notice. Either way it sucks, but not the end of the world type thing.

Proactive, predictive maintenance is hard to justify. Reactive maintenance is dependent on people writing up the problem.

The ability to gather the current issues, see the history of that piece of equipment, and allocated the required people and parts to fix or replace that part/equipment. Is a art form in itself. Hand held interactive devices or a paper log book the technology spread among companies is wide and diverse.

Sorry to hear your experience was less than desirable, not happy about the amount of food thrown out. However the crew and operations people did feed you warm meals. Well some of the people were feed, my gluten free folks would have issues.

Hope the OP arrived on-time and enjoyed the rest of his travels.
Well the freezer didn't fail. It was an issue with the broiler/venting or so said the diner staff. They were still able and continued to serve everything except grilled items. This I'm guessing impacted the dinner menu the most so the pizza party idea came about. I am also sure they didn't give us the total scoop lol. I didn't mind the pizza as I had been feeling stuffed most of the way as the traditional menu portions are ample. The diner staff up top in the car were short some help (only 2 workers) and had a monumental no-win situation to deal with. They performed admirably. Shout out to ya Maureen! And yes I did enjoy the trip and will do it again If given the opportunity.
 

drdumont

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On a positive note, whatever was served HAD to be better than the slop we have been getting for over a year. Although I am not happy there was a failure, I applaud the effort that was made to make as many people happy as possible.
Frankly, if you are gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, diabetic, have peanut or other allergies, don't like brussels sprouts or net caught tuna, or if you suffer from any of the other modern day afflictions, I opine that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure you won't end up flopping around on the floor.
AMTRAK operates a transportation service, not a hospital dietary kitchen.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Is this a real problem, or a perceived one?
Real problem for my family member. Cross contamination will cause problems for them. That said the other problem child will get by with some cross contamination.

Frankly, if you are gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, diabetic, have peanut or other allergies, don't like brussels sprouts or net caught tuna, or if you suffer from any of the other modern day afflictions, I opine that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure you won't end up flopping around on the floor.
AMTRAK operates a transportation service, not a hospital dietary kitchen.
I am ok with most of the above, except food allergies like peanuts. Open a jar of peanut butter near one of my family members and I swing into full life saving mode. Benadryl and Epi-Pens required, just from the smell. Yeah traveling with that one is a major source of stress.

However just traveling with anyone like my GF who is Vegan is a bit challenging to begin with. Should not be so hard to list ingredients for your meals. So we can make good decisions before getting on board.
 

Eric in East County

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Well the freezer didn't fail. It was an issue with the broiler/venting or so said the diner staff. They were still able and continued to serve everything except grilled items. This I'm guessing impacted the dinner menu the most so the pizza party idea came about. I am also sure they didn't give us the total scoop lol. I didn't mind the pizza as I had been feeling stuffed most of the way as the traditional menu portions are ample. The diner staff up top in the car were short some help (only 2 workers) and had a monumental no-win situation to deal with. They performed admirably. Shout out to ya Maureen! And yes I did enjoy the trip and will do it again If given the opportunity.
It is interesting to note now the dining car staff was able to improvise when a problem arose while the train was underway. In a different thread, we once asked how prepared AMTRAK was to deal with a major breakdown in communication systems, such as the internet or the communication satellites going down and staying down for a week or more. We would like to believe that, as long as their radios still work, trains aren’t quite as vulnerable to being shut down as are airplanes.

Eric & Pat
 

Lonestar648

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Pre Covid Amtrak used to provide on line allergy concerns for their menu entrees, like GL, Soy, Milk, etc. currently I haven’t found anything. Each of my granddaughters has something we have to be careful to avoid. Now with my daughter, it is more like what isn’t she allergic to. Several years ago, when she traveled with me, we brought many items as a back up, but once one of the servers understood the situation, she took the menu ticket downstairs to personally hand to the cook. Needless to say we definitely showed our appreciation.

I have traveled many many miles on Amtrak and have only once experienced an issue with the kitchen. It was also the exhaust fan. Without that fan, the kitchen filled up with smoke and fumes from the grill. Somehow they found a box fan which they tried to use with the window in the door open, but that forced everything upstairs which was worse. For dinner, they still had the fish, chicken, and vegetarian entree. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, no meat, pancakes, etc. so the cooks could make some items work.

a friend had the refrigeration fail, they tried dry ice which helped, but the car was out of service within 24 hours of leaving Chicago.
 
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