New Auto Train Sleeping Car Menu Posted

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lordsigma

OBS Chief
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Sep 15, 2017
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Amtrak is now basic transportation. If you have such delicate "dietary restrictions"...I doubt South of the Border will fill them better! LOL You can fly it in 2 hours! For example: DCA-MCO on American non-stop 2/18 = $49! I take the AT every month because I take a lot of stuff I need on both ends.
if you are in sleeper nothing has changed just different entrees. This menu is equivalent to before except you get your first glass of wine now and since I started riding it in the last few years it has been inferior to the traditional dining on the western trains. For coach it is obviously a downgrade. I do like the food truck idea, not as a replacement for coach dining, but just to have something to do while waiting at the station.
 
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The problem with the food 'trucks' is that it is just one truck. I followed the link and they have a different truck each day, but only one. So if the food offered on that one truck isn't to your taste...
 

the_traveler

Conductor
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Nov 14, 2007
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I only see one food truck listed per day. And the Lorton schedule has every day, but the Sanford schedule has some days missing! Does that mean on those days there is no food at all?
 
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Just out of curiosity, I looked up the food truck menus for today. They are an insult to anywhere that has a variety of food trucks. It all looks like fast-food junk.

I also looked at the Coach menu. The vegan burger would be okay--I had that on the Star, and it was fine. Whatever you do, do not shell out $16 for the Asian Noodle Bowl. I had it "free" with flex dining, and it wasn't even worth that. It is a TV dinner and in some kind of odd sauce that upset my stomach (which is pretty cast-iron--hardly anything upsets it). I'm not saying other people wouldn't be fine with it--perhaps it was just a sauce I'm not familiar with.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Hasn’t the auto train always been profitable? Why would you mess it up like this?

I agree don’t pay that kind of money for a TV dinner. The cheese and cracker tray is pretty decent. For $6 I’d give the chicken wings a try I guess.
 

Bob Dylan

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Just out of curiosity, I looked up the food truck menus for today. They are an insult to anywhere that has a variety of food trucks. It all looks like fast-food junk.

I also looked at the Coach menu. The vegan burger would be okay--I had that on the Star, and it was fine. Whatever you do, do not shell out $16 for the Asian Noodle Bowl. I had it "free" with flex dining, and it wasn't even worth that. It is a TV dinner and in some kind of odd sauce that upset my stomach (which is pretty cast-iron--hardly anything upsets it). I'm not saying other people wouldn't be fine with it--perhaps it was just a sauce I'm not familiar with.
Good post Patty, best summary of the "New" Amtrak Diner Clusterflub that I've seen!
 

Palmland

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May 25, 2006
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I wonder if Amtrak is eliminating the shuttle they offer into town for those that want lunch there. I don’t understand why they bother with either as it’s so easy to drive into town and eat at one of the many good restaurants. We checked in before we went to town so no rush to return.
 

Devil's Advocate

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May 24, 2010
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For $6 I’d give the chicken wings a try I guess.
I tried the national cafe car's chicken tenders one time. Looked stale and unappetizing upon delivery but I gave it two bites of effort. No mas, por favor.

I wonder if Amtrak is eliminating the shuttle they offer into town for those that want lunch there. I don’t understand why they bother with either as it’s so easy to drive into town and eat at one of the many good restaurants. We checked in before we went to town so no rush to return.
You don't understand why someone would travel coach and want a hot meal later than 2PM?
 
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Palmland

OBS Chief
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May 25, 2006
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I tried the national cafe car's chicken tenders one time. Looked stale and unappetizing upon delivery but I gave it two bites of effort. No mas, por favor.


You don't understand why someone would travel coach and want a hot meal later than 2PM?
No I don’t. I assume you’re talking about getting something for dinner. How do you keep it hot and not soggy until 5 or 6pm? I suspect food trucks are primarily directed at the lunch crowd when they can eat it hot. I guess if you’re into cold dinners and have a cooler it would work for dinner. But you could that do by stopping in town too. I think most would opt for at least a burger from the cafe for dinner.

I wonder if food trucks might be more useful in the morning for those wanting something more than a cold continental breakfast and have time while waiting for their auto.
 

lordsigma

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I wonder if Amtrak is eliminating the shuttle they offer into town for those that want lunch there. I don’t understand why they bother with either as it’s so easy to drive into town and eat at one of the many good restaurants. We checked in before we went to town so no rush to return.
They won’t. The shuttle is run by the town not Amtrak.
 

Devil's Advocate

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No I don’t. I assume you’re talking about getting something for dinner. How do you keep it hot and not soggy until 5 or 6pm? I suspect food trucks are primarily directed at the lunch crowd when they can eat it hot. I guess if you’re into cold dinners and have a cooler it would work for dinner. But you could that do by stopping in town too. I think most would opt for at least a burger from the cafe for dinner. I wonder if food trucks might be more useful in the morning for those wanting something more than a cold continental breakfast and have time while waiting for their auto.
Looking back over my response it doesn't appear to make any logical sense as worded. I have no idea what I was trying to say or where I was going with that. Rather than doubling down or trying to rescue a rational point from mindless gibberish, I'm just going to drop it and move on. :confused:
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
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May 13, 2014
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I wonder if Amtrak is eliminating the shuttle they offer into town for those that want lunch there. I don’t understand why they bother with either as it’s so easy to drive into town and eat at one of the many good restaurants. We checked in before we went to town so no rush to return.
I think that is sponsored by the town of Sanford and/or their businesses association.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
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Jul 16, 2010
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While onboard, be sure to visit the new Cross-Country Café, an exclusive space for Coach customers offering an expanded café menu of meals, snacks and beverages for sale as well as a festive environment during the trip.
"festive environment" That's a euphemism for "Everyone onboard is laughing at the outrageous prices of those new garbage meals they've been palming off on the sleeper passengers on the other Eastern LD trains."
 

lordsigma

OBS Chief
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Sep 15, 2017
Messages
845
It is funny that with the auto train they are admitting the flex dining meals are inferior to the traditional dining since they are offering them to coach while sleeper still has the traditional menu.
 

Anderson

Conductor
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Nov 16, 2010
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Hasn’t the auto train always been profitable? Why would you mess it up like this?
The credit/blame goes in part to Congress making a mandate about F&B costs in particular and in part to Amtrak not figuring out how to allocate costs in such a way as to appease that mandate. The former isn't Amtrak's fault (and the Auto Train was showing something like 1/5 or 1/4 of the overall F&B losses on the LD side of things); the latter...well, witness the discussions of a "cost" of $44 being tossed onto an entree and see how Amtrak could have "fixed" this.

It is also quite possible that the Auto Train swung out of profitability in the last few years when ridership took a hit.

Why do they call it "festive"?
Because calling it "questionable" probably wouldn't meet the marketing folks' mandate?
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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Jul 9, 2014
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The problem with the food 'trucks' is that it is just one truck. I followed the link and they have a different truck each day, but only one. So if the food offered on that one truck isn't to your taste...
Additionally, what if that lone food truck doesn't show up? o_O
 

neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
Messages
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Hasn’t the auto train always been profitable? Why would you mess it up like this?
My only theory is that Mr. Anderson and/or Mr. Gardner are trying to lose more money so that they can have an excuse to cut train service. Yes, the Auto Train is profitable, like nearly all of Amtrak's long-distance trains.
 

b243923

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
47
Received an automated message today regarding my upcoming trip on February 13th.

It reminded me about the changes for coach passengers. They talked about the food trucks and new café menu. They really want to make sure passengers are aware of the changes.

My wife received her own message separate from mine.
 

erinch13

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
43
When we ride the AT, we get there around 11:30 or noon, and park, rather than checking our car in. We verify our room assignments are in order and snag our preferred dining time. Then we head off to someplace for lunch, then head back around 2 to board. We generally eat at 7 and take our own wine and cheese reception aboard since that ended. We even bring our own mix of Cheetos and corn chips called “festive mix” since that used to be free.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,553
The dinner menu shown at the start of this thread was what I was offered on my 1/28/20 Northbound Auto Train trip. I ordered the steak and it was very good and well prepared. The Baked Potato was larger than I expected and was good as well. The salad was quite amble in size and the veggies were fresh.

Not expecting a complimentary glass of wine, I purchased in the Lounge Car a second bottle of wine before dinner. The Lounge Car attendant informed me with about the glass of wine before completing the sale, but, I went ahead and bought the bottle knowing that I would want more once dinner was over for a night cap. I took the bottle into the Diner with me and enjoyed more with my dinner. The white wine offered was decent.

Breakfast in the morning was what has been described earlier in this thread. The Bagels were in a bread basket, wrapped in a napkin, and were served warm. 4 types of cereal were available along with the crumb cakes which were wrapped in a cellophane wrapper that nearly required an NFL player to get the wrapper open. Breakfast is available from 6:00 to 8:00 A. M. Even if the train is running late--as mine was--the time is fixed. I wonder what would happen if the train is running very early and arrives before the last call for breakfast. In response to my question about how lone passengers could stay aboard after arrival in Lorton, Holly said they want us off within 5-10 minutes after final arrival at the station.

Coach passengers did have the CCC available as well as their Lounge Car.

The only complaint about food availability was while waiting in the Sanford station. There was only one food truck outside the station and what food was available was not to the liking of the person whom I overheard. There are some bagged snacks available in the shop within the station.

A caution about when one might have dinner: Dinner is by seatings. Northbound in January, there is a light train load. Only one seating was available: 6:00 P. M. When the train has more passengers, there may be one or two additional seatings.
 
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