Right now, July 2020, may be the ‘sweet spot’ for booking Amtrak travels.

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Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
8
Has there been any indication of when the western routes could go back to Traditional Dining? Thank you for any information!
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
14
I read September. That was pushed back from July and August. It's very unpredictable, as is this pedemic. Loving train travel,I have done two round trip circle trips in May and June and have one coming up later this week. All roomettes. I am not crazy about the flexible dining but thats not going to deter me from riding. All of my trips have been low bucket and riding in a sleeper is one of the safest ways to travel. You wear a mask when walking through the train and at fresh air stops I walk briskly avoiding direct contact with other people. I have noticed more people riding again. Just use common sense while riding.
 

John-MCPO-USN

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
63
I have a bit of a journey scheduled for end of August/beginning of September - and will post trip details as well:

8/29: DEN->SAC - #5 California Zephyr (1 Superliner Roomette | Car 0531)
8/31: SAC->BUR - #11 Coast Starlight (1 Superliner Roomette | Car 1130)
9/3: BUR->SEA - #14 Coast Starlight (1 Superliner Roomette | Car 1431)
9/5: SEA->CHI - #8 Empire Builder (1 Superliner Roomette | Car 0830)

2 days in Southern Cal to run up to Tehachapi and Cajon....hopefully traffic will have increased by September (maybe).

Hoping traditional dining returns on 9/1 (if not earlier).
 

mitako

Train Attendant
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
65
I have a trip booked for this September. Coast Starlight and Empire Builder, with three days each spent in Portland, Seattle, and Glacier National Park. I doubt I will be doing the trip, though, as too much uncertainty with the pandemic -- I'm in California where we've just been locked down again -- and truthfully I'm not sure that Portland and Seattle are very "tourist friendly" at the moment, and I suspect a great deal of tours and such won't be happening this year. It's so disappointing. I already had to cancel a great trip on the CA Zephyr to Denver I had booked for this May.

As for booking for next year........ I'm not going to do that until I know what is going to happen with the schedules and the flex dining. I am hoping to do a coast-to-coast-to-coast trip next spring, and normally would have already purchased the tickets, but I'm not eager to spend the time and money necessary to plan a very complex trip with hotel reservations in multiple cities, only to have to cancel everything if the train schedules go to 3x a week and now all my connections are broken. So I'm holding off until later this year.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
451
Has there been any indication of when the western routes could go back to Traditional Dining? Thank you for any information!
When making a cross country res just a few days ago the res agent said they will change back to the traditional dining in October... but that nothing is certain with the pandemic. She also said there were a lot of complaints and pressure on both Congress and Amtrak to bring back full service dining... and to maintain daily service in Oct. I guess the key word is uncertainty. She made a point of telling me that all reservations are fully refundable through Sept 30.
 

mitako

Train Attendant
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
65
She made a point of telling me that all reservations are fully refundable through Sept 30.
Hmm, Amtrak website still says through August 31. Also, for kicks, I looked at the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Portland for both August 31 and for September 1. The August results showed flexible dining and the September results showed traditional dining. So who knows.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,549
Has there been any indication of when the western routes could go back to Traditional Dining? Thank you for any information!
I’d say there is a very real chance it won’t ever come back and if it does not until 2021 or 2022. That’s just my guess.
 

yarrow

Conductor
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
2,217
got an e-mail about an agr sale and just booked portland to santa barbara for 2 in a roomette for next february for 28,514 pts round trip. be a new world with a new president by then
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
8
When making a cross country res just a few days ago the res agent said they will change back to the traditional dining in October... but that nothing is certain with the pandemic. She also said there were a lot of complaints and pressure on both Congress and Amtrak to bring back full service dining... and to maintain daily service in Oct. I guess the key word is uncertainty. She made a point of telling me that all reservations are fully refundable through Sept 30.
Thank you very much for the reply! Yeah, I guess that we can all make that kind of comment to our representatives. I would actually LOVE to support Amtrak, and get a room, even for a shorter trip. But, I really want the regular dining. That is such a key part of long-distance travel. When you are onboard for two days or more, going to the dining car, and meeting and talking with people is an important part of the journey. And, even if you are getting the food in your room, having a good meal is important.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
451
Thank you very much for the reply! Yeah, I guess that we can all make that kind of comment to our representatives. I would actually LOVE to support Amtrak, and get a room, even for a shorter trip. But, I really want the regular dining. That is such a key part of long-distance travel. When you are onboard for two days or more, going to the dining car, and meeting and talking with people is an important part of the journey. And, even if you are getting the food in your room, having a good meal is important.
In total agreement with everything you said... those meals do make a big difference. Good food when traveling is part of the fun and experience... and will certainly determine a lot of my travel plans on Amtrak.
 

Exvalley

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
94
those meals do make a big difference.
My dietician just put me on a diet that eliminates processed foods. I have three overnight trips in September/October. Needless to say, I will need to bring my own food. That will be easier said than done since for a couple of those this trips I had planned to go directly from the airport to the train.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
451
My dietician just put me on a diet that eliminates processed foods. I have three overnight trips in September/October. Needless to say, I will need to bring my own food. That will be easier said than done since for a couple of those this trips I had planned to go directly from the airport to the train.
Amtrak explains it can't do much for travelers with dietary restrictions. Fresh produce such as apples, carrots, and celery can keep for a while. Check with your doctor / dietician about your trip and see if they have suggestions as to what can travel well.
 
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