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Sleeper Amenities on Empire Builder

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NapTown Jim

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
45
Location
Indianapolis
We're really looking forward to our ride on the Empire Builder next month. We have a roomette each way from Chicago to Seattle, then Portland back to Chicago.

Before this Covid mess started sleeper passengers had free coffee and water 24 hours. Has this been eliminated? Also, I understand that there is no longer a full menu in the dining car. Does anyone have a scan or a link to what is offered throughout the trip?

Thanks
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
81
All of the trains have suspended coffee in the sleepers during this pedemic,including the EB. You can still get coffee starting at 6:30 in the dining in the Cafe car. Never recall coffee being available 24 hours. Full dining service is suspended temporarily, hopefully. You now get pre heated food. Only sleeper passengers have access to the dining room. Unfortunately even with the cutbacks sleeper prices haven't changed to reflect the current situation.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,342
Matter of fact, sleeping accommodation upcharges have all increased the last few months. That for a low bucket Roomette on the EB went up 5.2% a few months ago. High bucket Bedroom went up 10%.

As Ren and/or Stimpy used to say, "Happy, happy, joy, joy!"
 

yarrow

Conductor
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
2,222
Location
nine mile falls, washington
they can't take the beautiful ride away but i was just recalling the amenities on the empire builder say 10 or 12 years ago. a champagne or sparkling cider welcome in your room, fresh hot giant cookies delivered by your car attendant in the evening, a wonderful wine tasting in the dining car in the afternoon(i won a bottle of wine for answering the question "who was the "empire builder"?), differing dining car menus east and westbound with occasional regional specialties, and, losses specific to covid, conversation with your dining mates and lounge mates and the presentations by the rails to trails volunteers in the sightseer lounge car. it is still a great ride.
 
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Maglev

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
956
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
they can't take the beautiful ride away but i was just recalling the amenities on the empire builder say 10 or 12 years ago. a champagne or sparkling cider welcome in your room, fresh hot giant cookies delivered by your car attendant in the evening, a wonderful wine tasting in the dining car in the afternoon(i won a bottle of wine for answering the question "who was the "empire builder"?), differing dining car menus east and westbound with occasional regional specialties, and, loses specific to covid, conversation with your dining mates and lounge mates and the presentations by the rails to trails volunteers in the sightseer lounge car. it is still a great ride.
These were also the days when newly-refurbished Superliner I's were assigned to this train.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
they can't take the beautiful ride away but i was just recalling the amenities on the empire builder say 10 or 12 years ago. a champagne or sparkling cider welcome in your room, fresh hot giant cookies delivered by your car attendant in the evening, a wonderful wine tasting in the dining car in the afternoon(i won a bottle of wine for answering the question "who was the "empire builder"?), differing dining car menus east and westbound with occasional regional specialties, and, loses specific to covid, conversation with your dining mates and lounge mates and the presentations by the rails to trails volunteers in the sightseer lounge car. it is still a great ride.
Stop the tease! I remember getting on Amtrak in the 70's... in each roomette there was a bathroom amenity kit, a package of snacks, meal coupons, and a friendly attendant who came by to welcome each patron with a bottle of champaign with a quick return... "Would you like another one?"

image.jpg
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
381

There are also Kosher offerings that I tried in June. The salmon dinner was better than what I had from the full diner last September and the breakfast omelette was much better than anything on the menu. The kicker is it needs to be pre-ordered at least 72 hours in advance. You can find a description of the offerings in the Food Facts section.


Also, I probably got lucky but in early June, coffee was served in my sleeper on 422 while connected to 2. But after we left SAS, the new attendant didn’t brew it.

I also found this little gem...

Service Change
Traditional dining service has been temporarily suspended on all routes with the exception of the Auto Train. Through December 15, 2020, Sleeping Car customers will be offered flexible dining service; Coach customers will be offered Café service.
 

Charles785

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
87
Of course the sleeper compartments used to always have Route Guides and timetable schedules. And not too many years ago there were local morning newspapers slipped under. I don't recall if they ever furnished the Wall Street Journal also.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,259
Location
Palm Beach County
Of course the sleeper compartments used to always have Route Guides and timetable schedules. And not too many years ago there were local morning newspapers slipped under. I don't recall if they ever furnished the Wall Street Journal also.
I recall them distributing USA Today on Monday thru Saturday, and a local online newspaper on Sunday, such as the Denver Post...
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
I recall them distributing USA Today on Monday thru Saturday, and a local online newspaper on Sunday, such as the Denver Post...
I do remember champaign upon arrival in your room by enthusiastic attendant, along with a toiletry kit, a newspaper, a packet of snacks, and welcome greeting to ensure everything in the room was fresh, neat, clean, and welcoming. Those who didn't experience those times will never know what us frustrated Amtrak enthusiasts are talking about. The new normal greets new higher fares with deadly encouragement to abandon Amtrak so that it can cease to exist, and all this is absolutely stomach wrenching as we abandon our American heritage. :oops:

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 8.13.37 PM.png
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,288
Of course the sleeper compartments used to always have Route Guides and timetable schedules. And not too many years ago there were local morning newspapers slipped under. I don't recall if they ever furnished the Wall Street Journal also.
And only 3-4 years ago, one had a printed card in the room before boarding the Crescent welcoming us by name. Cost Amtrak pennies. Meant a lot to us. So they dumped it.
 

Nick Farr

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
267
Location
Michigan
Back to the OP's point, your Sleeping Car Attendant (SCA) can bring you coffee and water at any time. They can also bring you your meals or anything else.

Before COVID, they used to have coffee available in the mornings until it ran out, along with OJ from a box.

In that same area where the coffeemaker is by the stairs, there's usually always bottled water. They hand that out pretty freely.

A lot of this depends on your SCA and what they're willing to do. Feel free to hit that call button for whatever you need.

If your SCA is MIA, you can head to the dining car and get coffee or water there. If nobody is in the dining car, head to the cafe in the observation car and they'll give it to you for free.

However, services on the train shut down basically by about 10 and pick up again at 6:30, dependent on the time zone the train is in.
 
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crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,796
It will all depend on your attendant. In my experiences the Empire Builder has had extremely good attendants (the legendary Gul being one of them!) so hopefully luck will be on your side.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
There are also Kosher offerings that I tried in June. The salmon dinner was better than what I had from the full diner last September and the breakfast omelette was much better than anything on the menu. The kicker is it needs to be pre-ordered at least 72 hours in advance. You can find a description of the offerings in the Food Facts section.
When ordering kosher are there any choices besides salmon? Although the salmon sounds much better than anything on that downscaled menu...
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
381
When ordering kosher are there any choices besides salmon? Although the salmon sounds much better than anything on that downscaled menu...
Yes, go to the Amtrak Food Fact web page and it has better descriptions of what are available. But, I will say the selection is still fairly limited.
 

Triley

Conductor
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,395
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
It will all depend on your attendant. In my experiences the Empire Builder has had extremely good attendants (the legendary Gul being one of them!) so hopefully luck will be on your side.
I was lucky enough to have Gul on my crew when I worked the Builder for a few months. He truly is an amazing attendant!
 
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