Texas Central Railway

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cirdan

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Mar 30, 2011
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In addition to answering questions from first-time rail travelers, members of the train crew have other duties that might be better done without interruption from passengers. A conductor can go off and do paperwork, and the assistant conductor is still on hand for dealing with passengers. Even cafe attendants, who are, after all, service workers, not servants, sometimes need to do stuff like inventory and balancing accounts without interruption. Obviously, that sort of work should be done at times when they don't need to interact with the passengers.
This is probably true on an LD train on a multi-day trip.

But we are talking about a 90 minute train ride here.

Surely most of the paperwork and inventory can be done before, between and after the journey?

There are commuter railroads that have longer end-to-end journey times.
 
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cirdan

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Mar 30, 2011
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I think there's a balance. The point, IMO, is that the staff have a "You go here, not there" space (both for reasons such as not losing seating in the cafe and so pax know where they can find someone). Whether that is an "office", seat 60 in the Business Class car, or Table 16 in the lounge car, it should at least be clear where to find them.
On my last trip in Austria there was a web page you could access through the train wifi and besides displaying up to date information on the progress of the train and listing connecting trains at the stations served, you could order from a selection of food and drinks and also hygienic and sanitary items and even assorted souvenirs, pay online, and the ordered would be brought to your seat within a couple of minutes.

Some items could not be ordered because I assume they had run out. This would indicate the ordering system was connected to the inventory system and would thus lessen the need to do the inventory manually.

They also had airline style buttons to summon personnel, but I never tried that.
 

George Harris

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now in California
Not much new here for the readers on this site, but from a semi-technical publication:
 

Anderson

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IIRC, someone said somewhere that the 2nd part of Brightline's car order (now in production for the Orlando segment) includes some sort of food service car. I don't have any further details.
That was my understanding early on (and it makes sense since the trip in question is around three hours, and Miami-Tampa [or Miami-Jacksonville] would be in the 4-5 hour range IINM). I've heard some mixed reports as to whether that is still the case (the order seems to have morphed a few times).
 
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