Texas Eagle Sightseer lounge discontinued

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
....I ll be in Chicago Thursday at the Metropolitan Lounge. If they aren't serving food and drinks,it's not Covid anymore. It's sheer laziness and that nobody cares.
Talk to those at the entrance and ask questions.

Why are there no snacks? When will they return? Who’s decision is it? Who is the supervisor/ manager in charge? What is his contact phone number/email? Etc., etc., etc. No doubt they at least know who their boss is.

And report back to us.😁
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
22,710
Location
Austin Texas
Talk to those at the entrance and ask questions.

Why are there no snacks? When will they return? Who’s decision is it? Who is the supervisor/ manager in charge? What is his contact phone number/email? Etc., etc., etc. No doubt they at least know who their boss is.

And report back to us.😁
Lots of luck on getting the Chicago gate dragons to answer questions, let alone care!
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
944
Location
Denver
It seems possible Amtrak may pull the Sightseer cars off other trains. I put nothing past them. Can you imagine no SSL on the Zephyr and the Starlight,?

Regarding Metropolitan lounges why isn't one in Seattle,? A departure city for the CS and EB. Portland has one,why not Seattle?

I ll be in Chicago Thursday at the Metropolitan Lounge. If they aren't serving food and drinks,it's not Covid anymore. It's sheer laziness and that nobody cares.
Portland has one because the local employees got together and set it up. For its early years Amtrak would not list it as existing. Its main function originally was to cover the connections between the Empire Builder and the Coast Starlight.

Both the Seattle and Portland stations are locally-owned. Although Seattle doesn't have the situation of long-distance trains connecting with each other I'm sure if the City of Seattle was paying attention they could have the same amenities as Portland.
 

joelkfla

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
571
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
As a loyal patron of Amtrak, I take offense at this 'slick' reply.

This is why I'm offended:

1] He's not assuming we are experienced Amtrak riders for the last 50 years.
2] He doesn't realize we have intelligence and the ability to read between the lines.
3] He doesn't explain why and how removing the SSC now... will help modernize the fleet.
4] When he states "We are examining the various amenities in an effort to determine how best to offer these services moving forward." he is not indicating that the revised services are for the welfare and comfort of the Amtrak passenger.
5] He is careful to leave out the 'why' when he says 'these determinations were not made lightly.'
6] What does he mean when he refers to 'financial excellence' and the connection with removing the SSC?
7] Is he implying the SSC is not safe when he mentions 'with superior safety?'
8] Is he implying the SSC has deterred customer service and efficiency?

Bottom line is that the meaningless gibberish in the reply supposedly meant to pacify... has infuriated many of us!
The telling terms are "efficiency" and "financial excellence". Everything else is blather.
 

John Santos

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
163
The telling terms are "efficiency" and "financial excellence". Everything else is blather.
They both mean "cost cutting". They either don't understand that reducing the quality of service will inevitably reduce revenue, or they don't care.

Possibly some MBA moron created a spreadsheet, based on nothing but numbers created from whole cloth, that showed that reducing costs by substituting plastic for food and saving a few gallons of diesel fuel by removing baggage and lounge cars, and raising prices would increase profits. It never occurred to them that demand might be elastic. That's the generous interpretation. The cynical interpretation is they know exactly what will happen and are intentionally trying to destroy long distance passenger service.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,538
Location
Washington State
Portland has one because the local employees got together and set it up. For its early years Amtrak would not list it as existing. Its main function originally was to cover the connections between the Empire Builder and the Coast Starlight.

Both the Seattle and Portland stations are locally-owned. Although Seattle doesn't have the situation of long-distance trains connecting with each other I'm sure if the City of Seattle was paying attention they could have the same amenities as Portland.
The City of Seattle doesn't give a damn. If anything, since Cascades Business Class and sleeper passengers are "privileged" the Seattle City Council would be actively against it if it came up on their radar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,539
Location
Oregon Coast
The sightseer lounge is the heart of a long distance train! Below you see Jeb Brooks... well known travel blogger... used the sightseer lounge on the California Zephyr as the center point of scenery to be enjoyed. To remove the SSL cars from any long distance Amtrak train is an unforgivable affront on Amtrak Passengers... who are taking the train to enjoy the scenery!!!

 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,539
Location
Oregon Coast
Talk to those at the entrance and ask questions.

Why are there no snacks? When will they return? Who’s decision is it? Who is the supervisor/ manager in charge? What is his contact phone number/email? Etc., etc., etc. No doubt they at least know who their boss is.

And report back to us.😁
The Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago sources all food and drink from a local vendor. Beyond that, it's apparent that no one there cares enough to restart the food service... and some of the staff there are indeed dragons who merely show up for work; muddle through the day, then leave.

It seems that throughout Amtrak, the concept of 'service' is irrelevant. Both Amtrak and the US Postal System are the same in many ways... they are large bureaucratic antiquated behemoths that barely function... totally devoid of pride, efficiency, customer care, and innovation; workers come and do their jobs, then go home. The taxpayers have to make the best of it.

It's looking like the 50th anniversary of Amtrak is marking its final decline. 🥵 🥵🥵
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
909

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
9,607
Location
Palm Beach County
I haven't read that issue of Train's, but have heard of it. It is somewhat surprising, considering how extensive and well used, passenger trains were in 1959. Several railroads were still ordering new trains and passenger cars, and making other improvements in trying to keep their passengers. If only we could have half of what we had back then...
 

Deni

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
254
At some point Amtrak will end up looking like Cambodia's train system before the rebuild, empty box cars that everyone strings up their own hammocks. And the once-a-week schedule.
 

Amtrakfflyer

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
584
The more I think about Amtrak’s statement. “Retired” rather than saying “redeployed” speaks volumes. If past practice is true they will put some sightseers up for sale or destroy them in short order so the decision can’t be reversed. Management has showed their hand.

We can hope Biden and/or Buttigiegs people step in but similarly DeJoy is still running the USPS, I would have placed money on him being long by now.

This is a tough one. I have no pro Amtrak politicians to write or call in Iowa. Especially concerning food and amenities. I doubt my two senators would vote for the national network this time around even. Just the same I have certified letters going to the DOT and Amtrak’s board tomorrow along with a email and call to the whitehouse switch board. Keep the letters and calls coming especially if you have sympathetic representation in your area.
 
Last edited:

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,652
I feel like the “retired” statement is a form letter reply written for the ppc’s.

The lounge cars have been going on and off the city, Capitol and eagle ever since the cross country cafe cars were introduced.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,119
If anyone doesn't believe that Amtrak is deliberately and intentionally working to eliminate LD overnight service, then, IMHO, they have their heads in the sand. They backed off the SWC bustitution because of Congressional complaints and are a bit more subtle about it now but the direction is clear and continuous. LD service will be slowly squeezed in all directions until it dies.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,538
Location
Washington State
I agree completely. Current management's goals are the same, they are just better at PR and Congressional relations than Anderson was with his in your face approach. They are boiling us frogs slowly.

All in all, they appear to be using Espee's old playbook to drive passengers off.
 

lordsigma

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,193
The gloom and doom on this thread seems a bit premature. Everyone thought traditional dining was good for good and tri weekly was here to say. Daily service and traditional dining are coming back (dining at least to the two nighters) but everyone is still gloom and doom - now over the Texas eagle sight seer. The reality is, as some have pointed out, the SSLs have come and gone more than once on these shorter run superliner routes - this is not a revolutionary thing. I’ve ridden the auto train recently and I have to say I thought the soft product upgrades were a step up a and if they are deployed system wide it is an improvement. And there is even talk about making some alterations to the food service in the east. I am, personally, cautiously optimistic that things for Amtrak are in a better place than they were 3 months ago. Why don’t we see the full picture of what is done over the summer before we all start jumping off cliffs?
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,538
Location
Washington State
Not jumping off any cliffs, but Amtrak's Board and upper management have long been indifferent at best to the long distance services, which turned into overt, outright hostility under Anderson. I see little indication that the direction has genuinely changed and Gartner's promotion indicates it hasn't. Their PR has improved and they aren't as trigger happy as Anderson was, but I see little material evidence of a change of intent.

I do not count Auto Train improvements as a sign of change of intent for the long distance services. Auto Train has long been one of management's favored children along with the NEC.

If they restore traditional dining on the Eastern trains and forbear from gutting the Viewliner diners, as the current 5 year equipment plan calls for, I will see that a material evidence of a change.

I do tend to agree that the response was likely lifted from the PPC response and not a statement of true intent for the SSLs generally, especially for the "bigger" trains. If that is true, it was sloppy and is yet another demonstration of Amtrak's lack of care and lack of competence.

Or even having knowledge of their own product.
 
Last edited:

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,460
Location
Delaware
The gloom and doom on this thread seems a bit premature. Everyone thought traditional dining was good for good and tri weekly was here to say. Daily service and traditional dining are coming back (dining at least to the two nighters) but everyone is still gloom and doom - now over the Texas eagle sight seer. The reality is, as some have pointed out, the SSLs have come and gone more than once on these shorter run superliner routes - this is not a revolutionary thing. I’ve ridden the auto train recently and I have to say I thought the soft product upgrades were a step up a and if they are deployed system wide it is an improvement. And there is even talk about making some alterations to the food service in the east. I am, personally, cautiously optimistic that things for Amtrak are in a better place than they were 3 months ago. Why don’t we see the full picture of what is done over the summer before we all start jumping off cliffs?
AU would become a boring place with very few posts being made. 🙃
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,539
Location
Oregon Coast
The gloom and doom on this thread seems a bit premature. Everyone thought traditional dining was good for good and tri weekly was here to say. Daily service and traditional dining are coming back (dining at least to the two nighters) but everyone is still gloom and doom - now over the Texas eagle sight seer. The reality is, as some have pointed out, the SSLs have come and gone more than once on these shorter run superliner routes - this is not a revolutionary thing. I’ve ridden the auto train recently and I have to say I thought the soft product upgrades were a step up a and if they are deployed system wide it is an improvement. And there is even talk about making some alterations to the food service in the east. I am, personally, cautiously optimistic that things for Amtrak are in a better place than they were 3 months ago. Why don’t we see the full picture of what is done over the summer before we all start jumping off cliffs?
There's a lot of skepticism regarding Amtrak's management... and for good reason. The food service is a disaster... and while full service dining is supposed to come back to the Western LD's... it's restart has been pushed back many times. And before it was discontinued it became standardized system wide with a continuous downgrading... simplified... reduced options, etc. It's the downward digression that have so many of us rattled. When the flex concept started on eastern routes it was actually pretty good... meals were nicely boxed in balsa containers... came with a reusable cloth carry bag; toilet kits in the rooms... breakfast included hard boiled eggs... etc etc. but everything was scaled back to bare bones.

RE: the SSC dilemma... there is absolutely no reason to pull it off Amtrak's longest route. The Superliner train sets are here for at least 5 years before they are replaced. No actual viable reason has been given for doing away with the sightseer cars... which are the focal point of the Amtrak experience.

While optimism is usually a good thing... many of us are saying... so let's finally see something that shows Amtrak's commitment to quality service for the customer. While Moynihan Hall is a great start... just one station cannot represent then entire Amtrak National System.
 

lordsigma

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,193
It does pretty well as representing the NEC, though.
In fairness, it also serves a fair amount of long distance passengers. The NYP lounge sees a fair amount of use by sleeper passengers on the various LD services that originate at NYP.
 

lordsigma

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,193
When the flex concept started on eastern routes it was actually pretty good... meals were nicely boxed in balsa containers... came with a reusable cloth carry bag; toilet kits in the rooms... breakfast included hard boiled eggs... etc etc. but everything was scaled back to bare bones.
While This line should probably move to the food thread (admin feel free to move it) the change from the initial cold meals to the current meals were in response to passenger feedback - although the cold meals were probably healthier - the feedback they were getting was overwhelmingly negative and people were demanding hot meals. While I would agree that there is certainly room for improvement - I suspect the majority of riders would prefer the current iteration of flex meals than the cold salad boxes that were originally offered. (And I say majority - I’m sure some more diet and health conscious riders probably feel the opposite - but a lot of Americans would prefer hot comfort food.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jis
Top