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Train leaves at 1:45 pm will we be able to have lunch ?

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chakk

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It will be a close call, as the last call for lunch is usually made around 1:30 PM, unless the train is really crowded and manynpassengers have decided to eat in the dining car. You can also purchase food in the lounge car most hours of the day.
 

Lonestar648

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Depending on the train, but lately the DC LSA wants to end the serving time as quick as possible, so even if the train is on time, having lunch in the DC is questionable.
 

saxman

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Helps to know which train you leaving on. The Texas Eagle or City Of New Orleans is a no. Something like the Coast Starlight, where lunch can go past 2 pm, you might get lunch. Key word, might.
 

BCL

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I'd say no. I'd think the biggest issue would be getting reservations, even if the train is early and you can board early.
There are no reservations required for lunch on the TE ( or any other LD route I'm aware of)...
I was on the Coast Starlight a week and a half ago, and got a 1 PM lunch reservation. The California Zephyr also requires reservations for lunch according to several reviews.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12483-k6562388-California_Zephyr_The_view_from_the_family_room-Train_Travel.html

Hint: People tend to hang out in the sightseer lounge car before going into the diner. Take an early lunch reservation and commandeer lounge seats when someone is called into the diner for their later reservation. At the end of June the sunset is 8:30ish so you can do the same at dinner time.
 

the_traveler

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I have been on many trains where they take lunch reservations and many where they do not. And many times on the same named train (example - the CZ where 1 trip they will and another they don't). Breakfast is always first come/first served, dinner is by reservation but lunch could be either.
 

Devil's Advocate

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The trains near me are often scheduled to leave their origin just after the first meal would have ended and are scheduled to arrive at there termination just before the last meal would have started. Not that I would ever accuse Amtrak of intentionally restricting their perpetually inefficient dining service in order to save money
 

neroden

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The trains near me are often scheduled to leave their origin just after the first meal would have ended and are scheduled to arrive at there termination just before the last meal would have started. Not that I would ever accuse Amtrak of intentionally restricting their perpetually inefficient dining service in order to save money
I sometimes suspect that Amtrak does this in order to make sure that the dining service loses as much money as possible. After all, they have to pay the workers the same amount, and pay the same amount for car maintenance, but they sell less food. See also dinner, or lack thereof, on the Eastbound LSL to NY. :p
 
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BCL

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The trains near me are often scheduled to leave their origin just after the first meal would have ended and are scheduled to arrive at there termination just before the last meal would have started. Not that I would ever accuse Amtrak of intentionally restricting their perpetually inefficient dining service in order to save money
I sometimes suspect that Amtrak does this in order to make sure that the dining service loses as much money as possible. After all, they have to pay the workers the same amount, and pay the same amount for car maintenance, but they sell less food. See also dinner, or lack thereof, on the Eastbound LSL to NY. :p
Any idea on the rate of use of the dining car? I would expect that nearly all sleeper passengers would take advantage, but that coach passengers might pass in favor of their own meals or something cheaper from the cafe.

When I last rode LD (Coast Starlight SEA-EMY), the cafe attendant said that by about 6 PM he was already out of all breakfast items and they didn't restock until they got to OKJ. I suppose many purchased those as soon as they got on (no breakfast in the dining car from Seattle) and continued to buy them during the day since they're the cheapest things on the menu. I got the Angus burger for dinner. I also ordered a different Angus burger for lunch in the dining car. The dining car was way better. It actually tasted like a burger. The cafe burger was heated in a plastic bag with a hole cut, along with the bun. The meat was actually OK, but the bun should never be heated. Reminded me of a frozen White Castle burger I bought at a supermarket.
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Yes, the White Castle Frozen Hamburgers are nasty and should be outlawed or downgraded to Dog Food only!

As for Diner utilization, I have noticed many Sleeper pax do not take full advantage of the included meals, mainly Lunch, for one reason or another. I have often Lunched in a near empty Diner on trains where the Sleepers are near full.
 

neroden

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Utilization varies by train. Apparently about half the dining car patronage on the LSL is from coach... which makes the omission of dinner particularly wasteful on Amtrak's part.

Some of the other trains have fewer coach passengers eating in the dining car. And I suppose the double-overnight trains may have some maximum amount of food they're able to stock, which might cause them to want to handle fewer meals. But none of that applies on the East Coast trains.
 
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Bierboy

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Fishers, Indiana
Obviously I'm not as heavy a LD route traveler as many others here but on each of the trips I've taken (see below), I've never needed a reservation for lunch....
 
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