Trip report - Southwest Chief #4 / Lake Shore Limited #448 LAX-SPG

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drdumont

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They pretty much don’t worry once you are seated about masks. It’s basically the traditional communal diner experience unless you request no communal. Lunch photos below.
Re Lunch photos! Never thought I would be celebrating the return of the mystery meat burger at lunch. But I am. Actually, it was pretty good if you moisturized it with mayo and mustard. When I was commuting on the Eagle, I carried a little bottle of Worcestershire to give the burger a little zetz.
Welcome back, Burger my old friend!
Great photos, by the way! Can't wait until 21 July - Eagle-Sunset-Crescent to PHL. And a Pat's Cheesesteak as soon as I arrive. It's been soooo long!
 
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lordsigma

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You’re not going to put a knife thru these plastic plates - in fact I broke a plastic fork on one this morning. I can report that they seem to only be using the metal flatware and glasses at dinner. Breakfast and lunch is disposable also table clothes only at dinner - they are using the paper spreads for breakfast and lunch. Though the LSA did give me a metal fork after I broke the plastic one. I don’t what the diner crew consist on the Chief was pre-pandemic but serving are the LSA and one SA. And I believe two crew members in the kitchen downstairs - though haven’t seen them.
 

drdumont

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You’re not going to put a knife thru these plastic plates - in fact I broke a plastic fork on one this morning. I Though the LSA did give me a metal fork after I broke the plastic one.
Ah - Mom used to give me Hell about cutting with the side of the fork. Guess she was prescient about plastic utensils...
The LSA sounds Old School. Hope you tipped well. The return of decent food, table service... Never thought I would live to see the day!
 

Bob Dylan

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Ah - Mom used to give me Hell about cutting with the side of the fork. Guess she was prescient about plastic utensils...
The LSA sounds Old School. Hope you tipped well. The return of decent food, table service... Never thought I would live to see the day!
I'm on the Texas Eagle right now and sadly it's still Flex Meals in the CCC all the way to CHI with the LSA serving both the Cafe and Sleeping Car passengers only in the Diner/ Combo!

No Sightseer Lounge either, and a Full Train since there are only 4 Cars in the consist!(Sleeping Car,CCC,2 Coaches!)

Yet Amtrak wants $782 for a Roomette to Chicago from Austin!🤪🤬
 

lordsigma

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Will let you know what the story is on the Lake Shore going east. On my trip out on 449/49 the Viewliner 2 diner LSA was basically doing table service.
 

lordsigma

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I'm on the Texas Eagle right now and sadly it's still Flex Meals in the CCC all the way to CHI with the LSA serving both the Cafe and Sleeping Car passengers only in the Diner/ Combo!

No Sightseer Lounge either, and a Full Train since there are only 4 Cars in the consist!(Sleeping Car,CCC,2 Coaches!)

Yet Amtrak wants $782 for a Roomette to Chicago from Austin!🤪🤬
Are the tables finally open in the CCC?
 

drdumont

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The folks on the Eagle deserve a medal with clusters for putting up with that %$#!!. We rode DAL-CHI the first day of the Flex crapola. Really not a good situation. They were good sports, but clearly stressed. We would have starved had it not been for our coffeemaker, sandwich maker and cooler chest.
Hopefully sanity will return along with the Sightseer Lounge.
 

MARC Rider

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I'm on the Texas Eagle right now and sadly it's still Flex Meals in the CCC all the way to CHI with the LSA serving both the Cafe and Sleeping Car passengers only in the Diner/ Combo!

No Sightseer Lounge either, and a Full Train since there are only 4 Cars in the consist!(Sleeping Car,CCC,2 Coaches!)

Yet Amtrak wants $782 for a Roomette to Chicago from Austin!🤪🤬
That sounds worse than the Capitol Limited I rode earlier in June. At least they had 2 LSAs. They also let me eat my cafe car meal in tghe lounge part of the CCC.

And $782 for a roomette!! Holy cow!!

What the hell is going on? I would have liked to be a fly on the wall of whatever executive meetings here held that made those decisions. I can understand the high fares, pent up demand, and all that, but I can't understand the truncated consists and inadequate staffing. I saw similar on the Crescent last week. Only 2 coaches, no diner, and the cafe car didn't open until Trenton and closed at about Wilmington and wouldn't open until after they left Washington.
 

Bob Dylan

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That sounds worse than the Capitol Limited I rode earlier in June. At least they had 2 LSAs. They also let me eat my cafe car meal in tghe lounge part of the CCC.

And $782 for a roomette!! Holy cow!!

What the hell is going on? I would have liked to be a fly on the wall of whatever executive meetings here held that made those decisions. I can understand the high fares, pent up demand, and all that, but I can't understand the truncated consists and inadequate staffing. I saw similar on the Crescent last week. Only 2 coaches, no diner, and the cafe car didn't open until Trenton and closed at about Wilmington and wouldn't open until after they left Washington.
Yep, I like to be optimistic about Amtrak, but the People running the LD Trains, especially the Orphan Trains( Eagle,Cap,Crescent) don't seem to have a Clue!🤬
 

Palmland

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I'm on the Texas Eagle right now and sadly it's still Flex Meals in the CCC all the way to CHI with the LSA serving both the Cafe and Sleeping Car passengers only in the Diner/ Combo!

No Sightseer Lounge either, and a Full Train since there are only 4 Cars in the consist!(Sleeping Car,CCC,2 Coaches!)

Yet Amtrak wants $782 for a Roomette to Chicago from Austin!🤪🤬
Guess someone didn’t get the memo as TE was supposed to get traditional dining June 23.??

Amtrak Traditional Dining
 
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I think you need to re-read that. The Texas Eagle has traditional dining only between San Antonio and LA which is to say only when it is part of the Sunset and has the Sunset dining car in the consist.
I was going to answer the same...the Amtrak blurb is misleading unless you understand that.
 

Palmland

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Thanks for the correction. Beware the asterisk! I would be interested to know the passenger load on SL vs TE from SanAntonio east. Are the SSL and diner on the wrong train?
 

Dakota 400

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They pretty much don’t worry once you are seated about masks. It’s basically the traditional communal diner experience unless you request no communal. Lunch photos below.
The "new chips" do look like the veggie chips that I have bought. How did these taste? Was any specific vegetable flavors tasted?
 

Cal

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Thanks for the correction. Beware the asterisk! I would be interested to know the passenger load on SL vs TE from SanAntonio east. Are the SSL and diner on the wrong train?
Last time I checked, which was quite awhile ago, the Sunset was selling out it's one sleeper.
 

Rasputin

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Thanks for the correction. Beware the asterisk! I would be interested to know the passenger load on SL vs TE from SanAntonio east. Are the SSL and diner on the wrong train?
It is very likely to cause a change in our plans for a trip from Boston to El Paso next year unless things change.

We had been planning to travel on the Lake Shore and the Texas Eagle but without a lounge or traditional dining on the Eagle, I think we will take the Cresent to New Orleans and then the Sunset west from there. I realize that the Crescent has flexible dining but maybe if we stopover in New Orleans for a couple days we will have a transfusion of good food that will allow us to continue our trip west.

I believe both the Sunset and the Eagle are great trains and both deserve full dining service and sightseer lounge cars.
 

Rasputin

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I believe all LD trains are great and deserve decent food!
That is very true. I used to think the Texas Eagle was a second-rate train because it didn't go through areas that seemed to have dramatic scenery. But then I rode it round-trip from Chicago to El Paso with a stopover of several days in San Antonio on the return trip. Then I realized what a great train it was. Unfortunately I have only been able to make one subsequent trip on the Eagle but that was a great trip from LA to Chicago.

But Amtrak management has engaged in a self-fulfilling prophecy. By removing the lounge car and traditional dining Amtrak has made the Eagle a second-rate train which it never was before.
 

Bob Dylan

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Last time I checked, which was quite awhile ago, the Sunset was selling out it's one sleeper.
The Eagle is doing the same!Thus,as I posted, the Sleeper on #22 is Selling Out on Non-#422 days(No Transdorm ,so the Crew takes several Roomettes)resulting in $700+ Roomettes Austin- CHI!

Are the Amtrak Suits in Washington asleep,incompetent or part of a devious plot to kill the Eagles? Or All 3?.?🤪🤬
 

Ferroequinologist

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Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
374
Re Lunch photos! Never thought I would be celebrating the return of the mystery meat burger at lunch. But I am. Actually, it was pretty good if you moisturized it with mayo and mustard. When I was commuting on the Eagle, I carried a little bottle of Worcestershire to give the burger a little zetz.
Welcome back, Burger my old friend!
Great photos, by the way! Can't wait until 21 July - Eagle-Sunset-Crescent to PHL. And a Pat's Cheesesteak as soon as I arrive. It's been soooo long!
Why do you call it a 'mystery burger'. I remember the hamburger as the best thing on the menu. Isn't it 100% beef?
 

Ferroequinologist

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Jan 18, 2016
Messages
374
You’re not going to put a knife thru these plastic plates - in fact I broke a plastic fork on one this morning. I can report that they seem to only be using the metal flatware and glasses at dinner. Breakfast and lunch is disposable also table clothes only at dinner - they are using the paper spreads for breakfast and lunch. Though the LSA did give me a metal fork after I broke the plastic one. I don’t what the diner crew consist on the Chief was pre-pandemic but serving are the LSA and one SA. And I believe two crew members in the kitchen downstairs - though haven’t seen them.
Is this just transitional or will plastic cutlery and paper table cloths be permanent? I thought I had read that real china is coming back.
 
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