Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Plate C » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:25 am

I cared. It was nice to have a separate place to sit and eat a hot meal, even if the meal was closer to a hot mess. When I rode a few months back and found the dining car gone from the Lakeshore even the crew seemed disgruntled by this. Also have to realize that Amtrak markets an experience, not just a ride, but the actual experience is incongruent with what they advertise. Anyhow, while I fully realize the romantic age of rail travel is essentially dead, that's what Amtrak sells. I mean look at the vintage Lakeshore ads they still use on the train and such.

Separate but related, not sure if anyone has ever rode the trains in Asia. I did in Taiwan and they have 'biendang,' kind of like the bento box. Can't recall if I ordered it on the train or bought it with my ticket. Either way, amazing they can deliver a compact meal with a little bit of everything in it to satisfy your cravings, versus the Amtrak experience.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:31 pm

Plate C wrote:Anyhow, while I fully realize the romantic age of rail travel is essentially dead, that's what Amtrak sells. I mean look at the vintage Lakeshore ads they still use on the train and such.


You make a good point. If they are advertising the romance of rail travel and such is tenuous anymore, what are people travelling for and why not advertise that? I'm not sure of the answer, it's worth discussing. I travel for business and pleasure, and I take the train because it's nice to tune out for a while and work in a cabin or big comfy seat. It's also nice not to be dealing with anything airport/airplane, IE security, cramming into coach, the $50 taxi ride on either end of the trip, etc...
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby ryanov » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:04 pm

Having done a lot of long-distance travel in 2018, the new menu is not significantly different (except for the design).

Big fan of that rigatoni pasta with the vegan sausage. With the amount of sausage that’s in there, the difference isn’t noticeable (and gives me something good to eat).
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:08 pm

Plate C wrote:I cared. It was nice to have a separate place to sit and eat a hot meal, even if the meal was closer to a hot mess. When I rode a few months back and found the dining car gone from the Lakeshore even the crew seemed disgruntled by this.


Is the dining car "gone" as in removed or is it "gone" as in no longer accessible to coach passengers?

Couldn't discern the full context from the post ...
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:48 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Plate C wrote:I cared. It was nice to have a separate place to sit and eat a hot meal, even if the meal was closer to a hot mess. When I rode a few months back and found the dining car gone from the Lakeshore even the crew seemed disgruntled by this.


Is the dining car "gone" as in removed or is it "gone" as in no longer accessible to coach passengers?

Couldn't discern the full context from the post ...


The LSL still has its dining car, but it's a box menu and only available to sleeping car passengers.
This was to, among other things, "...maintaining the quality that our passengers have come to expect." That is unless of course you're a coach passenger. Then well I guess you better expect nothing.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby David Benton » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:57 am

I think it was gone entirely, whilst NYP was closed to the LSL.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:36 pm

David Benton wrote:I think it was gone entirely, whilst NYP was closed to the LSL.

It was, but it's back.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Plate C » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:11 pm

The dining car was not open for coach passengers. When I last rode there was a whole discussion going on in the cafe car as to how people liked riding the train and meeting random people on the way, and that was part of their enjoyment of the dining car beyond a hot meal.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:37 pm

Plate C wrote:The dining car was not open for coach passengers. When I last rode there was a whole discussion going on in the cafe car as to how people liked riding the train and meeting random people on the way, and that was part of their enjoyment of the dining car beyond a hot meal.

Ayup.
As as SLEEPING car passenger, I liked meeting folks from coach and vice versa. I've written Amtrak a couple of times complaining about their "enhancement".
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:16 pm

On a recent Empire Service trip, the crew used THREE of the tables in the Amcafe for their paperwork and gear. The train was fully sold out and every table could have been enjoyed by passengers. The crew should be able to use ONE table as their office space, but leave the other tables for passengers.
Just another example of the thoughtless, sloppy service standards on Amtrak. (Another recent example: coach attendant on the Sunset Limited greeting boarding passengers while smoking a cigarette.)
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby David Benton » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:20 pm

I thought it was all done on their Iphones now?
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Tadman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:40 pm

Morning Zephyr wrote:On a recent Empire Service trip, the crew used THREE of the tables in the Amcafe for their paperwork and gear.


Ha what happens if the Anderson administration kills the dining car entirely? Where does the crew set up then? Although they seem to take up ample coach space on the Hiawatha. Nothing says "welcome aboard" like dragging a few suitcases on and past four empty seats with "reserved for crew" signs. No problem, I'll drag them three cars down.

What happens when a passengers falls and hurts themselves while dragging hefty suitcases up three cars? Oh wait, the taxpayer pays and the same bulls*** continues. Must be nice.

I'm curious if any airline has ever seen a handful of flight attendants crap out in an entire row of seats and do their paperwork. Nope, no way no how. Not chance.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby eolesen » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:48 pm

Actually.... there are contractual requirements for airline crews to be provided a suitable rest area on longer flights, and yes, blocking seats was not uncommon.

At the two of the three airlines I've worked at, a single seat would be blocked out in F for the pilots to share, and 2 seats in business class for the flight attendants.

Then the B-777 came around, and dedicated sleeping/rest areas were built into the ceiling....
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Tadman » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:34 pm

I'm aware of the pilot rest spaces in F, certain A330 still have them and I seem to wind up next to pilots on Aerolineas now and then. It's no big deal because that space was never given the expectation to be used as passenger space, and certainly was not sold as such. It's none of my business who sits next to me as long as it't not noisy children.

Any way we frame it, crew taking up passenger space aboard Amtrak is a crock of sh1t and I'm not happy to be blocked out of the lounge or carry my suitcases past those jerks. I pay for my ticket, I ride a lot (select plus last year) and I don't want to be less comfortable than the guys getting paid to be aboard.
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm

Sleeping quarters for the cockpit crews have been around for decades. I remember an ORD-MXP flight on Alitalia back in the 80's on a 767 that had the same setup.
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