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#21 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:39 PM

I am amazed by the coverage in this forum how many folks get so bent out of shape over ice.  When I'm on the train, that is one of the least of my worries, but then again I am one who rarely uses it.



#22 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:57 PM

Found a picture, not pods, but pushbutton dispensing.  K cups and other pods are generally pretty good, but pricey.

 
I've only found those Douwe Egberts coffee syrup machines in exactly two locations. On Amtrak and in retirement home cafeterias. In my experience they're similar in flavor and freshness to freeze dried Nescafe.

 

I am amazed by the coverage in this forum how many folks get so bent out of shape over ice.  When I'm on the train, that is one of the least of my worries, but then again I am one who rarely uses it.


Here in the US access to ice is both easy and nearly unlimited almost anywhere. At home, work, restaurants, theaters, hotels, etc. Including low end examples. I've never once been denied or charged for ice on an airplane so when I have to make multiple requests pay money or go hours without access on Amtrak I find it rather annoying by comparison.

Carlos Mencia does a better job explaining our relationship with ice than I can.

 

Link: http://www.cc.com/vi...three-ice-cubes


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 16 April 2017 - 10:49 PM.

What is the purpose of a rhetorical question?


#23 PVD

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:26 PM

The yield ratio is variable, and multiple varieties of coffee are available. Set it weak or buy the cheaper coffee, get a bad product. Set at 32:1 or a touch stronger and buy one of the good blends and they work very well. It is a simple way to provide 24hr coffee service.



#24 RSG

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:31 PM

I am amazed by the coverage in this forum how many folks get so bent out of shape over ice.  When I'm on the train, that is one of the least of my worries, but then again I am one who rarely uses it.

There are several factors that make it a bone of contention, IMHO. One is the fact that it is an item not easily provided by passengers on an ordinary basis. If there isn’t any shampoo in the showers, oh well, not a big deal; just pull some out of your luggage. But that’s not possible with ice (without careful planning, anyway).

The other factor is that it is simply another one of those amenities which used to be cheerfully provided, free-for-the-taking, which now is often not. Like the Corelle® dinnerware and table decor (ie, flower-in-vase) in the diners and a morning newspaper in the sleepers, it’s another reminder of an often better time gone by. There may be valid reasons for no self-serve ice in the Superliners, but it’s less of the fact that it’s not freely available than the fact that requesting it, as is required, results in a consistent inconsistency in outcome. And that is yet another reminder of service on Amtrak.

#25 RSG

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:39 PM

Found a picture, not pods, but pushbutton dispensing.  K cups and other pods are generally pretty good, but pricey.

That is actually a pretty good solution (and obviously different from the setup inside the Club Acela). At least hot water is available (which, like ice, is another item not easily supplied by passengers); I default to tea when foodservice coffee isn’t to my liking.



#26 tricia

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:40 AM

 

Found a picture, not pods, but pushbutton dispensing.  K cups and other pods are generally pretty good, but pricey.

That is actually a pretty good solution (and obviously different from the setup inside the Club Acela). At least hot water is available (which, like ice, is another item not easily supplied by passengers); I default to tea when foodservice coffee isn’t to my liking.

 

 

Glad to see this is available on the autotrain. Alas, as far as I know, none of Amtrak's other sleepers offers anything but caffeinated Amcoffee. No hot water or decaf.


Edited by tricia, 17 April 2017 - 07:41 AM.


#27 PVD

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:37 AM

The AutoTrain is a bit odd compared to other LD routes, If on schedule, it doesn't have a "normal" morning, it is continental breakfast and prepare to detrain. 



#28 Karl1459

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:40 AM

 

Glad to see this wasn't about the other ICE.


Which is what I thought of originally, since the ice you put in a drink is "ice", and "ICE" is an abbreviation for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for those that don't know.

 

 

There is the third "ICE" which we all should have in our cell phones, a contact for "In Case of Emergency".



#29 dlagrua

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:31 PM

I have no idea what anyone at Amtrak has to gain by keeping ice out of the sleeping cars. Years ago ice was freely available and we didn't have any problems. On Viewliners the attendants kept a box in their room or near the coffee machine. On many Superliners there was an ice compartment below the coffee machine. No one died from using that ice.  Today we just take our own cooler full of ice aboard.



#30 niemi24s

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:42 PM

I have no idea what anyone at Amtrak has to gain by keeping ice out of the sleeping cars.

I believe what they have to gain is compliance with some FDA (or other gov't agency) rule or guideline about having uncontrolled access to ice that can be used for human consumption.  The do-gooders have much control over our lives, like it or not.



#31 PVD

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:49 PM

The FDA tightened the rules on ice. Ice is treated like food. Unless you have a dispenser where the ice is protected from public access until it is dispensed it is non compliant. It's why hotels have been changing to those horrible versions where you push up on the shroud and half the ice ends up on the floor.


Edited by PVD, 17 April 2017 - 12:50 PM.


#32 seat38a

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:12 PM

 

I have no idea what anyone at Amtrak has to gain by keeping ice out of the sleeping cars.

I believe what they have to gain is compliance with some FDA (or other gov't agency) rule or guideline about having uncontrolled access to ice that can be used for human consumption.  The do-gooders have much control over our lives, like it or not.

 

During the foam cooler days, I personally saw people use their hands to scoop the ice out of it even though a scoop was available. Those "do-gooders" probably saw something similar transpire or they probably grew a sample in the petri dish which showed unwashed hands and hands in general had been touching the ice. Problem isn't the "do-gooders" but the douchebags who thought using their hands to scoop out the ice was perfectly acceptable thing to do. One time a barista at Starbucks thought it was ok to use his fingers to take out a piece of ice that was blocking the lid from closing on the drink I ordered, while I was standing right in front oh him. When I refused the drink and pointed out why, he did not understand how him taking out the ice with his finger was a problem. So to cut it short, the few ruin it for the rest.



#33 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:15 PM

The FDA tightened the rules on ice. Ice is treated like food. Unless you have a dispenser where the ice is protected from public access until it is dispensed it is non compliant. It's why hotels have been changing to those horrible versions where you push up on the shroud and half the ice ends up on the floor.


I'm not sure the ice is really any cleaner with those dispensers. Some folks just shove their uncleaned mugs into or over the ice chute and possibly make it worse than if they simply used a scoop.

What is the purpose of a rhetorical question?


#34 PVD

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:40 PM

I'm not sure either, but obviously the people who make the rules are willing to guess. It is probably easier to periodically wipe down the dispenser than risk the whole supply being contaminated. 



#35 JayPea

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:31 PM

The story I got, from more than one SCA, was that an FDA was aboard the Texas Eagle and observed a dirty diaper in the chest full of ice. And that was what supposedly led to the ice not being left out. In one case an SCA on the EB told me he left out ice anyway....and Amtrak got hit with a fine. In just about (but not all) cases since then, on the Western LD trains, ice was still stored in the Styrofoam chest, but in the SCA's room. Only once was that not the case and that was with an SCA who has no business working with the public. With an admittedly small working sample, ice has always been out and available on the Eastern LD trains I've been on.

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#36 seat38a

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:47 PM

The story I got, from more than one SCA, was that an FDA was aboard the Texas Eagle and observed a dirty diaper in the chest full of ice. And that was what supposedly led to the ice not being left out. In one case an SCA on the EB told me he left out ice anyway....and Amtrak got hit with a fine. In just about (but not all) cases since then, on the Western LD trains, ice was still stored in the Styrofoam chest, but in the SCA's room. Only once was that not the case and that was with an SCA who has no business working with the public. With an admittedly small working sample, ice has always been out and available on the Eastern LD trains I've been on.

Doesn't surprise me at all. People just can't be trusted these days. I don't know what is worse the diaper in the ice chest or parents leaving the dirty diaper in the seat back pocket of airplanes after changing their kids on the tray table.



#37 Rail Freak

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

 

The story I got, from more than one SCA, was that an FDA was aboard the Texas Eagle and observed a dirty diaper in the chest full of ice. And that was what supposedly led to the ice not being left out. In one case an SCA on the EB told me he left out ice anyway....and Amtrak got hit with a fine. In just about (but not all) cases since then, on the Western LD trains, ice was still stored in the Styrofoam chest, but in the SCA's room. Only once was that not the case and that was with an SCA who has no business working with the public. With an admittedly small working sample, ice has always been out and available on the Eastern LD trains I've been on.

Doesn't surprise me at all. People just can't be trusted these days. I don't know what is worse the diaper in the ice chest or parents leaving the dirty diaper in the seat back pocket of airplanes after changing their kids on the tray table.

 

Reminds me of my 1st trip, where someone tried flushing a diaper! We were held up quite a while!!!


Edited by Rail Freak, 18 April 2017 - 08:16 AM.

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#38 RSG

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:53 PM

 With an admittedly small working sample, ice has always been out and available on the Eastern LD trains I've been on.

As I mentioned on the other thread where this discussion recently ensued, on the Viewliners there is a wet bar setup where the ice is in a recessed area with a drain sink, so in theory anyway, melted ice which accumulates can drain off through the bag and even someone who uses their hands as an ice scoop is not as likely to wash their hands in melted ice water doing so. Of course that depends on if the melted ice water can actually drain through the bag. In my personal experience with commercially bagged ice, when you don’t want the bag to leak, it does; and when you might actually want it to, it turns into a Hefty® bag. Because this setup is essentially a galley area where there are very tight spaces for everything, it probably is less prone to those who would dump garbage there, other than in places labeled for it.


#39 RSG

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:07 AM

During the foam cooler days, I personally saw people use their hands to scoop the ice out of it even though a scoop was available. Those "do-gooders" probably saw something similar transpire or they probably grew a sample in the petri dish which showed unwashed hands and hands in general had been touching the ice. Problem isn't the "do-gooders" but the douchebags who thought using their hands to scoop out the ice was perfectly acceptable thing to do. One time a barista at Starbucks thought it was ok to use his fingers to take out a piece of ice that was blocking the lid from closing on the drink I ordered, while I was standing right in front oh him. When I refused the drink and pointed out why, he did not understand how him taking out the ice with his finger was a problem. So to cut it short, the few ruin it for the rest.

Good for you on calling out the SBUX barista on his bad behavior. I would like to say I’m surprised by the behavior, but after a few years working in foodservice back in the day, I am not. As I was remarking to a server at a favorite restaurant the other night (who it turns out has the same cleanliness standards that I do), I never worked in a place that stressed handwashing outside of the training videos. As a result, I saw a number of violations and still do today as a customer, so I’m sure the lack of detail remains. Another issue is the proper handling of cups. Even in those served with straws or drink-through lids, the top inch of a cup or mug should be inviolate and not touched by human hands. Good luck on getting the majority of foodservice workers to consistently recognize that fact though.

Back to the Styrofoam coolers...I would never partake of the ice in one when there was a fair amount of melting occurring---or when it was obvious that the ice scoop was an annoyance to someone. I’m sure most people used a cup to scoop the ice, even when a scoop was provided (and I have to say many times, it was not), but that is still a sanitation no-no. On such occasions when my car had a messy cooler, I would go to a neighboring car and usually find one with a cooler in very good condition. That also told me that some SCAs paid more attention to the ice cooler than others.


Edited by RSG, 18 April 2017 - 12:10 AM.


#40 John Bredin

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:30 AM

 Glad to see this wasn't about the other ICE.

Which is what I thought of originally, since the ice you put in a drink is "ice", and "ICE" is an abbreviation for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for those that don't know.

It's also what I thought of when I saw the headline, but I knew that this being a conversation about Amtrak that it couldn't possibly be about the 'other' ICE...

Amtrak and some of its passengers have to deal with that ICE: the Maple Leaf, the Adirondack, and some Cascades cross the US-Canadian border.






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