So you'll notice that what can be called, for uniform purposes, the "Coffee Station", is different between the Superliners and the Viewliners as it relates to the sleepers. The Superliner setup is designed more for the end-user, with a non-functioning water dispensing spout and then the alcove for the percolator, with the condiments and supplies placed around the alcove and coffeemaker as will fit, with the juice boxes (if any) and other items on top. There are compartments below the alcove but they are for all practical purposes, non-functional and non-usable (even though I seem to recall since a label or embossed door with "ice" on some).Huh? Could you expand a bit on that?#97 of course being a Viewliner, with an onboard galley setup.
I'm on 97 tonight. Both my sleeper and the one I passed through on the way to the diner have ice put out for passengers. Ice is in a plastic bag lined box in the sink with a sanitary scoop nearby.
On the Viewliners, the same space occupied by the Coffee Station is much more functional, with a wet bar [generally defined as a sink with a drain with the ability for running water, which is less than a 'full sink' in a normal kitchen] in addition to a space for the percolator. There are usable compartments, with drop-down doors which are used for the condiments and supplies (cups, stir sticks, aseptic Half & Half pods, etc). Though on Amtrak it's used for self-service usage, it's clear to me that it was designed for service professional usage, much like the galley on an aircraft. Hence, I refer to it as a galley setup. I don't know for sure if that is what its original intent was to be, but I would be surprised if the company which manufactured it (assuming a modular construction design) isn't also a manufacturer of aircraft galleys. IIRC, the compartments below the sink/coffeemaker area are or can be used for overstock cup storage, etc. (This is much more tidy than storing sleeves of cups on top of the Coffee Station in the Superliners.)
In my decidedly non-professional evaluation, this is why there is still self-serve ice in the sleepers on Viewliners, as the ice can be stored where accumulated liquid can drain away (at least in theory) into a sink with a drain, and is in a recessed area where, as long as the dispensing bag mostly covers it, is considered to be a non-open service point (as defined by food safety standards). Since that setup is non-existent on the Superliners, and since there have been issues in the past with the Styrofoam chest setup, this is why ice on the Superliners is currently an OBS-provided item instead of a self-service one.
I just find it interesting that in all the discussion threads concerning ice that many commenters who say something like "What are you talking about? There was self-service ice in my sleeper last week/month/etc!" do so without seeming to differentiate between the type of car they were on. As someone who travels mostly on routes with Superliners, I have always been impressed when I travel on a route with Viewliners and see the coffee/ice setup. It almost seems like something that was actually designed with customers in mind, as opposed to an afterthought, like a number of things with Amtrak.
Edited by RSG, 20 April 2017 - 09:20 PM.