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#21 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 08:29 AM

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.
For decades Amtrak has played around with dining service on the Florida trains including one time that full meal service was only offered south of Washington,and another
where they offered "buffet style" service.
 
As for the Cardinal and the CONO, they have the most limited offering with the CONO southbound the most limited of all.
 
There are some options that Amtrak should consider from the VIA rail playbook.
 
The Ocean uses catered food, but it is reheated, plated, and presented on-board, in a traditional diner, with full a wait staff (see pictures below).
 
The Canadian, the only non-tourist  train in North America with a full cooked on board menu, adds a coach class diner during the summer peak only, during the bulk
of the year coach class uses the cafe car which has some entree choices, similar to what was added to to the Silver Star cafe menu.
    
As for which train will have a full diner restored, my money is on the Lake Shore.

The LSL is almost certainly getting it's diners back; that does not stop the Cardinal or SS from also getting new diners.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 24 June 2017 - 08:32 AM.

Routes Travelled: CL WAS-CHI, Card. CHI-WAS, Caro. CLT-RGH, CS SJC-LAX, Cre. BAL-ATL, EB MSP-CHI, ES NYG/NYP-NFL, LSL BOS-ALB, ML ALB-NYP, NER FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, PS LAX-ANA, Pen. NYP-PGH, Pie. RGH-DNC, SM ORL-NYP, SS FTL-WAS
New Routes: LSL NYP-CHI, CZ CHI-RIC, CS SJC-SEA, EB SEA-MSP

#22 keelhauled

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 08:34 AM

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?
Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some don't are ok with it.

You can find the menus for each train on Amtrak's website.
When I traveled on the Cardinal earlier this year I was perfectly happy with the lunch and dinner selections, but the omelet was the only Amtrak meal I have had that was truly awful.

Go on, raise the flag, I got stars in my eyes...I'm in love with her and I won't apologize.


#23 dogbert617

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:21 AM

 

 

 

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?

Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some are ok with it.

You can find the menus for each train on Amtrak's website.

 

I was eventually going to see what the menu was showing up as for each of these 3 trains, on Amtrak's website. It is a bummer to hear it has food service  that's been downgraded from a full service dining car, since it was one of those long distance trains I was eventually thinking about riding at some point. I'm sure I'll find a way to deal with it somehow, though.

 

 

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.
For decades Amtrak has played around with dining service on the Florida trains including one time that full meal service was only offered south of Washington,and another
where they offered "buffet style" service.
 
As for the Cardinal and the CONO, they have the most limited offering with the CONO southbound the most limited of all.
 
There are some options that Amtrak should consider from the VIA rail playbook.
 
The Ocean uses catered food, but it is reheated, plated, and presented on-board, in a traditional diner, with full a wait staff (see pictures below).
 
The Canadian, the only non-tourist  train in North America with a full cooked on board menu, adds a coach class diner during the summer peak only, during the bulk
of the year coach class uses the cafe car which has some entree choices, similar to what was added to to the Silver Star cafe menu.
    
As for which train will have a full diner restored, my money is on the Lake Shore.

The LSL is almost certainly getting it's diners back; that does not stop the Cardinal or SS from also getting new diners.

 

Thought it was just Cardinal, CONO, and Silver Star that had lost their full service dining car? I forgot LSL had lost their dining car, for whatever odd reason. At least Capitol Limited which I was seriously considering riding at some point, still has a full service dining car. Ditto with the Crescent, from what I hear.



#24 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:35 AM

 

 

 

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?
Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some are ok with it.

You can find the menus for each train on Amtrak's website.
 
I was eventually going to see what the menu was showing up as for each of these 3 trains, on Amtrak's website. It is a bummer to hear it has food service  that's been downgraded from a full service dining car, since it was one of those long distance trains I was eventually thinking about riding at some point. I'm sure I'll find a way to deal with it somehow, though.
 
 

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.
For decades Amtrak has played around with dining service on the Florida trains including one time that full meal service was only offered south of Washington,and another
where they offered "buffet style" service.
 
As for the Cardinal and the CONO, they have the most limited offering with the CONO southbound the most limited of all.
 
There are some options that Amtrak should consider from the VIA rail playbook.
 
The Ocean uses catered food, but it is reheated, plated, and presented on-board, in a traditional diner, with full a wait staff (see pictures below).
 
The Canadian, the only non-tourist  train in North America with a full cooked on board menu, adds a coach class diner during the summer peak only, during the bulk
of the year coach class uses the cafe car which has some entree choices, similar to what was added to to the Silver Star cafe menu.
    
As for which train will have a full diner restored, my money is on the Lake Shore.

The LSL is almost certainly getting it's diners back; that does not stop the Cardinal or SS from also getting new diners.
 
Thought it was just Cardinal, CONO, and Silver Star that had lost their full service dining car? I forgot LSL had lost their dining car, for whatever odd reason. At least Capitol Limited which I was seriously considering riding at some point, still has a full service dining car. Ditto with the Crescent, from what I hear.
LSL lost its full diner when the heritage diners numbers dropped. It has less meals affected than the SM & Crescent. It will most likely get full diners back once the SM & Crescent have all the new diners they need.

#25 Cho Cho Charlie

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:37 AM

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.


If that comes true, wouldn't Amtrak then have to explain to Congress that they bought too many new Diners, and why there is a full set of new Diners sitting in a yard rusting away?
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#26 Maverickstation

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:05 AM

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.

If that comes true, wouldn't Amtrak then have to explain to Congress that they bought too many new Diners, and why there is a full set of new Diners sitting in a yard rusting away?

OMG, the drama here, if the Lake Shore, crescent, and the Meteor get the new diners you are not going to have a line of unused ones. Further congress could care less if there are surplus diners.

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#27 IndyLions

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:50 AM

When I traveled on the Cardinal earlier this year I was perfectly happy with the lunch and dinner selections, but the omelet was the only Amtrak meal I have had that was truly awful.


Knowing how the food is prepared, and using common sense helps you make the best of a bad situation.

Some foods (like omelettes) just can't be good reheated. Sad to see they switched out the cinnamon roll in the continental breakfast - it was delicious. Yes - completely unhealthy - but I made up for it by reducing calories and going healthy on my next non-train meal. Not sure how good reheated French toast is - it wasn't available a few weeks ago.

For lunch, I'd stick with the fresh marketplace sandwich. I had a Cuban that was quite good (relatively speaking).

As far as dinner goes - someone will need to try the latest menu and report back.



#28 dlagrua

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:04 PM

 

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?

 

Having eaten it many times the food service on the Card and CONO are basically pre-cooked meals that the server/cook pops in a convection oven to re-heat. The diner is basically a cafe car with a convection over and cold storage for meals.  I would say that it's better than no food service at all but sub par when compared to what is served on the full diner trains. Some items on those menus are not good, while others are passable. Kind of like eating a TV dinner but much of it depends on how long the meals are reheated. On one trip we had sausage and eggs for breakfast and the eggs were hard and rubbery. On a trip the following year we had an omelet that was soft and moist. If we take those trains again we will just ask the server what is good. Amtrak is also not doing its passengers much good when a single food server has the kitchen and serving duties for the entire train. That poor soul has to serve over 100+ people. I believe that it is possible that we may see a diner on the Card, CONO and Silver Star again when the full order of dining cars is delivered.



#29 Lonestar648

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:15 PM

Equipment is NOT the problem on the CONO, just the management decision to eliminate the cost of the Chef for that train. CONO is Superliner equipment.  Once the order of VL DC are delivered, then it is very likely the overnight single level LD trains will have a new DC.  If all these trains have full service, then I would hope the CONO would see its Chef rehired.



#30 A Voice

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:00 PM

 

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.

If that comes true, wouldn't Amtrak then have to explain to Congress that they bought too many new Diners, and why there is a full set of new Diners sitting in a yard rusting away?

 

OMG, the drama here, if the Lake Shore, crescent, and the Meteor get the new diners you are not going to have a line of unused ones. Further congress could care less if there are surplus diners.

 

 

 

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.

If that comes true, wouldn't Amtrak then have to explain to Congress that they bought too many new Diners, and why there is a full set of new Diners sitting in a yard rusting away?

 

OMG, the drama here, if the Lake Shore, crescent, and the Meteor get the new diners you are not going to have a line of unused ones. Further congress could care less if there are surplus diners.

 

 

So, exactly how many cars would have to be surplus to constitute a "line" ?  

 

Not counting spares, the Meteor, Lake Shore, and Crescent require just eleven dining cars.  There are 25 on order, which is just about the correct number to cover the above trains plus the Silver Star and Cardinal.  

 

No, Congress doesn't care about surplus diners.  But would you want to be the one explaining to a (often critical) Congressional committee why you're asking for several hundred million in additional funding to buy new equipment when you already have brand new cars parked and no use for them?  



#31 Skyline

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 12:27 PM

 

 

 

 

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?
Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some are ok with it.

You can find the menus for each train on Amtrak's website.
 
I was eventually going to see what the menu was showing up as for each of these 3 trains, on Amtrak's website. It is a bummer to hear it has food service  that's been downgraded from a full service dining car, since it was one of those long distance trains I was eventually thinking about riding at some point. I'm sure I'll find a way to deal with it somehow, though.
 
 

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.
For decades Amtrak has played around with dining service on the Florida trains including one time that full meal service was only offered south of Washington,and another
where they offered "buffet style" service.
 
As for the Cardinal and the CONO, they have the most limited offering with the CONO southbound the most limited of all.
 
There are some options that Amtrak should consider from the VIA rail playbook.
 
The Ocean uses catered food, but it is reheated, plated, and presented on-board, in a traditional diner, with full a wait staff (see pictures below).
 
The Canadian, the only non-tourist  train in North America with a full cooked on board menu, adds a coach class diner during the summer peak only, during the bulk
of the year coach class uses the cafe car which has some entree choices, similar to what was added to to the Silver Star cafe menu.
    
As for which train will have a full diner restored, my money is on the Lake Shore.

The LSL is almost certainly getting it's diners back; that does not stop the Cardinal or SS from also getting new diners.
 
Thought it was just Cardinal, CONO, and Silver Star that had lost their full service dining car? I forgot LSL had lost their dining car, for whatever odd reason. At least Capitol Limited which I was seriously considering riding at some point, still has a full service dining car. Ditto with the Crescent, from what I hear.
LSL lost its full diner when the heritage diners numbers dropped. It has less meals affected than the SM & Crescent. It will most likely get full diners back once the SM & Crescent have all the new diners they need.

 

Did the NYP>CHI section of the LSL lose its full diner, or just the BOS>CHI section?



#32 jis

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 12:35 PM

Did the NYP>CHI section of the LSL lose its full diner, or just the BOS>CHI section?

Boston section has never had a full Diner. It had a full Cafe/Lounge (Amfleet II Dinette). That has been replaced by a Amfleet I Cafe-Club providing BC service in half the car.

New York Section has had its full Diner temporarily replaced by a Amfleet II Dinette pending the arrival of adequate number of Viewliner II Diners.

#33 tim49424

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

We will never take a long distance trip on a train without a diner. The diner is not only for a sit down meal but provides a break from sitting in your room or in a coach chair. Its has the effect of shortening the trip. If a diner is ever returned to the Silver Star, I hope that the food quality is better than the fodder that they serve on the Cardinal and CONO routes.  All the folks that we sat with on our last CZ trip gave thumbs down to the food on those routes.. Actually we believe that the food is passable IF you ask the cook/table server what is good and what isn't? He/she eats that food too so they should know.

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how downgraded the food was on the Star, CONO, and Cardinal? It is similar to the cafe cars, but with a few options that are a tad better than typical cafe car fare? Too bad to hear about this, since I was thinking at some point about riding the Cardinal and CONO to try riding those trains for the first time. I guess I should bring a few snacks/food of my own that doesn't require refrigeration(i.e. granola bars), to survive how mediocre the food is on Cardinal and CONO?
Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some don't are ok with it.

You can find the menus for each train on Amtrak's website.
When I traveled on the Cardinal earlier this year I was perfectly happy with the lunch and dinner selections, but the omelet was the only Amtrak meal I have had that was truly awful.
Agreed about the omelet. Last fall when I rode the Cardinal. I ordered it thinking "How can anything go wrong with eggs?". That's how. Next time I ride an eastern LD train, it'll be one of the other options I order.

Edited by tim49424, 27 June 2017 - 02:24 PM.

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#34 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 03:09 PM

Everyone has different opinions & about the food on trains, just like for everything in life. Some hate it, some like it & some are ok with it.

 
This is true, but the people who tend to dislike the food seem to do a much better job of taking the time to describe what precisely failed to impress while the average pro-Amchow post often regurgitates vague generalities about everything always being good/great.

 

As for the Silver Star getting a full diner back, I would not count on it despite the arrival of the Viewliner Diners.

If that comes true, wouldn't Amtrak then have to explain to Congress that they bought too many new Diners, and why there is a full set of new Diners sitting in a yard rusting away?

OMG, the drama here, if the Lake Shore, crescent, and the Meteor get the new diners you are not going to have a line of unused ones. Further congress could care less if there are surplus diners.

 
Congress could indeed care less about Amtrak wasting money. In fact they could care a whole lot less. In the specific case of expensive hardware ordered and manufactured just to be dragged off and mothballed again, congress would actually be right to be critical.

 

Equipment is NOT the problem on the CONO, just the management decision to eliminate the cost of the Chef for that train. CONO is Superliner equipment.  Once the order of VL DC are delivered, then it is very likely the overnight single level LD trains will have a new DC.


I haven't seen the lower level of a Superliner diner in many years. Has anyone confirmed they all still have fully stocked and fully functional kitchens down there? Seems just as likely that some of the kitchen hardware may have deteriorated over time or have been removed or cannibalized to repair failures in other cars.

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 27 June 2017 - 03:22 PM.

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#35 tommylicious

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:13 PM

it's shameful for any LD train to not have a proper diner car serving cooked to order food.  we refuse to ride on any that don't.



#36 dogbert617

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:42 AM

it's shameful for any LD train to not have a proper diner car serving cooked to order food.  we refuse to ride on any that don't.

Yeah it'd suck, but for whatever reason(mainly scenery-related) I am intrigued about riding a few of those lines that don't have a full diner(mainly CONO and Cardinal). I'd be sure to bring enough of my own food, to less have to deal with the subpar food that'll be served from the cafe car on those lines!

 

I wonder if anyone has ever called in an order from a close nearby restaurant(or any other eatery) at any of those longer stops(i.e. Memphis), and met up platform side(or streetside) to bring the food back onto the train? I read an online report about someone who surprisingly did that, with a restaurant/bar in Michigan City, IN! And as far as I know, I didn't think that was an extended stop where the Amtrak crew changed, or the train did any servicing(unlike say Battle Creek, where that does happen).



#37 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:17 AM

I'm guessing that many of you who refuse to ride a diner less car have stopped riding the SS.The lack of a diner car would not stop me from riding any LD train, I went from the East Coast to California and back and did not eat one diner car meal. I also like the idea of getting a room without having to pay for the cost of two person's meals when I am traveling alone (and I often eat just two meals a day). The one concern I would have would be if an entire train's passengers had to eat in the cafe car the lines could be really long, especially at traditional meal times. I know at the beginning of the SS switchover these lines were really long, have they gotten better since then?


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#38 maxbuskirk

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:31 PM

It would be nice if they removed the cost of the food from the sleepers, so the sleepers are cheaper, and the sleeper pax pay for their food. I'd suppose some passengers just want a bed to sleep in at night, and they don't need to eat in the diner car.

I have ridden Cascades #516 (SEA-STW), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-SLO), Southwest Chief #4 (LAX-CHI), Cardinal #50 (CHI-NYP), Northeast Regional #85 (NYP-WAS), Capitol Limited #30 (HFY-WAS), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-PDX), and many Pacific Surfliners with Amtrak. I have seen, including the previous, California Zephyr #5 at SAC (with luck), what I guess to be Crescent #19 (at WAS) and Silver Meteor #97 (at WAS), and Empire Builder #28 at PDX. I have also ridden the Hokutosei in Japan, Ueno - Sapporo (now discontinued).


#39 Bob Dylan

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:06 PM

It would be nice if they removed the cost of the food from the sleepers, so the sleepers are cheaper, and the sleeper pax pay for their food. I'd suppose some passengers just want a bed to sleep in at night, and they don't need to eat in the diner car.

This!😎

That's the Historic Model that was used up until the time Amtrak started including meals in the Diner with the Sleeping Car Charge.
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#40 ehbowen

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:13 AM

 

It would be nice if they removed the cost of the food from the sleepers, so the sleepers are cheaper, and the sleeper pax pay for their food. I'd suppose some passengers just want a bed to sleep in at night, and they don't need to eat in the diner car.

This!😎

That's the Historic Model that was used up until the time Amtrak started including meals in the Diner with the Sleeping Car Charge.

 

 

That change was made back in the Claytor years in an attempt to force some money into the dining service budget. Before the "inclusion" (forced prepayment) of dining car meals, so few passengers—both coach and sleeper—were eating in the dining car that dining service was in very real danger of being axed across the board. And dining car food back in the Claytor years was pretty doggone good....


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