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Cardinal out of Chicago

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#1 Guest_BoftheSeas_*

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:26 AM

Couple of quick questions regarding the Cardinal departing Chicago (booked in a roomette):

- how early can you board the train?

- will the dining car serve dinner that evening?



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:40 AM

Since you're in a Sleeper, you'll be in the Lounge while waiting to board.

Generally the Call for boarding is 45 minutes before Departure time. I suggest you use a Redcap which are located outside the door of the Lounge. Let the desk attendant know you want one when you check in to the Lounge.

As for meals, remember the Card uses a Diner Light with Convection Oven heated Limited Menu. The same person fulfills the role of LSA,Waitperson,"Chef" and Buser.

Go for an early rez as you'll be eating Dinner once you cross into Indiana which is on Eastern Time but the Diner will be still operating on Central Time.

The Diner occupies half of the Lounge Car so is small. Try not to get the Table without a Window,it's not a pleasant expierence!

Also avoid the "Omelete" and the "French Toast Sticks" @ Breakfast, they're terrible!😣 The Lunch is usually very good if you order the Sandwich which is prepared from mostly Fresh ingredients.😙
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#3 JayPea



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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:15 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with Bob Dylan about the omelette. I'm usually not a huge critic of Amtrak dining car food but the omelette is awful. The one time I rode the Cardinal, last year, I had one that was cold and rubbery. Kind of like trying to eat an inner tube that sat out all winter. I did have an Italian sandwich for lunch and it was very good.
Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Pacific Surfliner, Cardinal.
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Excursion trains ridden:  Centralia and Chehalis Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, Alaska Railroad, 1880 Train (Black Hills Central RR) and trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, California Railway Museum, and the Monticello (IL) Railroad Museum.

#4 Guest_BoftheSeas_*

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:49 AM

Thanks for the help...and breakfast advice.  I'll avoid the omelette and french toast!

#5 oregon pioneer

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 12:40 PM

I thought that dinner on the cardinal was quite good. The choices were limited to two, though, so you had to be happy with a generic chicken or beef dish. It took a long time to get served, but we were a happy bunch -- ordered wine, and had a good conversation with much laughter. Who cares if dinner lasts two hours when you don't need to go anywhere, and the company is good?



I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.

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