Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

Dining Car Stewards?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 DevalDragon

DevalDragon

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 25 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Railroads

Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:21 PM

Which trains still have dining car stewards? They are dying breed, but the recent SMART contract alludes to there still being a few out there.



#2 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:07 PM

I am not aware of any....they were gone a long time ago...

That said, I am not aware of the remnants of old labor agreements...dining car stewards were at one time represented by the UTU, (the old Trainman's union),  and other dining car employee's by other union(s).

So perhaps there may be some LSA's which perform most of the old Steward function's that are still represented by the successor to that union, and the remainder the other?   Not at all sure.... :unsure:


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#3 PVD

PVD

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,993 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:28 PM

Even if the title were gone as a bargaining unit job, that doesn't preclude anyone from using it on a train. Not uncommon to hear an announcement that the dining car steward is coming through to take dinner reservations. Or I am so and so, your sleeping car attendant (not your TA-S)



#4 RichieRich

RichieRich

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 06:18 PM

What's a "Dining Car Steward"??? On the A/T we have rather surly "Waiters". I gave them leeway the first 2 years after the Accountants took over the A/T and they went from cooking to microwave.  But now...I just don't tip them at all 'cause they're so rude!!! I will give my sleeper car attendant a $20 IF they're nice. (most are). Funny note: I have more A/T experience then most all the current employees! It's always fun to fill them in as to what the A/T used to be!!!



#5 Palmland

Palmland

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 502 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Carolinas
  • Interests:Transportation, Model RR, Exploring the U.S., First class rail travel

Posted 12 November 2017 - 06:38 PM

I’m surprised to hear of rude waiters on the A-T, RR. I thought they were supposed to be the best of Amtrak and had different work rules/ seniority roster with some ability of Amtrak to choose the better ones.

#6 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 654 posts

Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:19 PM

The sample annoucements in the Amtrak rule book still list "Dining Car Steward" as a title in the announcements. The LSA is still a dining car steward.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#7 GaSteve

GaSteve

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Atlanta, GA
  • Interests:More trains !

Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:22 PM

The "steward" is the Lead Service Attendant or LSA.  He/she oversees the other dining car crew, typically a waiter and chef and performs the work of a waiter when required or he/she decides to as well as being responsible for the "revenue" (cash, etc.).


Edited by GaSteve, 12 November 2017 - 07:24 PM.


#8 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,299 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:31 PM

Since I've never ridden in Coach on the Cardinal, nor the City of New Orleans since it lost it's Chef, Question:

Does the Cafe LSA Collect from Coach Passengers (and Sleeping Car Passengers that order Alcohol etc) in the Diner, or does the Jack of All Trades Diner Attendant also serve as the Diner LSA???
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#9 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:36 PM

Back in the old days pre-Amtrak, as well as for the earliest years of Amtrak, the dining car steward had a lot of responsibility...they managed a dining car with as many as 6 waiters, and four chef's....they handled all the revenue collection, and inventory....

And on some trains, while the Sleeping Car Porter's were under the supervision of the Pullman Conductor, the 'name train's' that had chair car attendant's, those were also under the supervision of the dining car steward.

The coming of the On Board Chief's tended to end the use of stewards, in favor of dining car LSA's....  Now both stewards and chief's are history, as since the Conductor's are also now Amtrak employee's and not supplied by host railroads, they are more cognizant of the duties of on board service employees, hence they are supervision of them.


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#10 GaSteve

GaSteve

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Atlanta, GA
  • Interests:More trains !

Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:05 PM

Since I've never ridden in Coach on the Cardinal, nor the City of New Orleans since it lost it's Chef, Question:

Does the Cafe LSA Collect from Coach Passengers (and Sleeping Car Passengers that order Alcohol etc) in the Diner, or does the Jack of All Trades Diner Attendant also serve as the Diner LSA???

The LSA collects the money from coach pax and does the paperwork for the sleeper pax.

#11 Triley

Triley

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern New Hampshire

Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:36 PM



The "steward" is the Lead Service Attendant or LSA.  He/she oversees the other dining car crew, typically a waiter and chef and performs the work of a waiter when required or he/she decides to as well as being responsible for the "revenue" (cash, etc.).


Technically the LSA/Diner is in charge of the OBS crew, from a service standpoint. For example, if we have an issue and one of my sleeper attendants can not compete their trip, I will have to work with CNOC to figure out how best to cover their car until a permanent fix can be decided.

Back in the old days pre-Amtrak, as well as for the earliest years of Amtrak, the dining car steward had a lot of responsibility...they managed a dining car with as many as 6 waiters, and four chef's....they handled all the revenue collection, and inventory....
And on some trains, while the Sleeping Car Porter's were under the supervision of the Pullman Conductor, the 'name train's' that had chair car attendant's, those were also under the supervision of the dining car steward.
The coming of the On Board Chief's tended to end the use of stewards, in favor of dining car LSA's....  Now both stewards and chief's are history, as since the Conductor's are also now Amtrak employee's and not supplied by host railroads, they are more cognizant of the duties of on board service employees, hence they are supervision of them.


Conductors know next to nothing about service attendant duties, unless they worked OBS at one point. They manage us in the sense that they are in charge of our safety, and will put us off the train if we do something seriously against policy, for example verbal harassment of another employee or passenger. As far OBS duties do, we're left to our own devices.



Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

My posts are my own opinions and do not represent the views of my employer in any way, shape, or form. ~ Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


#12 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:29 AM

 

The "steward" is the Lead Service Attendant or LSA.  He/she oversees the other dining car crew, typically a waiter and chef and performs the work of a waiter when required or he/she decides to as well as being responsible for the "revenue" (cash, etc.).


Technically the LSA/Diner is in charge of the OBS crew, from a service standpoint. For example, if we have an issue and one of my sleeper attendants can not compete their trip, I will have to work with CNOC to figure out how best to cover their car until a permanent fix can be decided.

Back in the old days pre-Amtrak, as well as for the earliest years of Amtrak, the dining car steward had a lot of responsibility...they managed a dining car with as many as 6 waiters, and four chef's....they handled all the revenue collection, and inventory....
And on some trains, while the Sleeping Car Porter's were under the supervision of the Pullman Conductor, the 'name train's' that had chair car attendant's, those were also under the supervision of the dining car steward.
The coming of the On Board Chief's tended to end the use of stewards, in favor of dining car LSA's....  Now both stewards and chief's are history, as since the Conductor's are also now Amtrak employee's and not supplied by host railroads, they are more cognizant of the duties of on board service employees, hence they are supervision of them.


Conductors know next to nothing about service attendant duties, unless they worked OBS at one point. They manage us in the sense that they are in charge of our safety, and will put us off the train if we do something seriously against policy, for example verbal harassment of another employee or passenger. As far OBS duties do, we're left to our own devices.



Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

 

I thought that Amtrak Conductor's had to also be familiar with the manuals for on board services employees, in order to know just what their responsibilites are..?


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#13 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,245 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Америка
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:45 AM

I've never seen or heard of a conductor actively correcting any customer reported service problems.  Or ever offering or suggesting such a resolution is possible.  Even when the OBS flat out refuses to perform a core job function as per the rule book.  On those occasions where I've see someone complain about on board service to a conductor they either shrugged or provided what appeared to be an unverified excuse and moved on.  I suppose it's possible that a conductor might take action on a customer's behalf, but like Triley suggested I'd imagine it mainly happens if and when an employee attacks or harasses a passenger.  Presumably in a location where additional witnesses can corroborate the complaint.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 13 November 2017 - 01:47 AM.

I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#14 Steve4031

Steve4031

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,208 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Riding Trains Often!!

Posted 13 November 2017 - 05:11 AM

In my experience the conductor is going to defend the employees most of the time. They get to know each other from trip to trip.

On one trip with my father we got booted out of the ppc for a portion of a trip on the sb coast starlight. Entirely our fault. The person working the in the ppc wanted everyone not participating in the wine tasting to leave for the duration of the wine tasting. My dad did not want to leave and he was not interested in my explanation of why this was typical. I personally had been annoyed that with the guy’s brusqueness earlier in the trip. So as we left I told him I would write a letter to Amtrak. On our way out he told us we were not to come back.

Our sca overheard part of the interaction and was supported our viewpoint. He suggested we talk to the conductor. I thought it was better to leave it alone. At this point I had decided I was in error because I had raised my voice on the way out of the ppc. I had no problems interest in annoying the conductor. And when my dad is annoyed he gets stubborn. I was concerned we could get put off.

After the wine tasting my dad wanted to go back to the ppc because he liked those swivel chairs. I wanted to keep a low profile. Dad won the discussion and we went back. The guy in the ppc immediately called the conductor.

While waiting for the conductor I explained to my dad at this point we were at risk of being put off. And that we needed to abide by instructions given by the conductor. The conductor listened to our side and explained that my threat to write a letter to Amtrak was what upset the employee. Primarily because I stated that I intended to have his job. The conductor asked us to stay out of the ppc for the remainder of the evening. We had dinner reservations in the ppc and we did have dinner there.

We returned to our rooms and the sca asked what happened since he heard the conductor called to the ppc. The SCA was outraged and told us how this guy was a replacement for an employee who took their break on this trip.

In our situation I think the conductor was reasonable. I knew I had overreacted primarily because I was with my dad and our family dynamics clouded my thinking. Later I apologized to the employee in the ppc.

What surprised me about this incident was the sca supporting us unconditionally. Even after the conductor made his decision. The sca bent over backwards to compensate for the remainder of the trip to Los Angeles.



Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

#15 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:48 AM

No surprise.... did you reward the SCA for his support?
See...? :)
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#16 Steve4031

Steve4031

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,208 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Riding Trains Often!!

Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:10 AM

No surprise.... did you reward the SCA for his support?
See...? :)


I tipped him more for excellent service. Quite frankly I was annoyed with myself for getting into this mess and then distracting the conductor from operating the train. He was on the radio confirming signals while discussing this mess with us.


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

#17 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 654 posts

Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:22 AM

I hope you reported all of that to amtrak! No excuse for that type of treatment.

I've never been told to leave the PPC for a wine tasting (I've ridden maybe 6 times, not a regular rider but more than just once).

This is why a chief of on board services is a good idea. There needs to be a customer service manager on the train.

Years ago (2001 maybe?) me and my mother rode the empire builder and the dining car staff scolded my mom for wanting to order just a baked potato and salad for dinner. "If you just want a snack you can get it in the lounge" - she refused to go back. The Chief of On board services heard about this, visited our room and apologized... My mom said she would not go back to the diner and the Cheif said we would not have to pay for what we got in the lounge car for meals and said he would explain that to the lounge car attendant.

Sure enough, the lounge car attendant knew about us and had meal tickets ready to fill out for our "sleeper meals"

This is something that would never happen in today's amtrak.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#18 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:15 AM

On our many trips, we have always seen a manager or supervisor in the dining car overseeing operations.. We can only guess that this person replaced the dining car steward.



#19 zephyr17

zephyr17

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,314 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington State

Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:16 PM

LSAs are essentially the stewards.  Same basic job functions.


SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users