Jump to content




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

Photo

Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
1527 replies to this topic

#41 chrsjrcj

chrsjrcj

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 622 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, FL

Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:38 PM

A sleeper lounge that serves limited cold meal options. Sounds like dead weight .

Compared to a diner that serves limited hot meals but requires triple or quadruple the staff?

The Cardinal serves hot meals with one person.
  • cpotisch likes this

#42 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:40 PM

The groundwork for all this F&B downgrade was laid in the authorization bill that required Amtrak to balance the budget of F&B as a separate line item, as absurd requirement in and of itself. That is currently the statute and as Anderson said, right or wrong, he will deliver per the statute. One obvious way, and the only fully legal way, to fix this is to change the statute. We have started the discussion going on how and when to change the statute, at the RPA Meeting this week, and with Senators and Reps on the Hill too.

 

And before anyone jumps up and says that Anderson should ignore the statutes selectively, be careful what you wish for. Currently, there is a significant possibility that the current administration will simply ignore the appropriations statutes, and simply not spend the money that has been appropriated by withholding its disbursement using one excuse or the other, even though that would certainly be against the spirit if not the letter of the law.

 

But this post should probably move over to the Advocacy section rather than be here. I leave it to the Mods to decide.


  • Thirdrail7 and Chey like this

#43 keelhauled

keelhauled

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 684 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Camorr

Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:40 PM

The press release is confusing because I read it as being delivered to the actual rooms.


That has been an option all along, albeit not well advertised. My impression has been that the communal dining experience is not really an attraction to either the crew or a growing percentage of passengers, so it makes sense that they would emphasize the availability of room service.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#44 rrdude

rrdude

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:No AGR Status anymore... Baltimore, MD Area
  • Interests:I like riding trains, in First Class, Sleeper, or Coach. (If just a short jaunt) I expect courteous service, equipment that works, arriving close to "on time", & clean windows. Is that too much to ask for?

Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:50 PM

A sleeper lounge that serves limited cold meal options. Sounds like dead weight.

The press release is confusing because I read it as being delivered to the actual rooms.

 

Read it again, Sleeping car customers will choose meals delivered to their Bedrooms or Roomettes – or eaten in a private café or lounge car – and entrees such 

So looks like they will retain the diner, or CCC, or one of the new CAF single level diners for Card/LSL/Silvers



#45 OBS

OBS

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,307 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Webster NY

Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:55 PM

Looks like coach passengers will not be able to purchase these meals and will only have the current cafe menu available according to a response from Amtrak customer service posted on another forum. And it looks like they are all cold anyway! The idea that this is a short trip and doesn't need decent meal service is false in my opinion. When I have taken the train east from Chicago, I would be awake by 6 or 7 am which leaves a full 12 hours on the train until new york. Vice versa I always have a meal in the diner westbound out of new york. And the social factor shouldn't be overlooked. I have always found it a lot of fun to meet and share a meal with fellow travelers whether they are in coach or sleeper.

According to the internal Atk memo, Coach passengers will be able to purchase these meals "based on availability"..... 



#46 seat38a

seat38a

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,690 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orange County California
  • Interests:Trains, Planes, And Web App Development

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:04 PM

Wait.... So we are losing a "full service diner" but adding a "staffed sleeper lounge" ???

Honestly this may come out as a wash in my book. If done right maybe even a positive.

Yup, this actually gives me hope that the CS might, just might get a Parlor Car replacement. After my last two LD train trips, quite frankly the dinning car crew really did absolutely nothing to put me on the side of advocating for their continual existence.

 

I maybe way over reading into this but for all of the scorn everyone has laid on Anderson for being an airline guy and not knowing anything regarding the RR business. Some of the changes such as exclusive lounge, amenity kits, 1 free drink are things lifted right out of the airline books. Now if he turned those sleeper lounges into something like the Sky Club lounges with continental breakfast and snacks throughout the day, I'm all for the changes.


  • Chey and daybeers like this

#47 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,620 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:04 PM

Well, I'm now going to be packing an MRE if I end up on one of these trains, and heating it on the platform in Cumberland, and likely refusing breakfast.  I would actually seriously suggest this as a reaction...

Of course, none of this excuses the fact that they can't even be arsed to offer the Acela meals out of NYP/WAS and kludge something similar out of Chicago.  Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.


Edited by Anderson, 19 April 2018 - 03:05 PM.

  • Thirdrail7 and cpotisch like this

Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#48 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,128 posts

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:15 PM

Again.... This makes sense. The LSA can take the orders and ask where they would like to eat their meal. (Similar to how it was done on the starlight).

After they know how many of each meal has been ordered, they can offer the rest to coach passengers.

Really hard to see how this doesn't make tons of business sense and could easily improve the customer experience.
  • seat38a, Thirdrail7, Chey and 2 others like this

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*.   


#49 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,128 posts

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:19 PM

Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.


No one has tried the food yet. It has the potential to be quite good.
  • Ryan, seat38a, Chey and 2 others like this

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*.   


#50 chrsjrcj

chrsjrcj

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 622 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, FL

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:21 PM

Less food choices than what are currently offered. I don't see that as improving the customer experience. 


  • Thirdrail7 and cpotisch like this

#51 Big Iron

Big Iron

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:22 PM

Well, I'm now going to be packing an MRE if I end up on one of these trains, and heating it on the platform in Cumberland, and likely refusing breakfast.  I would actually seriously suggest this as a reaction...

Of course, none of this excuses the fact that they can't even be arsed to offer the Acela meals out of NYP/WAS and kludge something similar out of Chicago.  Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.

You will have to wait to Pittsburgh to heat and eat, Cumberland is no longer a fresh air stop.  

 

It may be time to revisit the microwave in roomette thread started by MeatPuppet some moons ago.


Trains Ridden: Broadway Limited (3), Capitol Limited (10), Cardinal (James Whitcomb Riley) (4) , Lake Shore Ltd. (4), Silver Star (5), Night Owl (3), Montrealer (2), Illinois Zephyr (10), Palmetto (2)

#52 seat38a

seat38a

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,690 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orange County California
  • Interests:Trains, Planes, And Web App Development

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:28 PM

Less food choices than what are currently offered. I don't see that as improving the customer experience. 

I can't remember the last time when the menu wasn't whittled down to only 1 or 2 choices in the dining car because they were out of everything.



#53 Ryan

Ryan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:31 PM

Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.


No one has tried the food yet. It has the potential to be quite good.


Don't confuse the issue with facts and logic. It's the end of the world as we know it.
  • AmtrakBlue, SarahZ, jebr and 9 others like this
Posted Image

Disclaimer: Any images or links you see in my post may in fact be invasive advertising or even fraudulent phishing attacks silently injected into my post by our spam based hosting service. If anything looks suspicious or inappropriate or you have any doubt whatsoever then do not click any links (particularly those appearing in green and/or with a double underline) or interact with the spam in any way. You may also want to consider using ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus and/or Ghostery)to help reduce the number and severity of advertising scams directed at you.

#54 tricia

tricia

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 657 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Spring Creek, NC

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:37 PM

For a train that arrives into DC at 1PM (IF it's on time), having no lunch and the only breakfast option a combo of bread, sugary yogurt, and fruit seems a bit stark, especially for early risers. I'd hope there'd at least be a breakfast sandwich option.

 

And I sure hope there'll be some way to get a cup of tea. As it is, there's no hot water in the sleepers, only coffee.


Edited by tricia, 19 April 2018 - 03:37 PM.

  • Devil's Advocate, crescent2 and cpotisch like this

#55 AmtrakBlue

AmtrakBlue

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,397 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:38 PM

So.... where do all the new Viewliner diners wind up then?

ThirdRail7 has already alluded to the possibility that the diners will be used for something like this.
  • Thirdrail7 likes this

#56 chrsjrcj

chrsjrcj

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 622 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, FL

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:52 PM

The Dining car booths aren't exactly the most comfortable, so unless they plan on replacing it with seats similar to the PPC or in the Sightseer Lounge Cars, I really don't understand how this is a smart use of equipment. It also looks quite silly to serve cold meals when the Viewliner Dining cars have a grill and kitchen that takes up 1/2 the space of the car!

 

I haven't seen any mention on what they'll use on the Capital Limited. Maybe the CCC? I have no experience with the CCC, so I'll reserve judgement on that. 

 

Now if they did this on the Palmetto (food cart style?) for business class passengers, I would be all for it. Maybe the Carolinian too (not sure how it works with the state supported trains). 


  • cpotisch likes this

#57 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:52 PM

 

So.... where do all the new Viewliner diners wind up then?

ThirdRail7 has already alluded to the possibility that the diners will be used for something like this.

 

Yeah. private Lounge for Sleeper passengers to hang out in and have food with friends. :)
 

Now if they did this on the Palmetto (food cart style?) for business class passengers, I would be all for it. Maybe the Carolinian too (not sure how it works with the state supported trains).

They won't, unless it reduces the net cost of operation. Come hell or high water they are out to reduce F&B losses.

Actually North Carolina could potentially make it happen on the Carolinian. All that they have to do is write a check for the equipment lease and operating cost.


Edited by jis, 19 April 2018 - 03:56 PM.

  • AmtrakBlue likes this

#58 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,620 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:56 PM

 

Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.


No one has tried the food yet. It has the potential to be quite good.

 

A starting problem is that, particularly in cold weather, I can easily see preferring mediocre hot food to excellent cold food.
 

 

 

Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.


No one has tried the food yet. It has the potential to be quite good.

 


Don't confuse the issue with facts and logic. It's the end of the world as we know it.

 

Sarcasm aside, we're getting godsdamned close to that point as far as I'm concerned (particularly given the "as we know it" part).


Edited by Anderson, 19 April 2018 - 04:00 PM.

Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#59 Dakota 400

Dakota 400

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 617 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:05 PM

This news is disappointing to me.  A step forward?  Definitely not in my opinion.  One complimentary alcoholic drink does not substitute for the loss of hot meals, chef prepared or microwaved.  An amenity kit, as I have experienced on Delta flights, is totally not needed by a traveler who has thought to pack toothpaste, toothbrush, a comb, etc.  It has minimal value and adds little to the travel experience.

 

If the new Viewliner diners are able to produce hot meals, and I assume they would be so designed, then I think it is a waste of money to have had them built to such a configuration and not use them for such service.  Poor advance planning by Amtrak?  Maybe not.   Due to the very poor ability of our recent Congresses to pass budget and appropriation bills on time, all Federal agencies, such as our military, have had to work without any clear understanding of what their appropriations will be.

 

If Mr. Anderson is insisting that he is going to follow whatever language is in the statute, as he should do, then it is the fault of the current Congress that has led us to this situation.

 

I am pleased to read that efforts are underway with some Congressmen to get this statute modified. 


  • crescent2, Thirdrail7, daybeers and 1 other like this

#60 Rheavon

Rheavon

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 29 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:AUS
  • Interests:Vintage Life, Train Museums, Enjoying Life

Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:13 PM

I'm definitely disappointed.  I have a CL WAS-CHI coming up this late summer.  I already dropped them a line.  I don't drink soft drinks or alcohol, so that doesn't do anything for me.  If the amenity kit is anything like the comfort kit, it seems pretty redundant as all the things in that kit are more or less provided in some capacity to sleeping car passengers already.  Even then, I'm afraid that they'll run out of the kits regularly.

 

I'm going to be watching what comes out of this closely starting in June.  I paid for my trip back in September expecting the full experience, so understandably I'm a bit ticked off.


  • Thirdrail7, DoB, CAQuail and 1 other like this

~Rheavon~

Upcoming Routes: TBA

Past Routes: Northeast Regional (PVD-NYP), Texas Eagle (CHI-STL, AUS-STL x3, STL-AUS x4), Silver Meteor (ORL-WAS), Capitol Limited (WAS-CHI)





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users