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Dining car access for Eastbound Chief


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#1 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:53 PM

I will be traveling on the eastbound Chief from Los Angeles to Flagstaff. To save costs, will be traveling coach class. I am aware that Train 4 offers dinner out of LAX upon departure, but is it necessary to upgrade to Sleeper class to call dibs on a seat on the diner? If I cannot get the diner on Day 1 on Train 4, I might as well as buy dinner from either DTLA or LAUS and board with it, or buy from the cafe car.


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, California Zephyr, Sunset Limited, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 37099 miles


#2 greatcats

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:57 PM

From my experience riding coach from LA and Fullerton, you should be offered seating for dinner. Last time from LA I had dinner in Traxx inside Union Station, which was quite good.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#3 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:10 AM

If I wanted to, is it worth the cost to upgrade for a 10-hour eastward trip, as well as the CS trip from SAC? I'm taking both of these trips in September.


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, California Zephyr, Sunset Limited, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 37099 miles


#4 greatcats

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:12 AM

I have taken sleepers LA to Flagstaff, but do not like getting out of bed at the infamous O’Dark 30 to get off. It is less effort to get off in coach, go home and go to bed for a few hours.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#5 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 04:53 AM

Now here's where things took another twist. According to an agent on the phone, the Chief is supposedly (?) getting a second diner as an overflow. Can anyone confirm or refute this allegation?


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, California Zephyr, Sunset Limited, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 37099 miles


#6 OBS

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 06:26 AM

Now here's where things took another twist. According to an agent on the phone, the Chief is supposedly (?) getting a second diner as an overflow. Can anyone confirm or refute this allegation?

HIGHLY unlikely....



#7 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:17 AM

Now here's where things took another twist. According to an agent on the phone, the Chief is supposedly (?) getting a second diner as an overflow. Can anyone confirm or refute this allegation?

 
All the recent changes have been to reduce/remove dining car staff so the idea that they're going to double up resources for some overflow is extremely remote.  Do keep in mind that many/most of the call center staff never ride these trains so when it comes to on-board details they often have no idea what they're talking about.  If you don't believe me try asking them about their last long distance trip.  They could also be misinterpreting what they're seeing on their screen or confusing the cafe car with another diner or simply repeating some rumor they never verified officially.

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 12 June 2018 - 10:43 AM.

.


#8 jis

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:01 AM

Also, where exactly are they going to find five extra Superliner Diners for this alleged venture?


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#9 TC_NYC

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:19 AM

 

Now here's where things took another twist. According to an agent on the phone, the Chief is supposedly (?) getting a second diner as an overflow. Can anyone confirm or refute this allegation?

HIGHLY unlikely....

 

 

Especially with no Boy Scouts on #4/5 until July I would be very surprised. They had a fire down there that shut down a lot of the camp. 



#10 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:44 AM

Looks like mid-July before the camp is operational again.  They cancelled over 13,000 reservations.

 

If any train in the summer needed more capacity, it would be the CZ.


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#11 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:16 PM

Especially with no Boy Scouts on #4/5 until July I would be very surprised. They had a fire down there that shut down a lot of the camp. 

The fire that shut down the camps...I would guess that it was the fire near Durango known as the 416 fire. DRGW FB Fanpage is talking about it.


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, California Zephyr, Sunset Limited, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 37099 miles


#12 the_traveler

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:31 PM

As DA said, most have never ridden Amtrak.

I remember a great example of this from a few years back when AGR was handled by Carlson in Canada. The agent told me about these “NEW sleepers” that Amtrak “just got” that has only roomettes on the upper level! I may be wrong, but I think they are called a trans-dorm and have been around for years!:o
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Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#13 cpotisch

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:45 PM

As DA said, most have never ridden Amtrak.

I remember a great example of this from a few years back when AGR was handled by Carlson in Canada. The agent told me about these “NEW sleepers” that Amtrak “just got” that has only roomettes on the upper level! I may be wrong, but I think they are called a trans-dorm and have been around for years! :o

That's not too far off from the time that an Amtrak agent recommended that I "put my bags in the lower level baggage area of your car." The train in question was the Silver Meteor.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
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#14 cpotisch

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:49 PM

Now here's where things took another twist. According to an agent on the phone, the Chief is supposedly (?) getting a second diner as an overflow. Can anyone confirm or refute this allegation?

Ah, the imaginary world of some Amtrak phone agents. I can't imagine them scrounging up five SuperDiners (which might well be impossible), paying that many more staff, and using that much more fuel, just in case of overflow. Especially at a time when Amtrak seems to be laser focused on cutting staff and meal service.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#15 AmtrakFlyer

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:57 PM

Some truth to it. I was on last Thursday and dining car was still in off season mode. Only half of dining car was used entire trip and only 2 employees total upstairs. LSA and one server. Some sleeping car passengers had to eat in rooms due to no available reservations throughout trip. They said next week they get a third employee back and both sides of diner will be in use.

#16 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:04 PM

Guess during the off season no Coach Passengers get access to the Diner if there isn't enough room for all the sleeper passengers.  Hard working crew, what are they doing, two seating's for dinner.



#17 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:38 PM

Guess during the off season no Coach Passengers get access to the Diner if there isn't enough room for all the sleeper passengers.  Hard working crew, what are they doing, two seating's for dinner.

When do the peak season end for the western LD's anyway?


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, California Zephyr, Sunset Limited, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 37099 miles


#18 AmtrakFlyer

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 04:21 PM

Exactly! Off season in June??? The crazy thing was KC to Chicago the train was overbooked in coach. First they had coach customers sit in the lounge when that filled up they seated coach customers in the unused half of the diner.

Long distance trains are being mismanaged like never before. I travel frequently and have noticed a huge difference in the last six months.

On another note talking about the diner gone was the popular $11 dinner to go meal for coach passengers theyve had the past few years. (entree, side, cookie and bottle of water) brought to your seat.

#19 neroden

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 11:09 AM

They really are being mismanaged.  Also, should have rerouted through Amarillo several years ago; that Boy Scout traffic is not reliable.


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--Nathanael--

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#20 KmH

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:54 PM

Guess during the off season no Coach Passengers get access to the Diner if there isn't enough room for all the sleeper passengers.  Hard working crew, what are they doing, two seating's for dinner.

TA-C duties (Train Attendant - Coach) include coach passenger at seat service of dining car meals.


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California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.





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