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About billl

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    Train Attendant
  1. Wonder if Amtrak has any plans to change the Cardinal? Pull off the diner-lite and its microwave fare, put on a V-II diner with the new "contemporary" menu. Keep the AmCafe with the business class (or eliminate business class and just use the AmCafe as the lounge/cafe for coach passengers). You are not adding additional equipment and having a V-II diner to be used as a lounge on this route would be a plus (at least for sleeper passengers).
  2. billl

    Government shutdown impacts

    I think the issue will be with the personnel who work as Air Traffic Controllers and TSA agents. These individuals are having to work and are not getting paid. If the shutdown drags on several more weeks, will these people keep working or will they quit or strike (not sure that is legal), or what. Amtrak seems to be a bit insulated as they do not have to rely on employees who only work for the government (and not getting paid). Don't know how Amtrak funding will be impacted but ridership may increase (would you want to fly with your safety in the hands of people who are not getting a paycheck...would you work for "free".) My opinion is that air travel may be the issue that gets everyone to the bargaining table to solve this stupid issue. Who knows what is going to happen, but once again our politicians are really doing a great job of looking after the interests of the citizens of this country!
  3. Hopefully the changes being discussed are implemented and the dining experience improves on the LSL and the Capitol Limited (CL). What Amtrak may be trying to get at is a meal system for first class passengers similar to what you get on overseas flights but with (maybe) more options. Hence the addition of more convection ovens in the new diners (not sure if the Superliner diners/CCC used for the CL have a number of these or not). I know it is not a traditional dining car setup but it would be better than the selections currently being offered. One issue I see is that it would be hard to serve coach passengers under this setup. On an international flight, everyone gets a meal regardless of what class you are travelling. The airline knows the number of passengers on the plane and how many meals to load. On the LSL, for example, Amtrak will know how many sleeper passengers they would need to feed, but for coach passengers, this would be tough to determine. Coach passengers eating in the diner has always been a tough issue so I would imagine, given Amtrak's current administration and the focus on keeping costs low, Amtrak would only want to feed first class passengers in the diner in order to have a better handle on the number of meals they would need for each trip. If the new system does come to fruition and is successful, I would think the Cardinal would be the next train to get new diners. Eliminate the diner-lite car and replace it with a new diner, and open the cafe section of the car with business class seating and use this car as the cafe car. You are not adding any additional equipment and the use of new diners in the Cardinal route would be a plus given the scenery. We will see.