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RTE_TrainGuy

List of meals served on all LD trains

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I thought it would be a good idea to have a list of what meals are served on long distance trains, as this seems to be a popular question. As I don't have the answers to most of these, I am hoping to merge the combined experience of members into a hopefully helpful guide. I will do my best to update this post as content is added. If this can be turned into a wiki thread, that might make more sense.

 

I think it makes sense to have this list ony be for meals served assuming you are taking the train end-to-end, and that the train is on time. I am sure that collectively we have been on all of these routes, so please only post if you are sure of the answer

 

To add to this list, please post:

 

- train

- direction

- meals served

 

 

Auto Train

 

California Zephyr

- 5 Westbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

 

Capitol Limited

- 29 Westbound: Dinner, Breakfast

- 30 Eastbound: Dinner, Brunch

 

Cardinal

- 51 Westbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast

 

City of New Orleans

 

Coast Starlight

- 11 Southbound: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

- 14 Northbound: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Crescent

- 19 Southbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (abbrev.)

- 20 Northbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

 

Empire Builder

- 7 Westbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast

- 8 Eastbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

 

Lake Shore Limited

 

Silver Meteor

- 98 Northbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast

 

Silver Star

 

Southwest Chief

- 3 Westbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast (abbrev.)

- 4 Eastbound: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

 

Sunset Limited

Texas Eagle

 

 

Please feel free to offer suggestions or comments.

Edited by RTE_TrainGuy

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Capital Limited (29) - Westbound - Dinner / Breakfast

Capital Limited (30) - Eastbound - Dinner / Brunch (Breakfast and short time for lunch)

 

California Zephyr (5) - Westbound - Dinner / Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (to SLC) and I assume Breakfast & Lunch between SLC and EMY.

 

Cardinal (51) - Westbound - Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Breakfast

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Coast Starlight. Since southbound train 11 and northbound train 14 both leave their origins mid-morning and arrive at their destination ca. 36 hours later, both trains have similar meal schedules.

Day 1: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Southwest Chief (3) Westbound - Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast (abbreviated, usually from 5:30/6:00 - 7:00).

Southwest Chief (4) Eastbound - Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

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This can be quickly researched by simply going to the Amtrak site, pulling up the individual routes and studying the Menus there. They are also all batched under Meals and Dining in the Riders Guide.

 

The OP was not asking about the menus... rather what meals are served on what trains. For example.. the City of New Orleans does not serve Lunch departing New Orleans.. even though it departs during "lunch time" (theoretically the train could board early for sleeping car passengers to enjoy lunch before and during departure the same way the City serves a quick dinner departing Chicago Southbound).

 

It's a pretty legit question.

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Silver Meteor NB serves full Breakfast shortly after departing Miami.

 

Miami - NYP is Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - Breakfast

 

Crescent NB serves full Breakfast shortly departing New Orleans.

 

NOL - NYP - is Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - Breakfast - Lunch

 

Crescent SB

 

NYP - NOL - Dinner (1 early seating before DC at 4:30 I think?) - Breakfast - Lunch - Abbreviated Dinner before arrival in NOL.

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EB #8, Dinner, Brkfst, Lunch, Dinner, Brkfst & Lunch

EB #7, Dinner, Brkfst, Lunch, Dinner, Brkfst

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To make it easier, the normal hours for meals are

 

Breakfast - 6:30-9 am

Lunch - 11:30 am to 2 or 3 pm

Dinner - 5 or 5:30 until last seating usually 8 or 9 pm

 

If you are on the train at these times, meals are served.

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To make it easier, the normal hours for meals are

 

Breakfast - 6:30-9 am

Lunch - 11:30 am to 2 or 3 pm

Dinner - 5 or 5:30 until last seating usually 8 or 9 pm

 

If you are on the train at these times, meals are served.

I was thinking the same thing - considering that most people don't ride endpoint to endpoint, and that delays of several hours can greatly impact a train's meal schedule, knowing the meal times is far more useful.

 

I'd add one caveat to that (especially since there are several threads going about dining times)- most trains only serve a meal when the train is scheduled to travel during the entire meal period. So, if lunch is generally from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, you're generally not going to get lunch on a train that either arrives or departs at noon.

Edited by D.P. Roberts

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I'd add one caveat to that (especially since there are several threads going about dining times)- most trains only serve a meal when the train is scheduled to travel during the entire meal period. So, if lunch is generally from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, you're generally not going to get lunch on a train that either arrives or departs at noon.

 

 

Yes. I think this is where most new travelers get confused. When I rode the TE a couple of months ago, a lady was very upset that they weren't serving lunch out of Chicago. She hadn't eaten in anticipation of eating on the train and didn't want to "waste" money on the cafe car, so she was quite hungry by the time dinner came.

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That's is the issue, something like the first meal served will be...and last meal served is like the No Dinner Service departing Chicago note in the Lake Shore's timetable would be useful.

 

All I can think of is in the signs on the convenience store in the Emeryville Station saying "By Breakfast Here" the first meal served on the Zephyr is lunch. The train does depart at 9:10am, just after the 6:00 to 9:00am window. It's less than an hour after the Meteor that departs at 9:10.

 

Finally the dinner time arrivals, City of New Orleans is at 7:32pm that I know (from reading this forum has a dinner service) vs. the New York half of the Lake Shore at 6:35pm, still less than an hour different.

 

The Star arrives at 6:05pm into Miami the Meteor at 6:55pm, do either of these get meal service? (I assume the answer is no for both trains, I haven't ridden these)

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Guest Nathanael

LSL 448 to Boston eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Boxed Dinner

LSL 48 to New York eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, NO DINNER and the Cafe Car closes at Albany. This is an undesirable and unpleasant exception to Amtrak's usual meal hours.

 

 

Anyone know the full meal list for the LSL westbound for sure? For various reasons I've never started my trip far enough east to know.

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Guest Nathanael

 

To make it easier, the normal hours for meals are

 

Breakfast - 6:30-9 am

Lunch - 11:30 am to 2 or 3 pm

Dinner - 5 or 5:30 until last seating usually 8 or 9 pm

 

If you are on the train at these times, meals are served.

I was thinking the same thing - considering that most people don't ride endpoint to endpoint, and that delays of several hours can greatly impact a train's meal schedule, knowing the meal times is far more useful.

 

I'd add one caveat to that (especially since there are several threads going about dining times)- most trains only serve a meal when the train is scheduled to travel during the entire meal period. So, if lunch is generally from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, you're generally not going to get lunch on a train that either arrives or departs at noon.

 

I think a list of the standard meals offered is actually necessary in addition to the "standard hours", due to things like trains scheduled to arrive halfway through dinner or breakfast hours -- some serve, some don't. The situation where the cafe closes at Albany is a particularly nasty "gotcha" on the LSL.

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Guest Nathanael

Hmm, I can help a little more.

California Zephyr eastbound: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch.

(Yes, last I checked they served lunch entering Chicago. On early arrival it can get truncated, but it's still a "full" lunch rather than an abbreviated one, since I guess early arrival is uncommon.)

 

Also worth noting: the CZ is serving breakfast westbound and dinner eastbound *during* the Denver station stop, but you will probably be unable to get either if you're getting on the train at Denver. Passengers getting on in Denver are all served *after* all passengers who were already on the train, so it's quite easy to find that all the late sittings are already taken if you're getting on at Denver.

 

Also worth noting: most cafe cars close half an hour to an hour before arrival at the terminating station, with the eastbound LSL's early cafe car closure being an unpleasant exception.

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LSL 448 to Boston eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Boxed Dinner

LSL 48 to New York eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, NO DINNER and the Cafe Car closes at Albany. This is an undesirable and unpleasant exception to Amtrak's usual meal hours.

 

 

Anyone know the full meal list for the LSL westbound for sure? For various reasons I've never started my trip far enough east to know.

Dinner is served out of NYP. You get breakfast before arriving in CHI, but you're in before lunch (assuming you're on time).

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Guest Nathanael

 

LSL 448 to Boston eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, Boxed Dinner

LSL 48 to New York eastbound: Breakfast, Lunch, NO DINNER and the Cafe Car closes at Albany. This is an undesirable and unpleasant exception to Amtrak's usual meal hours.

 

 

Anyone know the full meal list for the LSL westbound for sure? For various reasons I've never started my trip far enough east to know.

Dinner is served out of NYP. You get breakfast before arriving in CHI, but you're in before lunch (assuming you're on time).

 

Thanks. Anyone know the scheme out of Boston? I think it's a boxed dinner (no lunch), but I'm not sure since I haven't done it...

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Guest guest

Is there any logical reason that Amtrak does not include this information on their published schedules?

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Guest Nathanael

Is there any logical reason that Amtrak does not include this information on their published schedules?

If I were to be cynical, I would suggest that the people preparing the published schedules do not actually have this information. Large organizations often have a "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" problem.

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Well, Amtrak does have this on the LSL schedule:

 

"Dining: Full meal service between New York and Chicago. Not available between Albany and Boston; Sleeping car passengers will receive complimentary hot Lounge car meal service.

 

Lounge: Sandwiches, snacks and beverages. (Note—Combined Diner/ Lounge provides food and beverage service between New York and Albany)."

 

Does that not cover it?

Edited by D.P. Roberts

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And now something completely different: Via Rail's Canadian (#2) eastbound from Vancouver to Toronto. No dinner departing Vancouver, but a champagne reception in the end-of-train dome observation car. Then breakfast, lunch, dinner, continental breakfast, brunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast. On my train last week, 2(14), we received another lunch from a shortened menu, due to 8-hr late arrival into Toronto.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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