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Dining car access for Eastbound Chief

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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....

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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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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The "Boy Scout" traffic which will now be "SCOUTS" is barely 10-12 weeks out of 52. Most of those attending Philmont arrive other than by the train which is different from the Santa Fe days when several school buses from the ranch would load and unload with each train's arrival.

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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.

 

I wonder how many able bodied coach customers ever knew about this prior to the "just for you" at-seat dining service.

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No more just for you at seat dining at least on my last couple trips including last week.

 

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.

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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.

 

I wonder how many able bodied coach customers ever knew about this prior to the "just for you" at-seat dining service.

 

My guess would be very, very few, if any on any given LD train.

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No more just for you at seat dining at least on my last couple trips including last week.

 

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.

I don't think they ever had that on the LSL or CL...

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