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Will the Café attendant fill my 18oz Thermos with hot water for me if I ask?

 

Also what condiments are available besides, if any:

Sugar & substitutes

Half & half for coffee

Ketchup

Mustard

Pickle relish

Jam/jelly

 

Honey?

Onions?

Pancake syrup?

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The cafe attendant will supply hot water, and I imagine they'll be fine with giving you enough to fill your Thermos. Sugar, ketchup, mustard, and honey will be available from the cafe car. If you're taking a Long Distance train, relish, jam/jelly, and syrup will be available in the dining car (they should let you take a few). Onions are the only thing that I don't think you'll be able to get.

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It also depends which train. If you take meals in the diner on a train with regular meal service, the onion may be available, since they are provided by request for the burgers.

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Can you tell us what train you are taking? As PVD said, any train with regular meal service should have onions in the dining car. They might not be able to give you any, but onions would most likely be onboard...

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Be prepared where the cafe LSA might send you to the dining car and then the dining car LSA tells you to go to the cafe and then both LSA's start muttering something under their breadth. Seen this happen before on couple of trains.

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I do not believe the cafe car will have a supply of pancake syrup since it is unlikely pancakes are sold there. Syrup will be provided in the dining car for those passengers eating breakfast items on which syrup is usually used. The same may apply to other items on the OP's list.

 

If purchasing coffee in the cafe car, it would be expected that you would use creamer and sugar. If purchasing a hamburger or hot dog in the cafe car, it would be expected that you would use ketchup and mustard. However, I do not think it would be expected or appropriate for a passenger, not purchasing any items in the cafe car, to grab a handful of condiments and walk off with them.

 

With regard to filling up a thermos with hot water, it may depend on the attendant. I believe, due to health regulations, attendants may not fill up a passenger's personal container, but rather will provide you will an Amtrak cup of hot water.

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With regard to filling up a thermos with hot water, it may depend on the attendant. I believe, due to health regulations, attendants may not fill up a passenger's personal container, but rather will provide you will an Amtrak cup of hot water.

I was wondering about that. I could be imagining things, but I thought I had heard that that's how they have to do it...

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With regard to filling up a thermos with hot water, it may depend on the attendant. I believe, due to health regulations, attendants may not fill up a passenger's personal container, but rather will provide you will an Amtrak cup of hot water.

I was wondering about that. I could be imagining things, but I thought I had heard that that's how they have to do it...

 

 

As a regular tea drinker, I can confirm that this is so--train staff will give you a cup of hot water but not fill your own mug or thermos. And YMMV among different staff in their willingness to do this for you.

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With regard to filling up a thermos with hot water, it may depend on the attendant. I believe, due to health regulations, attendants may not fill up a passenger's personal container, but rather will provide you will an Amtrak cup of hot water.

I was wondering about that. I could be imagining things, but I thought I had heard that that's how they have to do it...

 

 

As a regular tea drinker, I can confirm that this is so--train staff will give you a cup of hot water but not fill your own mug or thermos. And YMMV among different staff in their willingness to do this for you.

 

May be because of "health" regulations...prevents the possibility of the customer's personal container coming in contact with the server's dispenser, container, etc.

Edited by FrensicPic

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My earlier sarcastic comment about this was edited out, but I'm still interested. What does the OP intend to do with all these condiments? It seems like a very strange request.

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With regard to filling up a thermos with hot water, it may depend on the attendant. I believe, due to health regulations, attendants may not fill up a passenger's personal container, but rather will provide you will an Amtrak cup of hot water.

I was wondering about that. I could be imagining things, but I thought I had heard that that's how they have to do it...

 

 

As a regular tea drinker, I can confirm that this is so--train staff will give you a cup of hot water but not fill your own mug or thermos. And YMMV among different staff in their willingness to do this for you.

 

May be because of "health" regulations...prevents the possibility of the customer's personal container coming in contact with the server's dispenser, container, etc.

 

That's definitely what it is. Something that's used to serve multiple customers generally can't come into contact with a personal item from a particular person. If the kettle touches a passenger's personal container, there's a possibility of germs, allergens, etc.

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As stated previously, condiments are provided for PAYING customers to use for thei PURCHASES!

 

Due to Health Department regulations, the cafe must use a cup to provide you with hot water. They may also have to charge you for the cup - even though the hot water is free. Also, they may allow you to obtain enough hot water to fill (say) a 12 or 18 ounce thermos, but I doubt they will give you enough to fill a gallon one!

 

If you take 1 or 2 creamers for your tea, I doubt that they will question that. However, if you do not purchase anything but ask for hot water “for your tea”, but then also grab 15 packets of ketchup, 20 packets of mustard and 25 packets of mayo, they may question that. Very few people put those in tea!:wacko:

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As stated previously, condiments are provided for PAYING customers to use for thei PURCHASES!

 

Due to Health Department regulations, the cafe must use a cup to provide you with hot water. They may also have to charge you for the cup - even though the hot water is free. Also, they may allow you to obtain enough hot water to fill (say) a 12 or 18 ounce thermos, but I doubt they will give you enough to fill a gallon one!

 

If you take 1 or 2 creamers for your tea, I doubt that they will question that. However, if you do not purchase anything but ask for hot water “for your tea”, but then also grab 15 packets of ketchup, 20 packets of mustard and 25 packets of mayo, they may question that. Very few people put those in tea! :wacko:

In the last year, Amtrak has made an effort to clarify for their employees that NO ONE is to pay for a cup of hot water.....

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I suspected hot water in an Amtrak cup was the only option.

 

I'm planning a trip on the SWC, CS, EB, IZ (Illinois Zephyr) in October.

I'm not planning on using the diner on any of those trains, but will, to some extent, buy food/beverages from the Café.

I will bring a majority of the food I eat on the train with me.

 

Not all customers of the café use the available condiments for their beverage or food purchases.

Which is likely part of why Amtrak has those and the other condiments out and available to everyone.

For instance some people put ketchup on their hot dog/hamburger, but not mustard, and visa-versa, while some use both, some use pickle relish and some don't use any condiments.

Ditto with coffee condiments.

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Agreed.

 

But with the wording in your original post, you only indicated that you wanted to fill your thermos. You asked about condiments but never said you were buying more. That is the reason for the confusion.

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As stated previously, condiments are provided for PAYING customers to use for thei PURCHASES!

 

Due to Health Department regulations, the cafe must use a cup to provide you with hot water. They may also have to charge you for the cup - even though the hot water is free. Also, they may allow you to obtain enough hot water to fill (say) a 12 or 18 ounce thermos, but I doubt they will give you enough to fill a gallon one!

 

If you take 1 or 2 creamers for your tea, I doubt that they will question that. However, if you do not purchase anything but ask for hot water “for your tea”, but then also grab 15 packets of ketchup, 20 packets of mustard and 25 packets of mayo, they may question that. Very few people put those in tea! :wacko:

 

Maybe the condiments are meant for use with purchases from the Cafe, but leave that to LSAs to state. ;) I have only once ever denied someone condiments or plasticware in my car. For whatever reason, Amtrak only was requesting 25 spoons on train 162 on Saturdays, when I had 24 yogurts onboard. One day that bag was two short, and Aramark didn't bring me the back order for two extra bags (that I had called in from my hotel room, which should be proof that some LSAs DO care and try to do what they can).

 

Hell, I've had someone walk up attempting to carry on a conversation with me, while they opened up a packet of relish to eat, and wash it down with a creamer. I didn't say anything, though I still talk about that to this day.

 

Now that I think about it....I did deny someone else creamers. I think it was train 178 I would only get 48, so I would always run low towards the end of the trip if I didn't order any additional, but would usually be fine anyway. Well, had this gentleman who bought a coffee or tea and took several creamers. Fast forward to 30 minutes later, he took a handful back to his table to drink by themselves. And a second time. And a third time. By this point he had to have consumed 20 out of the 48 creamers himself, and I had less than 10 left. Sooo I took them behind the counter for anyone else who needed them.

 

Man...Some weird stuff goes on in the Cafe cars. Oh well. Sorry for derailing this thread!

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Now that last case sounds more like what you might expect from homeless people in a fast food restaurant, not someone who has the means to buy an Amtrak ticket....weird indeed.

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Now that last case sounds more like what you might expect from homeless people in a fast food restaurant, not someone who has the means to buy an Amtrak ticket....weird indeed.

On the CZ a couple years ago, there was a couple in the lounge car slurping straight from the mayonnaise and jelly packets. Pretty horrifying.

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Now that last case sounds more like what you might expect from homeless people in a fast food restaurant, not someone who has the means to buy an Amtrak ticket....weird indeed.

It would make your head spin if I told you how often I have seen adults participate in these types of activities........

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