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joelkfla

Meals for sleeper passengers (what is included?)

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12 minutes ago, joelkfla said:

Is there hot potable water, for making my own tea and instant coffee?  All day, or just mornings?

There are no hot water dispensers.  I am a tea drinker and bring my own tea.  The SCA either gets me hot water from the dining car or I get my own from the cafe car.  Years ago, the coffee makers had a hot water dispenser.  I miss that.  I believe the Auto Train has hot water dispensers.

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15 minutes ago, pennyk said:

There are no hot water dispensers.  I am a tea drinker and bring my own tea.  The SCA either gets me hot water from the dining car or I get my own from the cafe car.  Years ago, the coffee makers had a hot water dispenser.  I miss that.  I believe the Auto Train has hot water dispensers.

Thanks, I'll just plan on taking a hike to Cafe car.

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2 hours ago, joelkfla said:

Is there hot potable water, for making my own tea and instant coffee?  All day, or just mornings?

No hot water in the sleeping cars, alas. You'll need to beg some from the dining car, and YMMV about how cranky they are about that when you're not sitting for a meal in the dining car.

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A Sleeping Car Attendant on one of my trips gave me the advice to always ask for a bottle of water in the diner before departing after a meal.  He provided two at first, but said we may as well stock up from the diner so that we can always have some.  It's not always necessary for me to do that, since some SCAs have water bottles out by the coffee, but other times that tip has come in handy.

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I think for the most part there arent any issues getting hot water or extra bottles of water on LD trips.

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On 11/29/2018 at 11:18 AM, Devil's Advocate said:

I can usually get anything mentioned in this thread included with my sleeper ticket with no questions asked, but every once in a while a second drink or an extra topping/side/condiment is randomly moved into the paid/unavailable column.  Doesn't seem to be based on an actual rule so much as a server's personality and disposition.

 

One soda or bottled water went away about seven years ago, maybe six.  Still possible there's some LSAs out there doing it wrong though.

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I’m between jobs so I’m on my first LD train in years, WAS-CHI-EMY. 

I’m sure it’s been discussed to death, but the dining situation on the Capitol Limited really is miserable. The beef short rib was somehow worse than the dish the Cardinal used to have, and the lack of a hot breakfast option isn’t great either. 

I’m glad I used points, because this certainly would not be worth the cash. This train seems pretty empty, so maybe the goal is indeed to bleed these routes to death. It’s too bad.

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13 hours ago, Sauve850 said:

I think for the most part there arent any issues getting hot water or extra bottles of water on LD trips.

Agree about the bottles of water. But most times when I ask for hot water for tea, unless I'm sitting in the dining car having a meal, staff treat it like it's a really special favor and one they'd rather not be bothered with. I consider that an "issue." 

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Is it possible to use an immersion heater coil plugged into the outlets in the sleeper? I used to travel with one a lot, till most hotel rooms had a kettle or coffee maker in the room.  They're pretty small, so ideal for someone packing light. 

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4 minutes ago, flitcraft said:

Is it possible to use an immersion heater coil plugged into the outlets in the sleeper? I used to travel with one a lot, till most hotel rooms had a kettle or coffee maker in the room.  They're pretty small, so ideal for someone packing light. 

I remember reading here of people using immersion heaters in a room.  As long as multiple users don't turn on at once, it shouldn't overload the circuit (I've even read of people using hair dryers in their room).

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17 hours ago, EB_OBS said:

One soda or bottled water went away about seven years ago, maybe six.  Still possible there's some LSAs out there doing it wrong though.

I guess the LSA's have gotten me well trained, and I stopped completely even wasting my time asking for a second soda, six or seven years ago.    Good to now learn that I can attempt to break that training.

For those wanting some old stories...   with one salad, one entrée, one dessert, the one beverage rule didn't seem out of place enough to ever challenge.

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6 hours ago, tricia said:

Agree about the bottles of water. But most times when I ask for hot water for tea, unless I'm sitting in the dining car having a meal, staff treat it like it's a really special favor and one they'd rather not be bothered with. I consider that an "issue." 

But what about asking at the Cafe car?  Is that ever a problem?  Will I need to bring my own cup?

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1 hour ago, joelkfla said:

But what about asking at the Cafe car?  Is that ever a problem?  Will I need to bring my own cup?

I really don’t think you’ll have any issue whatsoever getting hot water from the Cafe car. And for safety/contamination reasons, not only do you not need to bring your own cup, but they will actually almost certainly require that they provide the cup.

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3 hours ago, Cho Cho Charlie said:

I guess the LSA's have gotten me well trained, and I stopped completely even wasting my time asking for a second soda, six or seven years ago.    Good to now learn that I can attempt to break that training.

For those wanting some old stories...   with one salad, one entrée, one dessert, the one beverage rule didn't seem out of place enough to ever challenge.

I like ice tea for lunch and they always serve in smaller type cups. Several years ago I started ordering 2 when they take drink order or the whole order. I get a look, always smile, stay firm and explain if necessary that I will being needing a second one anyway and this saves them a trip. 80% of the time I get 2 and the rest I have to ask for another.

 

 

 

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One of the numerous 'minor' cuts made in sleepers in the past 5-10 years was the deletion of soda and water 'in the open' in sleepers.  For soda, especially, I'm sure there were passengers that would take 2-3 'for the road' shortly before they got off.  I've even seen that happening in ClubAcela in NYP.   These days, extra bottles of water are usually found in the attendants' roomette and one has to ask for another.  Most of the time, when I ask, they'll gladly give me two.  On the downside, on the through sleeper LAX-CHI, usually they run out of extra water by the 2nd day, so I've resorted to filling up one of my empties at the former water dispenser w/paper cups (no longer) on the lower level.  However, in refurbed Superliner I sleepers with the toilet in the corner, one can easily put the water bottle under the faucet in the restrooms.

It's getting to the point that the extra fare for a bed or beds will buy only that.  Everything else will be gone.  By the way...anyone recall WHEN the printed timetable description of sleeping cars was labeled 'FIRST CLASS' vs todays 'SLEEPING CARS'?

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10 minutes ago, bratkinson said:

However, in refurbed Superliner I sleepers with the toilet in the corner, one can easily put the water bottle under the faucet in the restrooms.

I'd assumed they gave out bottled water because the water in the lavatories was (to put it nicely) not intended for drinking. Not true?

Edited by joelkfla

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Water in the lavatories is supposed to be potable; it comes from the same common tank which supplies the drinking water dispensers. Key word: Supposed!

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21 minutes ago, joelkfla said:

I'd assumed they gave out bottled water because the water in the lavatories was (to put it nicely) not intended for drinking. Not true?

Back when RR passenger cars 'dumped' directly on to the track, there were 'potable' and 'non-potable' water tanks on each car.  In some areas of the country, local water sources are not drinkable due to bacteria or whatever in the water.  That mindset has continued in the building of RR cars, and even the Viewliner Is have a 'drinking water' faucet in each roomette and bedroom.  One is lucky these days if one is in a room that anything comes out of the drinking water faucet.

In watching cars getting 'watered' enroute (to my knowledge, only Superliners get watered enroute these days), there is only one water hose connected to each car and it's put into the opening marked 'potable water only'.  That indicates to me that water for flushing toilets and sinks is drawn from the same tank(s) as potable drinking water.  Perhaps when the Superliners were converted to not 'dump' at speed, they combined the storage tanks, or, at least, put a connection from the potable tank to fill the non-potable tank. 

So, I feel reasonably safe drinking water from the sink these days.  But then, what's the alternative if there's no more bottled water available in the sleepers?  Buy it from the lounge car or diner or go thirsty...pick one.

 

Edited by bratkinson

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14 hours ago, bratkinson said:

In watching cars getting 'watered' enroute (to my knowledge, only Superliners get watered enroute these days), there is only one water hose connected to each car and it's put into the opening marked 'potable water only'.  That indicates to me that water for flushing toilets and sinks is drawn from the same tank(s) as potable drinking water.  Perhaps when the Superliners were converted to not 'dump' at speed, they combined the storage tanks, or, at least, put a connection from the potable tank to fill the non-potable tank. 

I remember the SCA using a garden hose at the station, to refill the water in our Viewliner.     Personally, I never think of "hose water" as being "potable water", but that is based on my experience, and not any heath dept regulation.

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Amtrak standards for drinking water and the stations used to refill the cars are probably higher than most. I've actually encountered an Amtrak inspector onboard the CZ doing an inspection. He was going to check the Denver hose station before it went back into service when they moved back into the station from the temporary platform.

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1 hour ago, PVD said:

Amtrak standards for drinking water and the stations used to refill the cars are probably higher than most. I've actually encountered an Amtrak inspector onboard the CZ doing an inspection. He was going to check the Denver hose station before it went back into service when they moved back into the station from the temporary platform.

A couple months ago in ABQ I saw multiple potable water hoses dragged fifty feet or more across the service platform.  Is that normal?  It seems kind of surprising for a potable water source being provided to paid customers.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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A couple months ago in ABQ I saw multiple potable water hoses dragged fifty feet or more across the service platform.  Is that normal?  It seems kind of surprising for a potable water source being provided to paid customers.
But was the nozzle on the ground as well? Indeed it shouldn't be, but the water is suppose to be run for something like 2 minutes (hey, I don't know! I'm a spoiled LSA who works locals and doesn't have to after his car!), to flush anything and everything out of the hose before being used.

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6 hours ago, Cho Cho Charlie said:

I remember the SCA using a garden hose at the station, to refill the water in our Viewliner.     Personally, I never think of "hose water" as being "potable water", but that is based on my experience, and not any heath dept regulation.

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, we thrived on hose water during the Summer; no one died :)  Just remember to let it run long enough to cool off and get rid of the "hosey" taste!

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5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

A couple months ago in ABQ I saw multiple potable water hoses dragged fifty feet or more across the service platform.  Is that normal?  It seems kind of surprising for a potable water source being provided to paid customers.

Back in the 80's, I used to water the cars of the SFZ and CZ at the old Denver station.   We had hydrants for potable water roughly every two car length's.   The hoses had to be made of FDA certified food quality rubber.   Each nozzle had a ring around it that kept the nozzle off the ground, if set down, and in addition had metal nozzle guards attached with a chain.   

The procedure for watering the cars, was to lift up the fill box cover and secure it, then dump the air pressure valve that would allow water to enter the system.   While the air pressure was draining, we were to spray the box area for at least 30 seconds to wash away any road dust.   Then lift the fill cover, spray again, insert the hose, and turn on full pressure.   If the 500 gallon tanks was empty, it would take up to 30 minutes at 20 GPM to fill it.   When water came out the overflow tube, it was full.

 

One old adage of watering a train, was to never put any water into the train that you would not personally drink.   I proved that on many a hot summer day, by taking a drink from a 'fountain' I created by spraying the water in an arc...

:)

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