Elimination of diners on western Amtrak long distance trains?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by FrensicPic, Jun 24, 2018.

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  1. Jun 25, 2018 #26

    benale

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    benale

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    Good God! I hope this is just a rumor. Please get rid of this scumbag Richard Anderson!
     
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  2. Jun 25, 2018 #27

    frequentflyer

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    Not suprised if this comes true. That LD fleet replacement order is getting smaller and smaller.
     
  3. Jun 25, 2018 #28

    railiner

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    For anyone not familiar with the way Greyhound has been going, it may not be around much longer as an alternative, either...every schedule change abandons more routes, and its UK owner wants to get rid of it...
     
  4. Jun 25, 2018 #29

    bmjhagen9426

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    I think that I'm starting to see what you mean. Time for some writing. I would call these two as the Koch's Raiders. Anderson may be a former airline CEO, but with Koch, I would say that although the recent changes resembles that of the airline, it does not fit the whole picture. There must be a bigger agenda, a Grand Plan by the Koch Bros, perhaps, to reduce Amtrak and take away passenger rail travel and congest the highways, roadways, and the airspace. Just by seeing the rail project fundings not being allocated due to wastefulness but instead allocated to highways, roadways, and airports seems unusual. Are there anything that a rail traveler like myself can do, to defeat or delay these detrimental changes?
     
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  5. Jun 25, 2018 #30

    Caesar La Rock

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    You'll be lucky Greyhound doesn't go out first before Amtrak gets a chance too. It's been years since Amtrak discontinued a route. As for the possible scenario with Diners, contacting senators and representatives is a good idea.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2018 #31

    bmjhagen9426

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    Might I ask what route has been discontinued most recently (other than Sunset Ltd NOLA-Orlando, which is considered suspended)?
     
  7. Jun 25, 2018 #32

    Seaboard92

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    Be vocal that's what you do. Educate your congressman, and the candidates this year attempting to get those seats. Talk to neighboring districts. Talk to mayors, and everyone that could potentially have a vested interest in the trains. In your town K Falls that can be quite an assortment of people.

    When you consider that K Falls has people coming several hours away to catch the train. You have all businesses in the city having some sort of economic impact. For instance when I drive to catch my train in my SC home I drive over an hour one way to get to the station. So often times my ride and I will make a day of it. So we go early get lunch or dinner. And depending if my entire family comes (sometimes because I'm gone for sometimes months at a time) that can be a bill of over a hundred dollars at a sit down place.

    Don't forget people driving to pick a person up or drop someone off oftentimes have to purchase gas. Which means the train has an effect on the gas purchases, and food now. Which if you want to get bigger picture you could include the supply chain to get the products to the consumer. Eventually this gets you to a point where every persons life in a small town is positively affected by a passenger train existing.

    Now a lot of people don't like my arguments because it's too big picture but there is truth in it. For every passenger coming to a town it has a butterfly effect. So tell your mayor, city council, gas station owner, trucker, nurse, Doctor, waiter, store owner, etc... Anyone who is in that town even if they don't use the train has a vested interest in the train surviving as it effects them indirectly or directly.

    It's national or no Gateway Tunnel.
     
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  8. Jun 25, 2018 #33

    Seaboard92

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    I've actually served the Koch Brothers before. They don't exactly hate trains. And they tip really really well. But that's about all I can comment on about a former client.
     
  9. Jun 25, 2018 #34

    MikefromCrete

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    The Koch Brothers are behind recent efforts to defeat transit referenda around the country, including Nashville. They don't want to spend any tax money on transit, which I imagine includes Amtrak.
     
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  10. Jun 25, 2018 #35

    caravanman

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    When you have the guy who sued the EPA now actually in charge of the EPA's rollback, why be surprised by anything?

    AmwayAir? More like Plummet Airlines, methinks...

    Ed.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2018 #36

    Caesar La Rock

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    That was in reference to Greyhound discontinuing routes at a rapid pace compared to the last time Amtrak had to discontinue a route, which was the Three Rivers back in 2005. Basically I was stating that at the rate things are going, Greyhound would be the first to go before Amtrak does.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2018 #37

    Palmetto

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    No, please get rid of the law which mandates that the railroad break even. Mr. Anderson is following the law. As has been stated so many times here and elsewhere, blow your horn at your government reps.
     
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  13. Jun 25, 2018 #38

    bmjhagen9426

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    If Greyhound bites the dust sooner, how are people getting to places like Las Vegas, Boise, Colorado Springs, Columbus, or Phoenix?
     
  14. Jun 25, 2018 #39

    frequentflyer

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    I thought Greyhound was finished retrenching. Mega Bus and Peter Pan has done a job on Greyhound. As a matter of fact, the media was telling us the same millenniasl responsible for Amtrak's growth were also flocking to buses too. I guess not Greyhound.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-31/greyhound-buses-are-a-3-5-billion-ride-to-nowhere
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2018
  15. Jun 25, 2018 #40

    Maverickstation

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    One fact that lends some credibility to this, is the issue that the LD menus were not changed for their usual Spring/Summer rotation/update.
     
  16. Jun 25, 2018 #41

    cpotisch

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    Three Rivers
     
  17. Jun 25, 2018 #42

    Seaboard92

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    Here is the message from Amtrak Media Relations. "We are evaluating the success of our new food offerings," Marc Magliari Amtrak media relations.

    Personally if you ask me it sounds to me like they've made their mind up that the new crap is a massive success. And I'm sure it is to the balance sheet but not to the passengers. Let's face it to Anderson and Gardner we don't matter only the ink on the ledger does.
     
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  18. Jun 25, 2018 #43

    TiBike

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    I've said it before: I'm looking forward to seeing the new food service on the Starlight. It will be nice to get a decent meal.
     
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  19. Jun 25, 2018 #44

    Dakota 400

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    The Koch Brothers keep cropping up in some of the posts on this thread. Please forgive my ignorance, but why? What's their connection to Amtrak?
     
  20. Jun 25, 2018 #45

    stappend

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  21. Jun 25, 2018 #46

    MikefromCrete

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    The Koch Brothers, who use their billions to push their own personal conservative agenda, were recently featured in a New York Times article about their efforts to fight mass transit referenda across the nation, including the recent defeat of transit expansion in Nashville. They made a lot of their money off the automobile industry. While none of this is directly related to Amtrak, you can bet they'll be spending their fortunes to back candidates who aren't friendly to transit, including Amtrak.
     
  22. Jun 25, 2018 #47

    cpotisch

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    Of course. They just couldn't bear saying "We are evaluating the effects of our new food offerings" or something like that. It's not a big deal, but it just irks me given it seems like most people are not in favor of it. If this spreads to the two or three night trains, I literally won't be able to take them. I can possibly deal with "Contemporary dining" on a relatively short overnight run like the LSL or Capitol, but having one option for breakfast and one option for lunch/dinner over the course of six or more meals just is not doable for me. If the menu were identical to that of the CL and LSL, this is what I'd be eating if I took the eastbound Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle all the way.

    1. Meal 1 - Breakfast - Blueberry Muffin, Banana bread, fruit, Kashi/Kind bars
    2. Meal 2 - Lunch - Vegan wrap, quinoa edamame salad
    3. Meal 3 - Dinner - Vegan wrap, quinoa edamame salad
    4. Meal 4 - Breakfast - Blueberry Muffin, Banana bread, fruit, Kashi/Kind bars
    5. Meal 5 - Lunch - Vegan wrap, quinoa edamame salad
    6. Meal 6 - Dinner - Vegan wrap, quinoa edamame salad
    7. Meal 7 - Breakfast - Blueberry Muffin, Banana bread, fruit, Kashi/Kind bars
    8. Meal 8 - Lunch - Vegan wrap, quinoa edamame salad
    I don't want to eat that way for three or four days.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2018
  23. Jun 25, 2018 #48

    Seaboard92

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    Well if you want good food you can hire us in the PV world. But we don't come cheap. Honestly I wonder if we could make enough money sticking a PV diner on the rear and selling meals at reasonable prices if we would get customers. We would definitely tick off Gardner and Anderson. I'm sure they would then institute some new "safety" rule to prevent it.

    At least if you ride the corridor they will improve your menu.
     
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  24. Jun 25, 2018 #49

    PVD

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    you're skipping the yogurt? It wasn't bad when I had it...
     
  25. Jun 25, 2018 #50

    GBNorman

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    This is a reprint of material I submitted eighteen years ago to a site that long since folded, but might be of nostalgic interest to participants at this topic.

    ----------------------

    I still remember fondly the array of "dinner in the diner" trips that could be taken from Chicago during pre-Amtrak and also early Amtrak "Pioneer Days". Such a trip involved a dinner hour departure, a ride "down" or "out" the line and then a same evening return to Chicago on the last train.

    Some of the rides I can recall were to Champaign on the Panama Ltd, return on the City of New Orleans. This of course was first-class parlor (pre 1967 downgrade), but the surcharge for riding such was absurdly low. The Panama's twin unit diner was a sight to behold, and I can still well remember the steak. As for the "City", the song is very descriptive.

    Another trip was the MILW (UP) "City" train to Savanna, IL, then return on the BN "Afternoon Zephyr". Although this trip was possible right up to A-day (in fact it was my April,30 A-day eve trip), it was downgraded over the years. The "City of Everywhere" lost the dome diner during 1969- or'70 and the massive size of the train made for a crowded dining scene, but still it was the UP with the color photo menu's printed for each trip, and even their own UP stock red wine. The return on the Zephyr was also downgraded over time; the dome cars were scattered through the system, and food service (not that you needed any after that lovely UP dinner) was pretty spartan.

    A popular dinner trip was the GM&O to Bloomington on the "Abe Lincoln" (or Pontiac if you were tense about the return connection). This trip was available into Amtrak and in fact was even an "upgrade" by Amtrak in that ex-CBQ stainless parlor and diner were on the pre-Amfleet/Horizion consist. I always thought the GM&O full service diner was good, but I don't think I would have wanted to look too closely around the kitchen (might be a few multipeeded deadheads aboard!).

    And now for the best; "Super Chief" to Joliet, return on Rock Island commuter. That's right!, you could ride the Super Chicago-Joliet (pre-Amtrak), but I think even with first class rail, seat in roomette, and extra fare, it was only about $10 during the 60's. It was best to get seated right away, and let the crew know your intentions. Chgo-Joliet on the ATSF was not exactly a racetrack, and the dinner was not really that rushed.

    Northward, there were not too many opportunities. C&NW intercity trains had largely become coach only, and on the MILW, once the "Afternoon" came off, no further ops there.

    However, if all you wanted was dinner in the diner (as in "hold the train ride"), the Rock Island could take care of you. At La Salle St Station from shorly before and well into the Amtrak years, they had a stationary dining and lounge car. The operation was called Track One and used railroad-employed chefs, waiters, and stewards (I would rather guess those people were covered by labor protection agreements that were prevalent during the 60's & 70's).Menus were as offered aboard Rock Island diners.

    In closing, there was also a "dinner in the diner" opportunity in the Washington area, that was well used by local fans. This was Washington-Alexandria on the Southern Crescent post Amtrak (circa 1976). During that time Southern did not join but agreed to cooperate with Amtrak. Their diner originated in Washington along with sevaral coaches and sleepers. You could board and be seated in the diner as soon as the equipment was spotted in the station. You usually were finished with dinner about the time you were crossing over the Potomac River.

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