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 #51

    Dakota 400

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    Me neither! Flying domestic First Class would offer better menu choices than this!
     
  2. Jun 25, 2018 #52

    Dakota 400

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    Thank you for posting this link. This also helps to explain what I am seeing taking place at Trump's EPA.
     
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  3. Jun 26, 2018 #53

    bratkinson

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    And don't forget the poor schmuck coming from the east coast having two or three of the same meals as well! Maybe I could make some money offering MREs (military Meal Ready to Eat) selling them door-to-door in the sleepers...
     
  4. Jun 26, 2018 #54

    gmushial

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    Maybe what I did on the last CZ trip might become a norm, especially in a world of cell phones: but at Grand Junction, the day before, arranged with restaurants for meals (lunches), and a food delivery service... and had Mexican waiting for me on the platform going one way; and Chinese going the other way.... and I suspect such is possible for any station that there is an open platform and a more than 1 minute stop. ... I suspect there is a business model to be had here, a la, Fred Harvey of yesteryear - just instead of feeding a train in 20 mins, to take orders before coming into a station, onloading them at the station and distributing them after underway again... if you've ridden the Indian rails, this is the norm - and works quite well.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2018 #55

    railiner

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    Love that post, thanks for reprinting it. I used to do the same. Mostly on The Broadway Limited. But I vividly remember the Rock's Track One restaurant on...track one. It had a diner and lounge car. You could go in just for drinks, or have drinks until your table was ready. True to railroad operation in every way, including having to write your order on the check... [​IMG]
     
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  6. Jun 26, 2018 #56

    Seaboard92

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    An interesting thing to see would be a book chronicling railroad diner service over the years. It would be interesting to see how it gradually improved and its eventual decline.
     
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  7. Jun 26, 2018 #57

    railiner

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    You can find some on the subject by 'googling'

    I have an autographed copy of "Dining on Rails" by Richard Luckin, in my collection. That book is about the china used, very little to do with the service, other than some ads, etc. I contributed an ad from the PRR...
     
  8. Jun 26, 2018 #58

    Palmetto

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    Don't think you'll make any money. Dining cars have been a losing proposition always.
     
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  9. Jun 26, 2018 #59

    cirdan

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    You are forgetting that vegan wraps will be sold out by the end of day one and blueberry muffins the next morning.

    It'll be candy bars and peanuts from them on.
     
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  10. Jun 26, 2018 #60

    gmushial

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    Something in the business world known as lost leaders, ie, you lose money on item A, but by getting the customer into the store, you do sell them B and C... the repuggie complaint about losing money on the dinning cars is a red herring - just an excuse to eliminate Amtrak and force more people onto planes, noting that the airline companies are significant donors to their pockets: classic selling out the country for personal gain.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2018 #61

    NativeSon5859

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    Even this won’t put me off from riding LD trains. I enjoy the experience of being on the rails. Heck, I’ve had some truly bad meals on various trains over the years, but that still hasn’t been a deterrent to me. For others, I’m sure it would.

    Do I like the idea of downgraded food service nationwide? No, but I understand why it has to happen. I blame our government for not giving Amtrak the tools it needs to be a truly world class rail carrier. I don’t blame Amtrak mgmt for following the law.

    Still - I keep riding. Leaving today on 58 in fact, day trip to Chicago, returning on 59 tomorrow.
     
  12. Jun 26, 2018 #62

    cpotisch

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    I really don't like yogurt. I used to love it, but I'm not a fan anymore.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2018 #63

    cpotisch

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    I was joking with my dad the other day about buying a bunch of Heritage diners and trailing one behind each "Contemporary" train, where I'd serve all passengers hot meals either for free or for a ******* of money. The former would be an effective way to spite Amtrak for this stupid change, and the latter would make me rich! [​IMG]
     
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  14. Jun 26, 2018 #64

    Mystic River Dragon

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    That's because we've all been told we can't eat the delicious, sugar-laden, dessert-like yogurt anymore and "should" eat the bitter and unappetizing Greek yogurt (which is, of course, more expensive in the stores [​IMG] .)
     
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  15. Jun 26, 2018 #65

    cpotisch

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    Way better! And flying would only last for one or two meals! And at the end of my flight, I would have saved two or three days compared to taking the train, which I could put towards a longer stay at my destination. As someone who is totally fine with flying, and only takes Amtrak because of the comfort and amenities, it will be an easy decision to defect back to the airlines.
     
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  16. Jun 26, 2018 #66

    cpotisch

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    If you're coming east and transferring to the Lake Shore, at least you could split up you're saga of continuous cold meals by getting some deep dish.
     
  17. Jun 26, 2018 #67

    Devil's Advocate

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    How about a permanent bus bridge in the middle of your trip like on the newly proposed Southwest Chief? If the current round of cuts wipes out the chef position what if they get rid of the SCA position next? Just curious what it would take for you to reconsider, of if they could can count on your business no matter what they do or how they do it.
     
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  18. Jun 26, 2018 #68

    gaspeamtrak

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    Count me in too !!! I love riding the rails also...
     
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  19. Jun 26, 2018 #69

    Seaboard92

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    If you did it I'm sure I could get you a deal on some cars. And get some staff members for you.
     
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  20. Jun 26, 2018 #70

    Seaboard92

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    If you did it I'm sure I could get you a deal on some cars. And get some staff members for you.
     
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  21. Jun 26, 2018 #71

    crescent-zephyr

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    How many staff would it require to operate a full service, full diner?

    How do you plan on stocking the train at end points and how much will that cost? Are you planning on establishing a commercial commissary at all end points you serve? Are you planning on hiring a commercial company to deliver to the train yard daily?

    Are you going to have table cloths and linen napkins? Who is going to clean them and deliver them to the train at end points and how much will that cost?

    Are you planning on also purchasing additional heritage cars for protection at end points? How much will that storage cost? If not, when you have a car break down you plan on just not providing an advertised product on that train?

    How much do you need to spend annually to maintain these heritage cars to operate on a daily basis?

    Add up all those costs and let me know how much you'll have to charge for a meal to break even. Probably way more than any typical amtrak passenger is gonna spend.
     
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  22. Jun 26, 2018 #72

    crescent-zephyr

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    For me personally...

    First it depends on the purpose of my trip. I've chosen the bus bridge option vs. the all day Starlight when traveling from Sacramento to LA. For me.. that was the most convenient way to get where I was going (quicker than the starlight, probably around the same time as air travel when you count in getting to / from airports etc. and obviously cheaper than flying). But that's a 2 hour bus ride I think? And those busses are quite nice I thought.

    If I needed to get from Chicago to LA, I don't think I would ever choose the Chief with a bus bridge, and definitely not if the bus bridge was over night (which in this case it would have to be?).

    There's also different "breaking points" for different situations. No diner wouldn't stop me from using the Silver Star if it made the most sense schedule wise for me to get somewhere. But no Parlour Car will keep me from going out of my way to ride the Starlight. Would I still ride the starlight? of course. But I used to go out of my way to ride it, including adding travel days so I could connect to the Empire Builder to get to chicago.

    In the past I've purchased a Roomette on the Empire Builder from Chicago to Minneapolis. For $120 or so I get the lounge in chicago, a private room, and a $20-$30 dinner in the diner that I would otherwise pay for. If you take the dinner and replace it with a salad meal I can grab at Union Station for $10 now that changes that dynamic a bit... I'm not sure what I would pick but the diner was a factor in my justification for that price.
     
  23. Jun 26, 2018 #73

    cpotisch

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    I was totally kidding. Fun to joke about, but not really practical for us.
     
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  24. Jun 26, 2018 #74

    Dakota 400

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    railiner,

    Thanks for re-printing your post of some time ago. "Dinner in the Diner" trips were something that I never heard of. Living where I do, such an opportunity would never have been possible.
     
  25. Jun 26, 2018 #75

    railiner

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    Thanks, but that was GBNorman's post that I quoted from.... [​IMG]
     

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