More Diners Cut effective October 1

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by SanDiegan, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. Jul 21, 2019 #276

    Rasputin

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    So there will be a full table (dining) car to serve as the dining car and lounge car exclusively for the single sleeper on this train. Chances of getting a seat will probably be pretty good.
     
  2. Jul 21, 2019 #277

    iplaybass

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    Maybe they'll add a second sleeper.
     
  3. Jul 21, 2019 #278

    The Commissioner

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    As long as Amtrak wants to save money (?) by degrading the First Class value proposition on the eastern long distance trains, why not simply establish a separate level of service that includes the sleeping car room but doesn't include any F&B service? And price it accordingly. I for one can do without a dining car since I can supply my own meal(s) and beverages. The only advantage of the sleeping car room, to me once again, is the privacy and comfort of a flat bed. I'd rather not pay for food that I wouldn't buy, much less eat, even if it was reasonably priced.

    I'm surprised that Amtrak doesn't turn to vending machines on those LD trains.
     
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  4. Jul 22, 2019 #279

    AutoTrDvr

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    If the objective is to provide hot food, they'd have to supply a bank of Microwaves (and for those that BYOF and want to heat it up), but I recall where that was a safety issue and they wouldn't allow it.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2019 #280

    crescent-zephyr

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    When I travel on a 4-5 hour flight in domestic first class I get a hot, plated meal served on a table cloth. I get free snacks (cookies, kind bars, fresh fruit, etc.) and I get as much to drink, achahol or non, again served in glassware.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2019 #281

    tonys96

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    I do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  7. Jul 22, 2019 #282

    tonys96

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    It is not a binary choice between boxed neals east of the Mississippi and a truncated SWC. That is a ludicrous correlation.
    Boxed meals did not save the SWC. Ridiculous.
     
  8. Jul 22, 2019 #283

    jiml

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    I believe the lamb shank was only offered in one direction - I'm guessing out of LA, since there was a Washington red that went particularly well with it and typically Washington/Oregon wines were served on the northbound. Arrive for the wine-tasting in the afternoon and stay for dinner. Amtrak had it figured out back then.
     
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  9. Jul 22, 2019 #284

    Bob Dylan

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    "..I remember it well!.." Sigh:(
     
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  10. Jul 22, 2019 #285

    crescent-zephyr

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    I remember ordering it in both directions. I also remember having it on a few other trains like the Empire Builder back when they were doing the “chef inspired” dinners. Those were the days!
     
  11. Jul 22, 2019 #286

    ehbowen

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    It may have changed over the years, but i specifically remember having the lamb shank in the PPC going northbound in April 2014 and southbound in September 2016.
     
  12. Jul 22, 2019 #287

    jis

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    Yeah, I had never heard of the directional thing about the Lamb Shank before this. I have certainly had it both ways.
     
  13. Jul 22, 2019 #288

    crescent-zephyr

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    The PPC and Builder used to have a really good pasta dish made with Beechers Cheese (they are in the Pike Place market in Seattle). Was quite good.

    In the same time frame they served an excellent Mahi Mahi fillet. The Mahi and the lamb shank from that era were the best entrees I’ve had on any train including VIA and various private cars and dinner trains.
     
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  14. Jul 22, 2019 #289

    dogbert617

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    I can't remember on which thread and which poster mentioned it, but someone compared fares between the Meteor and Star for 2 different cities, which were to the north and south of the part where the Meteor and Star routes split(Savannah to somewhere in NC, can't remember where in that state the routes split). And the crazy thing, was that this poster only discovered that the Star was $7 cheaper to ride, than riding on Meteor! IMO it should be a greater fare difference, as Star riders currently as of now don't have a diner. Hopefully with the news the Cardinal is supposedly going to get a diner back once the business class cars no longer run on Card as of October 1st, maybe for all I know the Star will get a diner(prob contemporary dining if I have to guess) back?

    Wow, so both Builder and Starlight used to have a Beecher's Cheese pasta served in their dining car? And ditto with a mahi mahi fillet, along with a lamb shank(for the latter at least on Starlight, not sure if Builder ever served this per reports I'm hearing on this board)? I always wish I could've ridden Starlight and Builder, before the dining car cutbacks occurred. Ditto with the Pacific Parlour Car before those were all entirely removed, on Starlight.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2019 #290

    crescent-zephyr

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    I remember having the lamb shank on another train, but I can’t remember which one. The Mahi Mahi I had multiple times on the zephyr I know that.

    All of the long distance trains with full
    Dining car service had rotating chef inspired meals. The lamb shank was one of those along with short ribs, crab cakes, and others that I can’t remember.
     
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  16. Jul 22, 2019 #291

    seat38a

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    It was offered in both directions. The PPC was only stocked from LA for the roundtrip journey according to the LSA so going south, items ran out fast or was already gone before the return trip.
     
  17. Jul 22, 2019 #292

    CameraObscura76

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    Nicely done, Coby. You’ve inspired me to write my own letter. I do appreciate your point you brought up about being a vegetarian as I am one also.
     
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  18. Jul 22, 2019 #293

    Qapla

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    I checked to see and I found something interesting - that begs another question ...

    The SM and SS both run from Savannah, Ga to Kissimmee, Fl. There is a $20 price difference between the two if riding in a Roomette. Also, the SM stops in Jesup, Ga while the SS does not make that stop - other than that they make all the other same stops and travel the same path.

    They also travel the same path between Rocky Mount, NC and New York Penn. On this route, the only difference seems to be that the SM stops in Fredricksburg, VA and the SS does not. However, this time, not only is there a difference in the price between the two trains, there is a price difference in the direction o_O

    Again, I used the price if riding in a Roomette.

    The SM is the same price in each direction ... but the SS is $28 more when heading north than it is when heading south. That makes the cost difference between the two trains $60 heading north and $88 heading south.

    There does seem to be more than a $7 difference ... but why does the upper segment of the SS cost $28 more in one direction than it does in the other while the lower segment of the SS is the same?
     
  19. Jul 22, 2019 #294

    Winecliff Station

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    Me as well....you can only eat so much microwave pizza and mac n cheese in one week before you get tired of settling. Especially if you’re over 50.
     
  20. Jul 22, 2019 #295

    jis

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    For all you know is based on faulty reasoning based on incomplete data. ;)

    The only meaningful comparison is between same fare buckets. There can always be situations where a specific Meteor is in low fare bucket while the Star on that day is in the highest fare bucket in which case the Star could potentially land up with a higher fare than the Meteor. But that is no indication as to how the fare buckets compares.

    Our resident expert who tracks all fare buckets posted in response to my comment about fare bucket changes:

    https://discuss.amtraktrains.com/th...effective-october-1.75614/page-11#post-810549

    which indicates that at least as of now there is no Contemporary Dining included complementary for Sleepers coming to the Star in the next eleven months.

    Cardinal is getting Contemporary Dining. The Star is not, as of the best knowledge that we have today.
     
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  21. Jul 22, 2019 #296

    niemi24s

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    Perhaps the fare difference is due to different fare buckets assigned in each direction. FYI (in case you didn't know it) each sleeper accommodation on each train has five different preassigned fares from which the fare-of-the-day can be chosen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  22. Jul 22, 2019 #297

    PVD

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    First Coby, let me say it is great to have you back. A little youthful exuberance goes a long way. When I took early retirement in the electrical industry, I started teaching courses in alternative energy systems and green building concepts in the electrical industry to the young people entering the trade. Why? It is important for young people to understand and embrace how we got here, and it is just as important for older folks to to understand how younger people see the future. Helps keep me young.
     
  23. Jul 23, 2019 #298

    jiml

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    That may indeed have been the case. There was also an Asian beef dish that was pretty good (Asian to describe a blend of flavors that may have been Chinese or Japanese, but not clearly either:)).
     
  24. Jul 23, 2019 #299

    Barb Stout

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    My point was that boxed meals aren't a deal breaker for me, as they are sadly for you, but a truncated SWC would be a deal breaker for me, not that downgrading meals can save routes.
     
  25. Jul 23, 2019 #300

    JP1822

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    The more I think about this whole contemporary dining the more I am thinking Amtrak should just divorce the meals from the sleeper fare, and offer contemporary dining for coach and sleeper passengers.....The main reason I say this is that because of the limited options, passengers are being forced to pay (no matter how you slice it) for meal whether they like it or not. Course I doubt if Amtrak would really “lower” the sleeper prices that much even with food divorced out.

    It could also be a “telling” moment for the Viewliner Diner - how many people would really buy meals from the Diner if an option. Probably would also have to make it so that the Diner is for passengers eating and purchasing food in this car. A person trying to “dine in the diner” shouldn’t be relegated back to their room or coach seat if they can’t find a seat due to Sighteers (or those not eating food). It’ alss not a new space for the conductors to hang out in. They can take up space in the non-used kitchen area of the Viewliner Diner.

    Just fill the Viewliner Diner with as many boxed meals as they can and then and sell it out and when it sells out, then everyone goes to the Amtrak Cafe for food. If train runs late - get the food while it lasts and when you can. People may want to eat breakfast and late lunch on the Lake Shore. I don’t know. I think with Amtrak making this dining move for all train east of the Mississippi, just go the whole distance. This will then allow the Viewliner Diner to be used as a lounge for all too.

    For the record, if the train has a sleeper, I book sleeper. It is a nice amenity to have the Viewliner Diner for just sleeper car passengers with this contemporary dining (not a fan of the contemporary dining though). There’s more to be desired and some logistical shortcomings that will never be solved, but not going there. I just am surprised that Amtrak is basically “reserving” the VIewliner Diner for sleeping car passengers.

    The Cardinal could use a second sleeper year round. This train turn over a LOT of roomettes in the course of its journey. I can’t say bedrooms, since there are only two and a handicap room. But it is a buy train as it meanders from Chicago to Indy to Cincy to Charlottesville to DC to NYC. It could be made daily. It could be made into the overnight NEC Regional train in the interim till the Night Owl or Federal is reinstated. This train has potential even tri-weekly, Amtrak just refuses to let the bird fly right. Eventually when the Viewliner II sleepers are delivered, have to wonder if the Cardinal goes Superliner and the Capitol Limited goes single level once again.
     

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