Sleeper complimentary meals during a long delay...

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by onree, May 23, 2019.

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  1. May 23, 2019 #1

    onree

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    My wife and I are taking SW Chief from KCI to Fullerton, CA departing Tue 5/28. I noticed today Train 3 was about half a day late arriving FUL due to bussing around floods in Kansas.

    Do sleeper passengers continue to receive complimentary meals during a delay which extends well past arrival time and in to the next day's meal times, or are they just out of luck?
     
  2. May 23, 2019 #2

    JP1822

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    Meals are still served. I've never seen sleeper (or coach for that matter as well) go hungry. Was on a five hour late Coast Starlight, and Amtrak gave out snack packs to the coach passengers. Amtrak either breaks into backup stock in the diner to keep it going, or they will have food brought onboard after calling ahead to some food vendor. We were 24 hours late and stuck up in Donner Pass in a snow storm back in 2005 or so, and Amtrak broke out the "emergency" canned stew for both sleeper and coach passengers (free for both after sleeper car passengers were fed first). Not sure if that would still stand today, but Amtrak still provided. Cafe food was relatively non-existent and but there was still some emergency supplies they kept around. Sleeper car passengers still got fed the "next day" as we arrived into Sacramento and the Bay Area.
     
  3. May 23, 2019 #3

    andytiedye

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    We had the emergency stew on the CZ once last year when it was running 5 hours late into EMY.
     
  4. May 23, 2019 #4

    tim49424

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    I had the Amstew on a 12 1/2 hour westbound CZ in March.
     
  5. May 23, 2019 #5

    Devil's Advocate

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    If the train is nearing the terminus and might arrive before the next meal service would have ended they might sit tight and simply run out the clock. If the train is running so late that there is little or no chance it will terminate before the next meal window expires you will typically be served from a reduced selection of simpler meals. How reduced depends on available supplies and crew disposition. I've never been late enough for the canned stew myself.
     
  6. May 23, 2019 #6

    Skyline

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    That stew is just one step above Alpo, but when you're hungry enough you'll eat it.
     
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  7. May 23, 2019 #7

    andytiedye

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    Better than some of the "Contemporary Dining'' boxed dinners.
     
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  8. May 23, 2019 #8

    pennyk

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    I have only been served the stew once. I was unable to look at it let alone eat it. I always bring emergency food when I travel - just in case. I would much rather eat a contemporary meal than the beef stew.
     
  9. May 23, 2019 #9

    tim49424

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    I've yet to eat a contemporary meal but having ate the Amstew and survived (barely), the CMs look like fine dining compared to the emergency slop.

    That being said, I've been told that the Amstew on the Empire Builder is actually good. Although I trust the opinions of the people who informed me of that, I'll believe it if I get served it. I got offered some about seven years ago while on #8 in LaCrosse while 7 hours late, but I was detraining in Tomah and ended up having McDonalds on my way home from the station.
     
  10. May 23, 2019 #10

    Bob Dylan

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    I've had the AmStew and other thrown together meals on Late Trains many times and much preferred that to the Boxed Sugar and Starch Stuff I was served in the Less than pleasant Diners on the Lake Shore and the Cap after this scheme was implemented!

    I haven't ridden in 2019, so haven't had the so called improved versions now being served, but the less than glowing reviews I've read from riders make me think the Stew is still Superior to the Fresh and Contemporary stuff.
     
  11. May 24, 2019 #11

    junebug

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    I had the stew and it wasn't bad. Served over rice if I remember. It would be nice if airlines fed us during delays.
     
  12. May 24, 2019 #12

    Maverickstation

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  13. May 24, 2019 #13

    AutoTrDvr

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    Like offering people vouchers for the airport eateries, etc.? That would be nice. Obviously, it couldn't work like it does for Amtrak as I can't see an "in the air" delay being *that* long. And they probably wouldn't have the extra storage space and/or weight allowance for the emergency food, anyway.
     
  14. May 24, 2019 #14

    Devil's Advocate

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    I don't know if they still do this but in the past I've received food vouchers from United, Southwest, American, Japan Airlines, and Easyjet. Other times I received nothing. Seems to depend on the length of the delay, some arbitrary determination of fault, how many passengers were affected, and which government regulations were in effect.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  15. May 24, 2019 #15

    pennyk

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    I was on the Auto Train about 20 years ago and we were seriously delayed due to the fact we hit a pickup truck at a crossing in Georgia and our snow plow became damaged. I believe we arrived in Lorton in the late afternoon. The sleeping car passengers were served a decent lunch made by the chef with the food that was left over from the previous night's dinner. I recall it was some sort of chicken with vegetables over rice.
     
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  16. May 25, 2019 #16

    oregon pioneer

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    I have been on trains up to 18 hours late. I have eaten Amstew over rice with green beans (edible, but only barely), hoagie sandwiches brought on board, and my least favorite of all, Kentucky Fried chicken (which I had to peel the crust off, and I could not eat the sugary beans or soupy coleslaw they served with it). I also bring emergency ration of nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and energy bars with me.
     
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  17. May 25, 2019 #17

    lyke99

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    I was onboard a California Zephyr that picked us up 11 hours late in Glenwood Springs and arrived in Chicago 24 hours down last summer. Every meal was covered, but the choices dwindled quickly. Breakfast on the morning we arrived in Chicago was augmented by fresh bagels brought onboard at Omaha.

    At one long delay in eastern Colorado, our sleeping car attendant discovered why we were "more chill" about the delay than most people on our sleeping car. We broke into the bottle of Japanese whiskey my wife found in liquor store...
     
  18. May 26, 2019 #18

    Rasputin

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    It is always a good idea to bring a supply of your own food which will allow you to get by in case of a delay and a dining car/café car shortage.
     
  19. May 27, 2019 #19

    AFS1970

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    Ever since my essentially food free trip from Toronto to NYC, I always have snacks with me, even on the NEC.
     
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  20. May 28, 2019 #20

    jimmrl

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    Sunday on a 6 hour late Texas Eagle (it is due in around mid afternoon, it got in about 7:00) they elected to push out lunch to 2:00 so they would not have to provide diner. They did give us snack packs at noon. This was totally backwards. They should have given us lunch at noon and snack packs later in the afternoon. It really threw off my eating schedule and
     
  21. May 28, 2019 #21

    Skyline

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    In 2017, when VIA's Canadian was routinely off by at least half a day, they served us two "extra" makeshift meals as we were westbound. Each was crafted from this or that by an on-board chef. Each was a slight downgrade from #1's usually excellent fare -- but were filling, delicious, eye-appealing and wholesome.

    The first was a lunch that sorta mimicked Chicken a la King (even better than the traditional recipe given the addition of unidentified spices and some broccoli!).

    The second was dinner that reminded us of Baked Ziti with a meat sauce and cheese but also had some vegetables in the mix (again, better than plain old Baked Ziti!). Each was served with a basic tossed salad and either cake or cookies for dessert.

    Five stars for Canadian creativity, and for VIA still employing excellent chefs. Amtrak has taken the opposite approach.
     
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