What should go into an Amtrak LD care package?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by iliketrains, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 22, 2019 #26

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    It may be "Policy" in HDQS, but out on the Rails it is a Regular thing on some Routes for Coach Passengers to be denied Service in the Diner, especially @ Dinner, so the Diner Crew ( and the Cafe LSA) gets some Rest!
     
  2. Jun 22, 2019 #27

    iliketrains

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    If the coach passenger had reservation then there shouldn't be a denial. I wonder do they stop handing out reservations and those are the people being denied. If that's the case, people will be racing to get a reservation. Racing shouldn't be. It ruins your trip. Who wants to race against others for each meal while on a long distance trip. If I find any of this is true, I won't be silent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  3. Jun 22, 2019 #28

    ehbowen

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    I think in all of last year, certainly no more than five or six Amtrak passengers died of starvation en route....
     
  4. Jun 22, 2019 #29

    iliketrains

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    Hah! Hah! Very funny. The truth is, one of the passengers in my traveling group is a diabetic and has to have 3 meals per day to balance insulin. Foodstuff that can brought on board is not recommended for her. She does not want to eat carry-on stuff nor the kinds of food the cafe car sells. I assured her that 3 meals in dining car was offered and she agreed to travel with us.
     
  5. Jun 22, 2019 #30

    ehbowen

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    You shouldn't have any problem, period. If you do, a word to the Lead Service Attendant in the dining car or, as a last resort, the Conductor about your friend's condition should ensure that she gets a dinner reservation. I will note, though, that official Amtrak policy is that if you have such a medical condition then you should carry sufficient emergency food to meet your needs during the trip. Trains can be delayed, dining car equipment can break down, or food stocks can run short. But I'm willing to bet you a $25 gift card from your favorite restaurant that you won't need to touch it. (Note that there's a difference between need to eat it and just want to eat it!)
     
  6. Jun 22, 2019 #31

    anumberone

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    Coach, I'd say, a packable type jacket and blanket plus a large bag of snacks, travel kit with all your daily routine items, plus hope you are not overwhelmingly disturbed by someone's nonsense. Roomette means no worries about meals, plenty of room for items to keep you entertained and you can bring all the booze you want. Plus, sleep in or whatever. Your choice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  7. Jun 23, 2019 #32

    iliketrains

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    I am so tempted to change my reservation from coach to roomette for all the reasons you are stating!
     
  8. Jun 23, 2019 #33

    Larry H.

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    When I rode the City of New Orleans last time the dinner was pretty much filled with sleeper passengers, in fact we had to wait as sleeper passengers to get a table. One woman serving was all they had for the three items, (which were lousy). I noticed some coach passengers trying to get a seat in the diner and were told they would not be able to use the dinner, only the snack bar which happened to be in the other end of the same car. Sort of funny but one lady who tried from coach to get a meal in the diner was told to use the snack bar came past us with a bag of chips and a hamburger as we were headed for the sleeper. I told her she was lucky she didn't get to eat in the diner.
     
  9. Jun 23, 2019 #34

    iliketrains

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    What kinda disturbs me about trains only being able to serve sleeping car passengers is the fact that the trains don't carry an abundance of sleeping car passengers!! How many sleeping car passengers are on a train? I've watched recent YouTube videos of some of the trains and was able to count no more than 3 or 4 sleeping cars. How many passengers is that? YouTube comments say that in general the sleeping cars aren't full! You mean to tell me staff can't serve the few sleeping car passengers? It's not making sense to me. Maybe I'm missing some facts?
     
  10. Jun 23, 2019 #35

    ehbowen

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    Believe me, they could serve everyone on a train nearly twice the length of the current Sunset Limited consist...if they fully staffed the dining cars. The Superliner diners were designed to operate with a staff of five or six downstairs in the kitchen cooking fresh food on board served on china plates (they have a dishwasher) and six to eight more upstairs waiting tables. Now, thanks to endless rounds of "cutbacks," many of these diners operate most of the time with only two servers upstairs and one cook downstairs serving reheated precooked food on disposable plastic plates. But, hey, it's cheaper. For somebody.

    Edit To Add: Even that's too much for current Amtrak management. Look up "contemporary dining" or "City of New Orleans" on this forum sometime if you want an earful. Fortunately, your train still has as close to traditional meal service as you can still get on Amtrak.
     
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  11. Jun 23, 2019 #36

    Michigan Mom

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    There is no way anyone is going to tell you on the phone that it is Amtrak policy to deny someone a meal reservation. Thing is, if there are capacity issues, there are capacity issues and I have found it much less stressful to not set too much store on having certain food options available. I have paid for sleeper accommodations only to be told almost entrees were sold out in the dining car (I've probably griped about that here enough, but it's on point to the discussion) so if I were in coach I'd have even less expectations.
     
  12. Jun 23, 2019 #37

    flitcraft

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    I'm willing to roll with what happens, myself--worst case scenario is that I end up eating out of the cafe car (or, I eat up my stash of emergency Lara bars...) But your diabetic friend shouldn't take any chances--and I suspect she already knows what an emergency three-meal supply for her should be. If not, she should consult her doctor. Now, the odds that she'll need to rely on her own emergency supplies are pretty small, but with a medical condition, I personally wouldn't take any chances. The advice to talk to the coach car attendant once you board is a good one, too.

    And, not about food, but, if you are in coach there are no showers available. I would recommend a travel-sized pack of baby wipes for a quick hygiene break in the bathroom. (And they aren't flushable, despite what the package will say, so don't!) And, once you've used what you want, feel free to offer to others. You'll all be glad you did!
     
  13. Jun 23, 2019 #38

    iliketrains

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    Great advice ehbowen, Michigan Mom, flitcraft, and others.
     
  14. Jun 23, 2019 #39

    dlagrua

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    While I have never tried it, years back, I saw a couple who made a tent like structure around their coach seats in the evening that they said was for privacy while sleeping. They used a large oversized blanket and hung it from the luggage rack above, fastening it in around the seats. It was unusual but it worked for them.
     
  15. Jun 24, 2019 #40

    Larry H.

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    Your right about the City of New Orleans for sure, the food was terrible the last time I rode it. I would have rather had a reheated hamburger from the lounge than the gooey mess they called a sandwich in the diner. And only two choices going south to boot.

    As to the length of trains and diners, I was amazed in trains magazine to see a shot of the combined City trains with 36 passenger cars plus baggage! I know I have ridden trains in Canada with 22 passenger cars but into the 30's I was rather surprised to see.
     
  16. Jun 24, 2019 #41

    ehbowen

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    A Hi-Level El Capitan consist from the 1950s could seat 496 passengers. One dining car - - the precursor to the present Amtrak Superliner diners, in fact - - plus a small coffee shop with snacks and sandwiches downstairs in the lounge car. The diner was busy...very busy...but they managed to serve every passenger who wanted a meal, every meal.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2019 #42

    iliketrains

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    I still can’t see today this is not possible. There are not a lot of folks on Amtrak trains, especially the Sunset Limited.
     
  18. Jun 25, 2019 #43

    ehbowen

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    It's a result of management decisions, many driven by thoughtless Congressional restrictions. When Santa Fe was running their trains, quality of service was the priority and they staffed and stocked their equipment accordingly. The priority these days...well, it's obviously not making money, or providing quality service, or pride in the job. Maybe the priority driving Amtrak these days is simply preserving the institution long enough to qualify for a retirement check, and who cares what happens afterwards....
     
  19. Jun 25, 2019 #44

    caravanman

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    Playing the devils advocate can be amusing, but at the end of the day, what you imagine should happen, and what does or might happen, are different.
    Prepare as best you can, bring some suitable emergency food items/snacks, and don't over worry.
     
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