Amtrak phasing out Dining Cars

MP333 Sep 23, 2019

  1. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Getting to eat with strangers, and spending an hour talking with them, was one of the best parts of our cross country trip. I can understand the business model for changing on the one-night routes, but hope the transcontinental routes maintain full service
     
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  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This feels as though it very well might be a deliberate means to harm long distance ridership numbers. Smart, if so intended. Idiotic if they believe it is a wise economic measure. (n)(n)(n):mad:
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Because no one wants to eat in a rolling restaurant--except the thousands who flock to dinner trains.

    Again the federal government proves it's incompetent to do what private enterprise and nonprofits do all the time.
     
  5. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Not such a surprise when you consider that Amtrak's current president spent 25 years in the aviation industry.
     
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  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    This was to be expected when the Amtrak governing board chose to hire the ex-CEO of Delta Airlines to run Amtrak. Anderson assumes that rail passengers will accept the same treatment as airline passengers. The Washington Post article said that an Amtrak passenger survey indicated that the new dining concept would be preferred. I wonder how many first class and overnight passengers were surveyed. My assumption is that the sampling included a majority, if not all, short haul coach passengers.

    The Post went on to say that Amtrak is remodeling all the newly delivered Viewliner-II diners to accommodate this new policy. I wonder if the expense of remodeling diners might equal the cost of maintaining dull diner service for another 10 or 15 years. Seems like a decision was made, then the financial books were adjusted to show wonderful savings, at least to unsuspecting members of Congress.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yeah. That is quite possible.

    Maybe they should scrounge all the old military logistics centers for bargains on nice stale WWII K rations?
     
  8. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    There's a thread in the inspection pit called "Crossing America by Rail" that has had a lot of Amtrak discussion in it. This story was posted there and the OP (as I hang my head in shame) forgot to post it here in the Passenger Service forum. Thanks for correcting that oversight MP333.

    As for the dining cars, it's a true shame to read about the changes.
     
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  9. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I was given the new flex-meal menu on the City Of New Orleans three weeks ago. The dinner was a typical pre-packaged, tasteless, micro-waved meal that would have embarrassed a two-star restaurant. The only hot breakfast offering was something that even McD's would not have served. I was not impressed.
     
  10. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  11. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    All this and New York-Chicago takes 25%--four long hours--longer than it did during the steam age in 1938. By the fiftieth anniversary of Amtrak they're on pace to take us back to a time before the advent of the Harvey House. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Nineteenth Century.

    Why do they call the people who want Washington to do everything "progressives"? They seem to actually be Regressives.
     
  12. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    According to the emails I received for my upcoming trip on the Crescent, the flex-meal menu and "diner" will be available only to sleeping car passengers. The folks back in cattle, er coach, must buy their victuals in the lounge. Though they might be allowed into the first class dining area if their appearance is acceptable to the LSA.

    Who the heck are these fools in Washington kidding? Passenger rail is not an airplane, nor is it a bus. It's a long established traveling experience and culture for those who appreciate it....US!

    BTW, did you notice the price of a glass of wine has been raised to $8.50, and the $16.00 bottle is no longer offered. How do they expect me to survive these abominable conditions without a sufficient quantity of adult anesthetic. :rolleyes:

    OK, I'm trying to make humor of this, but it's not funny. I do not want to be treated like a government mandated automaton described in the novel 1984.
     
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  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Regression, for certain. If I am stuck on a train for at least much of a day, or more, I want a real meal. Not a pitiful snicky snack, which might embarrass even operators of maggot wagons.
     
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  14. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

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    Amtrak is just 'slopping the hogs' - not feeding passengers.
     
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I always enjoy reading the public relations "spin" as carefully crafted by word artisans, in this case it being "part of an evolution” and a "concept … to provide service the way our customers want". In other words, it's all about what Amtrak wants, not the customer.
     
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  16. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    They must have found two people who are on board with the new "concept" just so they could say customers.
     
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  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    What their leader wants- get rid of long distance, to make us fly with his old airline cronies. (How much are they sliding to him, under the table?) This is how they start driving riders away.
     
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  18. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The future of Amtrak probably will be only state funded short haul corridors. If a state doesn't want to fund it, then no Amtrak within that state, meaning not for the adjacent states either. We have that today with the extension across the northern Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Mobile. Amtrak has created the operating plan including equipment and schedules, and is ready to go. LA and MS have committed capital and operating funds. But the governor of Alabama is not supporting it. She says it would impact the Port of Mobile, besides not seeing a benefit from it. So the plan is sitting on the shelf gathering dust.

    I found this map that defines future interstates, lots of interstates. The title says "conceptual", but I-14 is already under construction in Texas. So Congress is happy to fund interstates for the trucking industry under the guise that it will expand the economy and create jobs. But to heck with Amtrak.
     
  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm guessing that Amtrak's short distance routes attract riders for practicality and convenience, but I'll bet many long-distance riders are on board for a unique experience. Strip away the elements of eating in a dining car or dome service and there's much less to savor, producing a dull and unremarkable ride.
     
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  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I looked forward to my trips on the Crescent for the relaxation of the 24 hour trip visiting my son, and the food definitely added. I'll test the new experience next week. Hopefully it has not become the tipping point over to the three day drive for the same trip. I'll let you know, with photos if I remember.
     

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