Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:24 pm

... and it would be nice if someone could get Anderson behind the idea. Two posters have commented on getting information to Anderson about how the original experiment worked; maybe he needs more input like that. Certainly the economics make sense.

eolesen
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by eolesen » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:22 pm

More important than Anderson, would the union be supportive of a 24 hour diner?

Can it be done within the current contract without driving costs up further?

Sounds like a good idea, but if the union won’t let it happen, it doesn’t matter what management thinks.

CHTT1
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by CHTT1 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:28 pm

You know, J. Bruce Richardson, the guy who wrote the article, was also behind a group that published a newsletter that constantly stated that long distance trains made lots of money. Just like this 24-hour diner plan, he never provides any actual financial data, he just keeps repeating that it was a success. If it was so great why was it stopped and never repeated. He's also involved with Corridor Capital that has been trying to sell a bunch of old Santa Fe hi-level cars for years. Many organizations have taken a look at these cars, but nobody has ever bought. I'd take all of his statements with a big grain of salt.

bostontrainguy
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by bostontrainguy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:37 pm

eolesen wrote:More important than Anderson, would the union be supportive of a 24 hour diner?

Can it be done within the current contract without driving costs up further?

Sounds like a good idea, but if the union won’t let it happen, it doesn’t matter what management thinks.
The unions are very upset about the loss of chef jobs. This program adds more chef jobs. More jobs means more work for the members and more dues for the union. Should be looked at positively by the unions I would think.

David Benton
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by David Benton » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:47 pm

I doubt any 24 hour service would be using a Chef,more likely a LSA. I don't think people would reasonably expect a chef cooked meal in the middle of the night.
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mtuandrew
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:58 pm

I noted that too, CHTT1. Not a good vote of confidence, nor is it a good sign that Amtrak didn't at least try it elsewhere. It’s still possible that 24 hour dining would stem losses and keep people employed, again knowing that crew and the menu would be minimal at night and probably less freshly-prepared than today’s western LDs.

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BandA
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by BandA » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:48 pm

What is an LSA allowed to do / capable of doing with food? Is there a "cook" level below a full chef?

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:44 am

Food Service Specialist

westernfalls
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by westernfalls » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:17 pm

Why not Cooks and Waiters, and maybe a Steward to be in charge of the crew?
But first, the law requiring food & beverage self-sufficiency must be changed; the accountants can parse the costs to everyone's confusion.

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R&DB
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by R&DB » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:57 pm

westernfalls » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:17 pm
But first, the law requiring food & beverage self-sufficiency must be changed;

Absolutely right, but I doubt we'll see it with the current Congress, Senate & Administration unless Ms Chou suddenly discovers there are railroads.
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SouthernRailway
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by SouthernRailway » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Amtrak should just order big trays of food from Dig Inn: diginn.com. There are locations near NYP. It's healthy, filling food, served cafeteria-style, that holds up well, even when reheated a long time after being prepared. Amtrak could just reheat it on board and serve it buffet-style.

bostontrainguy
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by bostontrainguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:28 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:Amtrak should just order big trays of food from Dig Inn: diginn.com. There are locations near NYP. It's healthy, filling food, served cafeteria-style, that holds up well, even when reheated a long time after being prepared. Amtrak could just reheat it on board and serve it buffet-style.
I would think a 24-hr buffet with precooked food would be relatively easy to do.

bostontrainguy
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by bostontrainguy » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:46 pm

Just found this searching around tonight. Don't know what the deal is with the source listed below. Maybe just a rumor or maybe nothing at all, but the way things are going . . .

COLD SANDWICH CHEF-FREE DINERS ON AMTRAK SOUTHWEST CHIEF

Amtrak Southwest Chief crews are dismayed by the June 19, 2018 presentation by Amtrak to an at least partially disappointed Congressional delegation proposing breaking the Southwest Chief into two day trains.

Cold sandwich chef-free diners on Amtrak Southwest Chief

Amtrak Southwest Chief OBS employees have received new onboard chef-free dining car menus with cold sandwiches for November 2018, akin to the June 2018 Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited no-chef cold food menus. It was not yet clear if cold-only, no-chef “diner” menus are coming to other long distance Amtrak trains beyond the existing Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited, and November 2018 Southwest Chief.


Would seem early to do this now unless it's due to a union picking/bidding process. If you were a chef and had to move to another city I would hope Amtrak gave you a few months to change your life.

Source: https://www.scivision.co/amtrak-southwe ... vice-cuts/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by Backshophoss » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 am

That's going to create more protests over Mr Anderson's Panera Bread model of Food service,along with making the Diner a Sleeper passenger only
Lounge.
That will go over as a Lead Hot air Balloon around here! :( :( :P
Will see an uptick of hot sandwiches being sold at the snack bar at ABQ station while the SW Chief gets serviced.
Might even get a Food Truck on the platform to boot!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

SouthernRailway
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Re: Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

Post by SouthernRailway » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:36 am

If I understand correct, Amtrak's accounting is non-GAAP and it allocates costs to LD trains and the NEC as it sees fit (i.e., Amtrak does its accounting any way it wants).

If that's true, why can't Amtrak just allocate more sleeping car revenues to dining service and eliminate any dining losses by just allocating more sleeping car revenues to it?

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