• Amtrak Diner and Food Service Discussion

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by Alphaboi
 
Auto Train always gets the best of everything.

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:52 pm Had probably my best ever Amtrak meal on the Auto Train tonight - - flat iron steak with bourbon sauce and mashed potato - far better than the steak meal I had on the same train in 2019. I wonder if they have changed anything. The menu in general this trip is quite a step up over my last trip - while all other trains are dining “flexibly” it appears auto train may have received an improvement.
Lord, sorry to learn your 53(15) is reported 78ML; I found on my twenty four voyages, that if you're not there by High Noon, "Arewethereyetitis" becomes quite endemic on board.

Flat Iron can be a very tasty cut of beef, and if properly prepared, its "toughness" when compared to a Rib Eye, can be overlooked. However, I cannot overlook the "Red or White" poured out of a milk carton into plasticware.

But much of why I do not intend to use Auto Train further is simply "dollars and cents". Between Chicago and Boca or Miami, "where I go down below", the net drive miles savings is about 400 - and no time savings whatever. $900 or thereabouts is simply too much to save 400 miles, a Dinner, and a "three star" (Hampton, Express, or Fairfield - my standard for an overnight) hotel. Cost estimate for the latter is about $320.
  by kitchin
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:04 amBut much of why I do not intend to use Auto Train further is simply "dollars and cents". Between Chicago and Boca or Miami, "where I go down below", the net drive miles savings is about 400 - and no time savings whatever. $900 or thereabouts is simply too much to save 400 miles, a Dinner, and a "three star" (Hampton, Express, or Fairfield - my standard for an overnight) hotel. Cost estimate for the latter is about $320.
Chicago is the key there. The Auto Train is probably as cheap as it's ever going to be right now.
June 23, LOR-SAN, 1 adult, roomette, car: $504.00
  by lordsigma12345
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:04 am
lordsigma12345 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:52 pm Had probably my best ever Amtrak meal on the Auto Train tonight - - flat iron steak with bourbon sauce and mashed potato - far better than the steak meal I had on the same train in 2019. I wonder if they have changed anything. The menu in general this trip is quite a step up over my last trip - while all other trains are dining “flexibly” it appears auto train may have received an improvement.
Lord, sorry to learn your 53(15) is reported 78ML; I found on my twenty four voyages, that if you're not there by High Noon, "Arewethereyetitis" becomes quite endemic on board.

Flat Iron can be a very tasty cut of beef, and if properly prepared, its "toughness" when compared to a Rib Eye, can be overlooked. However, I cannot overlook the "Red or White" poured out of a milk carton into plasticware.

But much of why I do not intend to use Auto Train further is simply "dollars and cents". Between Chicago and Boca or Miami, "where I go down below", the net drive miles savings is about 400 - and no time savings whatever. $900 or thereabouts is simply too much to save 400 miles, a Dinner, and a "three star" (Hampton, Express, or Fairfield - my standard for an overnight) hotel. Cost estimate for the latter is about $320.
Yes we got out of Lorton rather late. The incoming was late I believe due to engine problems and was carrying a large amount of cars and our southbound was also quite busy so little opportunity to make up time there - also CSX is in track work season so a number of “25s” along the route where they are doing ties so tough to make up any time right now. Before departure They had to swap out one of the engines and then I believe they tacked the broke one on the rear and had to do a bunch of moves to get the new engine set to the front of the consist because some of the station tracks were occupied with track repair and idle equipment (oddly including some Amfleet coaches) and the auto rack portion of our consist was already built and taking up the third track. We sat after boarding for over an hour and a half and I could hear my neighbors were getting rather impatient. They had to move all the auto racks for our train up past the switch out of the way, then move the locomotives up in front of the train and move the auto racks back and then do an inspection of the swapped in engine which took quite a while. I’m actually surprised we weren’t even later given how late we departed but the CSX dispatchers was kind to us throughout the trip - there was maybe one siding parking for a passenger train meet and it passed almost immediately after we stopped and we started moving again. We managed to make up about 8 minutes despite all the track work and the less kind CFRC dispatcher who made us wait for two sun rail commuter trains to pass before entering Sanford station. I was glad I paid for my priority offload this trip given the late arrival.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Lord, I don't know how long your "last mile" was "down below", but one thing I've never paid for was the priority unload. One year, my final destination was Key West; and darned if #53 wasn't two hours late. I think I was rolling by High Noon, but I wanted to get down there in time to see the spectacular tropical sunset they have down there (I made it)

Other than that one trip, 2K as I recall, I haven't been back there; really nothing to interest me. Seems like what I like most on my journeys are going to concerts at Arsht in Miami and Kravis in West Palm. That plus my CSO subscription holds me until its time for Salzburg (I have no use for outdoor venues such as Ravinia, Blossom in Cleveland, or Wolf Trap in Wash).
  by lordsigma12345
 
Announced at RPA event yesterday - Traditional dining will return out west sometime in June. They are working out the final details but it sounds like at first it may be only sleeper passengers in the diner.
  by STrRedWolf
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:46 pm Announced at RPA event yesterday - Traditional dining will return out west sometime in June. They are working out the final details but it sounds like at first it may be only sleeper passengers in the diner.
I bet it'll be pre-ordered meals as well.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Announced that it’s happening but they are zeroing in closer on a timeframe. From what I heard about the talk the other day and from folks that attended the RPA meeting on another site and posted it sounds like they want to move away from a la carte priced stuff in the diner and just have set meal packages. Eventually they May eventually offer the meals to coach but it may be basically a single price for a packaged deal no a la carte menu item pricing.
  by NaugyRR
 
I'm currently on the Acela to Boston and they are serving hot food in first. I ordered salmon and prosecco, Abby got a burger and coffee (one of us had to be classy, so I took one for the team lol).ImageImageImageImage

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  by lordsigma12345
 
How was it? I know the "new" Acela first meals are essentially the same flexible dining from the overnight trains.
  by NaugyRR
 
Honestly it was better than I had expected. The salmon wasn't too dry and the veggies were cooked perfectly. The rice was a little "meh" but I really have no complaints.

The better half's burger was your standard issue AmCafé microwave special.

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  by Maverickstation1
 
The "temporary" suspension of Traditional Dining, is now extended to June 30, 2021.

From the Amtrak site.

Service Change
Traditional dining service has been temporarily suspended on all routes with the exception of the Auto Train. Through June 30, 2021, customers in private rooms will be offered flexible dining service; Coach customers will be offered Café service.

Ken
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Bets, anyone, on how "carved in stone" this latest June 30 "suspension" will prove to be?

The cost savings are simply too great to ignore - and with no expectation of Full Service, people appear to be "stepping right up".
  by lordsigma12345
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:34 am Bets, anyone, on how "carved in stone" this latest June 30 "suspension" will prove to be?

The cost savings are simply too great to ignore - and with no expectation of Full Service, people appear to be "stepping right up".
They are not sticking with flex dining out west permanently - they just can't make the May date that they put out months ago. They've already started recalling people and starting the process - but they basically have to rebuild it from scratch as I believe the entire supply chain for food and everything was canceled. I watched a recent RPA presentation with the VP of Long Distance service line - they were aiming for a "June timeframe" relaunch and outright stated that it wouldnt happen in time for daily service restoration - so while disappointing for my June trip (I was hoping it would happen sometime during the month and my trip home might have dining) - not surprising. They will be having some sort of 50th anniversary long distance centered event in Chicago I think on June 15 where it sounds like this is one of the things they will be talking about. This is simply due to the realities of the logistics. They are also making changes to how it will work - for example it will be exclusive to sleeping car passengers. They will not be pricing menu items for sale to coach passengers. It sounds like at some point down the road they may sell a fixed cost coach "upgrade" sort of deal where you can upgrade a coach seat to the dining service.
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