• Better food on non-LD trains - is it doable?

  • 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

  by photobug56
 
Tom V wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:07 pm I think the quickest upgrade Amtrak can make is to coffee and beer / wine selections. If Amtrak offered really good coffee, and a selection of regional beers and upgraded wines that would go a long way towards improving the experience both in diners and cafes. Personally I'm not a Dunkin drinker, I prefer Starbucks. They could offer Peet's for California services, headquartered in Emeryville, Caribou for the Mid West services, Dunkin for the NEC and Starbucks for the Long Distance trains.

Upgrade the Wines and Beers, have the regional selections for the Northwest, California etc.. and the selections for the long distance trains.
Please keep the smell of burnt Starbucks off of trains! :-)
  by Pensyfan19
 
I don't think this was brought up here, nor do I think that this would be a good example of "better food" at all, but does anyone remember the McTrain? I believe it was discontinued due to low ridership.
What I mean by this example is (again. I'm not sure if it's been brought up on this discussion) could it be possible for Amtrak to contract cafe services to fast food chains like Wendy's, Ihop, Subway, Jersey Mike's, Burger King, etc.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:15 pm What I mean by this example is could it be possible for Amtrak to contract cafe services to fast food
chains like Wendy's, Ihop, Subway, Jersey Mike's, Burger King, etc.
In 2005, an attempt by NY State to privatize food service on Empire Corridor went to Subway, but blocked
by unions. Since then trains south of Albany have no cafe service.
  by photobug56
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:40 pm
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:15 pm What I mean by this example is could it be possible for Amtrak to contract cafe services to fast food
chains like Wendy's, Ihop, Subway, Jersey Mike's, Burger King, etc.
In 2005, an attempt by NY State to privatize food service on Empire Corridor went to Subway, but blocked
by unions. Since then trains south of Albany have no cafe service.
IMHO, idiotic! Which is also a good description of much of NYS government.
  by photobug56
 
I don't remember what Subway was like in my part of NY back then (in Germany only problem I found was that none of the kids behind the counter spoke English) but today, usually one non-English speaking person behind the counter. About the only English we get - register won't take coupon. Definitely not union workers or any that an Amtrak union would put up with. So no onboard Subway in cafe cars. But we can still do better than low end nuke burgers and Jimmy Dean steam breakfast slabs.
  by Railjunkie
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:40 pm
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:15 pm What I mean by this example is could it be possible for Amtrak to contract cafe services to fast food
chains like Wendy's, Ihop, Subway, Jersey Mike's, Burger King, etc.
In 2005, an attempt by NY State to privatize food service on Empire Corridor went to Subway, but blocked
by unions. Since then trains south of Albany have no cafe service.
Ahh ok sure...

Did the LSAs at the time give the subway employees a bit of trouble? Perhaps, I never saw it. Were they offered jobs? Yes they were told to seek you seniority. Penn or Boston. Most quit a few hung on till they could retire. I think there is only one Albany LSA left he was a classmate of mine. He still makes the trek by train to and from Penn every couple of days for work. If a certain bug had not gotten out of China last year we wouldn't be having this discussion about food service on Empire trains. The commissary was due to open back up and food service restored.

Onward and upward. Mr Boardman at the time was NYS DOT chair and he had a major beef with Mr Gunn. Something about those things that I prefer to call tin lizards aka turbos and failure of Amtrak to provide the agreed upon improvements. Things like 125mph MAS. So the state threatened to find a new operator for the service. If I remember correctly Amtrak changed the train numbers at the time which gave them the right to "change the service" aka no more food service on local trains. New York still wanting food service on all there trains brought in Subway. I think this more of an attempt of I will show you. The commissary was closing the slots were gone so were the LSA jobs.

Amtrak took the turbos in the dead of night. An extra move. Remember passing that train in Yonkers and thinking good riddance. The only thing that made me happier was seeing what was left of them being trucked outta what was once known as Super Steel. Gunn only lasted another year or so and Boardman would become president shortly there after.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Lack of a commissary does not seem to be an issue - Downeaster uses a private contractor in Portland for
example.

Back when the Vermonter had its unique menu, were the cafe car serviced in Vermont?
  by photobug56
 
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:25 am
I had one round trip out of GCT on a Turbo, and it was a great trip! Unlike you, I was quite a fan. The shear amount of power contained in something the size of what, a trunk? And no diesel vibration, no clouds of smoke.
  by Railjunkie
 
A helicopter engine is what it was. Worked them as an LSA, Asst Conductor, Conductor and Engineer. Old and rebuilt by Super Steel. Powerful and quick accelerators yes but overall junk. Doors that never opened or wired shut. Carried wire cutters just in case. HVAC that never worked correctly one side of the coach would be cold enough to hang meat the other hot enough to cook it. Transmissions that leaked worse than my '66 Bel Aire. The techs that rode them had miles of jumper wire just to keep the things moving.
  by photobug56
 
I remember that the train operator was looking forward to the train being rebuilt, upgraded, etc.

If they ever got it all right, it would have been something.
  by jp1822
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:33 pm Back when the Vermonter had its unique menu, were the cafe car serviced in Vermont?
No they were not serviced in Vermont. Food was onboarded out of Essex-Burlington, VT.
  by Railjunkie
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:33 pm Lack of a commissary does not seem to be an issue - Downeaster uses a private contractor in Portland for
example.

Back when the Vermonter had its unique menu, were the cafe car serviced in Vermont?
Not completely sure but it would have been either NYP or WAS OBS crew base. The commissary would have been WAS with the ability to en route issue at Penn. What you had on the trip up is what you had for the trip back no services in Vermont. It was the same for the Ethan Allen we carried some Vermont specific items. Albany and Penn for the commissary.
  by jp1822
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 8:11 am
jp1822 wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:25 am No they were not serviced in Vermont. Food was onboarded out of Essex-Burlington, VT.
...Essex-Burlington, Vermont? Yeah, they were serviced (restocked) in that state.

Now if you're talking about full cleaning and restock...
You are missing the rest of what was quoted and now you've taken this out of context..... Original poster asked about the "unique food brought onboard" the Vermonter at ONE TIME. The "Vermonter lunches" - two different kinds of sandwiches that were sold with sides and combo drink etc. - were brought onboard the Vermonter at Essex-Burlington Jct stop (morning southbound). Saw them delivered MANY times right in front of me to the LSA of the cafe car/business car.......

They were VERY good and those who wanted something fresh knew to ask for them.

But there was always the worry of spoilage from what was prepared. And yes, the lunches were VERY good!
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