rohr turbo wrote: ↑Mon Sep 06, 2021 1:21 pm @electricron let's take your NY-Montreal analysis and apply it to Albany-Montreal. Zero non-stop flights so you must conclude Amtrak has 100% market share between these two population centers. As it's 8 hours between those cities, we definitely need food service. Will better quality food increase ridership? Couldn't hurt.That's what I've been thinking with these daytrip trains that average at least 8 hours. You're going to need food service. You also going to need food service if you're over two hours and it hits the prime dining times.
Hold on, this thread's making me hungry... (*noms on a cookie bar*)
The question here is really what level of quality of food are we really looking for here, keeping in mind the effort it would need.
Right now, we have:
- Full diners, capable of cooking a flat iron steak...
- Acela cafes, which can heat up and arrange food like a fast food joint, from what I could gather...
- Flex Dining, which is heat-and-serve dinners you can get at the grocery store...
- Cafe service, which is heat-and-serve 7-11 food (except 7-11 food tastes better)
You're covered on the Acela between DC and Boston... although you have a limited selection. Flex Dining... well, you can yank out a row or two out of the standard Cafe, retrofit in some freezers, and be able to serve the meals. You don't need a full diner, and you don't need to really redesign the cafe car. But you just need to add enough capacity to hold the various meals, and the Flex Dining bowls are what? 8 inches in diameter? Plus the Flex Dining breakfast is just really one microwave meal and some stock staples on top of the Cafe fare. Compare the various menus. You have six meals to keep frozen and even one of them you don't need to carry half the time.
Comparing the levels to each other, and keeping in mind how much effort is needed... you can slap diners on those daytrippers or you can Flex Dining. And I think Flex Dining will be cheaper for these day trippers.