gokeefe wrote:Onboard dining is most relevant for long distance travelers who make up less than 20% of Amtrak's total ridership. Of that 20% an even smaller proportion is riding in the sleeper cars and regularly partaking of dining car service.
If only 1% - 2% of all of Amtrak's total riders use a dining car are they really worth the extensive efforts being made to provide dining onboard?
I would argue they aren't and that the cafe car along with reintroduction of snack cart service in certain routes would be both more meaningful and also better for the bottom line.
The fact that coach passengers rarely eat in the diner, and choose the cafe because of preference, price, or lack of access to the diner, is part of the problem too! Post-WWII we had snack bars and/or grill cars as well as diners on the famous overnight streamliners, but prewar during the Pullman Co era were there multiple food options as well?
Also - these premade meals Amtrak now serves in some overnight trains. Remind me again why they aren’t available for sale to coach passengers too? That’s the airline model (free for first, charge for coach) and it works well.
As for MSP Midway Station, you’re mostly right about that Mr. O’Keefe - save for The Dubliner Pub
three or four blocks away. Perfect place to have a meal and a few before that 11pm westward departure. (For breakfast you would have needed a short cab or bus ride west to either Keys Restaurant or The Egg And I.)