OK, I’ve had it. Here I am in Paris and I would much rather be writing about this glorious city, but moments after firing up my laptop to check emails, I come across a press release from Amtrak announcing that there will be no more hot food for sleeping car passengers on the Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore limited.
Instead, those of us riding in and paying top dollar for sleeping car accommodations will be able to order meals being prepared off site somewhere and delivered to our roomettes or bedrooms. What kind of meals, you ask? Here’s what the Amtrak press release says:
Lunch & Dinner: Chilled beef tenderloin, Vegan wrap, Chicken Caesar salad, or Turkey club sandwich.
Breakfast: Assorted breakfast breads with butter, cream cheese and strawberry jam; Greek yogurt and sliced seasonal fresh fruit plate.
Note, please, that apparently nothing will be prepared or even heated on board.
What next? I seems as though there is a new announcement every week describing the latest degradation of the Amtrak experience for sleeping car passengers. It is my hope that enough people and organizations will rear up and object loudly and publicly.
But what’s really needed is a serious, in depth, multi-part exposé by a first rate reporter working for a major publication with unimpeachable credibility. It’s time Amtrak’s questionable accounting methods are challenged and its duplicitous dealings with government and citizen groups are exposed.
In the meantime, I am indeed in Paris, scheduled to leave here tomorrow for the medieval town of Carcassonne. There is, however, an ongoing off-again-on-again strike of the railway workers, so I have no idea how I’m going to get there. I will, in an hour or so, call Railbookers in London and will do whatever they advise.