In Defense of the Dining Car.
Let’s face it: Whoever is responsible for the food service on the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited started with a bad decision and then has compounded that fundamental mistake by trying to walk it part way back. They just made things worse.
The original mistake was ending the traditional full service dining car on those two very popular trains. Instead, sleeping car passengers were told they could pre-order cold boxed “contemporary” meals that would be delivered to their accommodations. There were, of course, no discernible reductions in sleeping car fares.
Those of us who have traveled in sleeping cars on either or both of those trains raised hell. I’m sure Amtrak’s brain trust expected that the objections would come from a bunch of foamers grumbling amongst ourselves for a while, but would all blow over.
Wrong again. In fact, the response was more heated than they expected. And louder. And it’s lasted longer. In fact, it’s still going on. What’s more, it’s not going to go away.
And now, mistakenly thinking it would solve their problem, Amtrak has announced a hot meal option for sleeping car passengers on both of those trains: “slow-braised beef short rib in red wine and beer sauce.” Well, it may be hot, but it still comes in a box and it’s still delivered to your roomette.
Those responsible for this fiasco still don’t realize that they may have gotten away with eliminating the complimentary morning paper and the little welcome aboard bottles of champagne and the souvenir coffee mugs, but most of us have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the dining car. A boxed meal eaten alone in my roomette? No … never! I’ll fly instead.
Anyone but Delta.