Time for a Train Trip?
Not for me, I’m afraid.
Normally, by this time of year I would have made one or two trips and at least one of those would have included one of Amtrak’s long-distance trains.
But not with this damn pandemic.
That will eventually change, I hope, so I have started planning a trip. This itinerary starts with “Day One, Day Two, etc.” I’ll plug in the actual dates when I think it’s safe to travel.
The interesting thing is, I would usually fly from here in Hawaii to the West Coast, take Amtrak across the country, and then fly to London out of Boston.
But this next time— and it came as a surprise to me—I’m really not sure I want to include Amtrak in that plan. Why? Because, in the name of cutting costs, the corporate geniuses running Amtrak have effectively reduced the dining car experience to something I can actually do without.
We’re now being served frozen meals, heated in a microwave. And, until the pandemic is over, we’re dining alone in our roomette or alone at a table in the lounge car.
The fact is, for the foreseeable future, there IS no dining car experience. And, fully as much as the train ride itself, that’s what kept me coming back time after time, year after year.
Or, rather, it did.
Travelers in coach are now faced with problem of no dinking water, at least that was my experience last week on the Texas Eagle. I assume you have to buy it from lounge car attendant.
Can you clarify one thing? When I see the Southwest Chief go by on the La Plata, MO webcam it the consist looks like it contains both a sightseer lounge and a dining car (+ two sleepers and three coaches) so I guess I thought one dining option was the dining car, but I could be mistaken.
Or is it possible that what I think looks like a dining car from the outside is something called a cafe car might not have a service attendant?
My source says the dining cars remain part of the long-distance trains consists . . .with the one exception of the Crescent. That train is apparently operating with a lounge car only.