“Contemporary” is OUT! “Traditional” is BACK!
Amtrak has announced that the traditional dining car service is going to be restored on Western trains. Rather than paraphrase, I will reproduce the message received today from the Rail Passengers Association. There is no doubt in my mind that RPA played a significant role in this development. If you are not a member, please consider joining. Thank you!
Amtrak’s announcement on restoring traditional dining to the Western trains beginning June 23rd is a great first step, which the Rail Passengers Association applauds. Our dining-centered advocacy efforts don’t cease because of this move and there’s still a lot to do. But I also want us to make sure we celebrate the wins associated with this announcement:
A redesigned menu featuring chef-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and a three-course dinner. The Association received a lot of feedback on the food quality when chefs stopped executing on-board meals. We have been very vocal with Amtrak on the need for the return of chefs to improve the customer on-board experience. Folks, this also means the return of Railroad French Toast with FRESH, not canned, whipped cream.
Table service in the Dining Car with glassware, cutlery and white linen tablecloths. The introduction of the contemporary menu ushered in the disposable tableware which was a recycling nightmare. The Association expressed our displeasure with the resulting amount of waste. The return of reusable items – glassware, cutlery and linens — is a more environmentally friendly approach.
Café service updates. The Café menu should be updated this summer adding a few more fresh selections, and a variety of meals, snack, and beverages for purchase. While the announcement didn’t include Coach passengers gaining access to the dining car, updating and expanding Café car options is a good first start while we wait for Eastern trains’ dining-car service to return.
I am taking a long (my first) rail trip next year. Booked and paid for already. Wanted to make sure I get a roomette for the whole trip. I figured the price of the food for a trip that long would make it worth getting a roomette. Taking two N & S routes and 2 E & W routes, should be fun and relaxing.
Now we need it back on the Lakeshore Limited. I’m also disappointed that I can’t have a sleeper car/roommate for my entire trip from Toledo to Boston. Not only do I have to switch to coach in Albany, but they also remove the dining car, which completely removes 1 included meal each way! Starting to be not worth the extra money for the sleeper car.
I have made the Boston-Chicago run on the Lakeshore many times. I go business class between Boston and Albany. Not as good as roomette all the way, but it helps.
This is great news. Thanks!
It sure is!
Be still, your heart.
Railroad French a toast coming back proves there is a God who wants us to be happy! Kudos to all who had a hand in this, and to those in Amtrak willing to admit that contemporary dining was a mistake
While I am thrilled to hear this fabulous news, it kind of hurts to know that it starts June 23rd … two days after my first trip on the Southwest Chief ends. (sigh)
I feel your pain! I leave June 9. It just means we have to take another trip!!!