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Date: 01/25/16 20:13
Silver Star Diner change
Author: emd_mrs1

According to an Amtrak document circulating on Facebook (sent from a usually very reliable source) the Amtrak diner elimination is permanent.


No warranty on this information.


Michael



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/16 20:23 by emd_mrs1.



Date: 01/25/16 20:46
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: seattle206

no big surprise there



Date: 01/25/16 21:46
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: ProAmtrak

Another attempt to get rid of the LD Trains, this is D U M B!!!!



Date: 01/25/16 23:38
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: ctillnc

I think it's a smart move by Amtrak, but that has been debated so much that there's nothing left to say. The question now becomes, what's the next LD train to lose its diner.



Date: 01/26/16 00:40
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: dan

cool bust out the kfc and have a bone fight



Date: 01/26/16 01:00
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: sums007

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> cool bust out the kfc and have a bone fight

That's just about all that KFC is good for, IMHO.



Date: 01/26/16 03:01
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: andersonb109

Wait. Didn't they just buy a bunch of shiny new diners for eastern LD trains? And they certainly can't  used them on any western trains.  Maybe they could be sold to Canada as their diners are over 60 years and now doubt in need of replacement.  Oh wait. No. The Canadian diners have been completely re-built and re-decorated several times. How on earth can something that old continue in service? It must be a miracle. And that must cost much more than a completely new car!  Who would ever want to dine in something that old? And who would want actual flowers and table cloths to get in the way of all that food that is actually cooked on board? Maybe Amtrak made the correct decision after all. No one would want any of that.




Date: 01/26/16 05:11
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: hazegray

anderson109 -
A picture is worth 1,000 words, and yours said it all.
GREAT POST!!!!!!!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/16 05:24 by hazegray.



Date: 01/26/16 05:23
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: abyler

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Another attempt to get rid of the LD Trains, this
> is D U M B!!!!

No, another attempt to save long distance trains.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/26/16 05:25
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: abyler

andersonb109

How many diners built by Budd are in operation on any given day by VIA?

How many do they own?

If you had a choice on VIA would you rather dine in a 60 year old car or a brand new Viewliners or Superliners diner?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/26/16 05:30
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: abyler

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think it's a smart move by Amtrak, but that has
> been debated so much that there's nothing left to
> say. The question now becomes, what's the next LD
> train to lose its diner.

Trains with only two meal times. Capitol Limited, City of New Oreleans, Lake Shore Limited are all likely.

It's very possible the Viewliners diner order ends up rethought into a diner-lounge.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/26/16 05:43
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: eee

I am on my way to Canada shortly for up to 10 glorious meals in the dining car.  The VIA cars are in excellent condition, and the food is great.  But the difference between a VIA diner and an Amtrak diner (or even my own diner on the Hoosier State) is clear from the picture of the VIA diner above:  Moveable chairs vs booths.  The distance between the seat and the table is fixed in every Amtrak diner, and it's variable on the Canadian, thanks to US regulations.  I have discovered that I need a touch more room than I am permitted on an Amtrak diner, so the VIA diners are more comfortable.

Also, I should note that diners in excursion service in the US do not have to have fixed seats, so we have our own Budd diner that I would stack up against a VIA diner in terms of food, service and overall comfort.  Mark Llanuza photo..

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109
>
> How many diners built by Budd are in operation on
> any given day by VIA?
>
> How many do they own?
>
> If you had a choice on VIA would you rather dine
> in a 60 year old car or a brand new Viewliners or
> Superliners diner?
>
> Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/16 05:45 by eee.




Date: 01/26/16 07:09
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: njfrn

Looking good, Mr. Ellis. Is that diner in regular excursion service on one of IPH's properties?

Sad to think that we may soon only be able to experience dining car service on excursion trains or VIA in North America, but glad there are a few operations that are carrying the flag.



Date: 01/26/16 07:26
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: abyler

eee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am on my way to Canada shortly for up to
> 10 glorious meals in the dining car.  The VIA
> cars are in excellent condition, and the food is
> great.  But the difference between a VIA diner
> and an Amtrak diner (or even my own diner on the
> Hoosier State) is clear from the picture of the
> VIA diner above:  Moveable chairs vs booths. 
> The distance between the seat and the table is
> fixed in every Amtrak diner, and it's variable on
> the Canadian, thanks to US regulations.  I have
> discovered that I need a touch more room than I am
> permitted on an Amtrak diner, so the VIA diners
> are more comfortable.

Ed:

All great points.  And notable that your trip is a typical one for the Canadian which is primarily operated for rich foreign tourists - a train cruise to go sightseeing.  The Canadian barely functions as basic transportation for Canadians.  Amtrak offers basic transportation for Americans who do not want to or cannot fly or drive.  We can debate all day long the extent Amtrak should go to for trying to capture cruise tourist traffic vs. offering basic overnight accomodations.  I expect most American voters would be against using their tax dollars to subsidize land cruises by the wealthy.

Still no answer by anyone to my basic point, which is that VIA's ancient diners spend most of their time sitting still in a maintenance yard (rather like a beautifully restored 56 Chevy or Cadillac would spend most of its time in the owner's garage until it is time for a drive in the country), since only two Canadian departures are made per week each way.  Amtrak's remaining roadworthy low-level diners spend much of their time running, as do the Superliners.



Date: 01/26/16 07:28
No diners
Author: NewRiverGeorge

The City of New Orleans lost its diner years ago in the "cross-country cafe" fiasco. 
Attempted on the Texas Eagle but rejected by the stakeholders on that route.
"Dinerless" was tried for a while on the Capitol Limited as well.
Where there is only one train on a given overnight route, a well run diner is expected.

But in Florida, probably not needed.
The Silver Service competes with the Auto Train.
Forget Union Station, take a uber to Lorton. 
In Florida there will be additional rail competition in a year or two, at least south of Orlando.
So really no need for the Silver Service trains at all except possibly for the orphan Tampa market, and Amtrak management understands that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/16 07:32 by NewRiverGeorge.



Date: 01/26/16 08:21
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: hazegray

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> All great points.  And notable that your trip is a typical one for the Canadian which is primarily
> operated for rich foreign tourists - a train cruise to go sightseeing.  The Canadian barely
> functions as basic transportation for Canadians.

If you want to see real Canadian citizens, go to the two coaches just ahead of the "sleeping car passengers ONLY beyond this point" sign, which is often on the first of eight sleeping cars carryong "rich foreign tourists."  Of course, the real "cruise train" is the Rocky Mountaineer..... 
 



Date: 01/26/16 10:12
Re: Silver Star Diner change
Author: eee

You're right.  I answered your third question, but not the first two.

How many diners does VIA own?  13

How many in service on any given day?  Depends on the season.  In the winter, with two weekly departures, 5.  In the summer with three weekly departures, and two diners per train, I think it's 11 or 12.  But that's a guess based on the equipment turns.

And I was actually trying to stay away from dissing Amtrak in any way, just saying that I like to sit in a chair rather than a booth, but I ate a bunch of meals in Amtrak diners last year as well, more than on VIA.  In fact I had more dining car meals on the Hoosier State than I had on VIA.

So, the folks I had dinner with on Amtrak diners were not there for "basic transportation."  They were in Superliner sleepers on the US version of a landcruise, many on Guest Rewards, or on el cheapo tickets, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list trip that would not be repeated.  The coach people either can't get in to the diner, or don't want to pay $30 for dinner, and again I am not making a class statement, just reporting what I experienced.  I like talking to fellow travelers in Amtrak dining cars, but I prefer not to reveal that I am a railroad guy because then the conversation turns to everything that's wrong with Amtrak and the railroads, which is not something I want to discuss, and I'm just trying to have a nice train ride....  But I do explain patiently to the people across the table that things are not that bad...


abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> eee Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I am on my way to Canada shortly for up to
> > 10 glorious meals in the dining car.  The VIA
> > cars are in excellent condition, and the food
> is
> > great.  But the difference between a VIA diner
> > and an Amtrak diner (or even my own diner on
> the
> > Hoosier State) is clear from the picture of the
> > VIA diner above:  Moveable chairs vs booths. 
> > The distance between the seat and the table is
> > fixed in every Amtrak diner, and it's variable
> on
> > the Canadian, thanks to US regulations.  I
> have
> > discovered that I need a touch more room than I
> am
> > permitted on an Amtrak diner, so the VIA diners
> > are more comfortable.
>
> Ed:
>
> All great points.  And notable that your trip is
> a typical one for the Canadian which is primarily
> operated for rich foreign tourists - a train
> cruise to go sightseeing.  The Canadian barely
> functions as basic transportation for Canadians.
>  Amtrak offers basic transportation for Americans
> who do not want to or cannot fly or drive.  We
> can debate all day long the extent Amtrak should
> go to for trying to capture cruise tourist traffic
> vs. offering basic overnight accomodations.  I
> expect most American voters would be against using
> their tax dollars to subsidize land cruises by the
> wealthy.
>
> Still no answer by anyone to my basic point, which
> is that VIA's ancient diners spend most of their
> time sitting still in a maintenance yard (rather
> like a beautifully restored 56 Chevy or Cadillac
> would spend most of its time in the owner's garage
> until it is time for a drive in the country),
> since only two Canadian departures are made per
> week each way.  Amtrak's remaining roadworthy
> low-level diners spend much of their time running,
> as do the Superliners.



Date: 01/26/16 11:06
Re: No diners
Author: Narr8rdanny

Wow!
I could not possibly dissagree more with your comment, NewRiverGeorge.
How is it that riders from Washington to Chicago somehow deserve a nice sit-down dinner on a 14-hour ride, but passengers on the 24-hour New York to Florida trains should be fine with a taquito off the roller grill and a 20 ounce Coke?
Surely you must know that Auto Train serves just two cities. So Richmond, Rocky Mount, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Lakeland and Tampa don't need Amtrak service? In case you haven't been here, Tampa is the second largest market in a state of 19.8 million so I would hardly call us an orphan.
I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but I grow weary of the rapidity of which some folks dismiss Florida as a second-rate land roughly equivalent to Guam.

Danny Harmon
Tampa

NewRiverGeorge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The City of New Orleans lost its diner years ago
> in the "cross-country cafe" fiasco. 
> Attempted on the Texas Eagle but rejected by the
> stakeholders on that route.
> "Dinerless" was tried for a while on the Capitol
> Limited as well.
> Where there is only one train on a given overnight
> route, a well run diner is expected.
>
> But in Florida, probably not needed.
> The Silver Service competes with the Auto Train.
> Forget Union Station, take a uber to Lorton. 
> In Florida there will be additional rail
> competition in a year or two, at least south of
> Orlando.
> So really no need for the Silver Service trains at
> all except possibly for the orphan Tampa market,
> and Amtrak management understands that.



Date: 01/26/16 11:26
Re: No diners
Author: CPR_4000

NewRiverGeorge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Forget Union Station, take a uber to Lorton. 

Can you ride the Auto Train without bringing a vehicle?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/16 11:27 by CPR_4000.



Date: 01/26/16 11:46
Re: No diners
Author: prr60

CPR_4000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NewRiverGeorge Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > Forget Union Station, take a uber to Lorton. 
>
> Can you ride the Auto Train without bringing a
> vehicle?

No.



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