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Date: 01/09/19 13:12
A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: Lackawanna484

Perhaps some trains would be better off with a pickup en route system.  People use their phone apps to place orders, the conductor opens a delivery locker at an enroute station where the vendors have placed individual, labeled bags of food.

Amazon has a "locker" system for remote pickups, similar to this. They deliver to lockers, your app opens your locker.

Amtrak's technology people could surely customize the locker for use in dinner, breakfast etc stops.  People use their phone app to order dinner from a select group of merchants in Podunk while we're still 50 miles away.  The restaurant delivers its orders to Podunk station locker's slot 1, Papa John's delivers its orders to slot 2, etc.  The conductor uses her app to open the other side of the locker and remove the 50 individual bags of (prepaid) food.

It's not rocket science.  Door Dash, Chow Cab, etc all use variations on this



Date: 01/09/19 13:21
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: andersonb109

So the train gets delayed way before Podunk and then what happens to the orders?  Amtrak dining service is just fine on the many long distance trains....Star, Cardinal, Late Shore and Cap. excluded. How much does that cost to maintian. The goverenment just spent way more than that on God knows what in the time it took to write this response!



Date: 01/09/19 13:38
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: amtrakbill

Very creative idea!  Don't let the haters hate 



Date: 01/09/19 14:15
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: Flyer92122

Too many variables. The western trains as they are getting pretty efficient. Both the SSL and Eagle over the holidays only had an LSA and server. On top of that the Eagle only had one cook downstairs. My sleeper attendant was serving tables but not taking the actual orders. I’ve seen only 2 upstairs on the SWC as well multiple times in 2018. Apparently this is the new normal.




 



Date: 01/09/19 15:03
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: PHall

Why do I see lawyers getting rich off the Food Poisoning lawsuits?
Unless your "Food Lockers" can keep the foods at the correct tempature, i.e. Hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
You're just begging for a major public heath problem.



Date: 01/09/19 15:08
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: cchan006

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's not rocket science.  Door Dash, Chow Cab,
> etc all use variations on this

Just another case of blind addiction to apps.

Door Dash, Uber Eats and other food pickup services cause pain to restaurant managers. Often times, the bombardment of pick up orders congest the kitchen, and deciding on who to prioritize (app eaters or restaurant patrons physically there) can cause huge delays. I've seen this happen multiple times already. App user whiners will resort to social media to give "bad reviews" to the restaurant for slow orders.

They are the new bullies. Maybe the restaurant owners should rewrite the "apps" so people will have "distributed meal times" to offload congestion? (yes, I'm mocking the scalability of the apps)

I'm somewhat off topic regarding Amtrak, but nothing beats having the meals already onboard the train, with accompanying facilities (ovens, kitchen, personnel) to serve the food.



Date: 01/09/19 15:28
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: joemvcnj

This works for picking up a pizza or Chinese at your commuter train destination some evening, but not in this application.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/19 17:01 by joemvcnj.



Date: 01/09/19 16:25
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: RevRandy

Bring back Union News and their on-train butchers (no, not the meat cutting kind) selling freshly made food stuffs (made in the kitchens of the larger stations) as well as magazines, coffee, candies, and newspapers.   

That, of course, is whimsy.  In those olden days (my experience on the NYCRR), dining cars were for the well-to-do while the average coach passenger either brought their own food or relied on these merchants who would board at a station during the dwell time (longer because of head end servicing of mail, baggage, and REA), usually only swinging off the train as it had already begun to move out.  By comparison, the average coach passenger (except for locals between Albany and NYP) have more available food now than in the halcyon days of yore.  



Date: 01/09/19 16:32
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: ts1457

RevRandy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Bring back Union News and their on-train butchers
> (no, not the meat cutting kind) selling freshly
> made food stuffs (made in the kitchens of the
> larger stations) as well as magazines, coffee,
> candies, and newspapers.   

The most memorable ham sandwich I ever had was from the news butcher on a Pennsy train between DC and NYC (I won't say the NEC because it wasn't called that back then). Of course it helped to be a hungry kid.



Date: 01/09/19 16:47
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: RuleG

Just put all of the meals in a bag and place the bag in a post next to the tracks.  When the Amtrak train rolls by, one of the crew can extend a metal device to snatch the bag of food.  Hey, it worked for mail up to 50 years ago!  :)



Date: 01/09/19 16:59
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: raytc1944

As David Gunn once said, the class ones will not appreciate an Amtrak train stopping for an excess amount of time.  I believe this is a non-starter,



Date: 01/09/19 17:38
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: 4489

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps some trains would be better off with a
> pickup en route system.  People use their phone
> apps to place orders, the conductor opens a
> delivery locker at an enroute station where the
> vendors have placed individual, labeled bags of
> food.
>
> Amazon has a "locker" system for remote pickups,
> similar to this. They deliver to lockers, your app
> opens your locker.
>
> Amtrak's technology people could surely customize
> the locker for use in dinner, breakfast etc
> stops.  People use their phone app to order
> dinner from a select group of merchants in Podunk
> while we're still 50 miles away.  The restaurant
> delivers its orders to Podunk station locker's
> slot 1, Papa John's delivers its orders to slot 2,
> etc.  The conductor uses her app to open the
> other side of the locker and remove the 50
> individual bags of (prepaid) food.
>
> It's not rocket science.  Door Dash, Chow Cab,
> etc all use variations on this

Sorry but re-inventing the wheel is not what is needed here.  You have perfectly good dining cars with kitchens and freezers etc.  Use them as they are supposed to be used,



Date: 01/09/19 17:52
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: gtwtd3

Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car open all day, like a restaurant. Let people order their meals from an app on the train. Eat in or take back to your seat. Give sleeping car passengers a credit to use at the diner. Make all purchases credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas to male the dining car experience a little more appealing to the masses, and perhaps increase profits.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/09/19 18:06
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: PHall

gtwtd3 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car open all
> day, like a restaurant. Let people order their
> meals from an app on the train. Eat in or take
> back to your seat. Give sleeping car passengers a
> credit to use at the diner. Make all purchases
> credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas to male
> the dining car experience a little more appealing
> to the masses, and perhaps increase profits.
>
> Posted from Android

You already have that available on the train. It's called the snack bar in the Lounge Car.



Date: 01/09/19 18:57
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: stash

Build sidings for Amtrak trains to sit on while food is retrieved? Get real.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/09/19 19:34
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: another_view

gtwtd3 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car open all
> day, like a restaurant. Let people order their
> meals from an app on the train. Eat in or take
> back to your seat. Give sleeping car passengers a
> credit to use at the diner. Make all purchases
> credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas to male
> the dining car experience a little more appealing
> to the masses, and perhaps increase profits.
>
> Posted from Android

“Increase Profits” are you serious? the current food service model on LD trains costs almost $2 for every $1 of revenue. Enormous labor expense, outrageous employee benefit rates, inefficient schedules, high mechanical costs, etc. It hasn’t been done in over 100 years (profitable diners) and it can’t be done now, a new model is the only way to move forward, you can have all the diners you want but they will ultimately be the demise of LD trains. Let’s move on and save the trains not the diners!



Date: 01/09/19 19:46
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: mundo

PHall must not have much experience on the use of the present Amtrak Snack Bar.

Just overpriced, tasteless junk food.  That is if you can find them between their breaks or taking inventory two hours before arrival at the end of the run.

The SP Hamburger Grill car did far better.   Hamburgers with or without cheese, Hot turkey sandwiches, Turkey dinners, scrambled  eggs bacon or ham, Chile con Carne with crackers, cottage cheese and Pineapple salad, soup, cereal and cream, pie, mile shake, hot rolls, and ICE CREAM.  At times a Salisbury steak in place of Turkey.

It was just 65 years ahead of today's offerings.  Used staffing of  of 2-3 or 4 depending upon route and the passenger loadings on the train.

As I recall they were open all day, did close down at night, unless it was an overnight train, like the old Starlight or Owl.when it stayed open.

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/19 20:03 by mundo.



Date: 01/09/19 20:16
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: ProAmtrak

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> gtwtd3 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car open
> all
> > day, like a restaurant. Let people order their
> > meals from an app on the train. Eat in or take
> > back to your seat. Give sleeping car passengers
> a
> > credit to use at the diner. Make all purchases
> > credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas to
> male
> > the dining car experience a little more
> appealing
> > to the masses, and perhaps increase profits.
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> “Increase Profits” are you serious? the
> current food service model on LD trains costs
> almost $2 for every $1 of revenue. Enormous labor
> expense, outrageous employee benefit rates,
> inefficient schedules, high mechanical costs, etc.
> It hasn’t been done in over 100 years
> (profitable diners) and it can’t be done now, a
> new model is the only way to move forward, you can
> have all the diners you want but they will
> ultimately be the demise of LD trains. Let’s
> move on and save the trains not the diners!

Eleminating the Diners is part of getting rid of the LD Trains, especially the ones West of Chicago!



Date: 01/09/19 20:42
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: another_view

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> another_view Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > gtwtd3 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car open
> > all
> > > day, like a restaurant. Let people order
> their
> > > meals from an app on the train. Eat in or
> take
> > > back to your seat. Give sleeping car
> passengers
> > a
> > > credit to use at the diner. Make all
> purchases
> > > credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas to
> > male
> > > the dining car experience a little more
> > appealing
> > > to the masses, and perhaps increase profits.
> > >
> > > Posted from Android
> >
> > “Increase Profits” are you serious? the
> > current food service model on LD trains costs
> > almost $2 for every $1 of revenue. Enormous
> labor
> > expense, outrageous employee benefit rates,
> > inefficient schedules, high mechanical costs,
> etc.
> > It hasn’t been done in over 100 years
> > (profitable diners) and it can’t be done now,
> a
> > new model is the only way to move forward, you
> can
> > have all the diners you want but they will
> > ultimately be the demise of LD trains. Let’s
> > move on and save the trains not the diners!
>
> Eleminating the Diners is part of getting rid of
> the LD Trains, especially the ones West of
> Chicago!

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/09/19 20:59
Re: A modest Amtrak meals proposal
Author: another_view

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ProAmtrak Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > another_view Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > gtwtd3 Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > Get rid of the rigid hours. Keep the car
> open
> > > all
> > > > day, like a restaurant. Let people order
> > their
> > > > meals from an app on the train. Eat in or
> > take
> > > > back to your seat. Give sleeping car
> > passengers
> > > a
> > > > credit to use at the diner. Make all
> > purchases
> > > > credit/credit card only. Just a few ideas
> to
> > > male
> > > > the dining car experience a little more
> > > appealing
> > > > to the masses, and perhaps increase
> profits.
> > > >
> > > > Posted from Android
> > >
> > > “Increase Profits” are you serious? the
> > > current food service model on LD trains costs
> > > almost $2 for every $1 of revenue. Enormous
> > labor
> > > expense, outrageous employee benefit rates,
> > > inefficient schedules, high mechanical costs,
> > etc.
> > > It hasn’t been done in over 100 years
> > > (profitable diners) and it can’t be done
> now,
> > a
> > > new model is the only way to move forward,
> you
> > can
> > > have all the diners you want but they will
> > > ultimately be the demise of LD trains.
> Let’s
> > > move on and save the trains not the diners!
> >
> > Eleminating the Diners is part of getting rid
> of
> > the LD Trains, especially the ones West of
> > Chicago!
>
> Posted from iPhone

I disagree, the diners are the largest financial burden on the entire operation. Amtrak must concentrate on finding or developing a viable alternative to dining cars.



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