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Passenger Trains > Sunset Losing Diner ?


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Date: 05/13/19 06:30
Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: SanDiegan

Heard a crew rumor that after all the flak Anderson has taken over the Southwest Chief, his next target is Train 1/2, The Sunset Limited. Supposedly, he wants to remove the diner and implement “Contemporary Dining” (Boxed Dinners) on the train. This train has been a frequent target, so Sunset advocates should be getting ready for a fight !

Posted from iPhone



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 06:32 by SanDiegan.



Date: 05/13/19 07:17
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: joemvcnj

The Sunset is an easier target, and with a far poorer farexbox recovery than the Chief to start with. 
However weakened the Sunset's market gets by this, the Eagle goes with it.  



Date: 05/13/19 07:24
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: Flyer92122

It should be obvious now Anderson is a danger to all of Amtrak including corridors but especially the network trains. He has no clue how to foster ridership and increase revenue so he’s doing the exact opposite. I see too many traits of a hard headed, dishonest ideologue in him. We can only hope Congress can partially mitigate the damage from him and the Administration. In 2020 we will see where the chips lay and go from there. Keep the calls and emails coming in!!



Date: 05/13/19 07:47
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: andersonb109

For a four hour flight from NO to LA that type of garbage food might be acceptable.You can go without eating for 5 hours. But on two day two night trip it is totally NOT acceptabe. There is nothing on the "contemporary" menu that I would eat. Therefore that train would no longer be an option. It might be OK on the Capitol. Dinner at the station before departure. Then doughnuts brought on for breakfast before arrival. But what about the dining experience. I always welcome the hour or so spent in the dining car on  a long distance train journey. Sometimes a positive experience. Sometimes not. But always an adventure. 



Date: 05/13/19 08:06
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: Duna

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For a four hour flight from NO to LA that type of
> garbage food might be acceptable.You can go
> without eating for 5 hours. But on two day two
> night trip it is totally NOT acceptabe. There is
> nothing on the "contemporary" menu that I would
> eat. Therefore that train would no longer be an
> option. It might be OK on the Capitol. Dinner at
> the station before departure. Then doughnuts
> brought on for breakfast before arrival. But what
> about the dining experience. I always welcome the
> hour or so spent in the dining car on  a long
> distance train journey. Sometimes a positive
> experience. Sometimes not. But always an
> adventure. 



For most non-foamers on most trips, transportation should not be an adventure. Most people just want reliable, safe, inexpensive, clean transporation.

For short trips, the auto comes closest to the ideal. For longer trips, aircraft.



Date: 05/13/19 08:52
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: ghCBNS

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For a four hour flight from NO to LA that type of
> garbage food might be acceptable.You can go
> without eating for 5 hours. But on two day two
> night trip it is totally NOT acceptabe.

The Sunset passes through cities with an airport caterer so why not cater the train that day or the evening before as it passes thru a major city and serve a meal such as this breakfast provided by 'Gate Gourmet' on VIA's Ocean. The meal was put aboard the day before in Halifax and reheated in a Convection Oven (not a microwave)...and the ham and cheese quiche very good!

There is no kitchen or chef on board.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 09:07 by ghCBNS.






Date: 05/13/19 08:58
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: WP17

ghCBNS Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> The Sunset passes through cities with an airport
> caterer so why not cater the train that day or the
> evening before as it passes thru a major or city
> and serve a meal such as this breakfast provided
> by 'Gate Gourmet' on VIA's Ocean. The meal was put
> aboard the day before in Halifax and reheated in a
> Convection Oven (not a microwave)...and very good!

And Amtrak could easily do that for the Lakeshore and Capitol Ltd in New York, Washington, and Chicago if they wanted to -- the Acelas are provisioned in NY and DC -- BUT THEY WON"T  (upper case intentional)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 08:58 by WP17.



Date: 05/13/19 09:03
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: joemvcnj

Looks fine to me, and there is Havre Box car lunches, far better quality food for the money than the crap in the cafe car. 

Yet the concept does not spread. Can they not find a caterer in all the good eatieries in Denver Union Station ? (I realize that part of America's flyover country is an edible food desert). You can't charge $1K for a sleeper, say meals are included, then have that meal be on the order of a Starbucks protein box  The presentation is awful, it's inadequate, and there is no reason to lock out coach passengers. That's why I think this is Anderson's ploy to kill the business. 

In Canada, they really do like peanut butter as a condiment, don't they ? I have also seen packets of white vinegar.  



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 09:12 by joemvcnj.



Date: 05/13/19 09:06
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: Flyer92122

Anderson hasn’t done one thing postive for Amtrak customer service on the network trains. A catering service might very well provide better food at a lower costs like The Ocean. He’s had the opportunity and he hasn’t on the Capital/Lake Shore. That’s not his agenda. 



Date: 05/13/19 09:13
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: ghCBNS

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In Canada, they really do like peanut butter as a
> condiment, don't they ?

I just couldn't start the day without peanut butter on my toast!!



Date: 05/13/19 09:16
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: joemvcnj

I don't know if that would be PC here. There is so much concern for peanut allergies. I never heard of it when I was a kid in the 1960's when it was staple, but is a major concern now. Must be a contaminant in the peanuts. 

In any case, Amtrak can not and will not think out of the box, pun intended. 



Date: 05/13/19 09:38
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: engineerinvirginia

ghCBNS Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In Canada, they really do like peanut butter as
> a
> > condiment, don't they ?
>
> I just couldn't start the day without peanut
> butter on my toast!!

It would work for breakfast I suppose....but I eat most of my PB for lunch! Brunch perhaps....



Date: 05/13/19 09:43
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: Lackawanna484

Places like Applebee's, Cracker Barrel, etc are often located at highway interchanges. That seems to be what people on long haul auto trips eat.  Along with breakfast offerings from most of the fast food places like McDonald's, Burger King, Chik-Fil-A (except Sundays), Dunkin Donuts, and so on.



Date: 05/13/19 09:48
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: SunsetLtd

TEMPO can step in as well in this case, as 421/422 encompass everything west of San Antonio. The last 2 trips I've had both sides of the Diner were used and they were running out of dinner options on just the first night.  The train is nearly packed to the brim west of San Antonio despite rather poor OTP over the last year. I still wish they would rebalance the "slack" in the schedule to improve their all stations OTP. For one, the route #2 takes from Houston to Beaumont costs them 30 mins no matter what because the top speed on the old MoPac is 60 for passenger trains. The old SP via Dayton is 75 (directional routing is used between Beaumont and Houston, #1 takes the old SP, #2 takes the old MoPac). And to get onto the old MoPac line requires a backup move across Tower 26, and then 3-4 miles of 10mph running through Belt Jct and the Houston West Belt. Also a different routing should take place in West Bridge, LA (west side of the Huey P. Long). The route the Sunset takes is through yard tracks that are shared amongst the UP, all the way to Live Oak where Yard Limits end and the train can get up to speed. Rerouting onto the UP Avondale Sub (the bypass route that's ABS and has since been downgraded) would bypass all the yard trackage and is naturally the old SP route. As BNSF and UP share trackage rights on the old SP route, they declared this bypass as redundant and have since downgraded it. This could speed up the trip by about 20-25 mins as the old speed was good for 40 instead of weaving through 10mph yard tracks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 09:49 by SunsetLtd.



Date: 05/13/19 10:41
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: CPR_4000

ghCBNS Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> ... why not cater the train that day or the
> evening before as it passes thru a major city and
> serve a meal such as this breakfast provided by
> 'Gate Gourmet' on VIA's Ocean.

IIRC "Gate Gourmet" handled Amtrak's food a decade or so ago.



Date: 05/13/19 10:58
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: PHall

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know if that would be PC here. There is so
> much concern for peanut allergies. I never heard
> of it when I was a kid in the 1960's when it was
> staple, but is a major concern now. Must be a
> contaminant in the peanuts. 
>
> In any case, Amtrak can not and will not think out
> of the box, pun intended. 

That's the reason Southwest Airlines stopped serving peanuts. They had a couple of passengers who had some bad reactions to the peanuts.
Not a good thing to have happen at 35,000 feet.



Date: 05/13/19 12:02
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: prr60

Take on board staff rumors with a grain of salt. Here's an oldie but goodie from last year that turned out to be false.

  Contemporary Dining coming to the Texas Eagle 

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/19 12:03 by prr60.



Date: 05/13/19 13:53
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: PRSL-recall

Yes there is that chance the rumour is false. Should it be true however I think it will be an acid test for NARP. If they don't take meaningful action at that point it will provide enough evidence for many individual members to make a decision and further will provide a loud message for other advocacy groups and publications.



Date: 05/13/19 14:23
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: joemvcnj

They could have the CofNOL or Capitol Ltd or Cardinal go low-level with the Viewliners laying around, and reconfigure Horizon coaches for LD. They can also in exchange make the Cardinal Superliner. 



Date: 05/13/19 16:11
Re: Sunset Losing Diner ?
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Is there still a full baggage car on the SUNSET?  I heard a report that they got rid of it and were using a Superliner Coach Baggage car for everything.  



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