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Passenger Trains > NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?


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Date: 09/06/19 15:56
NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: GenePoon

NARP/RPA Survey:
What do you want from Amtrak food service?

https://forms.gle/dcy2oap6ZudxbJZS6

Submit by 30 Sep 2019



Date: 09/06/19 16:16
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ProAmtrak

I posted mines, can't wait to see Another_View's comment if he posts!



Date: 09/06/19 17:05
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: Lackawanna484

It is a decent survey.

I don't expect a white table cloth meal like those described by Lucius Beebe. That's not the way I live.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/06/19 20:47
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: SP4360

Don't forget andersonb109 either. He's stuck in mid-century european.

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I posted mines, can't wait to see Another_View's
> comment if he posts!



Date: 09/06/19 21:15
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ProAmtrak

True, I for one do miss the dining pre 2005, but the way Anderson is claiming they're gonna break even, I'd rather see Amtrak break even with full service on all LD Trains, not like this crap!



Date: 09/06/19 23:34
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ATSF3751

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> True, I for one do miss the dining pre 2005, but
> the way Anderson is claiming they're gonna break
> even, I'd rather see Amtrak break even with full
> service on all LD Trains, not like this crap!

i don’t know, but it seems some fans would rather have no trains if full dining service was not offered. I guess some feel that using tax dollars to provide transportation should also include a 1950’s fine dining experience for the ’buffs.

Some of may have forgotten that Amtrak’s charter is to provide transportation with requirements for basic food services on runs that exceed a set number of hours. No mention of hot food, white linen or even haute cuisine.

Based on history, it would seem that breaking even is a heavy lift even without full service. If providing full service was a winning plan, then I doubt if Anderson or anyone at Amtrak would try to remove it. Still, I do believe that the current services should be extended to coach passengers 



Date: 09/07/19 03:42
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: joemvcnj

ATSF3751 Wrote:

> i don’t know, but it seems some fans would
> rather have no trains if full dining service was
> not offered. I guess some feel that using tax
> dollars to provide transportation should also
> include a 1950’s fine dining experience for the
> ’buffs.

$1.5 Million allegedly saved on each of the two trains done thus far is insufficient to save them and ignores the potential ticket revenue loss from doing it. There is nothing 1950's about not wanting to eat boxed meals that would embarrass Starbucks or nuked junk food in the cafe car. 

> Some of may have forgotten that Amtrak’s charter
> is to provide transportation with requirements for
> basic food services on runs that exceed a set
> number of hours. No mention of hot food, white
> linen or even haute cuisine.

Amtrak's charter with diners and sleepers has worked just fine for 48 years. 

 



Date: 09/07/19 05:25
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ATSF3751

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ATSF3751 Wrote:
>
> > i don’t know, but it seems some fans would
> > rather have no trains if full dining service
> was
> > not offered. I guess some feel that using tax
> > dollars to provide transportation should also
> > include a 1950’s fine dining experience for
> the
> > ’buffs.
>
> $1.5 Million allegedly saved on each of the two
> trains done thus far is insufficient to save them
> and ignores the potential ticket revenue loss from
> doing it. There is nothing 1950's about not
> wanting to eat boxed meals that would embarrass
> Starbucks or nuked junk food in the cafe car. 
>
if that formula had worked so well, the railroads would still be in the passenger business 
> > Some of may have forgotten that Amtrak’s
> charter
> > is to provide transportation with requirements
> for
> > basic food services on runs that exceed a set
> > number of hours. No mention of hot food, white
> > linen or even haute cuisine.
>
> Amtrak's charter with diners and sleepers has
> worked just fine for 48 years. 
>

no such charter for food service that required dining cars. Anyway, those services have failed to attract enough patronage to cover costs,even with full dining. Only in the world of make believe did that type of food service justify it’s costs
>  



Date: 09/07/19 07:25
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: joemvcnj

You are not going to get 100% farebox on any train, except maybe Acela, be it LD, corridor, commuter or rapid transit, and the private sector will have nothing to do with any of them without a subsidy. The LD train stack up pretty well financially against all of them. This petty fettish with dining cars serves no purpose.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/07/19 07:49
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: PRSL-recall

The question seems to revolve around whether to attract passengers or repel them. I have no doubt that many, but not all easterners are far more concerned about just getting there rather than on-board amenities. However, isn't it interesting that there at least seems to be the extra mile covered when it comes to what is available on Acela. It's all a matter of Amtrak priorities as to what gets preference with seemingly little regard for what Congressional mandates have stated.. The tail is trying to wag the dog and it remains to be seen just how long this attempt will last. Amtrak is not a public stockholder entity and was never set up with that in mind. So much for profitability. What about Gateway? How long does one think the NE Corridor will show profitability, let alone Portal Bridge, Baltimore tunnels etc. What about  corridor track maintenance?  So why is there so much fuss about providing long-distance passengers with decent food offerings as if its some big taxpayer burden? The VIA OCEAN's style would work fine as has been ably described by jp1822 and others. Joemvcnj's statement is very well taken. How much passenger loss has there been and is it really such a cost-saver when amenities are attacked. I also wonder if food critics are really long-distance travellers themselves on Amtrak or if the issue is more about what to do with those that are, what box they happen to belong in and what they are supposed to be satisfied with since those preferences don't happen to align with their own views. And, isn't it interesting that Amtrak is not releasing certain reports as they would no doubt work against them and their agenda. 

Anytime I get west of Chicago I see far more attention given to sit-down meals. Every time I travel the diner is very noticeably used, appreciated and lots of friendly conversation.  In fact sometimes diners need to be asked to leave so others can be seated. Many are on more than 24 hours and want decent food service and to converse while doing so. Those who don't appreciate these things can visit the cafe. So why are not at least 2 types of service offered? One of them.being "Contemporary" is just not acceptable by those going long-distances. Shorter distances are better taken in coach and the cafe compared to what is being distributed as "contemporary". 



Date: 09/07/19 08:23
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: jst3751

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You are not going to get 100% farebox on any
> train, except maybe Acela, be it LD, corridor,
> commuter or rapid transit, and the private sector
> will have nothing to do with any of them without
> a subsidy. The LD train stack up pretty well
> financially against all of them. This petty
> fettish with dining cars serves no purpose.

What you are failing to acknowledge is that I nor the overwhelming majority of people do not want our tax dollars to go to subsidizing sleeping cars or dining cars. Those are not part of basic transportation. 



Date: 09/07/19 08:30
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: Lackawanna484

jst3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
SNIP
>
> What you are failing to acknowledge is that I nor
> the overwhelming majority of people do not want
> our tax dollars to go to subsidizing sleeping cars
> or dining cars. Those are not part of basic
> transportation. 

That is the essence of the whole argument. And likely the foundation of Richard Anderson's charge from Secretary Chao, President Trump, etc.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/07/19 09:15
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: abyler

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You are not going to get 100% farebox on any
> train, except maybe Acela, be it LD, corridor,

Why not?  If you are saying a passenger train inherently cannot cover its operating costs, no matter what, then you are saying they are functionally obsolete.  If passenger trains have value they should be able to capture that value in revenue by charging cost appropriate fares.

> commuter or rapid transit, and the private sector
> will have nothing to do with any of them without
> a subsidy. The LD train stack up pretty well
> financially against all of them. This petty
> fettish with dining cars serves no purpose.

A business cannot survive losing money forever.



Date: 09/07/19 09:20
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: joemvcnj

jst3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > You are not going to get 100% farebox on any
> > train, except maybe Acela, be it LD, corridor,
> > commuter or rapid transit, and the private
> sector
> > will have nothing to do with any of them
> without
> > a subsidy. The LD train stack up pretty well
> > financially against all of them. This petty
> > fettish with dining cars serves no purpose.
>
> What you are failing to acknowledge is that I nor
> the overwhelming majority of people do not want
> our tax dollars to go to subsidizing sleeping cars
> or dining cars. Those are not part of basic
> transportation. 

The farebox recovery is better with sleepers than without. The 3 Superliner trains Anderson has claimed are safe have 3 or more sleepers as does Autotrain. Picking apart individual cars of a train makes no sense. The entire train is what is evaluated.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/07/19 09:20
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: Lackawanna484

A (private) business cannot survive losing money forever.

Government businesses are different.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/07/19 10:13
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: jst3751

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The farebox recovery is better with sleepers than
> without.

So what, it is still a tax payer subsidy.

> Picking apart individual cars of a
> train makes no sense. The entire train is what is
> evaluated.

Wrong. The individual train is a publicly supported and subsidized product that in its current state (long distance trains) are providing different services and amenities. As such, each different service and amenities must be reviewed as to whether or not it is needed by the general public and can it be done in a reasonable cost effective way.
 



Date: 09/07/19 10:18
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: jst3751

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why not?  If you are saying a passenger train
> inherently cannot cover its operating costs, no
> matter what, then you are saying they are
> functionally obsolete.  If passenger trains have
> value they should be able to capture that value in
> revenue by charging cost appropriate fares.

So, by your argument, the fire department responding to your house burning should be required to bill you for the entire cost of the response.
And all those metro bus lines should be charging fares to cover 100% of the costs of providing the bus with no tax payer funding.
And everyone should have to pay full tuition for every child for 12+ years of schooling.



Date: 09/07/19 12:10
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ATSF3751

jst3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> abyler Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Why not?  If you are saying a passenger train
> > inherently cannot cover its operating costs, no
> > matter what, then you are saying they are
> > functionally obsolete.  If passenger trains
> have
> > value they should be able to capture that value
> in
> > revenue by charging cost appropriate fares.
>
> So, by your argument, the fire department
> responding to your house burning should be
> required to bill you for the entire cost of the
> response.

Well, not exactly. Amtrak’s original charter tasked it with pursuing profitability. A fire departments task is to...essentially...protect life and property. Your argument is not founded in logic when you compare two entities with entirely different goals.
change Amtrak’s charter to something like “providing for the common good” and a comparison might be valid.

> And all those metro bus lines should be charging
> fares to cover 100% of the costs of providing the
> bus with no tax payer funding.

i believe public transit does provide for a greater good.

> And everyone should have to pay full tuition for
> every child for 12+ years of schooling.

another false comparison 



Date: 09/07/19 15:42
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: joemvcnj

abyler Wrote:

> Why not?  If you are saying a passenger train
> inherently cannot cover its operating costs, no
> matter what, then you are saying they are
> functionally obsolete.  If passenger trains have
> value they should be able to capture that value in
> revenue by charging cost appropriate fares.
>
> A business cannot survive losing money forever.

I am telling you what has been an indisputable fact of life in the US  (and Canada) for the last 60 years, and that has nothing at all to do with being "functionally obsolete". If you want to jack up fares on MTA and NJT by 120% to achieve a magical 100% farebox recovery, go right ahead. You will not have much of a system left. There is little if anything in transportation and education that recovers 100% of cost through direct users. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/19 15:52 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/07/19 15:47
Re: NARP/RPA Survey: What do you want from Amtrak food service?
Author: ProAmtrak

jst3751 Wrote:

> What you are failing to acknowledge is that I nor
> the overwhelming majority of people do not want
> our tax dollars to go to subsidizing sleeping cars
> or dining cars. Those are not part of basic
> transportation. 

So just like Another_View you like just seeing Amtrak like Greyhound on Rails, trains taking forever because there will have to b meal stops, etc. Sorry but your claim doesn't hold water, and our tax payer dollars are wasted on a lot more worse things than this!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/19 15:52 by ProAmtrak.



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