Home Open Account Help 219 users online

Passenger Trains > Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM


Date: 07/31/20 15:14
Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: co614

Overall a nice trip. Left Chicago on the dot , arrived Lamy about 20" late. Left Chicago with 1st. sleeper having 1 bedroom (ours) and 4 roomettes occupied, 2nd. sleeper had 3 bedrooms and 3 roomettes occupied. 3 coaches out of Chicago had about 95 with most of them detraining at KC and LaJunta. West of La Junta coaches downn to less than 30.  

   Food service a tiny bit better than nothing. One woman assigned to the dining car to do everything. Prep the car, heat up the dishes requiring heating, go through the sleepers and take reservations and menu selections, serve the food, clean up after meal time. One person !!!! Barbara worked hard to make it all happen and thanks to a very sparce number of 1st. class guests she did the best she could.

  Food all pre-packaged, nuked on board. Tiny salad ( 99% iceberg lettuce, size of a pack of cigarettes) stale roll w/i tiny butter patty, salad dressing italian or italian, ultra cheap plastic utensils and 1 tiny paper napkin. I tried 3 of the entrees, all 3 were dry, loaded with sodium and essentially tasteless. The breakfast sandwich ( w/ lots of ketchup) and the coffee were the highlights of the dining car. 

   The whole " enhanced dining" thing is a total disaster. I'm so grsteful the Graham Claytor has passed away as he would be so depressed if he ever saw this travesty. 

   Anyhow, I did not come for the food and the ride was great !!!!

   Looking forward to exploring Sante Fe for the 1st. time.   I'll report on my trip home next week on #4 and # 48.

    Ross Rowland



Date: 07/31/20 16:02
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Passfanatic

Sounds like a good trip on 3 overall. I have yet to eat Amtrak's new long distance train food but I have heard mixed reviews. Sorry to hear that it didn't satisfy you.

Enjoy Santa Fe. It's one of the nicest cities in New Mexico. Lots of great shops and restaurants. On the rail side, if you can take a ride on Railrunner Express, do it. It's a very scenic operation as you are running in a valley surrounded by mountains.



Date: 07/31/20 16:51
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: CP8888

Unfortunately Railrunner Express is suspended. They are hoping the governor will permit a restart.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/31/20 17:53
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: PHall

CP8888 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Unfortunately Railrunner Express is suspended.
> They are hoping the governor will permit a
> restart.
>
> Posted from Android

Are the state workers still working from home or are they going in now?
Because state workers seem to be the biggest group who use the trains.



Date: 07/31/20 18:15
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: rkennedy2

Thank you for the report.  It's good information.



Date: 07/31/20 18:20
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: CP8888

Not a NM resident
Do not know the status of state employees.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/31/20 19:20
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Cumbresfan

Be aware that arriving in New Mexico from out of state you are required by order of the governor to self quarantine in your hotel for 14 days unless you are on "essential business," have a medical reason to leave or are just staying overnight (like on I-40 enroute to CA). One report has hotels required to report to the state health department visitors from out of state who are staying more than one night, and you may have a visit from the state police telling you to stay in your room or leave forthwith . 

Attached is a link to the draconian order:

https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Executive-Order-2020-054-2.pdf



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/20 19:24 by Cumbresfan.



Date: 07/31/20 19:23
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Cumbresfan

CP8888 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not a NM resident
> Do not know the status of state employees.
>
> Posted from Android

State employees at the NM Environment Department I have been dealing with are working from home until the end of July. I haven't heard of the restrictions for August.



Date: 07/31/20 19:34
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Cumbresfan

Passfanatic Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds like a good trip on 3 overall. I have yet
> to eat Amtrak's new long distance train food but I
> have heard mixed reviews. Sorry to hear that it
> didn't satisfy you.
>
> Enjoy Santa Fe. It's one of the nicest cities in
> New Mexico. Lots of great shops and restaurants.
> On the rail side, if you can take a ride on
> Railrunner Express, do it. It's a very scenic
> operation as you are running in a valley
> surrounded by mountains.

Santa Fe and the entire state are locked down for indoor dining though outdoor patio dining is allowed. State police have been citing violators (today another in Hobbs) and the NM Enviroment Department has been yanking health permits. Yesterday the governor said the restrictions will be effect (along with self quarantine orders) until the end of August. It's sort of like East Germany as the wall went up - more restrictions on freedom and more orders that bring you into court for violating.



Date: 07/31/20 20:07
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: jp1822

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Overall a nice trip. Left Chicago on the dot ,
> arrived Lamy about 20" late. Left Chicago with
> 1st. sleeper having 1 bedroom (ours) and 4
> roomettes occupied, 2nd. sleeper had 3 bedrooms
> and 3 roomettes occupied. 3 coaches out of Chicago
> had about 95 with most of them detraining at KC
> and LaJunta. West of La Junta coaches down to
> less than 30.  
>
>    Food service a tiny bit better than nothing.
> One woman assigned to the dining car to do
> everything. Prep the car, heat up the dishes
> requiring heating, go through the sleepers and
> take reservations and menu selections, serve the
> food, clean up after meal time. One person !!!!
> Barbara worked hard to make it all happen and
> thanks to a very sparse number of 1st. class
> guests she did the best she could.
>
>   Food all pre-packaged, nuked on board. Tiny
> salad ( 99% iceberg lettuce, size of a pack of
> cigarettes) stale roll w/i tiny butter patty,
> salad dressing italian or italian, ultra cheap
> plastic utensils and 1 tiny paper napkin. I tried
> 3 of the entrees, all 3 were dry, loaded with
> sodium and essentially tasteless. The breakfast
> sandwich ( w/ lots of ketchup) and the coffee were
> the highlights of the dining car. 
>
>    The whole " enhanced dining" thing is a total
> disaster. I'm so grsteful the Graham Claytor has
> passed away as he would be so depressed if he ever
> saw this travesty. 
>
>    Anyhow, I did not come for the food and the
> ride was great !!!!
>
>    Looking forward to exploring Sante Fe for the
> 1st. time.   I'll report on my trip home next
> week on #4 and # 48.
>
>     Ross Rowland

So were you able to EAT in the DINING CAR or did you have to take food back to your room? Was it social distancing in the dining car. I received a notice for an upcoming trip and they basically said the dining car is for picking up and prepping food, meals to be eaten in your sleeper compartment. But I am not sure if that's what you just described. And the notice I received basically says "this has been current practice" since the beginning of COVID-19. 

Were you able to sit and eat in the Viewliner Diner (aka Sleeper Lounge)?  Did they kick you out after you ate your meal? Before COVID-19,  I would have my meal in the Sleeper Lounge, bring computer with me, and just do work for the evening (westbound out of NYP to Chicago), and then same thing in the morning when eating breakfast before arriving in Chicago. 

Is there any food facilities open in Chicago Union Station? The sandwich shop I used to visit is saying "temporarily closed." Was a bit disappointed in that, as I figure I would have lunch there during the layover at Chicago Union Station, and then have them make a sandwich for me to have for dinner.......

Before COVID-19, I thought the food was centralized and stocked out of NYP for the "eastern long distance single level trains." Can't imagine they would stock food at multiple locations, but then again, the Capitol Limited had the "flex dining plan" so maybe they stocked out of Chicago and NYP? Only the Silver Meteor (prior to COVID-19) and Crescent would have to leave NYP and then have to make a trip back with same food onboard. Now the Western Long Hauls Superliner trains could be supplied out of Chicago as well......Hence the staleness if food is leftover and "left" in the commissary. Would Amtrak really have these same food selections supplied out of LA, Emeryville, and Seattle. However, the Sunset and Coast Starlight would need to be stocked out of LA, minimum. Just curious as to how Amtrak may be working their commissaries with the flex dining. 

I guess the other option is that you go to the Cafe Car (Superliner Sightseer Lounge or Amfleet Diner Lite) to get food (like the coach passengers). Based on Ross' trip there's definitely a reduction in number of people onboard. Predictions are that it won't be till 2024 that airline reservations may return to some level of normalcy pre-COVID. Are most going to be locked in and not taking vacations till then? This will be getting very interesting at best! 



Date: 07/31/20 20:36
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: ProAmtrak

Cumbresfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Be aware that arriving in New Mexico from out of
> state you are required by order of the governor to
> self quarantine in your hotel for 14 days unless
> you are on "essential business," have a medical
> reason to leave or are just staying overnight
> (like on I-40 enroute to CA). One report has
> hotels required to report to the state health
> department visitors from out of state who are
> staying more than one night, and you may have a
> visit from the state police telling you to stay in
> your room or leave forthwith . 
>
> Attached is a link to the draconian order:
>
> https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07
> /Executive-Order-2020-054-2.pdf

That is probably the most stupidest rule I ever heard, that makes a vacation where its enforced a waste of time!



Date: 07/31/20 20:48
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: 41bridge

<<<
Is there any food facilities open in Chicago Union Station?>>>

FWIW: McDonald’s was open in the food court when I was there on 6/23/20.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/20 20:57 by 41bridge.



Date: 07/31/20 20:58
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: PHall

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cumbresfan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Be aware that arriving in New Mexico from out
> of
> > state you are required by order of the governor
> to
> > self quarantine in your hotel for 14 days
> unless
> > you are on "essential business," have a medical
> > reason to leave or are just staying overnight
> > (like on I-40 enroute to CA). One report has
> > hotels required to report to the state health
> > department visitors from out of state who are
> > staying more than one night, and you may have a
> > visit from the state police telling you to stay
> in
> > your room or leave forthwith . 
> >
> > Attached is a link to the draconian order:
> >
> >
> https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07
>
> > /Executive-Order-2020-054-2.pdf
>
> That is probably the most stupidest rule I ever
> heard, that makes a vacation where its enforced a
> waste of time!

Which is why it's smart to check before you leave on the trip.
It's not like they've been keeping this a secret.



Date: 08/01/20 06:10
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Cumbresfan

ProAmtrak, 
The Cumbres & Toltec is shut down in New Mexico but not in Colorado where you leave from Antonito which is 4.8 miles north of the New Mexico state line. The train travels to the Osier lunch stop, turns and returns to Antonito. However, if you travel to Antonito from NM to take the train, you are required to self-quarantine 14 days when you return. The Friends had scheduled a moonlight trip from Antonito for last night (Friday) but canceled it because those traveling from NM would be subject to self-quarantine. My boss got wind (overheard office talk) that I was going and told me that if I did I would be banned from work for 14 days except for what ever work I could do from home. I told him the trip was off anyway.



Date: 08/01/20 06:17
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: co614

I'm in NM on " essential business" so exempt from the 14 day order.  Yes, I took my meals in the dining car and it was set up to practice social distancing. With so few in sleepers it was never crowded. Yes, folks are allowed to sit in Sightseer Lounge with or without food. Mask rules are strictly enforced and sadly the whole mask message is repeated every time new riders get on down line.

   For the homeward trip we intend to pack a variety of deli sandwiches ( made with no condiments, we'll pack lots of the little condiment packets to add at time of consumption) so as to negate consuming that awful Amtrak selection. 

   More soon. Ross Rowland   



Date: 08/01/20 08:00
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: Cumbresfan

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm in NM on " essential business" so exempt from
> the 14 day order.  Yes, I took my meals in the
> dining car and it was set up to practice social
> distancing. With so few in sleepers it was never
> crowded. Yes, folks are allowed to sit in
> Sightseer Lounge with or without food. Mask rules
> are strictly enforced and sadly the whole mask
> message is repeated every time new riders get on
> down line.
>
>    For the homeward trip we intend to pack a
> variety of deli sandwiches ( made with no
> condiments, we'll pack lots of the little
> condiment packets to add at time of consumption)
> so as to negate consuming that awful Amtrak
> selection. 
>
>    More soon. Ross Rowland   

In case anyone is curious as to what an essential business is, it's about anything except a vacation! See the lengthy list here:

https://cv.nmhealth.org/stay-at-home-essential-businesses/ 



Date: 08/02/20 07:01
Re: Trip Report # 3 Chicago- Lamy, NM
Author: NYC4096

41bridge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> <<<
> Is there any food facilities open in Chicago Union
> Station?>>>
>
> FWIW: McDonald’s was open in the food court when
> I was there on 6/23/20.
>
> Posted from iPhone

At a minimum, open food service at CUS as of 7/15/20 is on the mezzanine:
McDonald's
Dunkin
Nuts on Clark
Chick Fil A
Robinson's Ribs
The Junction  -  Chicago



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1103 seconds