Home Open Account Help 250 users online

Passenger Trains > Empire Builder Dining Question


Date: 09/15/20 21:43
Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: Amtrak288

Several years ago, on the second day of riding #7, a dinner offering that was sold in the cafe car was available called the "Big Sky Picnic Dinner", it was a 2 piece chicken dinner with a side and Montana BlackBerry Cobbler, I was just curious if some variation of this is still available on #7? 



Date: 09/16/20 02:03
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: jp1822

Nope!



Date: 09/16/20 03:40
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: andersonb109

Only "Enhanced Dining" is available on any LD Amtrak train (not sure about Auto Train). Normal dining on the western trains is suppose to come back after the pandemic is over. But we all know the chances of that are slim and none given the current management. 



Date: 09/16/20 06:25
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: SR2

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Only "Enhanced Dining" is available on any LD
> Amtrak train (not sure about Auto Train). Normal
> dining on the western trains is suppose to come
> back after the pandemic is over. But we all know
> the chances of that are slim and none given the
> current management. 

Yep, Slim to None, and Slim is out of town!
SR2



Date: 09/16/20 10:41
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: BobB

The meal you mention was prepared by a restaurant (I think) in Havre and available for people in coach to purchase the evening after the train left Havre.  It wasn't part of the regular Amtrak dining car service.  I got it once when we were late into Chicago, the diner wasn't serving, and there were some left over.  It wasn't bad.  I haven't heard of it for some years.



Date: 09/16/20 11:07
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: joemvcnj

Havre Box Car chicken meal. It was great. $9. Positive economic impact of Amtrak on Havre. The concept should have been copied all over the country Now, they are gone and forgotten. Why can't they do that with any of the dozen eateries in Denver Union Station ? Because Amtrak doesn't give a s***. 



Date: 09/16/20 14:46
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: PRSL-recall

They sure can give "flowery answers" though to Congress as in last week's hearing, even "thanking" for the questions. I think the only thing that makes them squirm a little more is when real funding is on the line.

Also to Andersonb109 re. Auto Train: My understanding is that there is still real dining service for sleeper passengers, but they are serving in rooms instead of in the diner. My only take-away from this is that they actually have some concern for the Auto Train.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/20 15:11 by PRSL-recall.



Date: 09/16/20 18:08
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: another_view

There is no doubt that it was a nice “boxed dinner” and proved to be popular. It is also a fact that in the end Amtrak lost money on the meal because it cost more to provide than they charged for it onboard!

It seems funny that many on here are saying what a great option it was but condemning the current boxed meals which are much better.

It makes me think that many of the complaints here are from folks that haven’t experienced either options or just want the “romance” of the rails.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/16/20 20:04
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: jp1822

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is no doubt that it was a nice “boxed
> dinner” and proved to be popular. It is also a
> fact that in the end Amtrak lost money on the meal
> because it cost more to provide than they charged
> for it onboard!
>
> It seems funny that many on here are saying what a
> great option it was but condemning the current
> boxed meals which are much better.
>
> It makes me think that many of the complaints here
> are from folks that haven’t experienced either
> options or just want the “romance” of the
> rails.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Have had BOTH BOXED meals. The Chicken Box Meal from Havre was BETTER than either the Portland Sleeper Boxed Meal and the current and former flex Boxed Meals. The Havre meal came with a half of corn on the cob and even after an hour's delivery time on the train it was still very hot. The meal was offered to Amtrak as a profit (sale of $9, Havre cost of $5, Net Profit for Amtrak $4). But of course, by the time you CHARGE ALL the cost accounting "dining car" entries against meals served in the diner, or diner operations, it will come out as a negative. But the product itself was meant to yield a profit, just to be a BIT more transparent.

Amtrak sought a new purveyor out of Portland for the dinner leaving on train 28 at the beginning of last summer - as a cost cutting move - and the boxed meal went from good to HORRIBLE! Was onboard one of the first trains it was offered on, after the switch was done. The sleeper car attendant was apologizing profusely due to the rapid change in quality. 



Date: 09/17/20 00:02
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: joemvcnj

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is no doubt that it was a nice “boxed
> dinner” and proved to be popular. It is also a
> fact that in the end Amtrak lost money on the meal
> because it cost more to provide than they charged
> for it onboard!
>
> It seems funny that many on here are saying what a
> great option it was but condemning the current
> boxed meals which are much better.
>
> It makes me think that many of the complaints here
> are from folks that haven’t experienced either
> options or just want the “romance” of the
> rails.

It is quite clear you and your ilk at Amtrak have no clue on what it costs to provide the Have boxed meal, and stupidly think serving people crap as they currently do has no impact on ticket revenue.

Your crack about "romance of the rails" is condescending, demeaning, and undoubtedly repeated from COO Stephen Gardner's snotty little mouth. 

If the costs of the lounge car were allocated to the cost of the Havre box meals, there is another indicator of Amtrak's corrupt, deceptive APT accounting, and Amtrak should be subjected to a forensic audit to receive any further federal subsidies for its chief money pit - the NEC. THAT is what I will be telling my state's Congressional delegation in my next virtual meeting on the Hill next spring with them. So much for "romance on the rails".  
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/20 03:44 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/17/20 05:47
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: ats90mph

The whole thing is moot at this point, as the supplying restaurant has changed owners, and talks about a "simple menu", probably not interested in being suppliers for Amtrak...

http://www.havredailynews.com/story/2018/05/03/local/new-owners-take-over-at-boxcars-restaurant/518789.html

http://www.havredailynews.com/story/2019/08/01/local/kitchen-cache-chef-anthony-windyboy-co-owner-boxcars-restaurant-and-bar/524810.html

Also, the original owner wasn't all that thrilled with the arrangement either. From a subscription only source...

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2014/07/tardy-empire-builder-challenges-food-vendor



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/20 05:51 by ats90mph.



Date: 09/19/20 19:34
Re: Empire Builder Dining Question
Author: dcfbalcoS1

         And who in the restaurant business would want to associate themselves with Amtrak currently with such trash meals Amtrak 'wants' and then have people from all over find out where the meals came from? Business ruined because of association with a dying Amtrak.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0428 seconds