Amtrak Retiring Its Dining Cars on Long-Distance Trainsby Daine Taylor
Amtrak, the iconic mid- to long-distance train service, has announced it will be changing its dining services, phasing out its traditional dining cars and offering a different experience in its place.
The new experience will feature no white linen, but will instead offer what Amtrak says is more “flexible” and “contemporary” than what it previously offered. It will kick off on the Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent, and Silver Meteor trains starting on Oct. 1, and the Silver Star in 2020.
Instead of the traditional dining car, the new service will feature exclusive onboard lounge spaces for sleeping car customers to dine, as well as flexible dining times without the need for reservations.
“Traveling on one of our trains has never been just about the destination – the journey is part of the adventure,” said Richard Anderson, Amtrak president and CEO. “We continue to evolve our onboard accommodations and dining experiences to meet the needs of today’s customers.”
Sleeping car customers aboard these routes will now be offered a new dining menu with hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner; a selection of wine, beer and spirits (with the first one being free); unlimited soft drinks, and complimentary room service provided by the sleeping car attendant.
The new flexible dining menu will offer entrees including a Deluxe Continental Breakfast, served buffet style from a selection of muffins, yogurt, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, cereal, oatmeal, and breakfast sandwiches.
For lunch and dinner options, passengers can choose from the Asian Noodle Bowl, Red Wine Braised Beef, Chicken Fettuccini with Broccoli, and Creole Shrimp and Andouille Sausage. Pasta and meatballs options will be offered for children. Blondies and brownies will be available for dessert.
This service will also be offered aboard the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited trains. Amtrak’s traditional dining service will continue to be offered on the seven remaining overnight routes (Auto Train, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, and Texas Eagle).