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Thread: Dinner menus on railroads of the past

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    Default Dinner menus on railroads of the past

    Wonder what it's like to eat aboard trains way back then? Here's a GREAT read on it. It's a little on the longish side but very informative. And those menus!


    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/dining-car-food


    And they digitized all 227 menus that Ira Silverman collected when he was a teenager. What a treasure! Fully scanned here:


    https://digitalcollections.library.n...2-65465d42ec3e

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    Regarding the decline of dining car usage, Amtrak is always on the lookout for ways to shave costs, for various reasons. Amtrak has overall budget concerns, and food service is not a priority for them. I have to wonder whether a food vendor, if given the chance, might find a market for a rolling franchise restaurant, wherein their primary concern is the running of a restaurant that just happens to be built atop four axles. Can you imagine booking a particular train trip primarily because its consist includes a Red Lobster dining car? Maybe Amtrak acts as "landlord", owning and maintaining the car, but leasing out its operations to a restaurant franchise. I'm sure there's all kinds of technical or legal reasons why this doesn't happen, but I wouldn't mind taking my meal in a rolling Hardee's or Steak & Shake or Bob Evans or what-have-you.

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    Latest things I have seen regarding Amtrak, is they want to get out of all passenger business except the NE Corridor. So I very much doubt they would entertain your idea. And that's a shame because it is a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    Regarding the decline of dining car usage, Amtrak is always on the lookout for ways to shave costs, for various reasons. Amtrak has overall budget concerns, and food service is not a priority for them. I have to wonder whether a food vendor, if given the chance, might find a market for a rolling franchise restaurant, wherein their primary concern is the running of a restaurant that just happens to be built atop four axles. Can you imagine booking a particular train trip primarily because its consist includes a Red Lobster dining car? Maybe Amtrak acts as "landlord", owning and maintaining the car, but leasing out its operations to a restaurant franchise. I'm sure there's all kinds of technical or legal reasons why this doesn't happen, but I wouldn't mind taking my meal in a rolling Hardee's or Steak & Shake or Bob Evans or what-have-you.

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    I must add that when Kathy and I took the Southwest Chief from La Junta, Colorado, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, the food for all meals was primo. We were seated with other people in the dining car, which made for a very cordial journey. Out and back was cheaper than even one way airfare, and far more comfortable.

    Next time, though, I won't book a "2nd class compartment." Looking forward to taking the California Zephyr from Denver to Reno to visit my brother.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
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    Gordon, was this a recent trip?

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    That was a really interesting article. Love the history
    Link to my layout thread: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...ut-in-Nebraska

    I wish this work thing didn't get in the way of playing with my trains

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    Hmm, not much cop for a vegetarian Stamp 'em Moose2013,, stamp 'em
    Thanks, Tom

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    Moose wouldn't be stampede'in. He's appreciative that here's no moose on the menu!

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    A long time ago I bought a cookbook of Santa Fe Recipes. Many of the items look tasty. But I was surprised how ordinary some recipes were.

    Contracting out a service like food is nothing new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    Gordon, was this a recent trip?

    It was 2013. In my telescoped view of time that qualifies as "recent."
    Cheers!
    Gordon
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    It was 2013. In my telescoped view of time that qualifies as "recent."

    Sounds like the responses I get when I email Intermountain... LOL
    Be positive, Be polite, have fun with the hobby!

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