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I really liked the "nut or fruit dessert" which used to be offered with every meal; often a nice torte.  Got it every single time.

However, in a case of thoughtless, mindless cuts to dining service, these have apparently been completely eliminated, leaving a meager dessert selection consisting of either sorbet or overly-rich, overly-sweet stuff.  No more Amtrak dessert for me.

Amtrak needs to improve the choices in the dining car, not reduce them.

13 hours, 8 minutes ago on Top Picks for Long-Distance Meals on Amtrak


The problem here is Canadian National Railway, which refused to negotiate in good faith.  Unfortunately, that's the railroad Genoa is on.

From the article: "The service was originally planned to run on Canadian National Railway tracks, but after years of failed negotiations with the Montreal-based company, officials were able to finalize an agreement to switch to a new route that used tracks owned by Metra and the Union Pacific Railroad."

That's all there is to it.  Blame CN, not the Governor.  It has literally been two years of fruitless negotiations with CN.  Apparently Metra and UP were willing to agree within weeks.

1 week, 1 day ago on


I know you said you couldn't wait.  Well, I'm impatient too.  The sleeping cars routinely sell out on the Lake Shore Limited.  And that's even with very high prices!  We need more sleeping compartments and we need them ASAP.

I know that you need to make sure these cars are built exactly right, so I understand the need for delays in order to make sure there's nothing wrong with them.  But honestly, when are we going to get that extra sleeper space?

Also, the old dining cars in the East are really falling apart.  They're still very heavily patronized, but they're just not lasting.  We need new dining cars before the old ones stop working entirely, like the one whose axle stopped turning and delayed a Silver Service train for hours last year.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Coming Soon: New Long Distance Cars


"You can now find permanent recycling receptacles in all café and lounge cars,"

My apologies for my confusion.  Does this include the Amfleet II lounge cars used on the Lake Shore Limited, Silver Service, etc.?

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Recycling Bins Being Added to Bi-Level Trains


While I'm here, I'd like to make a comment or two about energy efficiency.

I've discovered that new "heat pump" A/C uses about 3/4 the energy of old 1970s A/C units.  Has Amtrak upgraded its A/C on the trains?  Because I know that the Superliners date from the 1970s.... so I think their A/C may need upgrading!

And I've also discovered that LED lights save a massive amount of electricity compared to incandescents or flourescents.  I know Amtrak's newest locomotives and cars will be all-LED, but has Amtrak replaced the lighting in the older cars with LEDs?  Because it would save a lot of energy really quickly.

Because Amtrak has to generate electricity on the train by burning diesel fuel in the engine, any savings on electricity usage on the train saves a *lot* of money for Amtrak, as well as being good for the environment.  So replacing obsolete A/C and obsolete lighting has to be something with a really quick payback time.  Yet I'm pretty sure I've seen incandescent lights in an Amtrak car recently... so when is that going to end?

I've also been told that the Auto Train can't pull any more Superliners because of the needed electricity supply.  These energy efficiency improvements could allow the train to be longer, which should be very valuable when the train fills up.

Thanks for listening... :-)

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Recycling Bins Being Added to Bi-Level Trains


Good start.  Now, will we get these same recycling receptacles in the new long-distance cars currently being manufactured?  How about the new bilevel corridor cars for the Midwest?  And then, when will we get these in the old single-level cars used in the East?

Also, I'd like to note that some stations have excellent recycling facilities... and others don't seem to do anything at all.  Can Amtrak make some effort to go through its stations and make sure that each station which has trash cans also has recycling, at least where the station areas are under Amtrak's control?  (I understand that some small stations don't have trash cans and that some stations are completely not under Amtrak's control.)

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Recycling Bins Being Added to Bi-Level Trains


It's obvious that states should be providing these services directly rather than contracting them to private companies.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on