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Amtrak's Simplified Dining Service (SDS)

Steve Grande, Producer - Carl Morrison, Editor

www.trainweb.com/sds/Bredin.html



Comments by John Bredin

Tue, 07 Feb 2006


Except (1) for the hundredth time, these AREN'T being served on paper plates with plastic utensils, (2) pre-plated food like this has already been served on several trains, including Acela Express FIRST CLASS, and the consensus has been positive, (3) full meals will be available whenever food is for sale, not just during specific "seatings" as in the present dining cars, which sounds to me like an IMPROVEMENT in customer service. It's clear from their response that NARP isn't giving Amtrak a free ride, that they're monitoring the success or failure of Diner Lite [Simplified Dining Service]. On the other hand, NARP isn't going to condemn or oppose Diner Lite without EVIDENCE that Diner-Lite [Simplified Dining Service] is flawed, without some complaints from passengers who ACTUALLY ATE THE FOOD that it, or the service, is inadequate. To be blunt, if we as rail advocates are going to presume that, because Amtrak has made mistakes in the past, ANY change Amtrak makes is inherently bad and bound to fail, then NOTHING will ever change! To paraphrase a song: All I am saying, is give Amtrak a chance. :^) It's not a question of "caving in". Congress passed a **LAW** ordering Amtrak to show cost savings on food and beverage sales, or Amtrak will be prohibited from spending subsidy money on food or beverage sales. Absent Congress amending the law to drop that requirement, that's not an "effort," at the end of this or any other day, that's an ORDER straight from the GOVERNMENT body holding the purse-strings. Satisfying as it would feel, Amtrak is in no position to play rebel and say, "No, we have absolutely no costs to cut. Come and get us."

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