The full history of Amtrak's iconic dining cars, which the company is removing to cater to millennial whims
Sep 25, 2019, 01:15 IST
In 1971, Amtrak purchased 140 dining cars for the start of its service. This photo, taken in the early 1970s, shows one of those cars.
This photo, likely taken in the 1970s, depicts a steward in the dome lounge car playing a dining car chime to alert passengers of dinnertime. These cars were all retired by 1981.
Around the mid-1970s, Amtrak redesigned the on-board service employee uniforms, which can be seen in this photo taken in 1976. By 1978, female attendants wore navy blue slacks and blouses or turtleneck pullovers, and white vests with blue trims, pictured below. The vests matched the jackets worn by men.
This photo, taken either late-1970s or early-1980s, shows the kitchen on a bi-level Superliner train car. The kitchen was air-conditioned and lit with fluorescent bulbs and came equipped with electric convection and microwave ovens, an electric grill, toaster, coffee maker, and a warming table.
Welders were working to install a new air conditioning unit under a dining car in this photo taken in 1980.
The dining car in this Superliner train had 18 tables, seated 72 passengers, and had a central serving area. The downstairs kitchen, the original shown two pictures prior, was converted to all-electric when this photo taken in the 1980s.
The Superliner dining car was only a few years old in this photo with the dining car staff of a Southwest Chief train taken in 1985.
Passengers worked and ate in this 2000 photo of the Amtrak Metroliner.
This 2015 photo shows a kitchen that will serve about 300 meals by the time the train reaches New York.
This photo, taken the same year, shows a service attendant on the single-level dining car on a Silver Meteor train traveling to New York from Miami.
This 2017 photo shows a couple eating in the dining car on another Silver Service train between New York and Miami.
By 2017, the seats no longer had the bright upholstery as shown in the 1980s.
This photo, also shot in 2017, shows a typical Amtrak dinner of steak, shrimp, and mashed potatoes.
In the morning, a continental breakfast is served.
In 2019, Amtrak introduced "Flexible Dining" for its east coast sleeper routes which includes a dinner of creole shrimp and andouille sausage...
...and pasta and meatballs on. The "Flexible Dining" menu consists of ready-to-serve choices which can be heated up without the kitchen of the dining car. Instead of being offered in a formal dining room, riders can have their meals brought to their rooms or eat in the lounge car.