The full history of Amtrak's iconic dining cars, which the company is removing to cater to millennial whims
- Amtrak is nixing its traditional dining car services on the company's one-night East Coast routes.
- The passenger railroad service has had dining cars since the start of its service in the 1970s.
- Take a look at the history of the dining car, from Amtrak's takeover of private rail companies to 2019's announced shuttering.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Amtrak is doing away with its iconic dining car on overnight trains traveling on the East Coast, instead replacing them with "flexible dining services" of ready-to-serve food.
The dining cars have been a part of Amtrak since it started service in 1971. The news of the reduction of the number of dining cars in service - as well as the claim that millennials would rather sit in their rooms instead of next to people they don't know to eat dinner - has caused backlash on the internet.
The passenger train company is still keeping its dining car services on long-distance trains, which include its seven overnight routes: California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, the Auto Train, and Texas Eagle.
The new flexible dining services now feature prepackaged meals of red wine braised beef, vegan Asian noodle bowl, chicken fettuccine, creole shrimp and andouille sausage, and a kid's meal pasta and meatballs. To compare, the original dining cars had options such as steak and crab cakes, salmon, and thyme-roasted chicken breast, which were cooked in an onboard kitchen.
Amtrak anticipates that these changes will save them $2 million annually, according to the Washington Post.
Take a look at the timeline of the iconic Amtrak dining car: