WASHINGTON — Amtrak will restore traditional dining-car service for sleeping-car passengers on its western long-distance routes as of June 23, with chef-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In a Wednesday press release, the passenger railroad promises “a redesigned menu,” new appetizers, and table service with glassware, cutlery and linen tablecloths, with ceramic dishware to be added later this year. This service will be offered on the California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, and Texas Eagle (between San Antonio and Los Angeles; the Chicago-San Antonio segment loses the full meal service it had before the pandemic). It restores service replaced in April 2020 by pre-prepared meals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic [see “Amtrak goes to pre-packaged meals …,” Trains News Wire, April 14, 2020]. Menus are pictured below.
“Amtrak is making many important investments to improve customer satisfaction, including restoring and reimagining our popular onboard dining experience with a service our customers will enjoy and our employees will be proud to offer,” Robert Jordan, vice president Customer Service Stations & Onboard, said in the release. “As the summer travel season approaches and service on our long-distance routes returns to pre-pandemic schedules, customers can continue to feel comfortable traveling with essential Amtrak health and safety protocols remaining in place.”
Coach passengers will continue to be limited to Café dining, which is also available to sleeping-car passengers. Amtrak says the Café menu will be updated this summer with the addition of more fresh selections.