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Amtrak Simplified Dining Service

Amtrak Simplified Dining Service (SDS)

Amtrak Simplified Dining Service (SDS)

Steve Grande, Producer - Carl Morrison, Editor

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."