June 3, 2021 Amtrak Restores Traditional Dining on Western Long Distance Routes

Reimagined menu and enhanced service for Bedroom or Roomette private rooms customers set to debut June 23

WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, Amtrak announced today the restoration of traditional dining service beginning Wednesday, June 23 on the California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, and Texas Eagle (for service between San Antonio and Los Angeles). Travelers will experience a redesigned menu featuring chef-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and a three-course dinner. This includes selections for the kids, a new array of appetizers and a complimentary alcoholic drink with dinner and table service offered in the Dining Car with glassware, cutlery and white linen tablecloths. Ceramic dishware is set to debut later this year.

“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,” said Robert Jordan, Vice President Customer Service Stations & Onboard. “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.”

Traditional dining will be offered as an exclusive, complimentary offering for customers traveling in Bedroom or Roomette private rooms. Café service will continue to be available for customers in both coach and rooms with a variety of meals, snacks, and beverages available for sale. The Café menu is slated to be updated this summer with more fresh selections added. Additionally, eligible coach customers can now place a bid for an upgrade to a Bedroom or Roomette private rooms prior to their trip via BidUp.

Amtrak is restoring traditional dining while ensuring appropriate coronavirus protocols are still in place for food and beverage service. This includes continuing to require wearing of masks for employees and customers at all times except while eating or drinking, and to offering complimentary room service as a dining option. To learn more and browse the new traditional dining menu, visit Amtrak.com/traditionaldining.

Traditional dining is one of several investments Amtrak is making to enhance long distance service. In addition to restoring long distance schedules to daily service and recalling more than 1,200 furloughed employees, upcoming customer-focused initiatives include: a multi-year interior refresh program for the Superliner and Viewliner fleet, upgrades to the quality of soft goods in Bedroom or Roomette private rooms and the ability for coach passengers to purchase the traditional dining experience online or onboard.

While traveling, customers can have a renewed sense of confidence with the following safety efforts Amtrak has implemented with the guidance of a medical director and partnership with George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health:

  • Face coverings: Please be advised Federal law requires all customers and employees to wear a mask at all times while onboard trains and in stations, regardless of vaccination status or state or local laws. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding, removed from the train and banned from future travel in the event of noncompliance.
  • Air Quality: Customers can travel with extra confidence knowing all our trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
  • Real-time seat availability: Amtrak is no longer limiting capacity. When searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip option and adjusts as more reservations are made, which gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee (a fare difference may apply).
  • Fee waivers: Amtrak is waiving all change fees for reservations made by Sept. 6, 2021.
  • Amtrak app: The Amtrak app makes contact-free travel easy. Customers can book, board, check train status and access information from the convenience and safety of a mobile device. Amtrak encourages boarding with eTickets, which conductors scan from the app.

For More Information

Jason Abrams

About Amtrak®

For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel, and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com and connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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