Why is Amtrak eliminating all of its full service dining cars?

Over the past few years, my job has required me to go back and forth between Pittsburgh (my home) and Washington DC. I used to take Amtrak's Capitol Limited train back to Pittsburgh because it left DC at 4:00pm and I'd be home shortly after midnight. I'd always travel in the coach car and one of the... show more Over the past few years, my job has required me to go back and forth between Pittsburgh (my home) and Washington DC. I used to take Amtrak's Capitol Limited train back to Pittsburgh because it left DC at 4:00pm and I'd be home shortly after midnight. I'd always travel in the coach car and one of the highlights was that I would always get a full dinner in the dining car. I enjoyed having a meal with my fellow travelers.

Then last year Amtrak eliminated full meals in the dining car. And on my most recent trip I discovered that us peons in coach class were now restricted to the cafe car if we want to buy food on board. The chow in the cafe car is what you'd get of a vending machine--in short, it sucks.

I later discovered that now passengers in the sleepers get pre-packaged cold meals and from what I understand, that food is terrible and the packaging creates a lot of waste. As of October 1st, all of the trains in the eastern states will be this way.

Is Amtrak trying to drive away business? My husband and I have long been rail advocates, but the last couple times I had to go to DC for work, I drove. We were planning to take the train out west for a fall vacation, but we've decided to fly instead.
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