Amtrak goes beyond pretzels…for a cost

The NYT describes the millions of dollars Amtrak loses on their food service:

Expenses for labor and food run about $83 million more than the food service brings in, according to the railroad’s inspector general. That sum, twice Amtrak’s food and beverage revenues, is without the cost of maintaining the dining cars on long-distance trains and the cafe cars used on short-haul routes like the Northeast Corridor; if those expenses are included, the losses come to about $130 million.

Woah. And that food ain’t so great. I like Amtrak, but it really is a mess, especially with huge airline subsidies making flights cheaper than many train runs. I think last time I took Amtrak, they had vending machines for sandwiches and things. Wouldn’t that be enormously cheaper? Like flying, I really want Amtrak to get me there safely and efficiently. That said, I love the observation car for watching the world slide by, but I’m happy to bring my own food along.

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