Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Silver Star Dining Car "Test": Let Your Voice Be Heard!

12 Jul 2015 9:34 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)
On July 1, Amtrak's Silver Star became the unfortunate subject of a 10 month long food service cost-cutting "test" when Amtrak chose to eliminate the Star's dining car. 

FCRP believes that rail passengers must speak up now to let Amtrak and our federal elected officials know that offering up frozen pizza and ramen noodles for dinner is not just an unacceptable bill of fare and a poor business solution. It's just plain cheap.

Let your voice be heard! 

For some passengers, the elimination of dining cars on these trains has meant enduring 24 hours on 91/92 with no other on-board options besides a sandwich or junk food in the lounge car. 

Among other negative effects, this move has left some major Southeast cities like Tampa, Raleigh and Columbia with substandard long distance trains operating entirely without dining car service.

Shortsighted cost-cutting aside, the return of a dining car to the Silver Star will be best for Amtrak's bottom line over the long run.

FCRP has heard from rail passengers who are fearful that the elimination of dining cars on other long distance trains will emerge as a permanent cost-cutting "solution" once this "test" is over. To prevent that from happening, we must speak up now.

Please help us let Amtrak and our elected officials know that passengers on trains 91/92 should not be treated like second-class citizens. Let's return civility to the Silver Star and preserve it for all of Amtrak's long distance trains.

--Jackson McQuigg


  • 26 Jul 2015 2:41 AM | Anonymous member
    I will have chance to give FCRP a comparison report later this year. Rode Silver Star back in April and may, going again in August and October.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 16 Nov 2015 1:14 AM | Anonymous member
      The August trip I had planned was cancelled, but I did go in October. For Breakfast, a blueberry muffin and a cranberry drink for $6. For lunch, a chicken salad sandwich and a bottle of water for $10.75. I could have saved myself half the cost at a 7-11 store. The pickings are slim and cost too high. Tell Amtrak to dump this Micabuger cafe car ASAP!
      Link  •  Reply
      • 30 Jan 2016 7:55 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)
        This week a document began to circulate online which indicates that Amtrak plans to permanently remove the dining car from the Silver Star. This is, FCRP believes, at best a penny wise, pound foolish move on Amtrak's part. Removing amenities from the long distance trains drives away higher fare-paying passengers. This is problematic as Amtrak cannot compete in the marketplace on the basis of low fares--companies like MegaBus and Greyhound own that market.

        Please continue to speak up on this issue. Amtrak's version of "permanent" usually lasts only until the next management group takes over. With CEO Boardman planning to retire, change is ahead.
        Link  •  Reply
        • 07 Feb 2016 1:38 AM | Anonymous member
          If Orlando area voters are smart, they ought to dump John Mica as their congressman, too. He's beholden to the toll road hogs and rental car industry. Until then, the food service car on the Silver Star deserves to bear his name as the "Micabuger Cafe".
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  • 01 Jan 2017 10:59 AM | Anonymous
    I have ridden the Silver Star without dining car cafe is at best terrible. You cqn only pack so much foos for a 24 hour trip. I ride the thruway service from port charlotte 3 bours to Tamp. Last trip spent 5 hours on bus to get to Orlando to ride tbe Meteor to get dining car. Next trip will be to drive to Sebring to catch the Meteor. Star is off my list which means less passengers through Tampa, unless they restore the dining car
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  • 04 Jan 2017 2:12 AM | Anonymous member
    We can bid Mica good riddance! He lost re-election to his congressional seat, and president-elect Trump did NOT choose him to be his DOT Secretary either, as previously rumored.
    Link  •  Reply
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