Amtrak’s New York-to-Florida trains–the Silver Meteor and Silver Star–were some of its most popular overnight routes, and in 1972 Amtrak encouraged people on these trains to go first class, meaning by sleeping car. As described in this brochure, first-class service included a complimentary wine-and-cheese basket before dinner, sweets before bedtime, and a morning paper and beverage before breakfast.
My PDF shows this brochure as a four-page folder. As presented to the public, this brochure was folded to show the man on the right side of my page 1 facing the woman on the left side of my page 4, as shown below. The photo suggests that Amtrak dining car service in 1972 was far from the ultimate in travel comfort.
The couple appear to be eating meals served on cardboard plates, drinking coffee from paper cups, with everything presented on flimsy plastic trays topped with a styrene placemat. Instead of being delivered in courses, their entire meals–salads, entrées, and desserts–were served together. The wine, at least, appears to be in glass, but in the cheapest sort of glassware, not anything an oenophile would appreciate.
Dining car attendant Julie Byrne pours coffee. In an apparently attempt to look hip, Amtrak redecorated its heritage fleet lounge cars in this ghastly purple-and-orange color scheme. Click image for a larger view.
Amtrak had its own china pattern, sometimes called National, as shown in the above 1976 publicity photo. Made by Mayer and Homer Laughlin, the china was white with a blue band. The blue pitchers were made by Hall. It’s possible that Amtrak had not yet received this china when the photos were taken for the first-class brochure. As bad as the cardboard plates appear, Amtrak dining-car service would get a lot worse in the 1980s.