Amtrak 1989 Lunch Menu

A railcar shortage allowed Amtrak to dramatically increase bedroom fares in the 1980s. To mitigate this increase, as well as the downgrading of dining car menus, Amtrak began giving sleeping-car passengers free meals. This 1989 lunch menu was used by such first-class passengers to make their menu selections. No doubt another, slightly more formal menu was used for coach passengers.

Click image to download a 415-KB PDF of this menu.

Crudely photocopied on cheap paper, the menu is anything but first class. Nor are the meal selections: burgers, grilled cheese, a vague “regional” sandwich, a bowl of chili, or a hot turkey or beef (ask your attendant which) sandwich. All were pretty tasteless.


Amtrak 1989 Lunch Menu — 1 Comment

  1. Sleeping car passengers got a folder with a bunch of train information, how the controls of each sleeping car worked, and these meal vouchers for however many meals would be served on the trip. They were kind of cheap because you were supposed to check the boxes and hand them over to the waiter. As I remember, the regular memnus had a wider selection, and you could order an entree off them at a special price.The free meal selection wasn’t great but, within a couple years, the menus for sleeping car and coach passengers were both downgraded to about the same items. At least you could still get a real piece of pie or cake for dessert, something that would vanish within five years.

    Regards. Jim

Leave a Reply