It may be true that nothing could be finer than eating in a diner, but waiting in line for a seat in the dining car was a hassle. A few railroads avoided that by offering passengers reservations.
Click image to download PDF of these reservation cards.
These reservation cards gave Empire Builder passengers a choice of eating at 5:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:30 pm, or 8:45 pm. When the train was particularly crowded, they sometimes had a fifth seating for dinner.