Congressman Cohen Seeks Adequate Response to Changes in Food Service from Amtrak CEO

February 11, 2020
Press Release
Says dining car service is an intrinsic part of long-distance rail travel


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, today wrote to Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson to ask for accurate and credible evidence that the Amtrak ridership supports decisions to end dining car service on some long-distance routes.


Congressman Cohen questioned Anderson at a hearing on “Amtrak Now and Into the Future” on November 13 last year and asked for the market research and customer questionnaire responses that led to the changes. However, Amtrak only provided some vaguely worded surveys in which customer food service preferences, and an assessment of food service options, were not sought.  


Congressman Cohen’s letter asks for a fuller and more credible response justifying the changes. See that letter here. 


At the November 13 hearing, Congressman Cohen reminded Anderson of their last exchange, at an April 2008 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, in which Anderson testified that Memphis would retain its hub and its non-stop flight to Amsterdam after its merger with Northwest. After the merger, Delta closed the Memphis hub and ended the Amsterdam flight.