Most memorable dining moment on a train?

Italy’s railways Ferrovie dello Stato are phasing out restaurant cars on trains by the end of the year to replace them with snack bars to save money. In cinematographic and literary culture the dining car experience has often been associated with elegance, civility or even romance. What was your most memorable dining experience on a European train? We are keen to feast on your thoughts…

13 Responses to “Most memorable dining moment on a train?”

  1. 1 steve
    June 24, 2008 at 14:22

    I think I ate a candy bar once on the Deutsche Bahn. Those memories will stay with me for the rest of my life.

  2. 2 Katharina in Ghent
    June 24, 2008 at 15:12

    Not dining, but lunch/coffee on the way from Vienna to Berlin, going through the beautiful Bohemian landscape. Something like that you can only have on the train.

  3. 3 Virginia Davis
    June 24, 2008 at 15:17

    Not Europe, but The Pioneer, a round trip from Portland to Chicago and back, when meals were included in a sleeping compartment fare. Wonderful prime rib dinners .

    Virginia in Oregon

  4. 4 Peter Gizzi UK
    June 24, 2008 at 16:47

    In the early 60s I was sent to Bournemouth (Hampshire at the time!) to work for a year. The company paid our return fare home 3 times a year. At a cost of 5 shillings I bought a suplementary pass to travel on The Bournemouth Belle. Rather similar to The Orient Express and of course pulled by a steam locomotive. We had toasted tea cakes and Earl Grey tea included. Wonderful. Loved the little table lamps. Very chic.

  5. 5 Nick in USA
    June 24, 2008 at 16:51

    I’ve never ridden this type of train, and I’m sad to see they’ll be getting rid of them before I have a chance to visit Europe. I’ve ridden a number of subways though, but aside from seeing people relieving themselves or touching themselves inappropriately, nothing truly memorable has ever happened while I was aboard.

  6. 6 Julie P
    June 24, 2008 at 17:10

    I have only been on the Gatwick Express and Southern, so a dining experience was not available. I can tell you the one thing that has irked me has been the discontinuation of meals served on domestic flights. The one quasi regional airline that I use to fly home on has reintroduced food on its flights. Sadly, they are nothing like they were before: surf and turf with as much wine as a person can drink in an hour and a half. I miss that.

  7. 7 Luz María Guzmán from Mexico
    June 24, 2008 at 17:24

    My husband and I traveled from Genova to Venice by train. We had an amazing lunch there -Anchovy salads and delicious pastries for dessert. Very romantic… well, we were in our honeymoon 😉

  8. 8 Will Rhodes
    June 24, 2008 at 18:03

    I have never dined on a train – but that must be one of the most romantic settings there is to dine.

    I can say that while on a train from good ol Yorkshire to London, I and the crush of my life was stood in the diner/snack/bar car. I remember we were enjoying a cigarette together – neither of us had more than 10 between us, the scenery rushing by it brought back memories of the films I had watched from the 40s.

    Something where Ingrid and Bogard would be in the scene – I know, totally off topic in a way, but I do wish the people who run trains etc had more foresight than just saving money.

  9. 9 Peter Gizzi UK
    June 24, 2008 at 18:26

    In The UK special excursion trains are still run using the real Pullman Coaches. Occasionally pulled by steam locomotives but usually diesel electric. Some of them are “themed” so as they go through the passengers are all wearing 1920s outfits. Very Agatha Christie.

  10. 10 Dennis :)
    June 24, 2008 at 19:39

    I have never been on a train.

    Syracuse, New York

  11. 11 Jens
    June 24, 2008 at 20:08

    i have two. one was on a trip from the UK to switzerland. we got delayed due to bad weather in the channel, the put on to a boat to belgium, rather than just accros to Calais, ending up un a deserted train staition waiting for a train that did not exist. we finally ended up on a train to germany starving and thirsty. i met ths austrailian girl who had vegimite (teh other marmite, chips and some bread), while i had a bottle of pernod. we shared food and drink and got merryly drunk, only to end up on a geramn commuter train surrounded by stiff suits being totaly disgusted by our tispy behaviour and the smell of undiluted pernod. their faces were priceless……..

    the other were several civilized dinnners on am amtrak train while travelling from New Orleans to Boston. If you have the time take this trip, the mix of people you meet will be unforgetable and you will be travelling with americans you may not meet in any other situation.

  12. 12 Amy
    June 24, 2008 at 21:48

    It wasn’t a meal per se but last holiday season, my family and about 25 other friends took a ride on the “Polar Express.” The kids were all in their pajamas and we all were given cookies and hot chocolate. The book was read and we ended up at the North Pole and each child got a visit with Santa and their own silver bell from his sleigh. The memory of the faces of the children as they watched the holiday lights outside and then when Santa entered the car will be with me forever. It was magical.

  13. 13 Catalina
    June 24, 2008 at 22:49

    I don’t know if I would call it a meal per se, but when I lived in Romania my family and I would take the train from our city to Bucharest and i remember that everyone on the train would bring food and just eat in the little cabin, and most would share with the other people there. It was healthy food that mostly everyone grew in their gardens on the countryside. The only reason people brought their food is because it was sort of a “coach” train. You barely had room to breathe, let alone do anything else. Looking back on that however, i definitely miss natural homegrown food as opposed to vegetables pumped with preservatives and other such chemicals.

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