Amtrak is blaming millennials as it cuts back on dining-car meals — and the internet’s not buying its logic

People are not thrilled with Amtrak's decision to begin culling traditional dining-car services from some of its long-distance routes.

A petition to keep the restaurant-style service on overnight trains east of the Mississippi River had earned more than 3,000 signatures by Monday afternoon, as news of the cuts took the internet by storm.

Gene Arensen, who started the petition, said the move signaled "the end of a 100 year tradition where dining cars served meals will end, the Midwest and West Coast trains are sure to follow. And so will national rail travel, unless we speak up and be heard."

To be sure, food will still be served aboard Amtrak trains, but it may look wildly different. The newly "enhanced" and "flexible" menu will instead offer ready-to-eat meals instead of freshly prepared eggs, steak, and so on. More details on the changes can be found on Amtrak's website.

And while Amtrak's head of customer experience, Andrew Wilander, was quick to place blame for the changes on younger generations of travelers, specifically millennials, not everyone is buying his logic.

At an event in New York City last week, Amtrak's CEO, Richard Anderson, seemed to hint that more dining-car cuts could be on the way.

"We want to simplify the process," he said. "On the single-overnight, long-distance trains, we have a mandate from Congress to take the loss on the food down, and we're going to keep driving that down. The simplest way to do that is to go to a single food car and then have choice for customers."

Even novelist Neil Gaiman wasn't happy with the news.

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