Not Just Another Meal in an Amcafe

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At first glance this might appear to be just another day in an Amfleet food service car. But there is nothing ordinary about the lunch period on this day.

The image was made aboard the last westbound trip of Amtrak’s National Limited on Sept. 1, 1979. As part of a major route restructuring, the New York-Kansas City train and a number of other trains were discontinued.

I had boarded No. 31 in Indianapolis and would ride as far as Effingham, Illinois. This image was made not long after the train departed from Terre Haute, Indiana.

The discontinuance of Nos. 30 and 31 ended intercity rail passenger service to Terre Haute. The city might have regained Amtrak had a proposed Chicago to Florida train that Amtrak studied in the late 1980s come to fruition.

There has been periodic talk of creating a St. Louis section of the Chicago-New York Cardinal that would serve Terre Haute, but it has yet to materialize, too.

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