It can be interesting to compare Amtrak timetables, dining car menus and marketing materials across time. Shown above is a comparison of a bar menu from 1971 and a similar offering from 2015.
Aside from the prices having changed, another obvious difference is that in the early years of Amtrak the food and beverage service was still provided by the contract railroads and some of them did little more than take their existing materials and place the Amtrak logo on it.
That is the case with the 1971 bar menu, which looks much as it did when the Milwaukee Road ran its own trains.
Other than the Amtrak logo you might think that you were traveling in the late 1960s with trains being advertised that no longer ran in 1971 when this menu was offered aboard Amtrak.
Although the beverage offerings in 1971 are similar to those of 2015, there are some notable exceptions. Tobacco products are not longer sold on Amtrak and I’m not sure if they also sell decks of playing cards.
Coco Cola has been replaced with Pepsi products and what cost 30 cents in 1971 now costs $2.25. But look at the difference in price between a premium beer in 1971 (80 cents) and a regional craft beer in 2015 ($7).
(click on the image to enlarge it)