Not so many years ago, the object of ridicule for commuters was the famous British Rail sandwich. Always dry and stale, its curling crusts verged on the iconic and many a comedian gained cheap laughs from its very existence.
Well, laugh no more because things are looking up. Unfortunately, British Rail has been consigned to the great siding in the sky and can no longer answer its critics, but the legacies of the old institution, the regional rail companies, are taking note of their customers’ gripes and doing something about it.
A Rest for the Weary
For too long the traveller has had to put up with tiny platform kiosks serving over-priced drinks and sandwiches. What people really want is somewhere out of the elements to sit and enjoy a decent cuppa in some degree of comfort.
Add to that some palatable food and you will have happy customers. If the Guardian is to be believed, the country’s railway stations are making the greatest efforts to improve on their culinary offerings. This is surely good news for those sick of the usual fast food outlets.
Some local train services provide a trolley service, which is all well and good if you enjoy drinking from a can or a cardboard cup. Nevertheless, it is still a service which many travellers use as it is the only means available of getting a drink.
Eat, Drink and Arrive Refreshed
Thankfully, that is not always the case. Many rail companies such as even go as far as including a buffet on board the train. Now this really is a blast from the not too distant past.
Even if your journey isn’t that long, it’s nice to be able to enjoy a hot or cold drink before you arrive at your destination. And if there’s a food opportunity as well, then so much the better.
The old buffet car now enjoys a funky new name on many trains, so it’s out with the old-fashioned and in with the new and a whole new world has been created.
Sandwiches, toasties and even hot snacks are available as well as the usual crisps, peanuts and chocolate biscuits. The much-joked-about buffet car of old is fast disappearing and a modern facility is taking over, offering good choices at reasonable prices.
Think too about the steam-hauled trains which offer a true five-star dining experience to their customers. These are special journeys which offer a fine dining experience as well as a train journey to remember.
Rail enthusiasts love these and they are a great treat, with luxury and top service as standard. This is rail dining at the very top of the tree and it comes at a price for all that sophistication and glamour.
So it seems that food available on trains is really making a comeback in very palatable forms. And it’s a very good idea too because the profits to be made in providing food and drink are very healthy.