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Irish Rail hot food

  • 03-09-2012 11:31am
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    My parents came up on the train from Cork today and it seems Irish Rail are now serving hot food on the train. Menu includes:

    - Full Irish Breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, etc.)
    - Porridge
    - Hot Ciabatta
    - Toast
    - Special of the day which has a picture of steak
    - Chips

    Is this new?

    I assume it is just airline style, microwaved meals, but I think it is good news and Irish Rail actually doing something positive to differentiate themselves from the bus services.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,437 ✭✭✭ harr


    Not new but it used to be only first class or a train with a dining carriage,i know someone who worked in the kitchen on these trains and on the Enterprise to Belfast all the food is cooked fresh in the little galley kitchen on board well it used to be.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,374 ✭✭✭✭ foggy_lad


    Possibly a mix of grilled and toasted and microwaved foods. These have been available from the small shop on board for some time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭ Louche Lad


    bk wrote: »
    My parents came up on the train from Cork today and it seems Irish Rail are now serving hot food on the train. Menu includes:

    - Full Irish Breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, etc.)
    - Porridge
    - Hot Ciabatta
    - Toast
    - Special of the day which has a picture of steak
    - Chips

    Is this new?

    I assume it is just airline style, microwaved meals, but I think it is good news and Irish Rail actually doing something positive to differentiate themselves from the bus services.

    Sounds like what's on here: http://www.irishrail.ie/media/menu180x180_v161.pdf

    I didn't know they did this either. But why are they trying to do something as elaborate as a Full Irish, when I doubt they can come up with anything good as you can make yourself? What's wrong with simple things, liked packaged sandwiches, or (off the top of my head) some cold meats/patés with a bread roll and butter, or packaged salads?


  • Registered Users Posts: 570 ✭✭✭ noelfirl


    Louche Lad wrote: »

    That brochure is hysterical, half the photos have their watermark still on them where they've nicked the preview off the stock photography website.

    They've had packaged sandwiches and paninis for a long time, I think hot food has always been available in recent years on the Cork train (with dining car) but what's available changes depending on the time of service. Are there any 22000 services on the other lines that have dining cars?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Louche Lad wrote: »

    Yup, that is it. This is totally new to me, on the trains I use to take it was always just cold sandwiches. I know there were hot meals in the past, but not the last few years.
    Louche Lad wrote: »
    I didn't know they did this either. But why are they trying to do something as elaborate as a Full Irish, when I doubt they can come up with anything good as you can make yourself? What's wrong with simple things, liked packaged sandwiches, or (off the top of my head) some cold meats/patés with a bread roll and butter, or packaged salads?

    I think it is actually good news. I assume it isn't really elaborate, rather just airline style pre-cooked and packaged meals that are then heated on the train.

    I always wondered why they didn't do hot cibatta and subway style hot rolls. Would think they would be quiet popular, much more popular then the crappy cold sandwiches.

    I agree there is no need for a full dinner service.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,634 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    noelfirl wrote: »
    That brochure is hysterical, half the photos have their watermark still on them where they've nicked the preview off the stock photography website.

    Correct, they've been lifted from here by someone who didn't bother to register and pay for the photos so the downloads came with the watermarks.....

    http://depositphotos.com/category/Food-and-Drink.html

    Whoever does this type of marketing/promo stuff for CIE is brain dead, when you see that they can't even use a consistent set of fonts for headers and times in the different PDF timetable files you really know they haven't a clue.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    The only time I went on the enterprise (late service) about 12 months ago there was nothing apart from crisps and hot drinks, the guy said they had ran out of stock and had no euro change and would not take Sterling.

    I didn't bother again,
    Correct, they've been lifted from here by someone who didn't bother to register and pay for the photos so the downloads came with the watermarks....
    So basically they're not actual examples of the products sold at all, they are just deceptions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭ Davidth88


    Hang on .......the breakfast is 11quid odd , Aer Lingus only charge 7.50 !


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,556 ✭✭✭ Slunk


    noelfirl wrote: »
    Are there any 22000 services on the other lines that have dining cars?
    ICR 30-40 are dining cars. Selected services to galway Waterford tralee limerick and westport.
    Breakfast is cooked fresh too. Not microwaved


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 18,185 ✭✭✭✭ Lapin


    Davidth88 wrote: »
    Hang on .......the breakfast is 11quid odd ,

    €11.99

    I'd call that €12.

    Madness. Such blatant over pricing takes the good out of dining on board.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭ Louche Lad


    bk wrote: »
    Yup, that is it. This is totally new to me, on the trains I use to take it was always just cold sandwiches. I know there were hot meals in the past, but not the last few years.



    I think it is actually good news. I assume it isn't really elaborate, rather just airline style pre-cooked and packaged meals that are then heated on the train.

    I always wondered why they didn't do hot cibatta and subway style hot rolls. Would think they would be quiet popular, much more popular then the crappy cold sandwiches.

    I agree there is no need for a full dinner service.

    These airline-style reheated meals never come out right, do they? (Though it's been many years since I've had one.)

    I travel on the Eurostar quite a lot and even there the food that you buy from the buffet is not that good. It is edible, but it's not much fun to eat. They try to replicate full meals, but with the limitations of train catering car, you get strange results. Things like lasagne, but where it's in some sort of cardboard tub, and you have to scoop it out with a plastic fork, hoping the prongs don't break. If I'm travelling from London I usually get things from Marks & Spencer — a much wider choice, and the food is more fun — and bring it on board.

    It's absurd that today's train companies imply you can get full restaurant-type meals. It was realistic in Victorian times when the super-rich travelled on Pullman trains and they could afford to have one car dedicated to a kitchen, and maybe 20 staff dedicated to serving about 10 passengers. But today you have two staff with a microwave serving 100 passengers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,374 ✭✭✭✭ foggy_lad


    Slunk wrote: »
    ICR 30-40 are dining cars. Selected services to galway Waterford tralee limerick and westport.
    Breakfast is cooked fresh too. Not microwaved

    There is no Dining/Buffet cars on the Waterford or Westport timetables, Limerick and tralee have only one service each day with Dining/Buffet car,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Don't get it - what is all the confusion here? IE don't provide meals of any sort as far as I know, it's Rail Gourmet. How amazing that they provide hot meals, that was never tried on a train before and how amazing the prices are outrageous - where have you all been living? :D

    http://irishrailways.blogspot.ie/2009/03/irish-railway-catering-long-standing.html

    http://irishrailways.blogspot.ie/2009/03/railway-catering-in-rare-oul-times.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,634 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    Last time I was on the early morning Cork train from Heuston, the catering staff first took orders for breakfast from the punters in the first class carriage, the breakfasts were then served direct to the tables, then they opened up the dining car to the other passengers.

    Food is prepared by the chefs in the little kitchen in the dining car, no microwave that I ever saw but if anyone knows how to produce a fried egg from a microwave I'd love to hear about it.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Louche Lad wrote: »
    These airline-style reheated meals never come out right, do they? (Though it's been many years since I've had one.)

    Actually there is a lot of interesting science behind airline meals. It turns out that peoples taste buds are much less effective at 40,000 feet up. What tastes good at ground level can taste boring and tasteless at high altitudes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,399 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    coylemj wrote: »
    Food is prepared by the chefs in the little kitchen in the dining car, no microwave that I ever saw but if anyone knows how to produce a fried egg from a microwave I'd love to hear about it.

    You put the egg onto a lightly greased plate, prick the yolk to stop it going bang and press start. It takes around about 30-40 seconds and the results are good; very little fat and a piping hot egg. Mind you, it's not much quicker than pan frying and it's a lot slower than doing the egg in a deep fryer which some cafe's do.

    Steam drivers did theirs on a clean shovel placed into the firebox, tea stewed in a staff issued billy can. Dem were the days :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,556 ✭✭✭ Slunk


    foggy_lad wrote: »
    Slunk wrote: »
    ICR 30-40 are dining cars. Selected services to galway Waterford tralee limerick and westport.
    Breakfast is cooked fresh too. Not microwaved

    There is no Dining/Buffet cars on the Waterford or Westport timetables, Limerick and tralee have only one service each day with Dining/Buffet car,

    Westport and Waterford do get dining cars but no bistro. So only hot ciabattas and sausage rolls etc. Cork limerick galway and tralee get bistro so they have chips, dinners and full breakfast.
    Trolley service only has cold sandwiches.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,437 ✭✭✭ harr


    I have seen the kitchens on the dining carriages,small yes but they do have a hot plate,oven,fridge and frier plus a cook/chef to do the food.
    Mad prices,there is no way i would pay 12 quid just to have a bit of grub on a train but it used to be included in the price of a first class ticket( i think).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    harr wrote: »
    I have seen the kitchens on the dining carriages,small yes but they do have a hot plate,oven,fridge and frier plus a cook/chef to do the food.
    Mad prices,there is no way i would pay 12 quid just to have a bit of grub on a train but it used to be included in the price of a first class ticket( i think).

    For as long as I have been travelling by train (45 years +), regular travellers brought their own food with them due to the excessive prices - see my earlier post and links. Instead of using the incentive of cheap meals to entice passengers CIE just used them as another source of rapidly diminishing revenue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,634 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    Instead of using the incentive of cheap meals to entice passengers CIE just used them as another source of rapidly diminishing revenue.

    That model (cheap meals) won't work on a train because given the restricted cooking space, there is a limit to the number of meals they can churn out and with the improvement to the rail network and shorter travel times, there's even less time to cater for the punters on a given route so railway food will always be expensive.

    Nobody does or doesn't travel by rail based on the price of the onboard food so they can charge as much as they like.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Jesus someone should get slapped for lifting those photos. Amateur hour stuff, like when they put google ads on the old website.

    When I get biz class on VIA Rail (much pricier than IE but work pays) it tends to be airline style trays and often stuff is "off the menu" even when starting from Toronto. Breakfast is so so, particularly the bread/pastries but the free wine and liqueurs with lunch and dinner makes the rest of it seem better :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    coylemj wrote: »
    That model (cheap meals) won't work on a train because given the restricted cooking space, there is a limit to the number of meals they can churn out and with the improvement to the rail network and shorter travel times, there's even less time to cater for the punters on a given route so railway food will always be expensive.

    Nobody does or doesn't travel by rail based on the price of the onboard food so they can charge as much as they like.

    Don't agree with you based on my own experience in providing catering on railtours - it's all down to CIE's attitude can't, shan't and won't. Has it ever been tried? Actually it was flirted with briefly in the early 1990's - I even remember it on the Sligo line. The point is, saying that people deciding to travel by train because there are cheap meals wouldn't happen is like saying they aren't influenced by free Wifi etc. All these advantages of rail over road do add up but CIE today has all the disadvantages of rail operation and none of the positives.

    PS Where are all the shorter journey times? Most inter-city services were faster 20 years ago.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    On their menu a Kit Kat is €1.25 and yet I can buy five bars for €2 in my local Euro shop. All of you IE defenders and retail 'experts' don't bother posting the traditional excuses - pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ Wote


    That reminds me of the days when the entrance to Heuston was dominated by the Shawlies with their prams loaded with fruit and Dairy Milks. Travellers-Fare Irish style...


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭ Davidth88


    On their menu a Kit Kat is €1.25 and yet I can buy five bars for €2 in my local Euro shop. All of you IE defenders and retail 'experts' don't bother posting the traditional excuses - pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    I think to compare Rail gourmet ( what a silly name ) with your average pound shop is bordering on the daft TBH

    My comparing it with Aer Lingus is more valid they actually sell their kitkat at 1.50 !

    I imagine IE charge Rail' gourmet ' a fortune for the franchise , however thinking about it although knowing the ineptness of CIE I wonder if CIE pay for RG to provide that service ( that really would take the biscuit if you pardon the pun )


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Davidth88 wrote: »
    I think to compare Rail gourmet ( what a silly name ) with your average pound shop is bordering on the daft TBH

    My comparing it with Aer Lingus is more valid they actually sell their kitkat at 1.50 !

    I imagine IE charge Rail' gourmet ' a fortune for the franchise , however thinking about it although knowing the ineptness of CIE I wonder if CIE pay for RG to provide that service ( that really would take the biscuit if you pardon the pun )

    It's still uncertain whether IE pay Rail Gourmet to operate the service or the other way round - I think - but we have been over this so often I have forgotten.

    To me, the difference between the w/sale price and the retail price is the area of gross profit from which overheads (wages/franchise cost etc) should be met from to come up with a net profit. I know that it will be argued that the service element is the same as that in any restaurant but I'm not having that. To me there's no difference between a corner shop selling a bar of chocolate and the Rail Gourmet poison truck. Anyway, the catering is a mess and has been for decades but then again so is CIE ....


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,399 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin



    To me, the difference between the w/sale price and the retail price is the area of gross profit from which overheads (wages/franchise cost etc) should be met from to come up with a net profit. I know that it will be argued that the service element is the same as that in any restaurant but I'm not having that. To me there's no difference between a corner shop selling a bar of chocolate and the Rail Gourmet poison truck.

    How much do Spar charge you for one bar, though? On board catering doesn't have capacity to run with loss leaders on board, expensive and all as they are, but I agree that a little more range and value could be offered on board, even something as basic as chips or a burger.

    Mind you, I've seen places charge more for bleh grub than Rail Gourmet so they are not the only ones at it :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23,866 ✭✭✭✭ January


    bk wrote: »
    Actually there is a lot of interesting science behind airline meals. It turns out that peoples taste buds are much less effective at 40,000 feet up. What tastes good at ground level can taste boring and tasteless at high altitudes.

    Did you watch the Heston Blumenthal program too :p ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,374 ✭✭✭✭ foggy_lad


    How much do Spar charge you for one bar, though? On board catering doesn't have capacity to run with loss leaders on board, expensive and all as they are, but I agree that a little more range and value could be offered on board, even something as basic as chips or a burger.

    Mind you, I've seen places charge more for bleh grub than Rail Gourmet so they are not the only ones at it :)
    I have often been on trains where the lousy snack cart doesn't even have bottles of water or a packet of crisps left at the start of their journey as the cart was emptied on the outward trip from Dublin to Waterford/Westport/Galway/etc


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,312 ✭✭✭✭ vicwatson


    3 lids for a bowl of microwaved porridge - WTF?

    4.50 for a can of beer :eek:


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