Some thoughts about dining cars


Lunch at Czech dining car

While planning my next day on my train journey in Dec 2011 some thoughts about dining cars came to my mind. Is it worth to think about which dining-car is on your planned train? Well, I think so …

One thing I really love to do during train journeys is having a breakfast with a hot cup of coffee while enjoying the sunrise. Or having a lunch or dinner with regional dishes later in the day.

This is for me a kind of recreation moment and you won’t get any tweet or blog post while I am slurping a hot potatoes soup made by a Czech chef or cutting a Wiener Schnitzel on an Austrian train.

So what can I tell you in this matter? I think there aren’t any bad dining cars but there are differences in the approach the companies serve their clients.

Regarding European dining cars one have to know many of them are running across the borders. So one can’t expect always an Austrian one in Austria and a German one in Germany. Nevertheless each  dining-car and its team can be assigned to a certain company or country.

In course of time I have tried dining cars of Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Switzerland and Czech Republic or of companies which are generally assigned to these countries.

So far I loved those ones of Czech Republic most. They offer a varied menu of Czech dishes and even draught beer. For a reasonable price.

Another interesting dining car is that one of Croatia. Whenever I ordered a cutlet I heard the chef beating the meat a few minutes later. And they offer some fine assertions of sausages and cheese on Croatian dining cars.

The Swiss dining cars have an interesting order of seats. So one can seat at tables for two persons and on tables for up to five persons. Those tables are shaped like the half of a circle and at least one person is so sitting with the face to the window. But a reason I try to avoid Swiss dining cars are their outstanding high prices.

In Germany there are more than one type of dining cars. There are larger ones with full assortment (Restaurants) and smaller ones (Bistros) with only a small selection. I love the German restaurants for the idea to change some parts of the menu every month. And they always use a famous chef for creating the next menu.

Well, for me the taste of those new dishes varies in a broad extent. It is difficult to transform a recipe of a famous chef into a ready-to-serve meal. Therefore I love the Croatian dining cars so much where the recipes are old but the meals are freshly made.

So what are your experiences with dining cars? Are there any you prefer or you really love?