Grand Central catering?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Bridge189, 29 Oct 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    19 Sep 2011
    I was just wondering what level of catering grand central provide onboard? I know they have a buffet bar but do they also have any hot meals like HT/EC? I seem to remember originally there was meant to be American Diner style hot food in first class hence the whole route 26 thing.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    First Class is nothing more than at-seat service from the buffet
    I was not impressed
    Before ordering ask for a menu and price list
    I noted they prefer to list what is available, no details of prices unless you ask, presumably as passengers are travelling First Class they have unlimited funds...
     
  4. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    19 Sep 2011
    I had heard that they didn't have menus and that the products were very expensive. It is hardly hard to have menus/buffet price lists onboard it really the basics of running a service like that really. Not great when compared to EC who have a full complementary offer with hot food included.
     
  5. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    10,147
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    The 'Route 26' catering was listed on their website as 'coming soon' for a long time. It would appear it was then quietly dropped.

    When I travelled with GC on one of their Bradford-London morning services, hot food seemed to be limited to Bacon and Sausage Butties. Think they also do Burgers at certain times of the day.
     
  6. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    Agreed, it is not difficult to supply a small number of menu and/or price list
    Obviously if the food and drink is complimentary then the price list is redundant but even a menu is helpful, although on Virgin Trains the staff simply advise "This trolley is Chicken Pie, or you can wait a few minute for the other trolley with Vegetable Noodles" (as an example)

    When I asked on Grand Central I was advised "Quite a few sandwiches, what do you not like and I will bring some along"
    Like doh, do they not know what they have or could not even bring one of each label along to remind them
    Perhaps stick to breakfast, a bacon roll is not difficult to forget (or remember)

    Yes, dropped in favour of local suppliers who no doubt pay up front for contracts to promote their products and supply all the consumables
     
  7. OMGitsDAVE

    OMGitsDAVE Member

    Messages:
    728
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2009
    Location:
    Hartlepool, England, UK
    GC are pretty limited in terms of food, but its there.

    Breakfast - Bacon/Sausage Sandwich
    Snacks

    Other times of the day - Ready meals such as Chicken Tikka Massala
    Cold Sandwiches/Snacks

    There's a few available, but not fresh.
     
  8. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    10,147
    Joined:
    15 Feb 2006
    GC presumably paid TFP quite a sum to come up with everything required for Route 26 (see pages 9 & 10 at
    http://www.thefacilitiespartner.co.uk/pdfs/EXP_01_TFP_Relevant_Experience_TOC.pdf ). Quite a bit of money wasted there aI would think!
     
  9. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    Food offer has been increased, First Class is still limited to drinks/snacks at the moment.

    Route 26 branding was dropped some time ago, as is evident in on-board artwork and chinaware for passengers in First.

    Hot food is available, has been for a while now although within a fairly small range. Full menus are now available in the buffet cars on all trains.

    Hot Sarnies £3.00 (Bacon, Sausage and Double Egg)
    Meals £4.90 (Macaroni Cheese, Chile Con Carne, Shepherds Pie)
    Good range of cold Tiffin sandwiches in addition to pasta pots and subs, starting at around £3 if my memory serves me right.

    Then there's the usual cans of booze and spirits, some already mixed in the case of JD and Coke and so forth. Soft drinks, crisps, chocolate bars and bags of Haribo starting at 80p. Range of small and large bottles of wine which many of the customers have commented on as being rather nice, big bottles start at a tenner a pop, sadly limited in terms of choice but there is only so much stock that can be carried, especially in a 180 buffet.

    Also a good range of local / handmade products such as the very tasty Piper's crisps, IPA real ale, Black Sheep, Mad Hatter Tea and so forth.

    The specialty coffee machines are also playing a bit better now, it would seem, and 'proper' coffee is available onboard many trains now which is a definite plus as well as different types for those who fancy something a bit more upmarket than the standard Kenco.

    The catering offer is slowly growing and contain some really good products but does not, sadly, compare well to the rather formidable new offer introduced by East Coast.

    Hope that clears up some of the questions -sadly the price list is stuck in my brain :D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You were unlucky then, most of the CSAs write down what is available and then take a walk along and see what, if anything, is wanted!!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    No, not as in 'made and cooked on the train', that's a safety-related issue with regards to cooking on the trains that has been examined before but I am unaware of all the background behind it. The offer is currently based around freshly prepared chilled products to re-heat on board, as with most catering on trains and planes - it's not practical to cook a meal from scratch in the confines of a HST buffet, never mind 180!
     
  10. OMGitsDAVE

    OMGitsDAVE Member

    Messages:
    728
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2009
    Location:
    Hartlepool, England, UK
    Yeah that's what I meant. The products are mostly (if not all) locally sourced, and all relatively fresh.
     
  11. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    On my last trip I asked about hot food and was advised they had stopped offering this and had been replaced by a vaster range of sandwiches
    OK then, how about a sandwich (resulting in above question)
    I asked about anything without cheese, the staff member came back and advised there was a choice of Chicken or Ham Salad
    If two is a vast range, I'd hate to see a limited range...
     
  12. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    I can personally vouch for the taste of many of the sarnies on board, ham and egg and double egg being particular favorites ;)
     
  13. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    Well they are on board trains again now, cos I microwaved one just yesterday!!
    What train was that 'vast' range offered on may I ask... (ie direction of travel and departure time)

    From the top of my head I have either eaten or sold:
    Chicken and Stuffing, Cheese and Chive savoury, Ham Salad, Ham and Cheese, Ham and Egg, Hot Bacon, Hot Sausage, Hot Egg, Egg and Cress, Something veggie that had pesto in it (?!)...I'm certain there are plenty more that aren't on hand after a long few days!!
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2011
  14. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    About three weeks, Monday 03 October 11:23 Kings Cross to York
     
  15. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    No stock added to the train in London, if it was a busy outward run, which A60 always is on a Monday the stock can soon be sold and sometimes stock can be limited for Northbound runs which isn't ideal :(

    A logistical issue really. The system revolves around on-train stock takes and emails from crews to stores (either NCL or BDI) to get the stock to the Northern terminus for a set's next working.
     
  16. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    19 Sep 2011
    Aren't GCs buffets the ex VXC variants without the full kitchens like the ones EC/EMT/FGW have? If so fresh cooking cound not be done onboard anyways. And you would require chefs.
     
  17. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    Yes, they are of the ex-Virgin design. A bit of re-equipping would likely be possible, if not a little costly but extra staff, as you say, would be a must :D
     
  18. 142094

    142094 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,789
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle
    I bet GC would probably actually do quite well if they had more substantial offerings or even a restaurant carriage for one of the departures off the Cross during the peak.
     
  19. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    19 Sep 2011
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page