RICHMOND, Va. — Just in time for the holiday season, Amtrak customers can now make reservations at the Staples Mill Road Station’s snack bar for Christmas dinner, officials announced Saturday.
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Richard Anderson, the station’s director, announced the reservation option in response to complaints about delayed and crowded trains in years prior.
“We strive to make our passengers’ trips as comfortable and convenient as possible,” Anderson stated, explaining that the station, which is roughly the size of a gas station, will be decorated and set up to accommodate stranded or delayed passengers.
“By allowing them to anticipate delays and book dining accommodations accordingly, we will be providing passengers with further ease of mind.”
The station’s snack bar is offering a limited variety of “food” options for passengers whose delayed trains mean they can’t partake in the Christmas ham with their loved ones. Menu items include holiday colored M&M’s, Christmas tree shaped pretzels, and individual packets of Heinz ketchup.
Opinions are split on the benefits of being able to make reservations at the snack bar. Some, like Jerry Wald, a sophomore student at VCU, are skeptical. “Don’t get me wrong, I like the full-sized candy bars they offer, but I’m not sure how that’s going to fare as my Christmas dinner. Why can’t they just make the trains go faster or something?”
Others, like Kevin Connors, who takes the train to his parents’ house in Alexandria every year, are excited about the prospect. “As soon as I found out about it, I made my reservations,” Connors said in an interview. “That way, I can at least look forward to an expired Kit Kat and a cold hot dog as I wait around for hours.”
Anderson remains optimistic that by opening up reservations early, the idea of hosting events at the Staples Mill Road Station will grow on others. “If this goes well, maybe we can host parties, weddings, galas, and other events like the Main Street Station downtown does.”