Thursday, April 20, 2017

It’s not Starbucks, but it’s WAY better than Amtrak coffee

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I appreciate a good cup of coffee, especially a cappuccino or espresso (please don’t say expresso, especially in a good Italian restaurant). That’s why I have refused to drink Amtrak coffee, which is like ingesting lube oil—until now.

Weary, bleary-eyed Amtrak passengers yearning for a hot cup of Joe who have been forced to purchase a decent cup of coffee before boarding their train now won’t have to: Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend and Dunkin’ Decaf® hot coffees are now available on Amtrak’s Acela Express Northeast Corridor trains!

Yes, America’s Railroad Runs on Dunkin’. Keep On Rollin’ (well, at least on the Acela Express).

“With the new agreement, Dunkin’ Donuts’ signature hot coffee is now available to the 3.4 million customers who ride Acela Express trains each year,” Amtrak said in announcing this significant beverage enhancement. “Dunkin’ Donuts coffee will be served all day in First Class and Café Acela, and will be brewed using the same equipment featured in Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants to ensure the same high quality and great taste enjoyed by millions of Dunkin’ guests each and every day.”

Not bad! Now let’s try to pour this out system-wide. Actually, Amtrak says that later this year, Dunkin’ Donuts hot coffees are scheduled to be served aboard Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains that operate throughout the Northeast Corridor.

More from Amtrak: “Dunkin’ Donuts has an established presence at locations geared toward serving travelers, with restaurants at airports and train stations throughout the country. According to Chris Fuqua, Senior Vice President, Dunkin' Donuts Brand Marketing, Global Consumer Insights & Product Innovation, ‘Both Amtrak and Dunkin’ Donuts share a long heritage of serving on-the-go Americans, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to help keep Acela Express passengers energized with Dunkin’ Donuts hot coffee whenever and wherever they are traveling. As the brand that keeps America running, we are excited that Acela Express now runs on Dunkin’.’”

And you will be “excited” too, depending upon how many cups of the caffeinated variety you drink.

According to Thomas Hall, Amtrak Vice President, Passenger Experience, “Amtrak takes pride in enriching the customer experience with premium services and brands, and offering Dunkin’ Donuts hot coffee aboard all of our Acela Express trains is just the latest example of this on-going commitment. No matter where our customers are traveling, providing a high-quality coffee experience on board is another reason why Amtrak is the smarter way to travel.”

Now, Mr. Hall, I’d like to offer a few marketing suggestions. You might want to do a little rebranding, with Dunkin’ Donuts’ permission, of course. How about “Have a Nice Cup of Joe,” in honor of your former president, Joe Boardman? In fact, if you decide to offer espresso, I’d even forgive you for calling it “Acela Expresso.” But for God’s sake, don’t ever call Dunkin’ Decaf “Derailcaf.”








William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, William C. Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age’s leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts, among them Next-Generation Train Control, Light Rail, and Rail Insights. He is the author or co-author or editor of several books, among them All About Railroading; John Armstrong’s The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does; Railway Age’s Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary; and Planning, Engineering, and Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey.