The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento (125 I Street) is full of trains of all sizes. One of the most impressive is the Super Chief dining car “Cochiti,” filled with elaborate table settings. I asked museum director Paul Hammond about it.
“We call that exhibition ‘Dinner in the Diner.’ Name trains [like the Super Chief] had a lot of pride in their menu items. The display shows different china patterns from the late 19th century to the Amtrak era.
“The dining car seats 36, but the train’s capacity was over 100, thus the diner’s kitchen is set up to cook for three seatings per meal each day in the era before prepared foods.
“They had a large crew of people working the dining car, including one server for every two tables. They had to hurry you along but not make you feel rushed.”