View of the Kitchen in NCRY diner <I>Bras D'or Lakes</I>.

Classic Railroad dining combines traditional and modern elements.

The Liberty Limited on board cuisine is a faithful recollection of the excellence and elegance of dining aboard the luxury trains of the 1940s and 1950s. As you dine please feel free to close your eyes, savor your food as the miles roll by, and pretend that you are in another era.

To help capture this nostalgic experience, the Liberty Limited staff researched menus and original railroad cookbooks, and called on the expertise of professional catering chefs, a master chef, and a veteran railroad dining car chef, to create menus that are evocative of railroad dining as it was enjoyed in the 1940s and 1950s.

Traditional railroad cuisine uses the freshest produce (railroad kitchens have no room for leftovers), and legendary meats and poultry (when your best freight customers are meat packing companies, you tend to have first crack at what's available).

The most important ingredient to the classic formula is the railroad dining car kitchen itself--a cramped, hot, ten foot by thirty foot workshop where three cooks worked to prepare the meals. Railroad cuisine could hardly be called authentic if cooked anywhere else, so virtually everything served hot in the diner (including soups, breads and sauces) is prepared in the kitchen of the NCR dining car "Bras D'or Lakes".

The kitchen features a propane-fired two oven, 6-burner Garland commercial range (which the Canadian National Railway dismantled and reassembled to get it into the car), a steam table, and food preparation areas. Recent updates to the kitchen include a slow-cooking electric oven (which substantially reduces ambient temperature, and makes the kitchen more comfortable to work in), a new hardwood floor, and updated refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

On most trains, a second diner (car #103, a buffet/lunch counter car also of CN heritage) serves as a pantry (traditionally both pantry and kitchen functions are handled in the same car). By using both a kitchen car and pantry car together, it is possible to serve up to 230 meals at the same time. In addition, salads and cold dishes can be prepared in a chilled environment. Also on car #103 is another modern convenience unknown in the golden era--a commercial dish washer.

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Revised 4/4/99, by Tom Coughlin