Category Archives: RR Cookbooks and Dining

Book Review: From the Dining Car


Another James Porterfield book about dining on trains is From the Dining Car, St. Martin’s Press, 2004. Lot’s of recipes for fine dining on special and excursions train trips. More than a revival of meals on railroads of yesterday this volume represents what can be plated for you today with the many fine excursion trains operating today. If you like food and cooking this book will offer many enticing meals to try. Many interested in food often describe a good meal with some memory attached to it, what could be better than combining a good meal with a good train trip. James Porterfield’s books on railroad dining are well written and researched, I highly recommend them to collectors of cookbooks and of course railroaders.

Book Review: Dining by Rail


Dining by Rail was published in 1993 by St. Martin’s Griffins, its author James D. Porterfield provides his book’s context as “The History and Recipes of America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine.” The first half of the book provides an historical summary of dining on trains, the second half includes recipes from numerous railroads. Unlike hotel chefs the railroad chefs had to contend with cramped quarters that constantly rocked back and forth thereby creating a unique cooking environment, but those chefs performed and performed well creating signature dishes from simple to complex. Through food we can bring these railroads back to life and this cookbook provides some of those recipes. Remember the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad (?) here you will find its old recipes for Chicken Cadillac, Creamed Shrimps and Oysters En Casserole, and Savory Mushroom Dressing. Or the PRR’s Baked Potato Pennsylvania and Pennepicure Pie a light raisin meringue dessert. Even a few recipes for The Reading Lines is included. Great book to check out. Perhaps host a dinner party with your railroad buddies.