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Bringing food and drinks onto the train


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#1 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:09 PM

My first time on a train, and I was wondering if there are any restrictions concerning bringing food and drinks onto the train...

#2 Ispolkom

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:11 PM

My first time on a train, and I was wondering if there are any restrictions concerning bringing food and drinks onto the train...


As long as you can carry it on yourself, it doesn't require cooking, and (if you're in coach) isn't alcoholic, I can't think of any restrictions.

#3 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:12 PM

Any restrictions on bringing food and drinks onto the train? Also, How about alcoholic beverages?

#4 zephyr17

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:13 PM

My first time on a train, and I was wondering if there are any restrictions concerning bringing food and drinks onto the train...

Can't consume your own alcohol unless you are in sleeper. Can't use the lounge tables to eat/drink your own food, but fine to eat at your seat. No microwave available for passenger use. That is about it. Lots of people bring their own food onboard.

Edited by zephyr17, 30 September 2010 - 12:14 PM.

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#5 Guest_jim hudson_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:17 PM

:hi: Welcome to the best forum in the world! :) You cant drink alcoholic beverages in coach legally, you can purchase them for a high price in the cafe along with snacks and lite meals or in the diner)but if you are in a sleeper you can bring whatever you can carry, fit into your room with the exception of microwaves, coffe makers and slow cookers! :lol: Most of us carry snacks that will keep/be edible for the length of the trip, or pick up supplies along the way! )ice is not always available and they cant keep any of your food in the diner or cafe, against the law!)Dont hesitate to ask any questions about train travel here, we have lots of folks with good info, most of it is even true! :lol:

#6 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:18 PM


My first time on a train, and I was wondering if there are any restrictions concerning bringing food and drinks onto the train...


As long as you can carry it on yourself, it doesn't require cooking, and (if you're in coach) isn't alcoholic, I can't think of any restrictions.



#7 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:22 PM

If I carry a sandwich and a couple bottles of water, will a cup or glass of ice be provided to me free of charge?

#8 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:27 PM

If I carried a sandwich and a couple bottles of water, will a cup or glass of ice be provided to me free of charge?

#9 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:31 PM

:hi: Welcome to the best forum in the world! :) You cant drink alcoholic beverages in coach legally, you can purchase them for a high price in the cafe along with snacks and lite meals or in the diner)but if you are in a sleeper you can bring whatever you can carry, fit into your room with the exception of microwaves, coffe makers and slow cookers! :lol: Most of us carry snacks that will keep/be edible for the length of the trip, or pick up supplies along the way! )ice is not always available and they cant keep any of your food in the diner or cafe, against the law!)Dont hesitate to ask any questions about train travel here, we have lots of folks with good info, most of it is even true! :lol:


Is there a way of finding out how crowded the train will be and what age groups are aboard?

Edited by GG-1, 30 September 2010 - 06:28 PM.
fix quote


#10 Long Train Runnin'

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:40 PM

you may or may not get ice for free depends on the cafe attendant

There are generally a wide variety of people on the train young and old alike.
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#11 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:45 PM

[quote name='Pat' date='30 September 2010 - 12:31 PM' timestamp='1285867915' post='251896']
[quote name='jim hudson' date='30 September 2010 - 12:17 PM' timestamp='1285867041' post='251889']
:hi: Welcome to the best forum in the world! :) You cant drink alcoholic beverages in coach legally, you can purchase them for a high price in the cafe along with snacks and lite meals or in the diner)but if you are in a sleeper you can bring whatever you can carry, fit into your room with the exception of microwaves, coffe makers and slow cookers! :lol: Most of us carry snacks that will keep/be edible for the length of the trip, or pick up supplies along the way! )ice is not always available and they cant keep any of your food in the diner or cafe, against the law!)Dont hesitate to ask any questions about train travel here, we have lots of folks with good info, most of it is even true! :lol:
[/quote

Is there a way of finding out how crowded the train will be and what age groups are aboard? What's the approximate seating capacity in the coach areas of the train, and how many trains have coach seating?
/quote]

Is the seating in the coach area assigned, or first come first serve?

#12 the_traveler

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:47 PM

The only real "restriction" is if you are in coach, consider your other passenger's also! YOU may like a food that's smelly and stinky, but the other 70+ people in the car may not feel the same way!Posted Image And say if it's a western train, that smell may stay in that car for 2 1/2 days!Posted Image

Edited by the_traveler, 30 September 2010 - 12:48 PM.

Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#13 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:04 PM

:hi: Welcome to the best forum in the world! :) You cant drink alcoholic beverages in coach legally, you can purchase them for a high price in the cafe along with snacks and lite meals or in the diner)but if you are in a sleeper you can bring whatever you can carry, fit into your room with the exception of microwaves, coffe makers and slow cookers! :lol: Most of us carry snacks that will keep/be edible for the length of the trip, or pick up supplies along the way! )ice is not always available and they cant keep any of your food in the diner or cafe, against the law!)Dont hesitate to ask any questions about train travel here, we have lots of folks with good info, most of it is even true! :lol:


Thanks,Jim...I enjoyed you sense of humor and the inserted emoticons...I'm having a little difficulty with this site...just trying to figure it out...

#14 caravanman

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:07 PM

Hi,
You can't find out about how full/busy a train is, except maybe by calling an amtrak agent and asking.. they can look on their screens and see how many seats are available. One other tip is to look on amtrak.com and see if the coach seats are still selling at the lowest price.. they rise in price as more are sold. Not easy for a novice to do. All trains have a coach seat allowance, which is the basic lowest price rail seat. Weekends and holiday periods tend to be busiest, Jan to March is generaly the off peak season, less crowded, lower prices.

Ed :cool:

#15 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:18 PM

The only real "restriction" is if you are in coach, consider your other passenger's also! YOU may like a food that's smelly and stinky, but the other 70+ people in the car may not feel the same way!Posted Image And say if it's a western train, that smell may stay in that car for 2 1/2 days!Posted Image


Perfectly understandable...thanks. Can you tell me approximately how many coach trains there are, and what the seating capacity is on each one? (70?)
Also, are there compartments for carry-ons above or below each seat? Remember...this is my 1st time, so I don't have a clue! Is it safe to bring a laptop? Where can I store it for safe keeping, if I decide to wander off into the diner or cafe car?

#16 BeckysBarn

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:22 PM

If you'll let us know which cities you'll be traveling between it will be easier for someone to give you specifics on number of coaches.

And we've all ridden the train for the first time. It's just that for some folks the first ride was a looonnnngggg time ago :lol:
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#17 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:40 PM

Hi,
You can't find out about how full/busy a train is, except maybe by calling an amtrak agent and asking.. they can look on their screens and see how many seats are available. One other tip is to look on amtrak.com and see if the coach seats are still selling at the lowest price.. they rise in price as more are sold. Not easy for a novice to do. All trains have a coach seat allowance, which is the basic lowest price rail seat. Weekends and holiday periods tend to be busiest, Jan to March is generaly the off peak season, less crowded, lower prices.

Ed :cool:


Thanks, Ed...What's the lowest price for coach seats?

#18 RyanS

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

From where to where?
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#19 the_traveler

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:31 PM

Can you tell me approximately how many coach trains there are, and what the seating capacity is on each one? (70?)
Also, are there compartments for carry-ons above or below each seat? Remember...this is my 1st time, so I don't have a clue! Is it safe to bring a laptop? Where can I store it for safe keeping, if I decide to wander off into the diner or cafe car?

As stated, please let us know from where to where you will be traveling. Some trains carry single level coaches while other trains use bi-level coaches. There is a luggage rack above your seat (which is MUCH bigger than on a plane). It is open and you can put full sized suitcases in it. There is also room at the end of the cars on single level trains and a large luggage rack on the lower level of Superliners.

In coach, I would try to keep any valuables (purses, wallets, laptops/netbooks. etc...) with you. Take them with you. However, I have left my netbook above my seat or on the tray table when I was gone, and had no problems. As in any situation, size up your surroundings. If you feel safe, trust your feelings!Posted Image Besides not many people get off a train going 79 MPH - so they should still be on the train! They can only walk forward or back to another car!Posted Image

Also, don't worry about the stated "2 carry-on per person" limit too much! I have never seen it strictly enforced. Besides, the many exceptions include:

  • Purses
  • Coats
  • Sweaters
  • Pillows
  • Computers
  • Strollers
  • Car Seats
  • Walkers or assist devices
  • etc ...
Basically if you can easily carry it yourself, you can carry it on.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#20 zephyr17

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:32 PM

Is the seating in the coach area assigned, or first come first serve?

It depends on the station, the train, and somewhat on the crew. For reserved seat trains at originating and other large stations, you generally line up and get a seating assignment and a seat check from the conductor/assistant conductor at a podium. For any but the largest intermediate stops, you just board, although you may be directed to one car or another based on your destination. Once you board, the attendent may assign you to a seat. If the attendent doesn't, you can take any free seat. The attendent generally won't lift your ticket, though. Some do, but they are not supposed to. Note that whether or not a seat is free is not determined by whether or not someone is sitting in it (they may be in the diner or lounge car), but whether there is a "seat check" or "hat check" inserted in the holder above the seats. This is a small piece of paper, ususally with the destination of the passenger in that seat written on it. If the conductor hasn't lifted your ticket before or while you are boarding, once you find a seat STAY THERE until he comes by and lifts your ticket. Once he lifts your ticket, he will put a seat check above your seat, and it's now yours. Sleeper space is assigned when you reserve it, though.

As to capacity, the upstairs section of a Superliner coach seats about 80, IIRC. Not sure about the downstairs part or other equipment types, except the Talgo. The little Talgo mini-cars seat about 30-40 each, I think.

How many coaches there are depends on the train. Most western Superliner trains carry at least 2 coaches at all times. Some quite a few more. The Starlight has had up to 5 coaches in peak season. The Builder can carry up to 5, 2 for Seattle, 2 for Portland, and 1 short Chicago-Minneapolis/St Paul. Could be 6 if there are 3 Seattle coaches, which I think does happen sometimes. The Chief usually carries 3 in the summer, IIRC.

On unreserved trains, such as the Pacific Surfliners, you just grab any seat without a seat check...but having a seat is NOT guaranteed on the unreserved trains.

Edited by zephyr17, 30 September 2010 - 02:40 PM.

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