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California Zephyr: checked baggage


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#1 pn1

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

I have booked two journeys (coach ticket seniors fare) on the California Zephyr early next month (June 2017); Denver to Salt Lake City and two days later Salt Lake City to Sacramento.

I wonder if I should check my bag for either or both segments. I notice from the Amtrak timetable that checked baggage is available to/from Denver, Salt Lake City and Sacramento.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

Paul in Australia



#2 sechs

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:13 PM

As long as you don't need it during your journey, I'd suggest checking it.  It's just easier.



#3 ehbowen

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:12 PM

I agree that what you don't need should be checked, but as with the airlines or any other transportation provider, make sure you carry on enough essentials so that the trip doesn't turn into a disaster if you get off in Salt Lake City and your bags continue on their merry way towards Reno....

 

(Very, very rare on Amtrak. But it has happened. To me. Except, in my case, my intended destination was Jackson, Michigan....)


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#4 BCL

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:12 PM

You can theoretically check in baggage between any two stations that have baggage service.  Some here have claimed to have done it on routes that were only a few miles apart, because it inherently comes with a grace period for storage.

 

If you don't need the stuff, then go for it.  I check in two pieces from Seattle to Emeryville.  Both theoretically met Amtrak's carry-on size restrictions, but I didn't want to deal with them on the train.  One was a typical airline check-in and the other was about airline carry-on size.



#5 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:06 AM

I agree that what you don't need should be checked, but as with the airlines or any other transportation provider, make sure you carry on enough essentials so that the trip doesn't turn into a disaster if you get off in Salt Lake City and your bags continue on their merry way towards Reno....

 

(Very, very rare on Amtrak. But it has happened. To me. Except, in my case, my intended destination was Jackson, Michigan....)

 

Mishandling does occur.  A couple years ago I checked a bag on the CZ to Glenwood Springs, CO.  After I deboarded the station agent brought the checked luggage up and mine was missing.  If this had been a city where you had to go into the station to claim your luggage, my luggage would have continued on to who knows where.  Thankfully, for me, the station agent when I noticed she did not have my baggage actually contacted the conductor by radio and he stopped the already moving train so the station agent could go back to the baggage car where she retrieved my checked bag.  The persons in the baggage car had simply not released my bag.  I still check my larger bags sometimes but am very cautious and will not check a bag requiring a connection on the east coast since with the abundance of train departures luggage is often sent on different trains than the passenger boards.  Happened to me in Albany, NY.






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