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Carry on baggage question for cross country train trek


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#1 Guest_GuntherJ4420_*

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 02:29 PM

I am departing Newark NJ on Monday, July 3rd & will have two transfers to get to Portland Oregon. I would prefer to keep all my luggage as carry on, but I am unsure on how enforced is the "two carry on bag limit".

 

I would be carrying a large & small travel backpack, a fold up massage table, (it exceeds the size but not weight limit, only a few inches to long) as well as a smaller sized Didgeridoo (if they question this I could play it off as it being doubled as a cane/walking stick)

 

Reading through the forums, I only saw postings from 8-11 years ago with people saying "in practice if you can carry it & its within reason, you'll have no issues" 

 

 

This is my first time taking Amtrak, so in peoples recent experiences, is the bag limit strictly enforced now? 

As an experienced Amtrak rider, do you think I will be okay bringing all of this aboard? 

 

 

 

 I appreciate any feedback, Thank You ! 



#2 oregon pioneer

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:04 PM

You are allowed two pieces of carry-on luggage. Your purse or personal tote (the small backpack?) does not count against this allowance. Here's the policy on musical instrument: https://www.amtrak.com/special-items (scroll down). Is there any way you could strap the digeridoo to the massage table, so it would count as one piece?

 

I don't think the massage table would get you in trouble, as it's only a couple inches too long and not very thick.


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I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#3 the_traveler

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 03:09 PM

I can't say for certain, but I really don't think you'll have problems. As far as I can see, you only have 3 items they could question. Most crews are reasonable.

Another thing is are you going sleeper or coach?:huh: All probably will not fit in the room, some might have to be (even if coach) kept in the lower level luggage rack on the Superliners.
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#4 KmH

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:48 PM

Amtrak allows 2 carry-on bags and 2 personal bags.
https://www.amtrak.com/baggage-policy
 

2 carry-on items, 50 lbs. and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each.
2 personal items, 25 lbs. and 14 x 11 x 7 inches each

https://www.amtrak.c...d=1251621565003
Excess Bags
A $20 excess baggage fee will be charged for each carry-on and personal item above the quantity and size limits.


Edited by KmH, 28 June 2017 - 05:50 PM.

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#5 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 06:10 PM

Kinda following up on the OP's question:   I haven't had an issue so far, but is Amtrak (in practice) more lenient with passengers' carry-on & personal items if the origin and/or destination stations of said passengers do not handle checked baggage?


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#6 BCL

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:35 PM

You can theoretically check in whatever you need, even if one of the trains on your itinerary has no baggage service.  It would just go on trains that would get your bags to your destination.  Both Newark and Portland have baggage service, so that's not an issue.  I don't think you'd have much of an issue, and worst case is that you get charged the oversize fee.

 

On top of that, if you decide that it's not working, I think you can just check in a piece at one of the transfer points.



#7 Montreal Ltd

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:12 PM

I think the question was about stations, not trains, without baggage service. Once when I got on a Viewliner sleeper many were told to check their bags. When I mentioned that SKY was unstaffed the SCA promptly relented.

#8 ehbowen

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:27 PM

Amtrak's checked baggage service is free and usually reliable. Newark and Portland both offer checked baggage service, although checking from Newark you might want to check bags the night before to ensure that they get on 66/67 and make it to your destination when you do (depending upon your connection points and trains). Do yourself a favor and check the large items that you will not need while actually on the train, especially the massage table (although you may have to box it).


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#9 the_traveler

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:28 PM

At Newark, there are other trains that can also carry checked baggage. These include the Cardinal, Crescent, SM & SS. Thus, it is not really necessary to check them the night before.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

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#10 ehbowen

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:47 PM

True, but I don't know his itinerary for certain. If (as most likely) his train from Newark doesn't handle checked baggage, it's possible that his bags will miss his connection if they have to travel on a long-distance train later in the day. Checking the bags the night before to put them on 66/67 will obviate any such difficulty.

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#11 Guest_GuntherJ4420_*

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:03 PM

Thank you for all the feedback ! The question was about the trains, and peoples thoughts on whether I would get hassled for bringing all of my stuff on the train. 

 

My itinerary is the 141 Northeast Regional : Newark --> Washington D.C 

A two hour wait for the 29 Capital Limited : D. C --> Chicago

A 6 hour wait for the 27 Empire Builder : Chicago --> Portland 

 

 

 



#12 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:44 PM

At Newark, there are other trains that can also carry checked baggage. These include the Cardinal, Crescent, SM & SS. Thus, it is not really necessary to check them the night before.

 

 

Thank you for all the feedback ! The question was about the trains, and peoples thoughts on whether I would get hassled for bringing all of my stuff on the train. 

 

My itinerary is the 141 Northeast Regional : Newark --> Washington D.C 

A two hour wait for the 29 Capital Limited : D. C --> Chicago

A 6 hour wait for the 27 Empire Builder : Chicago --> Portland 

 

 

 

 

I'm curious about the checked baggage procedures myself. If Gunther takes the 141 (which has no baggage service) and then transfers to the CL, his bags will have to find a way to get to WAS by 4:05pm to be placed on the CL. Since people from NJ or PA who don't want to sit on the Cardinal for 24+ hours have to transfer from a baggage-less train to the LSL or CL (or from the LSL/CL to a baggage-less train on the way back, we could check in bags at NWK or PHL (TRE doesn't to my knowledge have baggage service) but is it guaranteed the bags will make it to NYP or WAS in time for the LSL/CL? Or if we return using CL/NER is it guaranteed the bags will get to NWK/PHL when we arrive without the baggage service on the regional/Pennsylvanian (if we go via PGH)? It wasn't an issue for me last time because I went to TRE and I knew I couldn't check bags anyway (I did check bags when I got to NYP) but if I do go via PHL next time I'd like to know if I can check bags when traveling to/from CHI assuming I transfer trains.


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#13 ehbowen

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

That's when you check your bags the night before so that they get on 66/67 and are in Washington well before you. Otherwise, you wait for them to catch up with you a day after you arrive.

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#14 tomfuller

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:58 PM

For sure check the massage table from Newark to PDX the night before if possible. It could  arrive in Portland the day before you but most likely it will be on the Empire Builder you are riding on.

Be sure to hold onto your baggage claim check to pick it up in Portland.



#15 Lonestar648

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:59 PM

I carry everything with me into the sleeper or on the luggage rack on the Superliners.  In the sleepers, I don't think the SCA cares along as you take care to place things yourself.  I have a roller, backpack, and if traveling for fun a bag of souvenirs.  I don't question, I just go forward with confidence like this is what is correct.  Never have had a problem.





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