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Double Stroller Help!


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#21 BCL

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:19 AM

Ok...
 
So, I've booked the tickets.  I have everything arranged so that we get a lift to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel from the Thru-way buses.   I have also double checked with the ticketing agent again about our stroller.  She took a good twenty minutes to check with their "helpdesk" that responded that the big tandem (in line seating) stroller we have should be fine and that there shouldn't be any need to buy any kind of box at any station.  She said we can place it in the luggage storage between the wall and the luggage storage area .  
 
Now for more questions.  I keep seeing that there is a baggage car on the Southwest Chief. Can anyone confirm this?  Is there typically one?  Then, of course...I get that there's no checked baggage. And that we handle it ourselves..and that we're to carry it on...how and can we just place our stuff in the baggage car or what's the situation with that?
 
You're all wonderful help.  Thanks in advance!
 
Dustin


The only thing that passengers can accompany directly to a baggage car is a bicycle. Even then the passenger doesn't remove it and the bike would need to go to a station with baggage service.

You could theoretically check in your stroller in Chicago for a destination short of your final stop that has checked baggage service. However, you're normally not allowed to access the baggage car. The baggage must trave from and to staffed stations at both ends. The only exceptions may be some unstaffed stations with platform baggage service. These are specific stations, and the destination must be staffed anyways. You could check in baggage in Chicago if you have enough time, but your destination is the problem.

Edited by BCL, 18 July 2017 - 03:57 PM.


#22 Bob Dylan

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:50 PM

You WONT be able to place your stuff in the Baggage Car if there is no checked baggage at your boarding or destination station.

You can use the downstairs Luggage Rack on a space available basis. Most SCAs will help if you ask where to place stuff, its part of their job even if they don't/wont help to carry it aboard! ( Good ones do!)

I've seen good SCAs place stuff in un-used rooms, in the shower on Viewliners and in bathrooms on Superliners when the Luggage rack is full.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 18 July 2017 - 03:31 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#23 zephyr17

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:13 PM

Ok...

 

So, I've booked the tickets.  I have everything arranged so that we get a lift to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel from the Thru-way buses.   I have also double checked with the ticketing agent again about our stroller.  She took a good twenty minutes to check with their "helpdesk" that responded that the big tandem (in line seating) stroller we have should be fine and that there shouldn't be any need to buy any kind of box at any station.  She said we can place it in the luggage storage between the wall and the luggage storage area .  

 

Now for more questions.  I keep seeing that there is a baggage car on the Southwest Chief. Can anyone confirm this?  Is there typically one?  Then, of course...I get that there's no checked baggage. And that we handle it ourselves..and that we're to carry it on...how and can we just place our stuff in the baggage car or what's the situation with that?

 

You're all wonderful help.  Thanks in advance!

 

Dustin

Yes, the Southwest Chief has a baggage car.  No, you can't use it.  It is used by Amtrak personnel at stations that offer checked baggage service.   Since you are traveling to a station that does not offer checked baggage service, you have to use the luggage storage areas in the car.  On the Southwest Chief, that would be the rack downstairs.

 

You could use Flagstaff, which does have checked baggage service, as the connecting point to the Grand Canyon.  However, it requires an overnight stay in Flagstaff before taking the Arizona Shuttle service to Grand Canyon from Flagstaff that is offered by Amtrak with Amtrak Thruway ticketing.

 

Airplanes have baggage holds.  Do airlines let you walk up and put things in them?


Edited by zephyr17, 18 July 2017 - 02:26 PM.

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#24 Lonestar648

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:52 PM

The SCA will help you, but have to ask.  I have seen when the H room is not used, some items are placed there when the Luggage rack is over flowing. You may have to remind the SCA that you need your stroller before your stop, though the good ones will remember.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#25 BCL

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:06 PM

 

Ok...

 

So, I've booked the tickets.  I have everything arranged so that we get a lift to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel from the Thru-way buses.   I have also double checked with the ticketing agent again about our stroller.  She took a good twenty minutes to check with their "helpdesk" that responded that the big tandem (in line seating) stroller we have should be fine and that there shouldn't be any need to buy any kind of box at any station.  She said we can place it in the luggage storage between the wall and the luggage storage area .  

 

Now for more questions.  I keep seeing that there is a baggage car on the Southwest Chief. Can anyone confirm this?  Is there typically one?  Then, of course...I get that there's no checked baggage. And that we handle it ourselves..and that we're to carry it on...how and can we just place our stuff in the baggage car or what's the situation with that?

 

You're all wonderful help.  Thanks in advance!

 

Dustin

Yes, the Southwest Chief has a baggage car.  No, you can't use it.  It is used by Amtrak personnel at stations that offer checked baggage service.   Since you are traveling to a station that does not offer checked baggage service, you have to use the luggage storage areas in the car.  On the Southwest Chief, that would be the rack downstairs.

 

You could use Flagstaff, which does have checked baggage service, as the connecting point to the Grand Canyon.  However, it requires an overnight stay in Flagstaff before taking the Arizona Shuttle service to Grand Canyon from Flagstaff that is offered by Amtrak with Amtrak Thruway ticketing.

 

Airplanes have baggage holds.  Do airlines let you walk up and put things in them?

 

Train service is inherently different.  For the most part passengers aren't allowed to walk on the tarmac by an open baggage hold, but I've seen the baggage car door open on a train with people walking by.  Theoretically Amtrak on-board could gain access to the baggage car at an unstaffed station, and I was under the impression that there are a limited number of stations where you can bring your luggage to the baggage car.

 

Of course the simple answer is no.  It would probably slow things down since most unstaffed station stops are quick get out and go deals.  I suppose they could do it, but for any number of reasons it's not done.



#26 Hal

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:46 PM

 
Airplanes have baggage holds.  Do airlines let you walk up and put things in them?


They might be from another country or taken the train in another country that lets you walk up and put things in the baggage car. I was on a train overseas and they had that and we did that. It was not checked bags, it was self service baggage. I do recommend against it. I was looking out the window and saw a scout troop with their luggage and ours. Got ours back in the nick of time....

#27 Guest_Grandcircletour17_*

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:06 AM

 

Ok...

 

So, I've booked the tickets.  I have everything arranged so that we get a lift to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel from the Thru-way buses.   I have also double checked with the ticketing agent again about our stroller.  She took a good twenty minutes to check with their "helpdesk" that responded that the big tandem (in line seating) stroller we have should be fine and that there shouldn't be any need to buy any kind of box at any station.  She said we can place it in the luggage storage between the wall and the luggage storage area .  

 

Now for more questions.  I keep seeing that there is a baggage car on the Southwest Chief. Can anyone confirm this?  Is there typically one?  Then, of course...I get that there's no checked baggage. And that we handle it ourselves..and that we're to carry it on...how and can we just place our stuff in the baggage car or what's the situation with that?

 

You're all wonderful help.  Thanks in advance!

 

Dustin

Yes, the Southwest Chief has a baggage car.  No, you can't use it.  It is used by Amtrak personnel at stations that offer checked baggage service.   Since you are traveling to a station that does not offer checked baggage service, you have to use the luggage storage areas in the car.  On the Southwest Chief, that would be the rack downstairs.

 

You could use Flagstaff, which does have checked baggage service, as the connecting point to the Grand Canyon.  However, it requires an overnight stay in Flagstaff before taking the Arizona Shuttle service to Grand Canyon from Flagstaff that is offered by Amtrak with Amtrak Thruway ticketing.

 

Airplanes have baggage holds.  Do airlines let you walk up and put things in them?

 

Well, no, no they don't...but they also make the process maybe a little more obvious...and of course airlines (in general) have people that answer your questions consistently when you place multiple calls to try and get the story straight before you shell out all that cash to travel 2,000 from home...I've called Southwest once. I've talked to Amtrak (quite literally) five times trying to get some kind of "consensus" on what the heck they do/don't do. I will be "less than thrilled" if we get to any of the stations and I catch any kind of heck over the stroller...because 4 out of five Amtrak booking agents have checked with either "management" or their "helpdesk" and have said it should be "fine" or "no problem".  

 

For my first experience taking rail across country, I must admit that (so far) has been the biggest point of frustration. I understand that rail "ain't what it used to be"...but come on...

So, no...we won't be checking our stuff into the baggage car/it's not being used because of our destination. Check.  Understood.  Gotcha.

 

As for anyone else reading this or that has answered. Thanks for all your help. 

 

Oh...and as far as the Grand Canyon Railway and luggage...just in case anyone should ask...I did speak with the very friendly staff there.  You can store your stuff in a locked storage room at the hotel while you're out on the excursion.  I guess it is pretty common practice.  Now, this works well with our itinerary/travel arrangements as we arrive at the Williams Junction after 9 PM when our meal voucher would be useless (the Grand Depot Cafe is closed at 9 pm.).  We're staying at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel overnight, then getting up in the morning to take the excursion to the National Park.  During this time, the hotel will hold our luggage for us (awesome) and then we'll return, use the meal voucher for dinner, and then catch the next SW Chief to Anaheim (as we're then visiting Disneyland/other places).  So, for anyone who may take this same route...there's what I found out.  They'll hold your stuff and it's no problem!

 

Again, thanks to all of you for your patience with me and for answering!

 

Dustin



#28 BCL

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:30 PM

As a practical matter, Amtrak doesn't unlock the doors to the baggage car unless there is advertised baggage service at the station.

We're saying that you should have no problem via personal experience. I've brought a large stroller for a child paying child fare, and there was adequate room. A folded double presents no practical issues since it should fit in the oversized carry on area and weighs less than 50 lbs. At worst they might consider it oversized and charge you a fee.

#29 Bob Dylan

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:00 PM

I've seen lots of the New Bag cars rolling along with the Door left open, especially on the Texas Eagle Route between Ft Worth and Austin. ( Stops With Checked Bags(1): Temple
Without Checked Bags(3): Cleburne,McGregor,Taylor
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#30 Lonestar648

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:18 PM

Conductors may be trying to keep the temperature below 100 in the late morning.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000




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