As long as all your bags are within the standard limits and they're able to be carried on easily by your family, I wouldn't worry about trying to check the bags. I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) bags can be left at the Metropolitan Lounge at Los Angeles during the transfer if you want to leave the station. There's usually plenty of room on the lower level rack for any carry-on items.
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Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:12 PM
You could also go to Temple ( closest stop to McGregor/staffed) and check your large bags if you have stuff you won't need until you get to LAX.
Good point; the [old, printed] timetable I was looking at didn't show Temple as a staffed station, but it is now. I do agree, though, that if your family can easily schlep your own luggage from train to train there is no real reason to check it unless you just want to. And, yes, you can leave your bags in the Metropolitan Lounge in Los Angeles between trains at no charge if you just want to take a break.
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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:14 PM
It is possible that you will not be able to sit together in the Lounge, and also possible that you will not all be able to find seats in the Lounge, even separated from each other.
On the Sunset/Eagle, it should be pretty easy to find four seats in the lounge. On the Chief, Builder, and Zephyr, passengers are glued to the windows, and often stay there the whole day. With the somewhat tiresome scenery of the Sunset/Eagle people tend to come and go, so the OP and her family should be able to find a place to sit. Scenery aside, I'm sure it will be a great trip!
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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:47 PM
Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:42 AM
There's usually plenty of room on the lower level rack for any carry-on items.
I would argue that usually and plenty do not belong together in your sentence. There is often (but not always) some room, and there is occasionally plenty of room. Maybe we mean the same thing but use different words. My caution would be that sometimes there is no room, or room only following extraordinary shuffling of the existing bags.
Posted 12 December 2017 - 12:10 PM
I've been on some trains where the racks were full. Very often, passengers avoid checking bags. Of course, boarding or de-training at certain stops makes it a non option for some. Sometimes space is occupied by spare linen, the SCA will usually move that as required.
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