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Desktop PC on Amtrak


35 replies to this topic

#21 caravanman

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 04:56 AM

The OP has already stated that they have a valuable home built computer. They don't need advice about donating it and buying another one. I get the impression that the main reason for the train trip is to safeguard that computer. Let's not micro manage a few simple questions!

 

Always good to know that a "fragile" label on good sent by Fedex is just for decoration.

 

Ed


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#22 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:13 PM

It is hard to advise without knowing the size of the home build unit.

 

Labels on Fed-X, UPS, or USPS mean nothing.  The insurance value is what sometimes makes the difference.



#23 BCL

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 12:22 PM

 

A. Are desktop computers allowed on the trains?
B. Can I bring my desktop into the room with me?
C. Do the rooms have locked doors when I'm eating?


A. Yes, as carry-on luggage or commercial shipment, but electronic items are generally not allowed as checked luggage accompanying a passenger.

 

As far as I can tell, they don't really care other than disclaiming liability if anything is damaged, lost, or stolen in checked baggage.  The category include all fragile and valuable items, including money.


Edited by BCL, 14 April 2018 - 12:23 PM.


#24 bratkinson

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:58 PM


Always good to know that a "fragile" label on good sent by Fedex is just for decoration.

 

The same is true for UPS and USPS.  I've seen packages marked fragile thrown and dropped in their sorting centers, too.  The automatic sorters for regular sized packages can be very brutal, especially to items not adequately boxed up.  I've seen flat screen TVs with feet attached, put in a box and no packing materials, 36-count rolls of toilet paper right off the shelf from Walmart, and even packages of moose scent (for the hunters) break open.  I've seen it 'rain' from the overhead belts everything from water to bleach to paint to wine!  If you're old enough to remember the 'savage baggage handlers' commercials featuring a gorilla, the gorilla was too slow in destroying the competitor brand suitcase.



#25 AcrossTheOcean

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:31 PM

 


Always good to know that a "fragile" label on good sent by Fedex is just for decoration.

 

The same is true for UPS and USPS.  I've seen packages marked fragile thrown and dropped in their sorting centers, too.  The automatic sorters for regular sized packages can be very brutal, especially to items not adequately boxed up.  I've seen flat screen TVs with feet attached, put in a box and no packing materials, 36-count rolls of toilet paper right off the shelf from Walmart, and even packages of moose scent (for the hunters) break open.  I've seen it 'rain' from the overhead belts everything from water to bleach to paint to wine!  If you're old enough to remember the 'savage baggage handlers' commercials featuring a gorilla, the gorilla was too slow in destroying the competitor brand suitcase.

 

And true for checked luggage when flying by air.  The luggage distribution system in an airport can be similar to a sorting center.  There are some baggage handlers who read "fragile" to mean "throw me!"

Another advantage of Amtrak: your checked luggage doesn't have to travel anywhere by conveyor.


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#26 cpotisch

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:00 PM

And true for checked luggage when flying by air.  The luggage distribution system in an airport can be similar to a sorting center.  There are some baggage handlers who read "fragile" to mean "throw me!"

Another advantage of Amtrak: your checked luggage doesn't have to travel anywhere by conveyor.

 

I second this. Airlines don't seem to be particularly careful with checked bags. One time I was looking out the window of an A320 when we were at the gate, and saw a small suitcase fall off the conveyer belt leading into the adjacent plane's cargo hold. The man dealing with the bags only seemed to notice that suitcase as he was leaving.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#27 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:16 PM

And true for checked luggage when flying by air.  The luggage distribution system in an airport can be similar to a sorting center.  There are some baggage handlers who read "fragile" to mean "throw me!"
Another advantage of Amtrak: your checked luggage doesn't have to travel anywhere by conveyor.

I second this. Airlines don't seem to be particularly careful with checked bags. One time I was looking out the window of an A320 when we were at the gate, and saw a small suitcase fall off the conveyer belt leading into the adjacent plane's cargo hold. The man dealing with the bags only seemed to notice that suitcase as he was leaving.



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#28 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:41 PM

Checked baggage handling on Amtrak generally is so much better than the airline cattle car operation.

#29 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:55 PM

As far as I can tell, they don't really care other than disclaiming liability if anything is damaged, lost, or stolen in checked baggage.  The category include all fragile and valuable items, including money.


While I do not disagree in general terms if I was carrying a unique and/or expensive custom built device (computer or otherwise) I would want to know if my rights and/or insurance were potentially invalidated by transporting it in a manner that was not officially sanctioned.

 

Checked baggage handling on Amtrak generally is so much better than the airline cattle car operation.

 

Although this doesn't seem to come up very often I would have to agree. Based on what I've seen over the years Amtrak seems to do a much better job of not treating your checked luggage like inconvenient trash. I've had nothing but bad experiences with checked luggage on airlines.  Delayed departures, absent arrivals, security distractions, sloppy repacking, missing items, and bags that simply vanished altogether.  It finally got to the point that I almost never check anything anymore.  Better to pack less and ensure I'll have something rather than packing more and risk arriving with nothing.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 17 April 2018 - 04:08 PM.

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#30 BCL

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:25 PM

 

As far as I can tell, they don't really care other than disclaiming liability if anything is damaged, lost, or stolen in checked baggage.  The category include all fragile and valuable items, including money.


While I do not disagree in general terms if I was carrying a unique and/or expensive custom built device (computer or otherwise) I would want to know if my rights and/or insurance were potentially invalidated by transporting it in a manner that was not officially sanctioned.

 

Sure.  But it's probably not one of the things that would get someone tossed, such as placing dangerous chemicals or undeclared firearms in baggage.  Putting those terms out there gives them the chance to let the passenger know they were warned about it if they come back to Amtrak complaining about a damaged computer monitor.

 

Still - factory packed electronics are moved around the world by DHL/UPS/FedEx.  A lot of people ordering custom ordering computers these days see that they were shipped straight from a factory in Asia, but packed in lots of foam.  I doubt that air freight is any more gentle than Amtrak baggage handling.



#31 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:41 PM

when shipping electronics, using soft form fitting foam against a plastic sheet helps to protect the item from moving or receiving major shocks once the foam hardens to the shape of the items and the shape of the box.



#32 cpotisch

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:10 PM

I guess the point is that though you really don't want to check something expensive and fragile like a computer, no matter what the form of transit, Amtrak would still be a hell of a lot better than the airlines. Still not recommending it though.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#33 Guest_pvd_*

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 05:22 PM

Shippers of very expensive electronics often have shock detectors stuck onto the packaging. If it indicates shock or jarring greater than that which is permissible you must note it (or in some cases refuse delivery) with the shipper when accepting the shipment.



#34 Lonestar648

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:52 PM

Wish we had those when our Sun triple redundant servers shipped from England to the US.  Even with all the protection Sun installed in each server, sometimes we got a dented metal case.  Of course all hell broke loose when the $300K claim was filed, then for a while each was handled like a carton of eggs, managers were watching.


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#35 pennyk

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:03 PM

MODERATOR NOTE:  The general discussion on the subject of computer hard drives has been split to a new topic in the AU Lounge.  Please only post comments here that respond to OP's question.  Thanks.

 

http://discuss.amtra...on/#entry750956


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Amtrak miles: 246,317; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion, Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, NE Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#36 chakk

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:50 PM

I’ve transported a desktop computer inside a suitcase on Amtrak before. No problem. I didn’t take it out of the suitcase during the trip so no one knew what was inside. The suitcase just sat on the luggage rack on the lower level of my sleeper throughout the 26-hour journey.



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