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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:30 PM

If in the Sleeper the SCA tries to rework the bags so all fit.  They may put an overflow bag or two in the Vestibule, especially if they know the passenger is getting off soon. I have never had a problem with my carry 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.


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 08 December 2017 - 09:47 PM

You all have been more help than you will ever know! Thank you so much! Its funny my Dad was a conductor his whole life for CSX (formerly Seaboard Systems Railroad) but I know so little about trains. I get they are two totally different systems but my lack of knowledge is embarrassing!


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!


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.


Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:16 PM

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.

Bob Dylan

Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:13 AM

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.

If you don't need to check stuff, the Luggage rack is right outside your room by the boarding doors.

There is a great Rail Museum upstairs in the City owned old Santa Fe Station and old Rail equipment parked outside.Good way to pass the time till the usually Late Eagle arrives.

Plenty of Free parking if you drive your car,the friendly agent can advise you about where to leave your car.I know McGegor is rural and isolated, unsure of the parking situation @ that un-staffed station?

Dinner starts after the Temple stop ( Austin is last call),so when you board check with your SCA about Reservations in the Diner.


Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:43 AM

We are traveling from McGregor, Texas to San Diego in October on the Texas Eagle (superliner)...

We are on the 421 to LA then we change and take the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego.  The customer services rep I talked to said yesterday that we could only do carry on luggage and the dimension has to be 28x22x14 or less.  However, it looks like the Surfliner restricts luggage to 28x22x11.  When I heard only carry on size I was concerned how we were going to pack for a two week cruise, but it appears that that carry on size in the size of our largest luggage pieces.

While I know it's very convenient to leave from your own home town (or close to it), if you could get a lift into Fort Worth or Austin you would be able to check baggage both ways. [If you choose to do this, though, MAKE SURE you have your reservation modified...if you just show up at Austin with your tickets from McGregor your reservation could be canceled as a no-show!]


I agree with the other posters that the Family Bedroom is the best choice for your trip given the current fare buckets. My sister and B-I-L with their two youngest used it on our Big Family Trip in 2006; it was their first Amtrak trip and they thought it was wonderful.


Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:59 PM

The thing is, on the Surfliners, coach is UNreserved (unlike most of the rest of Amtrak trains) while business class is reserved. They will only sell as many reservations as there are seats in the business class car, but they will sell as many coach tickets as there are people who want to take that train. Thus, in business class you are guaranteed a seat (and other extras), while in coach, there is a possibility you may need to stand.

All seats are first come/first served.

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