My wife and I are going to be taking our first big trip on Amtrak in August. We will be taking the California Zephyr from Chicago to California, driving up the coast, then taking the Empire Builder (keeping our fingers crossed) from Portland to Minneapolis. Roomettes both ways. We've always wanted to take the train over the Rockies, and are really looking forward to it.
My questions here have to do with luggage. We will likely each have one large bag and a smaller carry-on type bag. I have seen references to a baggage area on the sleeping car (down below?). Should we check our bags at the station? If we do, where do the bags go? Will they be accessible on the trip? If we don't check them, can we load them ourselves into the baggage area on the sleeper car?
If it's possible, I like to do the work myself, and make sure the bags get onto the train with me.
One of these is a transdorm car, if that makes a difference.