Hi all. We just realized (2 days before our trip) that we didn't actually book the sleeper car as we had though and that we are, in fact, traveling overnight in coach class on the Empire Builder. I guess we don't know how to read the booking site :/ So bummed Anyway, now that we know this, we are concerned about getting a decent seat, and how to ensure that the 4 of us can sit (and sleep) together. Last time I traveled with the kids on Amtrak from Chicago the waiting room was so hot we could barely think, and the boarding procedure was like something from my time in Eastern Europe 20 years ago! Someone said something unintelligible over the speakers then suddenly everyone in the waiting room swarmed at the door to the platform, pushing and shoving , battling to be the first one to get their large bag or stroller or whatever up the steps to the train. (I guess the only difference from my Eastern European trip was the lack of people trying to board chickens onto the train and no angry older woman throwing onions at people!!). On our last trip from Chicago we had arrived early to ensure that we could sit together but, due to the lack of information or instructions, or a line, there was no advantage to arriving early whatsoever! I am scared that this will happen again, but that this time we could be split up for the 30 something hours of our trip! I need tips from seasoned travelers for how to avoid this. How do we ensure that arriving early actually pays off? My kids are 10 and 7 if that information is important for this (so no toddlers or strollers). Also, how can we determine if this is a train that allows checked baggage? Where does baggage get checked? What is the baggage checking procedure? Where does the baggage go when we get off the train? Are there any blankets provided in coach class? What is the procedure for booking a table in the meal car? Will that be obvious when we get on the train? I have also emailed Amtrak with my questions, but as it is Saturday night and we are traveling Monday morning I am nervous that I won't get a response from them in time. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give!