Can I check a bag once I'm on the train?

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I am boarding Train #1 in New Iberia, which doesn’t have baggage services. I am transferring to Train #14 at LAUS. I have four questions about baggage handling alternatives:
  • Is there a baggage car on #1? If not, no need to read any further.
  • If yes, can an OBS check my bag through to EMY and put it in the baggage car once I board at NIB?
  • If not, is there a stop along the #1 route long enough for me to take my bag into the station and check it through to EMY?
  • If yes, would this be allowed at an interim station?
My objective is to not have to deal with my bag during my 4-hour layover at LAUS.

Thanks.
 
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As for baggage car, sometimes yes, sometimes no. There is usually a coach/baggage car if no full baggage car.
Houston is typically a longer stop where you might have time to check your bag. Beaumont is also a possibility but shorter than Houston. I don't know if it would be allowed.
 

jebr

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My objective is to not have to deal with my bag during my 4-hour layover at LAUS.

Given that policy requires checked bags to be tagged 45 minutes before departure, the only stations with that long of a layover are San Antonio (2.5 hours or so) and just barely Tucson (50 minutes.) San Antonio is the middle of the night and you'd likely be stuck in the station for a while (iirc they let people off, do some switching, then close to departure let people on.) If you stay on the train you wouldn't have to worry about that.

Your best bet would be to check your bag upon arrival at LAUS. Yes, that does mean you'd have to deal with it at least a bit in LA, but it should be fairly quick and you wouldn't have to worry about it for the rest of the layover. I don't know if there's a place to store bags in the lounge, but that might be another option if you have access and are fine with leaving it in the lounge and picking it up before departure. The other options all have much larger caveats that, imo, don't make it worthwhile.

By the way, I'm not aware of a way that OBS can check a bag into the baggage car - afaik they don't have the baggage slips necessary to do so, and the baggage cars are treated as though they aren't accessible during the trip except at the designated station stops in my experience.
 
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Bob Dylan

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I am boarding Train #1 in New Iberia, which doesn’t have baggage services. I am transferring to Train #14 at LAUS. I have four questions about baggage handling alternatives:
  • Is there a baggage car on #1? If not, no need to read any further.
  • If yes, can an OBS check my bag through to EMY and put it in the baggage car once I board at NIB?
  • If not, is there a stop along the #1 route long enough for me to take my bag into the station and check it through to EMY?
  • If yes, would this be allowed at an interim station?
My objective is to not have to deal with my bag during my 4-hour layover at LAUS.

Thanks.
I would carry my bags on when boarding, put your Biggest Bag in the downstairs Rack and only take what you need upstairs. ( you didn't indicate whether you were in a Sleeper or Coach)

When you get to San Antonio, around Midnight, the Station is Open, and staffed, and you can check your Bags thru to Emeryville there.

The Station is Small, has really Bright Lights and is often Crowded, not a place to hang out for several Hours, so I would ask the Attendant if you have time to reboard before the Switching of the #421 Thru Cars starts.

Otherwise, check you bags and head over to the Dennys on East Commerce ( West under the I37 Tunnel towards Downtown, only a couple of blocks, or walk a couple of more blocks to the River Walk ( San Antonio's Bourbon Street) and the Alamo( closed but worth a Look, it's lit @ night) and walk around.

Depenending on the Day and what's happening in San Antonio, it'll be busy or dead, but it's a Big Tourist town with lots of Hotels, Clubs and Eating Joints along the River.

Then return to the Station (#1 departs for LAX @ 245am if on time ) and reboard your Car.
 
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By the way, I'm not aware of a way that OBS can check a bag into the baggage car - afaik they don't have the baggage slips necessary to do so, and the baggage cars are treated as though they aren't accessible during the trip except at the designated station stops in my experience.
Thanks, all, for this info. It's too bad that OBS can't check bags trainside. That would be a great way to mitigate not having baggage services at the smaller, shorter-stop stations. Amtrak should consider implementing this, although I suppose it would require negotiating new union agreements. And there may be other factors affecting this.
 

dadonatrain

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Jebr, in your reply to the OP you said you’re not sure if there’s a place to store bags “in the lounge”. I assume from the context you mean the sleeper psgr lounge at LAUS. My experience there is several years old, but I do recall quite a stack of large bags in the corner behind the checkin desk, where anyone eligible to cool your heels there could stash stuff while using the lounge, even if we left and went downstairs for food, etc. perhaps this helps the OP.
 
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Jebr, in your reply to the OP you said you’re not sure if there’s a place to store bags “in the lounge”. I assume from the context you mean the sleeper psgr lounge at LAUS. My experience there is several years old, but I do recall quite a stack of large bags in the corner behind the checkin desk, where anyone eligible to cool your heels there could stash stuff while using the lounge, even if we left and went downstairs for food, etc. perhaps this helps the OP.
They also use the conference room in the lounge at LAUS for baggage. The door is kept closed and locked and the lounge attendant has the key.
 

Cal

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Are there many incidents of theft or damage to bags left on the downstairs rack on LD trains?
Not that I (and seemingly pretty much everyone on here) have noticed.
As for baggage car, sometimes yes, sometimes no. There is usually a coach/baggage car if no full baggage car.
Houston is typically a longer stop where you might have time to check your bag. Beaumont is also a possibility but shorter than Houston. I don't know if it would be allowed.
To be clear, even if there isn't a full car dedicated for baggage, there will always be a place for checked bags.
 

WWW

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It is an awkward situation for Amtrak and its customers - - -
You should have checked your baggage at a minimum 45 minutes before scheduled departure -
You arrive LATE trackside boarding in the middle of a consist of 9 cars -
The baggage car is behind 2-3 locomotives at the front of the train -
How the heck are you going to be sure that your baggage is loaded into the baggage car at the front/rear of the train -
Better to have it with you than suffer the delay in getting it returned to you -
Bedrooms and Roomettes best to have it to keep an eye on it -
Coach cars not a lot of wiggle room to keep it close by - especially with a crowded full train -

Lions tigers and bears - apples oranges mangos pineapples - what to do -
Amtrak is not staffed like the airlines to handle luggage/baggage - - -

One thing for sure - your baggage best have wheels (wheelies) - no one wants to carry baggage anymore -
That is for a bygone era when customer service was golden !
 
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By the way, I'm not aware of a way that OBS can check a bag into the baggage car - afaik they don't have the baggage slips necessary to do so, and the baggage cars are treated as though they aren't accessible during the trip except at the designated station stops in my experience.
You are right, OBS would be of no help. However, a "good" Conductor would have baggage tags with them and able to assist on checking bags
 
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