Checked baggage question for New York To Philadelphia trip

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
B

Belinda

Guest
I am travelling to the USA and want to book a train from New York Moynihan Station to Philadelphia in April 2024. When I check trains details some say checked baggage and some don’t. We are 3 people and will have 1 carry on bag and 1 suitcase approx 23kg. Do we have to book a train that says “Checked Baggage” in the details of the booking or is there somewhere on a Northeast Regional train or the Acela trains where you can store your luggage. I am over 60 and cannot lift my bag above my head to put it on an overhead rack. Appreciate your feedback on this question.
 
The only trains on the Northeast Corridor between Philadelphia and New York that have baggage service are the long distance trains that operate further south from Washington DC which includes the Crescent, the 2 trains to Florida and the Cardinal. You could book on one of those trains. Alternatively I believe the Regionals have luggage racks on one end of the car, although it's been a while since I have taken a Regional so I'm not sure about that.
 
The only trains on the Northeast Corridor between Philadelphia and New York that have baggage service are the long distance trains that operate further south from Washington DC which includes the Crescent, the 2 trains to Florida and the Cardinal. You could book on one of those trains. Alternatively I believe the Regionals have luggage racks on one end of the car, although it's been a while since I have taken a Regional so I'm not sure about that.
The Carolinian (79/80) and Palmetto(89/90) also have baggage cars. (though it may be just one of them right now - can't remember if the bag car returned to both yet).
 
How this theoretically works is that Amtrak will carry bags between any two city pairs that offer the service, regardless of whether the train you are on carries baggage. Disclaimer: Amtrak employees are known to make up rules arbitrarily at any time. This has just been my experience. The bags are carried on another train. You just have to agree to the voluntary separation, and drop them before the baggage cut time for a train before or wait at PHL for a train after.

As to what I might recommend. 1) If there’s a good fare for a train the offers baggage service, grab it. 2) If everyone is able-bodied you can totally walk on with two bags each. There’s plenty of room. 3) If you choose to check, check it all. You get two free checked with each fare. 4) If it’s better to separate, try to get a train close to one that carries bags.
 
The only trains on the Northeast Corridor between Philadelphia and New York that have baggage service are the long distance trains that operate further south from Washington DC which includes the Crescent, the 2 trains to Florida and the Cardinal. You could book on one of those trains. Alternatively I believe the Regionals have luggage racks on one end of the car, although it's been a while since I have taken a Regional so I'm not sure about that.

At the moment I am having trouble booking a train as I am in another country. I have emailed AMTRAK who replied to me with ways to book. These did not work either. The screen does not go past Travellers details.

Thanks for your advice.
 
I seem to have read recently that the Amtrak website is not operating correctly in recent days. I live in the UK, and have not had any problems booking on amtrak.com in the past.
Broadly speaking, you can bring your luggage aboard any train, you don't have to use the baggage car facility. There is a "porter" service for less able passengers, known as "red caps". Maybe using one of those to stow your heavy bag might be one answer? The legroom on Amtrak trains is quite generous, so keeping your bags at your seat might work too.
 
In addition to the overhead racks (similar to but much larger than the overhead bins on an airplane), there is a small luggage rack near the door on the Acelas, which I used for my medium-sized wheeled duffel bag between Boston and Stamford in November. I'm pretty sure similar space exists in the regional coaches.

Boarding in New York, since there is lots of turnover, there should be plenty of space in the racks if you board early. Just ask for assistance from a Red Cap and they will take you down the elevator to the train, deal with your luggage (checked or non-checked), and get you early/priority boarding so there shouldn't be a problem with the luggage rack being full. Also, there is level boarding in both New York and Philadelphia, so you won't have to wrestle the luggage up and down stairs.

23 Kg is 50.7 pounds, so slightly above the Amtrak 50lb limit. However, you are allowed two bags and two carry ons per person, so you could shift a small item (for example, a pair of shoes) to a second carry on bag (even just a cloth shopping bag) and be well under the limit. I've never seen them check the weight of any luggage, but maybe they do that for checked bags.
 
In NYC, just get a Red Cap to take your bags and you onto the train (tip $5. per bag). In NYC, that will also get you onto the train first, before the mobs are able to get downstairs to the platform. In Philadelphia, you will be helped by other passengers in getting your bags off of the overhead racks. My wife and I are in our 80s, and that is what we do.
 
Back
Top