Checked baggage service suspensions - Fall 2022

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Joe

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Dec 31, 2003
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Pittsburgh, PA.
The Pennsylvanian is a state supported train. The state is paying for that baggage car. The Pennsylvanian did not have a baggage car until the state said they will pay for it.
 

rs9

Service Attendant
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Dec 26, 2021
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Chicago
Given the lack of communication about this, what does Amtrak do if people show up with luggage larger than the carry-on size allowances?

I'm supposed to take the Chief home after Christmas with a pair of cross country skis, which I would have checked as they are bigger than the carry on size allowance.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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Feb 28, 2020
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Dwight, IL
Most of the stations local to us (the hubby & me) don't have checked baggage service at all, so we'd be limiting ourselves to carry-ons and personal items in any case. The one exception would be if we were to drive down to Bloomington/Normal (IL) and catch the Lincoln Service or Texas Eagle there -- which would be good for last-minute shopping or eating out before boarding, but not so convenient otherwise.
 
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I take it to mean they are prioritizing maintenance on revenue cars with the presumably limited labor they have?
That's what I would suspect. And more cars may be coming due for overhaul. They may be storing them and focusing the shops on revenue and food service cars - I suspect baggage cars are at the bottom of the priority list. The other thing is the Silver Meteor is returning October 3rd which is the same day the baggage cars come off the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian - that train will require 4 baggage cars. The cut from those two trains is likely to ensure that they have baggage for the Meteor when it comes back as it will be in peak season for Florida service. For the Cap and Chief they're more saying it "may" not have it on certain trips (Though it's not suspended outright.) Likely they can't guarantee that they'll have a coach bag available in every consist and may need to sub in a regular coach (which would mean no baggage.)
 

jis

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While I can understand the operational issues, what is a hapless customer supposed to do with the helpful information that they may or may not have checked baggage service? For planning purposes that pretty much amounts to they won't have baggage service.

But then again, they have been on the verge of saying that a customer may or may not have Sleeper service too :)

It is a good thing that American travelers are a pretty docile lot. I had asked my cousin, who was eventually a member of the Indian Railway Board, how they would handle a situation where they could not be sure that a train would have all the cars of the right type for which tickets have been sold. His answer was that they would notify a few days in advance for any deviation offering alternative arrangements or full refund. If that did not work out, they would arrange to have riot police on hand.
 
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While I can understand the operational issues, what is a hapless customer supposed to do with the helpful information that they may or may not have checked baggage service? For planning purposes that pretty much amounts to they won;t have baggage service.

But then again, they have been on the verge of saying that a customer may or may not have Sleeper service too :)

It is a good thing that American travelers are a pretty docile lot. I had asked my cousin, who was eventually a member of the Indian Railway Board, how they would handle a situation where they could not be sure that a train would have all the cars of the right type for which tickets have been sold. His answer was that they would notify a few days in advance for any deviation offering alternative arrangements or full refund. If that did not work out, they would arrange to have riot police on hand.
Very good point - they might just be better off suspending it so as not to confuse people.
 

John Bobinyec

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That's what I would suspect. And more cars may be coming due for overhaul. They may be storing them and focusing the shops on revenue and food service cars - I suspect baggage cars are at the bottom of the priority list. The other thing is the Silver Meteor is returning October 3rd which is the same day the baggage cars come off the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian - that train will require 4 baggage cars. The cut from those two trains is likely to ensure that they have baggage for the Meteor when it comes back as it will be in peak season for Florida service. For the Cap and Chief they're more saying it "may" not have it on certain trips (Though it's not suspended outright.) Likely they can't guarantee that they'll have a coach bag available in every consist and may need to sub in a regular coach (which would mean no baggage.)
Although the notice says the baggage cars will come off the Carolinian on October 3, they actually came off on 9/12/2022. I see the train everyday and was warned in advance about it, so I was watching for it.

jb
 

AmtrakFlyer

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Nov 27, 2016
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118
Very good point - they might just be better off suspending it so as not to confuse people.
If we’re just talking baggage service on a few days here and there when they don’t have a true baggage car on hand how about a coach/bag car or any car that is available for axle count that day. To me that’s an easy workaround. God knows they are willing to use anything as an axle count, why not get some value out of it while using it.

The memo should have never got sent out with that wording, it shows a complete disregard for customers.
 
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One of these days I'm expecting an announcement from Amtrak, "Due to apathy on our part, we are canceling all service effective Tuesday. However, we will continue to accept large government subsides and issue executive bonuses. We will not be offering alternative transportation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for riding America's Railroad." /s
 
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If we’re just talking baggage service on a few days here and there when they don’t have a true baggage car on hand how about a coach/bag car or any car that is available for axle count that day. To me that’s an easy workaround. God knows they are willing to use anything as an axle count, why not get some value out of it while using it.

The memo should have never got sent out with that wording, it shows a complete disregard for customers.
Those trains aren't running with a full baggage car at the moment. A coach/bag is what they are running with. I suspect what it means is they may have days where it's a coach instead of coach bag due to equipment shortages. Unsure of the exact details on the ground whether its one of the rotating consists doesn't have a coach bag so its whenever that consist is running or if they all do but there's no contingency if they have a bad ordered car (it would be replaced by a regular coach for example). Not defending the wording or announcement simply offering a possible operational explanation for what may be going on in the field. I certainly agree that this "maybe" thing is not a way to communicate with customers. If there is indeed an unsurmountable operational crunch preventing consistent baggage service on these trains for the next couple months there are better ways of which they could handle it then putting out a "maybe we'll have it" announcement.
 
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Was just on the advisories site. Any mention of the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief baggage has been removed from the advisory as of today. It now just reads that checked baggage is suspended on the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian. Unsure of what this means or if they posted something in error (either the original posting or this updated posting)...worth continuing to watch for sure.
 

joelkfla

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Oct 16, 2018
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12 miles from Walt Disney World
Was just on the advisories site. Any mention of the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief baggage has been removed from the advisory as of today. It now just reads that checked baggage is suspended on the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian. Unsure of what this means or if they posted something in error (either the original posting or this updated posting)...worth continuing to watch for sure.
On the Destinations page for Cap Ltd, there's this:
1663876864896.png
Then click the link and get this:
1663876772318.png


They can't even get it right on their own website. :rolleyes:
 
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