How early can baggage be checked? (CHI and STL)

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Joined
Jan 17, 2021
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Location
Millstadt, Illinois
Hello. My group of 4 is taking a trip through Chicago in a couple weeks. Does anyone know how early baggage can be checked? We'll have golf clubs and several large suitcases, and it'd be nice to avoid lugging everything to and from our hotel for what's basically a 24-hour layover. I know the Metropolitan Lounge offers luggage storage, but didn't know if that'd be allowed/wise for an overnight stay.

Here's our itinerary:

22 Texas Eagle
STL - CHI
5/28 7:55a-1:52p
(coach)

27 Empire Builder
CHI - GPK
5/29 2:15p - 5/30 6:40p
(roomettes)

And separately, I'd consider checking baggage in STL the night before for the 7:55a Texas Eagle, if they allow it.
 

Cal

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Socal
I doubt they would let you check it the day before. Can't be sure though
 

zephyr17

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Washington State
Most Amtrak stations accept checked baggage up to 24 hours in advance.

You should check all your big stuff that you won't be using onboard through to GPK at STL. It may make the connection and arrive before you, and you may have to get the agent in GPK to get it out of storage. Otherwise, it should be held securely overnight in the Chicago baggage room before being loaded onto the outbound EB.

I have checked baggage through on trips I have layovers on several times. It'll go by the fastest route to the destination station, irrespective your itinerary.

You cannot store baggage overnight in Chicago's Metropolitan Lounge. Plus your fellow passengers would probably not appreciate several large bags and golf clubs as storage space is limited and intended for carry ons.

Just check your stuff through. Easier on everyone.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Millstadt, Illinois
Most Amtrak stations accept checked baggage up to 24 hours in advance.

You should check all your big stuff that you won't be using onboard through to GPK at STL. It may make the connection and arrive before you, and you may have to get the agent in GPK to get it out of storage. Otherwise, it should be held securely overnight in the Chicago baggage room before being loaded onto the outbound EB.
Ah, I didn't even think about the option of checking them straight through, but that would be even better -- much less hassle.

We're also going Seattle - Santa Barbara on the Coast Starlight, and then Santa Barbara - San Diego on the Pacific Surfliner, but from what I understand the Surfliner doesn't offer checked baggage so I guess that means there's no way to check through to San Diego?

For anyone interested, here's our full route:
St. Louis
Chicago (1 day layover)
East Glacier Park (2 days)
Seattle (3 days)
Santa Barbara (1/2 day)
San Diego (3 days)
Palm Springs
Tucson (2 days)
St. Louis
 

Cal

Conductor
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Location
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Ah, I didn't even think about the option of checking them straight through, but that would be even better -- much less hassle.

We're also going Seattle - Santa Barbara on the Coast Starlight, and then Santa Barbara - San Diego on the Pacific Surfliner, but from what I understand the Surfliner doesn't offer checked baggage so I guess that means there's no way to check through to San Diego?

For anyone interested, here's our full route:
St. Louis
Chicago (1 day layover)
East Glacier Park (2 days)
Seattle (3 days)
Santa Barbara (1/2 day)
San Diego (3 days)
Palm Springs
Tucson (2 days)
St. Louis
Surliner service, as far as I know, is doing checked bags right now. However you would be on train 796 which gets into San Diego past 1 AM, so I doubt that train offers checked bags.

Quick question, why don't you transfer to the Surfliner at LAX?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Millstadt, Illinois
We're actually taking the 768 Surfliner the next morning...for one, I didn't know if the LAX connection would be too tight...plus if we'd miss out on any coastal scenery by doing the LAX-SD stretch at night. And it'll be a bit tight, but if the Starlight arrives in Santa Barbara on time we'd hopefully be able to walk to the beach before sunset.
 

Cal

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We're actually taking the 768 Surfliner the next morning...for one, I didn't know if the LAX connection would be too tight...plus if we'd miss out on any coastal scenery by doing the LAX-SD stretch at night. And it'll be a bit tight, but if the Starlight arrives in Santa Barbara on time we'd hopefully be able to walk to the beach before sunset.
Oh okay. Do note that the Surfliner you'd be getting on, train 796, originates in Goleta (the stop just north of Santa Barba) and originated in SLO pre-covid. It departed after the Starlight passed. So if the Starlight get's delayed, 796 is also delayed. Unless the Starlight is running really late, I'm not sure what Amtrak would do, but I believe the connection to 796 is guaranteed so they would accommodate you.
 

caravanman

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Nottingham, England.
As a matter of interest, I discovered that Amtrak will hold your checked luggage overnight/24hours at the destination too. That was handy arriving at NYP, as I just took my small bag to the hotel overnight, and collected my main bag on the way to the airport.
 

Eric in East County

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Next July, we’ll be catching the westbound Capitol Limited (Train #29) in Toledo, Ohio on a Monday to get to Chicago. In the past, we’ve always been able to check our large suitcases there 24 hours in advance. To do so this year, we’d have to check them on a Sunday morning. Does anyone know if the Amtrak agent in Toledo will be there Sunday morning accept our suitcases?

Eric & Pat
 

PVD

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Will it be back to running daily when you travel. I'm sure during the 3 day a week stretch, there were lots of days there wouldn't be anyone around to do baggage.
 
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