Lakeshore Limited weekend work

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AdamUK

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We're taking our first overnight Amtrak from Boston to Chicago on 11-12 April. We just got the advisory about the train starting at Albany NY.
"Train 449 will not operate between Boston (South Station) and Albany on the dates above. Passengers boarding at Boston (South Station), Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield will be provided bus service to Albany. Passengers at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses. There will be no Business Class or sleeping car during this time."
We're a bit disappointed but are happy to take the bus. Our questions are:
a) we have 2 large bags, will they be OK on the bus?
b) will we still be able to check them in at Albany? They won't fit in our roomette!
c) they say "no sleeping car" but I assume they just mean on the bus - there'll still be roomettes from Albany to Chicago?
I know they did more of this trackwork back in 2018, anyone got any helpful tips? Thanks from a Brit!
 

Rasputin

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I hope that those who have had more experience than I have will join in with more (and perhaps better) information but I will give it a try:

a) These bustitutions use large commercial buses and not vans. There should be plenty of room for your luggage in the lower luggage section of the bus.
b) Not sure about this. Maybe you will be able to check your bags at Boston before you board the bus. If you can't check them at Boston or Albany the sleeping car attendant will find room for them someplace such as in an unoccupied room.
c) Normally when 448 and 449 are cancelled the Boston - Chicago sleeping car which would have been on 448/449 merely operates as part the New York - Chicago section so you will board your sleeping car at Albany.

I recommend that you buy a sandwich, salad, and snacks in Boston before you board the bus and you may not get much on the bus.

Sorry to hear that your trip will be affected by this problem and hope that it goes well otherwise.
 

bms

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I would put the bags under the bus and check them in Albany. If you check them in Boston, I'd be afraid they might get to Chicago via the Northeast Regional to Washington D.C., then Capitol Limited to Chicago, arriving a day late.
 

Rasputin

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I would put the bags under the bus and check them in Albany. If you check them in Boston, I'd be afraid they might get to Chicago via the Northeast Regional to Washington D.C., then Capitol Limited to Chicago, arriving a day late.
That is a good point. Since Amtrak doesn't offer checked baggage on the Boston section of the Lakeshore, they probably wouldn't offer checked baggage on the Boston - Albany bus either. But it is probably worth asking about. Amtrak personnel do ride the bus and are in charge of the passengers so possibly they could be responsible for any checked baggage loaded on the bus in Boston for transfer to the baggage car in Albany but of course that would require creativity to come up with such a plan.

I am not sure if there would be sufficient time to check bags in Albany but maybe has had some experience with this.
 

PVD

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This becomes one of those Amtrak oddities...We have seen reports that the baggage car was pulled, on the other hand, the schedule on the website still shows checked bags at Boston/South Station and Springfield. Not ure wht is actually going on..
 

Rasputin

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This becomes one of those Amtrak oddities...We have seen reports that the baggage car was pulled, on the other hand, the schedule on the website still shows checked bags at Boston/South Station and Springfield. Not ure wht is actually going on..
There is no checked baggage on the Boston section of the Lake Shore but there is checked baggage in Boston which is available to passengers on the Boston section of the Lake Shore. Trouble is that their checked baggage leaves on 65/67 (the overnight Boston - DC train) as I understand it and then goes on the New York section of the Lake Shore the day after it is checked. The reverse is true for eastbound passengers - baggage arrives in Boston the next morning on 66. If my understanding is incorrect, hopefully someone will correct me.

I don't know why Springfield is shown on the Lake Shore schedule as handling checked baggage as 448/449 have no baggage car and hopefully someone can explain this.
 
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PVD

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But what about Springfield? That's what made it curious to me. What if I wanted to check a bag Boston to Springfield, or Springfield to/from points West? Nothing on the schedule says anything about next day service....
 

Rasputin

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But what about Springfield? That's what made it curious to me. What if I wanted to check a bag Boston to Springfield, or Springfield to/from points West? Nothing on the schedule says anything about next day service....
And that is the mystery. I suppose you can check luggage at Springfield and have it not go anyplace because 448 and 449 have no baggage car.
 

PVD

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Hopefully, someone on the "inside" or someone who has taken the trip can shed some light...maybe they just pile stuff up at the end of a car, it's Amtrak, almost anything is possible..
 

Rasputin

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Hopefully, someone on the "inside" or someone who has taken the trip can shed some light...maybe they just pile stuff up at the end of a car, it's Amtrak, almost anything is possible..
If you are in the Boston sleeper and have luggage which does not fit into your room the sleeping car attendant stores the excess luggage in a) an unoccupied room, b) in the outer room of the shower or c) in the next car in the business class luggage space. However the luggage is not "checked" and you don't receive a baggage check for it.

Note that the Amtrak schedule for the Lake Shore online does not have a checked baggage symbol for the schedule of 448 and 449 (as it does for 48 and 49 at the top of the schedule) but does show the checked baggage symbol beside the station listings for Boston and Springfield.
 
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lordsigma

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Springfield offers baggage ASSISTANCE by a station staff member but no checked baggage since they pulled the baggage car off 448/449.
 

Rasputin

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Springfield offers baggage ASSISTANCE by a station staff member but no checked baggage since they pulled the baggage car off 448/449.
Thanks for clarifying that. It appears that the checked baggage symbol for Springfield in the 448/449 online schedule is an error.
 
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adamcreenuk

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Thanks everyone, especially Rasputin. That's really reassuring, we will put our bags on the bus and hope the conductor finds a space for them on the Albany-Chicago stretch. I just imagined there was a luggage car on the Lake Shore Limited, not that the luggage would go via Washington DC! Since we're on a 2 week trip from the UK and plan to do lots of shopping, we probably have bigger bags than most!
 

Rasputin

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Thanks everyone, especially Rasputin. That's really reassuring, we will put our bags on the bus and hope the conductor finds a space for them on the Albany-Chicago stretch. I just imagined there was a luggage car on the Lake Shore Limited, not that the luggage would go via Washington DC! Since we're on a 2 week trip from the UK and plan to do lots of shopping, we probably have bigger bags than most!
Be sure to check out the Amtrak baggage policy on its website and make sure your luggage doesn't exceed the maximum which is allowed.
 

west point

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Has any one ever tried to get Amtrak to book you to NYP and get the Lake shore there at no additional cost ?. Would have to leave BOS sooner but that would be my preference.
 
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