Storing Luggage

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Blooming Idiot

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I am travelling for the first time from Chicago to Barstow, CA. With Barstow not being a checked luggage station, I am concerned on where to put our luggage. I've seen suggestions about the rack as you enter the train but my question would be: How safe is it?
 

oregon pioneer

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Feb 15, 2011
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I have never had an issue with anything stored on the luggage rack. Not saying it can't happen, just that it hasn't happened to me. I mostly travel to/from a station without checked bags, so my bag is *always* in the luggage rack downstairs.

Are you in coach or sleeper? If you are in coach, a carry-on sized bag will fit in the luggage rack above your seat. If you're in sleeper, the only people that have access to the downstairs luggage rack are other passengers who are also in sleeper. If you're alone in a roomette, you can put the upper bunk down at night as a storage area.
 

the_traveler

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I have never had a problem with putting luggage in the luggage rack. You also can of course store your bags in the luggage rack above your seat, but if you are in the upper level you will need to carry it up the narrow stairway. Even if I have a roomette, I store my bag in the lower level rack.
 

Rasputin

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When travelling by sleeper we usually store our bags in the storage area in the lower level and have never had a problem. A long time attendant told me once that they rarely have a problem but sometimes a person will mistake another bag for their bag so I think it helps to have a distinctive luggage tag, etc. on your bag.

When travelling by coach I am more cautious and will check my bag if at all possible. If not I will try to keep an eye on my luggage from time to time.
 

anumberone

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I've never checked a bag. I Leave it in the storage area and have always been able to get into it during the trip for articles I may need along the way.
 

pennyk

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I travel alone in a bedroom and I travel light. I carry my roller bag up the narrow staircase and keep it in my bedroom.
 

the_traveler

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A long time attendant told me once that they rarely have a problem but sometimes a person will mistake another bag for their bag so I think it helps to have a distinctive luggage tag, etc. on your bag.
A very good suggestion for any travel

Even at airports, it is much easier to see your bag on the carousel as the black bag with the yellow ribbon on the handle or has a large “W” (initial) on the permanent ID tag, instead of just looking for “the black bag”! It also makes it more distinctive not to be accidentally grabbed by someone who is departing and just grabs “their black bag” from the luggage rack.
 

ms garrison

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Oct 26, 2018
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This what I do: Pack a small bag (duffel bag, messenger bag, etc) with a change of clothes for the next day or days, take it to my sleeper, leave my main luggage downstairs on the rack, with some kind of brightly colored sticker to avoid mistakes by other passengers. Have never had any problems.
 

tomfuller

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Last week I was on the Coast Starlight south of K-Falls in the Lounge Car. Someone who was a bit "hot under the collar" came in an said that his bag had been stolen from the downstairs luggage. The Amtrak employee (not Conductor) went down with him to check. Someone had rearranged all of the luggage to make it fit and the "lost" bag was back against the wall and totally out of sight. The "lost" now found bag was put back where he could see it for his departure from the train.
The bag I was traveling with is purple with my name/cell phone# and email address under the handle
 

the_traveler

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What I do if I’m in a sleeper is this:

I leave my bag in the luggage rack on the lower level. When I go to get changed or take a shower, I grab the necessary clothes for my bag (which is right next to the shower/rest rooms), take my shower and/or change, put my dirty clothes back in my bag and put it back on the rack.

This way, I do not have to drag my bag up the stairs. And as an added bonus, I can see if the shower is being used - and do not have to go back to my room and come back and then possibly have to do the same again. In all my travels, most times the shower is empty. The times it was used, the longest line was 1 - and the wait was under 5 minutes. I just waited in the hall and looked out the door window.
 

Samsbigtrip

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Jan 10, 2020
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[...]A long time attendant told me once that they rarely have a problem but sometimes a person will mistake another bag for their bag so I think it helps to have a distinctive luggage tag, etc. on your bag.
[...].
I have come to the inevitable conclusion that I can no longer manage with two wheels on my wagon and have invested in some gorgeous turquoise four-wheeled luggage and also bright pink straps with my initials on them in large black letters. I also have very distinctive labels with my surname in large capitals and my destination. Anyone picking up my bags 'by mistake' is clearly up to no good!
 

the_traveler

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My own opinion is a ribbon or something distinctive is enough. As is a tag with just your initial showing.

I don’t know your last name, but I would not fee very comfortable having someone (a passenger) call out “Samantha Trip!”. I’d rather have them see just “T” on your tag or bag. My tag just has a large “W” showing.
 

Samsbigtrip

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[...]

I don’t know your last name, but I would not fee very comfortable having someone (a passenger) call out “Samantha Trip!”. [...].
LOL! The initials on my straps are those in my passport and bear no resemblance to the name by which I am known - but, I do get your point and I think I might re-print my labels so that someone would have to get up close and personal with my bag to read my surname and flight number!
 

Rasputin

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When flying or traveling by train, my wife ties an obnoxious, garish looking brightly colored scarf or some cloth around the luggage handle. Since it looks like the luggage must be owned by a lunatic, no one ever bothers it.
 
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If the ribbon or scarf is dangling they might make you remove it. It can get caught in baggage sorting machinery. So be sure it’s secure with no loose ends.
 

anumberone

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I have yellow tape that I apply a strip on various surfaces on bags I plan on storing on trains or checking on airlines. Helps me to identify easily at airline baggage round tables and train storage compartments. And hopefully help others from snagging by mistake. I always make sure I have a change of clothes in my carry along backpack. Too many times I've waited for my bag to show at a airline terminal only to have it delivered the next day by a guy who's delivering bags from Indianapolis to Ft Wayne and beyond.
 

me_little_me

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If the ribbon or scarf is dangling they might make you remove it. It can get caught in baggage sorting machinery. So be sure it’s secure with no loose ends.
Machinery? Amtrak has machinery?
Heck, they don't scan the baggage tags when to check in or when loaded/unloaded so they have no idea where your luggage is if it is misplaced!

Amtrak - "Dark Ages R Us"
 
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