Baggage security on trains ??

Jan 5th, 2012, 01:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 469
Baggage security on trains ??

We have travelled in many countries but never by train. This Spring we will be touring Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Italy mostly by first class train, new to us. We travel light and will each have a small shoulder bag and carry on luggage. When we go to the dining car do we have to take all of this with us so as not to have them stolen ?
galiano is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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I'd assume you'd take your shoulder bag/day pack w/ you. If someone steals your larger rollaboard/carry-on -- where would they go? The train won't stop to let them off.

But you can always lock your bags on to the luggage rack.
janisj is online now  
Jan 5th, 2012, 03:49 PM
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Are you sure there will be a dining car?

I always pack my own food and beverages; they seem to be better than what I've seen for sale on trains in the buffet cars.

If there is a dining car and you choose to eat in it then follow janisj's advice.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Just for peace of mind I would take my luggage to the dining car if the train makes a stop while you are eating. NEVER leave any valuables in your luggage.

Ditto adrienne.

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spaarne is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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How do you lock your baggage on the luggage racks? Bicycle lock? Thanks.
skyking is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:20 PM
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Agree to check if the train has a dining car - many do serve only snacks - esp if they make quite few stops. You must take your carry-on luggage with you - and larger luggage should be locked in place unless you know the train won;t be stopping (no one is going to steal your luggage and throw if off a moving train)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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"Where would they go?" Just two weeks ago, my brother's suitcase was removed from the rack and taken to a toilet in another car on the train where the thief sliced it open and took a few things. The biggest problem for my brother was not so much the lost items (which did have value and were a pain to lose/replace), but he was then without useable luggage and had to buy a new bag. This didn't happen in any of the countries mentioned by the OP (he was traveling between Serbia and Romania), but as tough economic conditions spread I'm afraid these 'crimes of opportunity' will occur more often in more places.

I carry a retractable cable lock and lock two bags tightly together or a single bag to the rack.
Jean is online now  
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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I have the same concern, and I appreciate the advice! But I would also add an interesting blivet I got when I posted almost exactly the same msg on ricksteves' forum. A chap from the British Isles who posts often sent me a reply saying if I was seen locking my bags to the baggage rack in one of their trains I might get arrested! hmmmmmmm............
tomseeley is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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I appreciate the replies but I'm still a little confused. Some replies suggest basically not to let any belongings out of sight ( which begins to sound like a good idea ). I also like the idea of bringing our own food on board. I'd still like to hear from seasoned train travellers.
galiano is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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I would not let my luggage out of sight if you can avoid it. Since there are at least 2 of you traveling together there is no reason to leave your luggage unattended.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 7th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Did the British chap mean trains in the U.K.? If he means Italy, I think he should provide some authoritative support to his statement. Sounds bogus to me.

We don't let our luggage out of sight when possible, but we bring a cable lock and use it if sight lines are compromised or we think we might doze off.

We have brought food and drink on trains but not often because we don't normally travel on longer routes.
Jean is online now  
Jan 7th, 2012, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I have a hard shell piece of luggage which I bought in Vienna for 20E (or maybe it was 25E) and it's bright red, so it's easy to spot if someone tries to make off with it.

It has its own locking mechanism built in.

I have never ever left my luggage in a compartment to fend for itself, except on a couple of rare occasions when I knew who my fellow compartment mates were (students from Brazil, travel agent from Canada, and so on) and saw they had brought their own luggage. Then, when I go to the restroom or to the dining car, I'll tell them to keep an eye out for my luggage.

If you travel first class, at least in Austria, you can order food off a small card that's provided. When I get on board in the early morning I like to get from the conductor a coffee and something to munch on. So, there's no need to have to go to the dining car.

Usually, there are plenty of stalls/shops inside a train station where you can pick up a sandwich, a bottle of water, some fruit. I'm mostly a fruit person myself, so i go to a local grocery before departure, prepare the fruit (peel oranges, wash grapes) and put the prepared fruit in a small plastic container I carry with me.

If there's more than one person traveling, I'd suggest leaving at least one person with the luggage while the rest go to the dining car.

Be alert. The thieves will usually traverse the entire train, so keep an eye out for who is coming in one end of your "wagon" and exiting out the other end. You'll also see their heads swivelling around as they try to see if there's anything they can snatch quickly. They are lightening fast. If they come back from the opposite direction, there's a 99% chance they weren't just taking a stroll.

Take ordinary precautions:

Travel light

Never take anything so precious you'll be terribly hurt if it went missing (this includes clothing)

Wear a money belt

Keep your "invaluables" like camera/computer in your backpack

Yes, and NEVER, ever, leave your luggage unattended

Don't know if I'm a "seasoned" traveler or not, but if I'm to be classified as one, I'd prefer to be seasoned with salt rather than pepper, if you please. Pepper makes me sneeze.
easytraveler is offline  
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