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bcirish Feb 16th, 2007 07:58 AM

luggage is weight or size the issue for trains?
I have a 27 inch suitcase which weighs 9.5 empty - less than many of the 21 inch and I want to put the clothes that would fit in a 21 inch but want enough room to stick my second bag inside when I am going from placed to place and not have two bags to lug - so my only concern is not if I can get it on the rack over my seat but will a 27 inch piece fit there? I will gone over a month and on a cruise part of the trip and then in trains and cars for the rest - all help appreciated - I travel light as far as clothes are concerned but hate the 2 bag thing going from place to place - I even keep a smaller bag in my carry on for the things I want during a flight.

alanRow Feb 16th, 2007 08:05 AM

BOTH - from the point of your ability to lift them and to get them down narrow aisles and through narrow doors

A 27 inch will only fit somewhere near the doors & sometimes not even then depending on which country you are in

Ida101 Feb 16th, 2007 08:18 AM

Remember you will have to do the lifting also into/from the train and into the racks. No help there...

Fidel Feb 16th, 2007 08:30 AM

Regarding the annoyance of carrying two pieces -- you can get bags with a gusset in the back that will slide over the roller handles and sit firmly there on top.

27" sounds nightmarish.

Christina Feb 16th, 2007 08:41 AM

Trains don't have any luggage limitation requirements like airplanes, you are just on your own in terms of handling it, that's all. So it's your personal limitations.

You can't get a 27 inch suitcase on a rack over your head, they are too small. I think it highly unlikely you could even get a 25 inch one up there, at least on a lot of trains I've been on that would not fit on an overhead rack.

Some people do prefer one to two bags, I have a friend who does and I sometimes do myself. I limit myself to a 25 inch one, though. I generally limit myself to a smaller one if I'm going to be on trains a lot on a trip, which to me would be more than once, or if I ever plan to use metro/bus to get into town.

I haven't had any problem finding a place on a train for my 25 inch suitcase, though, in most countries, but I go first class when I do that as there tends to be more room and empty seats. Last train I took in Poland last summer didn't have any free space in the compartment, even in first class, so I was glad I only had a 22 inch on that trip (with a much smaller tote bag). That did go on the overhead rack.

I wouldn't worry so much about your ability to lift suitcases over your head onto a rack. I can do it, and certainly take care of getting them onto the car, but there is always a nice man around who offers to lift the bag onto the rack for me. That is nice because they are usually taller and bigger than I am, even though I could do it if I had to. If you are a man, don't count on that, though.

smarty Feb 16th, 2007 08:50 AM

It is really a question of what YOU can handle effectively. Many trains have 2-3 steps up to board (and down to leave) that cause all kinds of distress. You see it everytime you take the train: people struggling with their luggage and I wonder why they didn't plan ahead better.

bcirish Feb 16th, 2007 09:01 AM

Thanks for all of the quick replies- it does help my perspective - I will be on the train in 1st class 3 times during the day and in compartments for 2 over nights. Can bags be checked? and if so is there a problem with that or are you expected to care for your luggage at all times? When we get to our destinations we will be there for several days and we are on no deadlines to get from point a to point b. My husband says I am a worrier and we will be fine- he wants us to have 1 22 inch and 1 27 inch so that I can put my gear ( camera etc ) inside when we are on the move - this has worked stateside but we are usually checking baggage in the air or in a car. I plan to try out our luggage decision on our trip to Hawaii in March. I find that whether I am gone 4 days or a month I need about the same amount of things. Thanks again for any insights

alanRow Feb 16th, 2007 09:14 AM

<<< Can bags be checked? >>> No, your luggage is your problem. I wouldn't BTW leave anything expensive / can't be lost in bags at the ends of carriages as bags do "walk" and insurance companies do refuse to pay out

doug_stallings Feb 16th, 2007 09:18 AM

I don't want to add to your problems, but I think the 27-inch bag will be even more of a problem in a car in Europe. Unless you're renting a giant Mercedes, most of the rental cars don't have large trunks. My honest advice would be to pack less and switch to a 24-inch bag (at the largest). Better would be a 21- or 22-inch bag plus another small carry-on that will fit on the handle of the larger bag. Rather than lug huge bags all over the continent, plan to do some laundry (perhaps even toward the end of your cruise on the ship since most have coin laundries).

nytraveler Feb 16th, 2007 10:46 AM

A 27 inch bag is not a problem with a car - you just can't rent tiny ones (get what would be a midsize in the US - probably full size in europe).

With trains you may have trouble getting it up the steps onto the train - and even if you can lift it onto the overhead rack (it's an open rack - not a closed bin like on a plane) it may be too big to balance there (ie likely to tip off just due to size) - depending on if you put it horizontally or vertically (not upright - but if the longer or shorter side will fit the length of the rack). There will be other people with luggage so the amount of room you have on the rack may be limited and there may not be room to put it parallel to the length of the train.

suze Feb 16th, 2007 10:51 AM

You can't check luggage on the trains, you have to deal with it yourself. Getting up the narrow steep steps is (imo) the trickiest part. A 27" will not fit in the rack above your seat.

9.5 is heavy for an empty suitcase. My 24" expandable weights only 7.5.

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