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scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 07:31 AM

Luggage on train from Waterloo to Southampton
Because I am turning into a freakazoid control person regarding our upcoming trip, I have another question regarding transportation from London to Southampton.

After eleven days in London in mid-June, we will be traveling to Southampton to take a cruise of the Baltic. We will have two large bags and one smaller one. We are thinking of taking the train - and I am assuming we will have to check the larger bags at the Waterloo station and retrieve them in Southampton.

Since we will be going directly from the train station to the cruise ship to sail that afternoon, there is really no margin for lost luggage. Is there much (or any) chance the bags could be misplaced after we check them at Waterloo? Do we have to check them? Am I being ridiculous in concerning myself about this?

janisj Apr 23rd, 2014 07:37 AM

>>and I am assuming we will have to check the larger bags at the Waterloo station and retrieve them in Southampton.<<

Nope. You take it, you handle it yourself. You must be able to wrestle your bags on to the train and leave them at the end of the car. (another reason to pack as light as you can manage.

chartley Apr 23rd, 2014 07:44 AM

The London to Southampton railway service is basically a medium-distance commuter one, and there is a train every 30 minutes. Most of the passengers are daily commuters, or people making day trips for leisure reasons. There is no checking of bags - you keep them with you. Few of the other passengers will have large bags, unless your particular train is full of other cruise passengers.

Now you can start worrying about your bags being stolen. Stow your bags so that they are within sight, and keep an eye on them. Theft does happen, but it is not something anyone has ever mentioned to me.

scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 07:56 AM

" -Now you can start worrying about your bags being stolen- "

Oh, yes, I could probably be very good at that!

Normally I do pack lightly - a few summers ago I did three weeks in Spain with only a small carry-on. But this time too many potential weather changes, so heavier clothing required.

Because we will have some pretty heavy bags, I think maybe we'll start looking at other possibilities.

I would imagine there might be a car service - I'll start looking into that.

flanneruk Apr 23rd, 2014 07:59 AM

"You must be able to wrestle your bags on to the train "

Since British commuter trains are flush with the platform, "wrestling" isn't necessary. But you do need to manhandle the bags to the train. Luggage trolleys are available, and if you use them you need to look for the wider gates to each platform.

My 94 year old mother in law routinely does this, and fails to understand why some people regard it as a challenge.

scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 08:04 AM

Hmmm ... we have bags with wheels on them, so moving them is not a big problem. I was thinking we might have to lift them up onto overhead racks?

janisj Apr 23rd, 2014 08:11 AM

>> I was thinking we might have to lift them up onto overhead racks?<<

Not the big bags - carry ons can go overhead. But sometimes - if there is a lot of other luggage already at the end of the car you do need to hoist yours up on top of the others.

Whether it is wrestling or man handling . . . mostly depends on how huge the bags are and how short the person ;)

BTW - lots of temperature variation doesn't have to mean extra large luggage or a lot of heavy clothing. Layers/layers/layers. And for really cold weather (say on the cruise) a down jacket or vest squeezes down to nothing in a space bag.

scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 08:30 AM

Thanks flann and janis - I think maybe we CAN manage the train after all.

As far as the bags go - we are going to be doing a lot of different activities - will need various outfits for some of the more dressy venues, as well as extra shoes. I can't see how we can get down to less than two large-to-medium suitcases and a carry-on for two people for a month total.

This is partly my fault, as I am a voracious reader and a Luddite when it comes to my reading materials ... I have not switched to Kindle, etc. so in the end I lug along books. Maybe it's time for me to join the 21st century?

suec1 Apr 23rd, 2014 09:16 AM

Are you doing the megatrain deal? you can pre-purchase these tickets from Waterloo to Southamptom - best deal in the UK! We took this train, leaving London about 11 am - not crowded at all as I remember it. I think we just had our bags nearby as there were very few passengers.

Heimdall Apr 23rd, 2014 11:06 AM

<i>"I have not switched to Kindle, etc. so in the end I lug along books. Maybe it's time for me to join the 21st century?"</i>

There is nothing like the feel of a real paper book. That said, I bought an e-reader for travel, and now use it for most of my reading at home as well.

The latest Kindle Paperwhite is excellent in all different light conditions. I have a Kindle app on my iPhone, and can continue reading my current book when sitting on buses and in waiting rooms. It even synchs my iPhone to the last page read on the Kindle. Just this morning I decided to buy a new Kindle book, and it was delivered in seconds from Amazon to my device at home. I love the 21st century!

scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 11:13 AM

What is the megatrain deal?

willit Apr 23rd, 2014 11:56 AM

I do London - Southampton by train fairly frequently, and it is not unusual for people to have several large bags. As long as you avoid the busy period from 4pm to around 8pm. then you should have no problem.

flanneruk Apr 23rd, 2014 11:57 AM

God really didn't invent me for the 21st century.

But if I were allowed just one invention of the past century I'd choose Kindles before antibiotics, planes, the web (yup: I'd happily have a Kindle even if you had to load it from a shellac gramophone disc) and the Merseybeat era. Maybe even before the contraceptive pill.

With advancing years, it's not lugging the books around: it's adapting to changing light and being able to hold a substantial book without finally making the dodgy wrist inoperable. Being able to change the size of type at a whim transforms life.

For megatrain: Read and follow the rules METICULOUSLY

PalenQ Apr 23rd, 2014 12:06 PM

If at all worried about easily stowing your luggage pay a bit extra for first-class and you'll IME on those trains have a compartment or row of seats to yourself.

willit Apr 23rd, 2014 12:14 PM

I forgot to mention. On most trains used on the services from Waterloo, there are areas at the end of some carriages with room for wheelchairs. Providing these are not needed, they are often used for large bags.

As a sidetrack, I agree with Flanneruk about the Kindle. My favourite gadget ever - 2000 books in my pocket. I first bought one back in 2010 because I knew I would be spending 7 weeks traveling in South Africa, and I have barely read a "real" book since.

A while ago, I used to lend a Kindle to work colleagues: I'd ask them what they liked to read, download something appropriate (normally a free classic) and ask them to promise try it for at least 20 minutes. Only one of about 15 people didn't like it, and I think all of them went on to buy one within a couple of months. The exception is a technophobe and admitted "I only read the preface, but I missed turning the page"

Dukey1 Apr 23rd, 2014 12:49 PM

I rather doubt anybody is going to steal some huge bag off that train. Do they actually have thieves in Britain, Flanner?

The real key, OP, is GET ON THE TRAIN before anyone else does if possible.

PalenQ Apr 23rd, 2014 12:50 PM

Ever heard of the Great Train Robbery dukey?

spaarne Apr 23rd, 2014 01:09 PM

Luggage theft is a problem on trains everywhere in Europe. Stay near your bag, especially when the train is in a station. PalenQ's suggestion is good. Take first class. In first class there will probably be enough vacant seats that you can keep your bag on the seat next to you. For an illustrated introduction to trains in Europe see

scdreamer Apr 23rd, 2014 01:27 PM

I didn't mention that we will be traveling to Southampton on a Saturday morning - not sure if that makes it less or more crowded on the train.

I'll look at the first class ticket price - but by the time we taxi from our apartment to Waterloo Station and then another taxi from Southampton Central to the cruise terminal, it might be just about the same as a hiring private car door-to-door, which is 112 pounds for two people and four bags.

suec1 Apr 23rd, 2014 01:32 PM

scdreamer - follow the given link - you can pre-purchase your train tickets - super cheap! buy as soon as you are able for your dates as prices go up as seats get sold. I think I had to call my credit card and tell them a charge was coming thru from the UK. Those tickets were the only thing in London that I thought was a bargain, except maybe the museums!

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