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What happens to luggage while traveling on train in France?

What happens to luggage while traveling on train in France?

Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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What happens to luggage while traveling on train in France?

We will have 26" bags while on train in France. Do they check it away from your sight or do you carry it on, and if you carry it on, where do you put it?
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:15 AM
Uncle Sam
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My wife and I traveled from Zurich to Avignon, Avignon to Beaune, Beaune to Lyons. We each had similar sized luggage to yours. We carried the bags onto the train, left them in the storage section of the train at the end of the car and carried them off when we arrived at our destination.

Hope you have the kind that has good rollers.

Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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My daughter had a 26 inch suitcase on a train from Paris to Rennes. With the help of a very nice gentleman, she put it in the overhead rack above her seat so that she could keep a close eye on it.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:48 AM
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You *can* check them if you want. But you've to pay for it, and it's unusual except for very heavy luggages (for instance my parents would check luggages when the whole family...7 of us..was going somewhere. The luggages being usually an enormous military trunk and many suitcases). I believe cumbersome items (like a bicycle) *must* be checked in. IIRC, you can have your checked luggage delivered at your home/vacation place (though I'm not absolutely sure...I never personnally checked anything on a train). So it's more like a transportation service than similar to luggage checking on planes.

Usually, one would just put one's luggages on the overhead rack, or if they're cumbersome, in the luggage rack at the end of the car.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:49 AM
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Travel stores like Magellan's sell light weight retractable cables with locks, so that if you like you can secure your bag to the luggage rack itself.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:53 AM
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Just like what everyone else said.But I wanted to add that I've never had a problem. If you have a strap that can be
buckeled around the rack itself, (one od the metal tube things), it may deter any thiefs as your bag would be attached if they were to grab it fast and it is unlikely anyone would take the time to undo it. As I said I've never had a problem on the train, but just the same I always do the above manuever as a precaution
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:58 AM
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If you choose to carry them with you, you have to put them at the end of the car. 26" may not fit in the storage area, nor count on its availability. In this case, you just leave your luggage in the area near the exit door, unsupervised. One train I took had so many luggages piled waist high, there was no way to even check the luggages if we put them there -- fortunately, we always travel light with no more than a 20" carry on so we can always keep our luggages on overhead bin with us.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 09:45 AM
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A couple of years ago I bought two compact bicycle locks -- a fairly thin cable with a combination lock. They roll up into a little coil about 4 inches across. I figured they'd be great for fastening luggage into the rack in the back of the train car, or to the seat or something on Greek ferries. I did that a couple of times, then just seemed to forget about it. But I still think if you're worried, they are very good. I never understood what good it did to fasten your luggage to one of those folding carts -- if a thief wants your suitcase he gets the cart as a bonus. But these bicycle locks would enable you to fasten your luggage to a permanent part of the train or boat, or even to a permanent bench while waiting in an airport.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 10:02 AM
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The storage compartments at the end of the train cars offer limited space. If you want to be sure of getting space for your suitcases, be one of the first to board your train car. You will have more luck in finding space if you're traveling first class since those cars generally have fewer travelers.
Although your luggage will most likely be safe from theft in the storage area, I tend to keep a discreet eye on mine when arriving and leaving a train station. A precaution, nothing more. I've never had luggage stolen. But it has happened to others I know.
Also, in first class, there is often a storage area between the backs of seats (usually when you have seats in groups of four, with two seats facing another two seats). You can't squeeze your 26 inchers in there, but it's a good place to put smaller bags.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 12:21 PM
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A very nice American man helped me lift my 28" rolling bag and place it on the train and then on to the luggage rack right near the door of my compartment. I then took a cable lock and secured it to the rack. My seat also faced the area and so it was very easy to keep an eye on it. When I arrived at my destination the train personnel lifted it out and directed me to a luggage cart which was right nearby. It was so easy, I couldn't believe it. It also helps to meet some nice people along the way who are willing to help.
Oh yes, I was there quite early and so there was no other luggage and I had my pick of racks.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 01:04 PM
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I was debating about whether to buy a 20 inch suitcase to take to Europe. I currently have a 24 inch expandable. I am only taking it and a small backpack. Should I get a 20-22 inch? I will have a Eurail pass, thus will be traveling first class.
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 04:22 PM
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Susan: I agree with BTilke: wherever you put them, keep an eye out on them when approaching a station. Friends of mine recently got their 2 suitcases stolen on the TGV from Brussels to Avignon. Only 4 stops.
When they declared the loss they were told that it does happen... The claim was written down in a big book, and that was it, because - since they're not checked - the railway takes no responsibility. No need to panic, just keep an eye out.
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