Luggage on Amtrak from Philadelphia to NYC

Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 08:21 AM
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Luggage on Amtrak from Philadelphia to NYC

Hi Everyone,

We are travelling from Philly to NYC in October this year and are planning on travelling with Amtrak.

I have read all the threads on here about the luggage racks but cant find anything about recent travel. Has anyone taken large suitcases on this route recently?

We are travelling across the states for 3 weeks from the UK and will be doing a fair bit of shopping along the way so our bags will be pretty large (31" x 19" x 10.8") I've checked the amtrak site and the max dimensions of carry on are 28" x 22" x 14" - will we get away with the extra height? Or are the storage bays on the train only capable of taking a max height of 28? Does anyone know?

Help would be massively appreciated!
thanks,

rachel
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 08:53 AM
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My advice would be to mail the heavier items back home rather than carrying them around for days or weeks.
It has been many years since I rode a Northeast Regional but generally you should not have a problem with the extra 3 inches.
You should be able to lift your suitcase over your head and put it in the rack by yourself (max 50 lb 23Kg). Place the 10.8 X 19 end in and let the extra 3" stick out over your head.
There are a few places in the car where slightly oversize bags can be on the floor but don't count on any of them to be available since passengers starting in Washington may have taken them.
For the short trip from PHL to NYP, it is not worth the extra expense to ride on the Acela.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 09:21 AM
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There are definitely luggage racks at the ends of cars in the NE Regional and Acela trains that can accommodate larger bags. I don't know if they will accommodate such humongous suitcases, but I can definitely say that no one will bat an eye on the size or weight of your luggage regardless of the actual written requirements.

But I never feel safe leaving my bags at the ends of train cars out of eyesight. Regardless of the length of the trip, I'd never try to carry a bag bigger than 24 inches, and I generally prefer 22 inches max for a longer trip, and even that feels too big to me.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 09:32 AM
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The overhead bins on the most recent trains I have been on are closed - like airline bins - and there is no way a 31" bag would fit there. It is really for carry-ons - 22" or so. There are places at the end of the car where a few huge bags can be stored.

I would organize red caps to take the luggage down for you in Philly - and also up to the main level in penn station - since managing all that on a mobbed escalator may be difficult. They do not charge but do give them a reasonable tip - if you have a lot of luggage for 2 people I would give $5 to $10.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:31 PM
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This is a friendly observation from someone who has frequent visitors from England and Scotland.

All our friends have ENORMOUS cases! We Americans have lots of bulk around our waistlines but a 26 in case is biggish here, so I am not surprised that racks on trains won't easily manage a 31 inch case. A taxi driver or your fellow passengers on a bus are not going to be pleased.

The cost of two new rolling cases, one around 24 inches and the other 20", from someplace like Costco will be a tiny fraction of the cost of your trip and will last for many more trips.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:43 PM
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We traveled from Washington DC to Philly on the Northeast Regional just over a month ago, and found that there is plenty of room for just about any size luggage at the front of each car. If YOU are willing to carry it on board the train, you can put it there. Note, however, that YOU will be responsible for watching it, getting it off the train, and carrying it through the station and to your next type of transport.

I do NOT recommend traveling the NYC subway with large suitcases, so your best bet will probably be a cab. Use ONLY the cabs that are lined up at the station; if you accept any "friendly offer" from anyone within the station soliciting to take your luggage, you'll find out the origin of the term, "being taken for a ride."
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 03:03 PM
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A 31 inch bag is ENORMOUS. That will be a problem everywhere - not just on the train. And will definitely be overweight/$$ on most any airline. Why not each take smaller, much more manageable 24 inch (or smaller) bags and an empty 22 or 24 for all the purchases . . .
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 03:15 PM
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I am racking my brain trying to remember because if we go amtrak we usually have a sleeping compartment or do the auto train. I only used a small carry on the one time I went coach but do seem to remember a place for oversized bags by the door. Just put a lock or zip tie on it. It isn't that long of a journey from Philly to NY. I just think you are going to be weary hauling those things around. I know that many travel with huge cases but mail home something or buy a cheap bag at marshalls for 25.00 for the return trip.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 03:19 PM
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But huge usually = 28 inches. This behemouth is 31 inches. The difference is at least 15 to 20 extra lbs capacity.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Agree that 31" is truly enormous.

I am not a believe is carry-on only - but for a 3 week trip to europe with both business and vacation wardrobes I can fit everything in a 26-" wheelie bag - and a soft side carry on. I can;t imagine what you are bringing - short of grandma's corpse - that would fill a bag that big - never mind 2 of them.

I would really consider taking just what you need for the trip and ship what you arebuying home - to avoid back injuries with such enormous bags. (And you can get Red Caps at Penn station - and perhaps also at 30th St in Philly - and if your bags are that big I would reserve them in both stations. People will be running for trains - carrying just a briefcase of pulling a 19" bag - and they will get the better seats and not have to maneuver all that stuff on escalators.

As for the subway - don;t even think about bags that large. There is NO place to put them.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Are you flying into Philly? The connection is easy because the SEPTA R1 airport line takes you to 30th street station, which is the same station where you catch the amtrak train.
That helps but going smaller will be better. We have laundry facilities everywhere.
www.septa.org
www.amtrak.com
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