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Looking at Amtrak trains between NY and Boston, I found that all had "no checked luggage" save for a midnight train (less than ideal for a relaxing vacation).

Looking at this reference, it's not really that restrictive as you can take bags on to the train. My question is on the size restrictions of 28" x 22" x 14" (70cm x 55cm x 35cm in my parlance). We'll be travelling with a backpack taller than this, albeit not much (maybe four to eight inches/10 to 20 cms), so I was wondering how much effort Amtrak puts into enforcing this? Has anyone else travelled with an oversized baggage as "carry on"?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Provided you are carrying only one large bag, and provided you are carrying it yourself and can place it on the overhead rack without assistance, a slightly oversized rucksack as you describe is unlikely to bring you grief, especially if the train is not completely full. Many people on the Northeast Corridor trains are day trippers, with little more than a briefcase or laptop with them, so running out of overhead rack space is rare outside of major holidays.

If you were bringing multiple 30-inch rollaboards or large cardboard boxes, then a zealous conductor might make an issue of it.

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I have never had my luggage inspected or measured on an Amtrak train in any way. In general, I suspect that they only enforce these regulations in situations in which cargo space is at a premium (very rare), in cases where they are being conspicuously flaunted (trying to haul several large trunks aboard the train), or in response to complaints from other passengers.

I wouldn't worry about it.

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The fact that you cannot check in baggage at your station is also probably another reason why they're not too strict. –  Vince Jan 20 '13 at 21:30

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