I am planning to go from Penn station to Washington for a conference. I would need to take my rollerboard for that (conference for 6 days, I present and need to take quite some clothes this time)T. Unfortunately, only the trains that leave at 3:00 am and 7 am can check baggage. For me it is not possible to take the train at those time points. Since I read that Amtrak personnel is not that strict with the rules; how would you estimate their reaction if I take my rollerboard (that probably just exceeds the 28'inch - I think it is about 30-32 inches)?

(I will also carry a poster with me. For that I have not many concerns reading the earlier messages.)

  • 3
    Do you perhaps mean "Rollaboard"? flyertalk.com/forum/travel-products/… Jul 20, 2014 at 15:46
  • Is it that you personally can't check luggage on the other trains, or that no checked luggage service is offered on the other trains so it's hand luggage only or nothing?
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 20, 2014 at 22:02
  • 1
    Are you sure that only those two trains have checked baggage? I thought most trains on that route did; they all have Business Class. Jul 21, 2014 at 5:27
  • 1
    @AndrewLazarus Most NEC trains do not have baggage cars or checked baggage. This includes the Northeast Regional, Acela, Keystone, and Pennsylvanian, which account for the great majority of frequencies. Checked luggage on the NEC is mostly limited to the Northeast segments of long-distance trains like the Crescent or Silver Star. You can hire a Red Cap at the larger stations to assist you with boarding your luggage in the passenger cabin, however.
    – choster
    Jul 21, 2014 at 21:07
  • @choster So I see. Had to check a second timetable; the first didn't have indications. I've never seen conductors take the slightest notice of luggage size. Some of the cars now have space by the doors, too, besides the overhead compartments. Jul 22, 2014 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Ultimately, your roll-a-board is too big by Amtrak rules. It really doesn't matter how much too big, it violates the rule.

So your decision is really do you risk it or not. Just because some folks have experienced lax inspections of baggage size, doesn't mean all employees are lax with their judgement nor does it mean the rules won't apply. Even if 90% of travelers get away with it, what happens if you are amongst that 10% that don't?

Do you have a plan B in case they do determine that your bag is too big? Do you have a smaller suitcase that you can use and be safe?

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