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"?

3 Answers 3


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.


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.

  • 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, 2013 at 21:30
  • nice local knowledge
    – Fattie
    Sep 12, 2014 at 6:28
  • I've taken those trains many times, and will be going again in February. I've never seen the staff actually check a bag, much less reject one. Just don't abuse the privilege, as @LessPop_MoreFizz says.
    – CarlF
    Jan 27, 2020 at 17:57

We were queueing to board the train from San Antonio to Normal in January 2015. Between the two of us, we had, I think, three large pieces and a few small pieces of luggage. An Amtrak employee commented that we could not take so much onto the train, but when she learned we were sleeping car passengers, she said something like "no problem then" (sleeping cars have more space for luggage per passenger).

I don't know how we would have resolved it if we had not been sleeping car passengers. At the time we could not check our luggage because, IIRC, we had an Thruway ticket with a connecting bus, and despite the station where we got off the train having checked luggage, they wouldn't check our luggage for the train part only as it wasn't the full trip written on our ticket (insert rant here).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .