View Full Version : Amtrak still good with backpacks?

03-10-2015, 19:28
Looks like I will be heading into Atlanta via Amtrak next month (from New Orleans) and from what I have read here on WB folks have historically had no issues with getting their packs on as a carry-on.

Has anyone had any issues lately getting their gear on board with them?

03-10-2015, 19:44
We took Amtrak to and from Vermont last summer, and had no problems with a couple of ULA Circuits fully loaded, plus a small shopping bag with travel stuff.

I did repack the packs so I could get things mostly inside, like hiking poles (break them down and wrap cardboard around the sharp parts).

03-10-2015, 20:13
Only trains Ive been on, I carried all my luggage. Big rack downstairs by the potty on superliners for big suitcases, etc,any size.( and at top of stairs). The ovhd compartments were small.

Sarcasm the elf
03-10-2015, 23:33
New Orleans to GA, I think that would be Amtrak's Crescent line? I took the Crescent line the other way NY to GA (and back) in the Fall of 2013 and had no issue with my backpack, it fit fine overhead with plenty of room. I had my hiking poles collapsed and stored in the pack as well.

Only small problem is that you can't have any liquid fuel (alcohol, white gas, or isobutane canisters) with you on the train, so if that's something you need then it's best to figure out how you're going to get it ahead of time.

03-10-2015, 23:48
Harper's Ferry to DC. Full packs plus Catfish dinner plates from a cross the street, nice trip.

03-11-2015, 08:48
No one from Amtrak even looked at my pack let alone handle it. It was a 65lt bag fully loaded with everything I need including my fuel, poles stored in the ax loops, and crock off the straps. I probably could have dried my socks and a base layer off it too. I went from Philadelphia to Atlanta it all fit easily in the overhead storage. I'm just saying, if one needs to move stolen nuclear warheads, buy a coach seat on Amtrak.

03-11-2015, 10:41
Last spring, I took Amtrak from DC to Lynchburg (and bus connector to Roanoke) with a fully packed Circuit, and the pack wasn't ever inspected or questioned, even when conductors re-checked tickets a couple of times en route. Ditto for several journeys in previous years. As Sarcasm the Elf says, skip the liquid fuel. I use denatured alcohol, and wouldn't take that on a train anyway because of the risk of spills and fumes. Just buy it before right before you get on the trail. I've always started my hike at locations near an outfitter, so that hasn't been a problem at all.

The Kisco Kid
03-11-2015, 11:23
I've taken Amtrak 10 times back and forth from New York to the trail in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Harper's Ferry, and Vermont.

Never an issue in the slightest.

Usually, carrying fuel canisters as well. The pressurized canisters can be a real issue with plane travel at 30,000 feet, but not on the ground.

03-13-2015, 17:00
Thanks for all the replys. Looking forward to getting this adventure started!! April 21st is just around the corner.

03-13-2015, 17:05
Just don't bring a gerbil: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/map-happy/things-that-will-get-you-_b_6809890.html

Apparently kitchen utensils such as knives, spoons, and forks are not allowed either... although from prior posts they are not checked nor apparently enforced.

03-14-2015, 07:23
Amtrack has prohibited items, much as commercial airlines have. Some of these can be put into checked baggage, but if all you have is carry on then there may be some questions. The more common of these that you may have in a pack include;

Fuel canisters (butane or pump type) having fuel in them
Corrosive/dangerous chemicals, bear spray, liquid bleach for treating water
Firearms and ammunition allowed in checked baggage only
Sheathed, sharp items (knives, hatchets, folding saws, etc) allowed in checked baggage only

Carry on bag size allowed up to: 28" x 22" x 14" up to 50 pounds (allowance is two bags)

Security screening is on a spot check basis, which can be every bag, random, or none depending on the threat level and rotating security protocols in use that day.

03-14-2015, 07:44
Heres the link to Amtrak's baggage policies -- http://www.amtrak.com/baggage-policy

And specifically prohibited -- http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1251621565025

One bit about checked baggage to keep in mind is that not all stations or trains have checked baggage service. For my train station there is not checked baggage, except for one night time train. I believe that Harpers Ferry does not have checked baggage as well.

03-15-2015, 06:30
I feel sorry for the guy that needed to sit next to me on Amtrak after I did 40 miles on a "Vermud" section. I packed a change of clothes, but there was no hiding my fermented trail runners.

No problems with my backpack on a few trips.