With Amtrak California, take your stuff with you. There's no need to limit yourself to one suitcase, when you can check up to two bags and take two carry-ons (that's four bags for FREE), when traveling between staffed stations that offer checked baggage services. Still not enough room? Check up to two more bags (additional fees apply). To determine which stations offer checked baggage services, visit our Station Directory.
Guidelines for Carry-On Baggage
Two-Piece Limit - Each passenger may bring aboard no more than two pieces of carry-on baggage. Not included in this limit are personal items such as purses, briefcases, laptop computers, baby items such as strollers, diaper bags and car seats, and equipment required for a passenger's medical condition such as breathing assistance devices and oxygen tanks.
50-Pound Limit - Each carry-on bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs.
Size Limit - Each carry-on bag may not exceed 28" x 22" x 14" in size. Carry-on baggage is limited to 28" x 22" x 11" on Pacific Surfliner trains.
Visible Tag Required - All carry-on luggage must be visibly tagged with the name and address of the passenger. Passengers may use their own personal identification tags, or may obtain free Amtrak baggage identification tags at station ticket offices or on board trains from a member of the train crew.
Special Items - Ski equipment, snowboards, golf clubs and bicycles may generally only be handled as checked baggage on Amtrak trains, and not as carry-ons. Items are permitted on board when they can be safely stowed in the exterior lockers of Superliner equipment or on board equipment that is specifically designed to safely and securely accommodate the storage of the items.
Note: Carry-on baggage is limited to two pieces of baggage onto the train, each bag not exceeding 28” x 22” x 14” or 50 lbs. Other restrictions apply.
Guidelines for Checked Baggage
Amtrak offers checked baggage service at many stations and on many trains and Amtrak Thruway Buses. Note that not all trains and stations offer checked baggage services.
Four-Piece Limit - A maximum of four checked items are allowed per passenger. The first two items are free, the third and fourth items will be assessed a charge of $20.00 per item. Any additional items over the four-item limit may be accepted as Amtrak Express. Children (ages 2-15) and unaccompanied minors are entitled to the same baggage allowances.
50-Pound Limit - Each checked bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs. Heavier pieces will not be accepted.
Size Limit - Each checked bag may not exceed outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) of 75 inches (190 cm). Items between 76-100 linear inches (193-254 cm) will be accepted at $20.00 per bag.
Check-In Time - Baggage must be delivered to the check-in area no earlier than 24 hours or no later than 45 minutes prior to scheduled train/Thruway service departure. Baggage accepted past the 45 minute requirement is subject to delay.
Suitable Bags - Pack your baggage using sturdy luggage or containers that are capable of withstanding handling and exposure to weather. Please note that we do not accept plastic storage containers, lightweight suit bags and other similar items as checked baggage.
Baggage Tags - All checked items must be visibly tagged with the name, address, phone number and email address of the person traveling with the item. Free identification tags are available at stations or from crew members, or you may use your own.
Where Available - Checked baggage service is available at many stations and on many trains and Amtrak Thruway Buses throughout California. See Stations for more information.
Claiming Checked Baggage - Checked baggage will be available to claim generally within 30 minutes of arrival. However, some items may require additional handling and, therefore, may take up to 60 minutes. Be prepared to identify your baggage by the claim check numbers. Storage charges apply to baggage not claimed within two days of arrival.
ID Required - To check baggage, you must have a valid photo ID. For more information about ID requirements, please see Passenger Security and ID.
Special Items - Amtrak accepts a number of special items such as baby strollers, bicycles, golf bags, musical instruments, snowboards and skis (one board or set per bag/container). In most cases, there is a handling charge of $10.00 per special item. Please note that medical devices do not count towards the checked items limit.
Baggage accepted past the 45 minute requirement is subject to delay. Allow additional time at larger stations. Checked baggage is not available on all trains or at all stations.
On many Amtrak trains, it's easy to bring your bike along. See Bicycles Onboard for more information about bringing your bicycle aboard the train.
The following kinds of items are prohibited as both checked and carry-on baggage:
• Any type of gun, firearm, ammunition, explosives or weapon. (See note below regarding firearms in checked baggage.)
• Incendiaries, including flammable gases, liquids and fuels.
• Large, sharp objects such as axes, ice picks and swords.
• Corrosive or dangerous chemicals or materials, such as liquid bleach, tear gas, mace, radioactive and harmful bacteriological materials.
• Batteries with acid that can spill or leak (except those batteries used in motorized wheeled mobility devices or similar devices for mobility-impaired passengers).
• Club-like items, such as billy clubs and nightsticks.
• Fragile and/or valuable items, including but not limited to electronic equipment. (Laptop computers and handheld devices may be carried on board; however, Amtrak accepts no liability for damage.)
• Animals (except service animals).
• Oversized and/or overweight items, such as kayaks and tandem bicycles.
This is not an exhaustive list. Any item similar to those listed, even if not specifically mentioned here, is prohibited from being carried on board or checked as baggage.
Firearms in Checked Baggage
The Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, enacted into law on December 16, 2009, requires Amtrak to implement the procedures necessary to provide storage and carriage of firearms in checked baggage cars and at Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage, within one year of the bill’s enactment. This requirement applies solely to checked baggage, not carry-on baggage.
Amtrak’s current policy prohibits all firearms, ammunition and other weapons aboard its trains. This includes any being carried on the person, in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage. Please be advised that this policy remains in effect until Amtrak begins firearm carriage service by December 2010.
Damaged, Lost or Delayed Baggage and Limitation of Liability
Amtrak disclaims liability for carry-on baggage, even if Amtrak personnel has handled or assisted in loading or unloading the baggage.
Claims for lost checked baggage must be submitted within 30 days of arrival at your destination station. For best results, submit the claim at your destination station; otherwise, call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) and ask for Customer Relations.
Claims for damaged or delayed checked baggage or for a concealed loss (pilferage) within checked baggage must be submitted immediately at your destination station. Amtrak disclaims liability for pilferage for unsecured baggage, such as baggage that does not have a lock, seal or other device that protects the bag from unauthorized entry, and for articles placed in an unlocked or unsecured exterior baggage compartment.
Amtrak liability for checked baggage is limited to a maximum of $500 per ticketed passenger. Passengers may declare additional valuation up to $2,500 upon payment of the applicable charge.
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).