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Travelling by Amtrak with hockey gear

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04-10-2013, 02:43 PM
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howeaboutthat
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Travelling by Amtrak with hockey gear

Does anyone have any experience of travelling on Amtrak with hockey gear in tow?

I'm trying to weigh up travel options between Chicago and Detroit for later this year and am considering rail. Problem is the 'Wolverine' service between the two cities doesn't have a 'checked baggage' option which means no luggage larger than 28" x 22" x 14", a bit smaller than my hockey bag.

Are they strict on luggage or can you get away with whatever you can squeeze into the luggage rack?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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04-10-2013, 03:05 PM
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Not having used Amtrak in a while, I don't have firsthand experience of the War-on-Terror era policies, but I would think that a carry hockey bag, being soft, as long as you can squeeze it into the rack, would be fine. you might just want to be really careful how you pack your gear, to get it as compact as possible. If the bag is stuffed to its full dimensions, that might be more of a problem.

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04-13-2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDugan View Post
Not having used Amtrak in a while, I don't have firsthand experience of the War-on-Terror era policies, but I would think that a carry hockey bag, being soft, as long as you can squeeze it into the rack, would be fine. you might just want to be really careful how you pack your gear, to get it as compact as possible. If the bag is stuffed to its full dimensions, that might be more of a problem.
Call them. Most companies have separate standards for sports equipment.

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04-13-2013, 03:30 PM
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esidebill
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You can now carry hockey sticks on airplanes which is completely unrelated, but awesome.

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04-14-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Beezeral View Post
Call them. Most companies have separate standards for sports equipment.
I did. They just fired back the '28" x 22" x 14"' maximum dimensions for carry on luggage.

Hmm, might have to see how small a bag I can pack my kit into.

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04-14-2013, 08:48 AM
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Ozz
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You can always suit up for the trip

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04-14-2013, 09:09 AM
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You can always suit up for the trip
Now why didn't I think of that?

5 hours or so, on an Amtrak train, dressed in my hockey gear. At least I won't get anyone wanting to sit next to me.....

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04-14-2013, 12:56 PM
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Ozz
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I'd chat up a guy dressed in full gear. That would either be interesting or I'd find myself a game!

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04-14-2013, 01:59 PM
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I've decided to hire a car instead now.

Bit of a shame as I do enjoy train travel and over here in Europe its generally a joy, just didn't realise how much of a pain it is in the land of my birth!

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04-14-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howeaboutthat View Post
I've decided to hire a car instead now.

Bit of a shame as I do enjoy train travel and over here in Europe its generally a joy, just didn't realise how much of a pain it is in the land of my birth!
You may want to call the Amtrak station you'll be boarding at rather than the general 1-800 number - it seems there may be some leniency and that you may just be charged an oversize bag fee which would likely be cheaper than hiring a car. If you'll note on the Special Items page, they state the 28x22x14 maximum but also note exceptions for larger musical instruments, golf bags, etc. I'm sure someone at either the Chicago or Detroit stations would be more knowledgeable about the particulars of transporting hockey equipment than someone working the 1-800-AMTRAK call center. Beyond that, as someone who travels Amtrak pretty frequently, I've never seen someone whip out a tape measure to check whether a carry-on is in compliance - generally if it fits in the overhead, they're happy.

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04-14-2013, 08:31 PM
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Ozz
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Any consideration for Greyhound?

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04-14-2013, 11:39 PM
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ean
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Ive seen guys pack their gear into bags that were surprisingly small over the years. Not sure if it was as small as your requirements but may want to see what you can do trying things like putting shin pads and elbows inside the pant legs etc. May have to carry skates separately.

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04-14-2013, 11:44 PM
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Primrose Everdeen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howeaboutthat View Post
Now why didn't I think of that?

5 hours or so, on an Amtrak train, dressed in my hockey gear. At least I won't get anyone wanting to sit next to me.....
I've occasionally had to ride the bus to/from a rink. People tend to stay away from me carrying my gear bag and stick (I don't have a stick bag).

Could also be related to how bad it smells.

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04-15-2013, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rundblad View Post
I've occasionally had to ride the bus to/from a rink. People tend to stay away from me carrying my gear bag and stick (I don't have a stick bag).

Could also be related to how bad it smells.
It's definitely for that reason.

Thankfully I never had to haul my hockey equipment around via public transport.

I've done it with golf gear once, and even that attracted quite enough attention.

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