Special Items in Baggage

The following items will be accepted as carry-on and/or checked baggage in lieu of a piece of baggage. Special item fees may apply.

Archery Equipment

Bows of any type, arrows, archery supplies

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Carry-On: Not allowed
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 75 linear inches

  • Archery equipment may be checked free of charge in lieu of a piece of baggage.
  • No archery equipment is allowed as carry-on items.
  • Archery equipment must be transported in a suitable hard case container.
  • If a second hard case container is used, it will count as an additional checked baggage item.

Baby Items

Booster seats, car seats, folding strollers

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Carry-On: Allowed - up to 50 lbs.
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 100 linear inches

  • Baby items will be allowed onboard or in checked baggage service in lieu of a piece of baggage; no service fees apply.
  • Carriages, active strollers, all terrain strollers, multi-child strollers may be required to be checked.

Bicycles and Bicycle Trailers

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Each train has different equipment and loading procedures that dictate what service will be offered. The capabilities of your origin and destination station also determine how bikes are handled, so check out all the details on how to Bring Your Bicycle Onboard before you book your trip. 

Carry-On/Trainside: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. Standard bicycle sizes apply. Maximum tire width: 2"
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 70" x 41" x 8.5"

  • An additional fee may apply. Bicycle fees vary by route and will be shown in the price summary at time of reservation.
  • Bicycles/bicycle trailers may be checked in a bicycle container for $10, in lieu of a piece of baggage. Bicycle boxes are sold at most staffed locations for $15 per box. Customers may supply their own bicycle container. Recumbent, tandem and special bicycles over the standard bicycle dimensions and will not fit in a standard bicycle box are prohibited.
  • Folding bicycles under the dimensions of 34" x 15" x 48" will be allowed onboard all trains in lieu of a piece of carry-on baggage. They must be considered a true folding bicycle.
  • Full-size bicycles may be carried on certain trains with designated carry-on or trainside bicycle service. Bicycles must be stowed in the designated space within the body of the car. Reservations may be made online or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
  • Passengers utilizing the carry-on bicycle service, where bikes are carried on select trains by the passenger and stored in designated areas, must be able to fully handle their bicycle, and be able to lift their bicycle to shoulder height. Passengers are responsible for stowage and security of bicycles.
  • Passengers utilizing the trainside bicycle service, where bikes are transported on select trains in racks in the baggage car, must be able to lift their bicycle to shoulder height so Amtrak personnel may store and secure them in the bike racks.

Carry-On Bicycle Service

Bicycles are stored in designated bike racks/areas inside Coach passenger cars.

Trainside Checked Bicycle Service

Route Bicycle Reservation Required Checked Service Available
California Zephyr
(WIP is unstaffed but offers bike service)
Select Stations
Capitol Limited
(Washington - Pittsburgh - Chicago)
Yes Select Stations
Select Stations
City of New Orleans
Select Stations
Coast Starlight
(limited acceptance at CTL)
Select Stations
Crescent Yes Select Stations
Empire Builder
(Trains 7 & 8 only; not available on Trains 27 & 28. WIN and WGL are unstaffed but offers bike service)
Yes Select Stations
Lake Shore Limited
(Trains 48 & 49 only;
not available to/from ALB)
Select Stations
Palmetto Yes Select Stations
Pennsylvanian Yes Select Stations
Pere Marquette Yes Select Stations
Silver Star/Silver Meteor Yes Select Stations
Southwest Chief
Select Stations
Sunset Limited
(not accepted at MRC)
Select Stations
Texas Eagle
(not accepted at MRC)
Select Stations
Trains Bicycle Reservation Required Checked Service Available
Amtrak Cascades
(Vancouver - Seattle - Portland - Eugene)
Yes Select Stations
Blue Water
(Port Huron - East Lansing - Chicago)
Yes No
Capitol Corridor
(San Jose - Sacramento Auburn)
No No
(New York - Washington - Charlotte)
Yes No
(Brunswick - Portland - Boston)
Yes No
Downstate Illinois Services
(Chicago - Quincy; Chicago - Carbondale; Chicago – St. Louis)
Yes No
Empire Service/Ethan Allen Express
(New York - Albany - Buffalo - Niagara Falls, or New York - Albany - Rutland)
Yes No
Hartford Line/Valley Flyer
(New Haven - Springfield Greenfield)
Yes No
Keystone Service
(Harrisburg - Philadelphia - New York)
Yes No
Northeast Regional
(Boston - New York - Washington - Virginia)
Yes No
Maple Leaf
(Niagara Falls, NY - Syracuse - Albany - New York)
Yes No
Missouri River Runner
(Kansas City - St. Louis)
Yes No
Pacific Surfliner
(San Diego - Los Angeles - San Luis Obispo)
Select Stations
(Raleigh - Charlotte)
Yes No
San Joaquins
(Sacramento/Oakland - Bakersfield)
No Select Stations
(Washington - New York - New Haven - St. Albans)
Yes Select Stations
(Chicago - Detroit - Pontiac)
Yes No

Electric Bikes and Scooters

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Amtrak accepts portable recreational vehicles such as electric bikes and scooters with certain requirements. For additional details on power, speed and motor limitations please visit our Bring Your Bicycle Onboard page

Please note that this policy went into effect on January 1, 2024.

Carry-On: E-bikes and folding scooters up to 50 lbs. Standard bicycle sizes apply. Maximum tire width: 2" (2.5" on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquins; 4" on the Pacific Surfliner)
Checked: Bicycles up to 50 lbs. and 70" x 41" x 8.5" and non-folding scooters

  • Passengers must be able to bring their vehicle onboard without assistance from Amtrak personnel.
  • Vehicles cannot be charged onboard or on Amtrak property and must be powered off during transport.
  • All vehicles and their battery must be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as the National Science Foundation, CSA Group or UL.
  • Operating, riding, standing on or straddling vehicles in the station, on platforms, onboard, on pedestrian/passenger walkways is prohibited.
  • Rented or shared vehicles from companies such as Lyft or Citi Bike are not allowed onboard.
  • Vehicles with dirt or grease must be placed in a bag prior to boarding.
  • E-bikes and scooters must be kept nearby and never left unattended.
  • Folding scooters must be folded and in a compacted position prior to boarding.
  • Non-folding scooters will only be accepted where checked baggage service is offered.
  • Scooters must be stored between the passenger's legs, under their seat or in designated areas for foldable bikes.
  • Passengers with a scooter cannot block access to doors, ADA spaces or emergency equipment.
  • Scooters cannot be placed on seats or in the aisle; passengers traveling with a scooter may only occupy a single seat.
  • On California routes non-folding scooters can only be stored in designated train cars with a bike logo and must be secured parallel or adjacent to the bike racks.
  • Non-folding scooters on California routes will be checked if they block any walkways, impede passenger movement or present a safety hazard.
  • Hoverboards, OneWheel, Unicycle and self-balancing scooters are prohibited on Amtrak property.
  • Gas-powered motorized bicycles and scooters are prohibited.
  • Conductors and Amtrak personnel may inspect and deny vehicle transportation at their discretion.

Firearms and Ammunition

Rifles, shotguns, handguns, starter pistols, BB guns, compressed air guns (including paintball markers), ammunition, taser guns

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Carry-On: Not allowed
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 62" x 17" x 7"

Amtrak accepts reservations of firearms and ammunition for carriage between Amtrak stations and on Amtrak trains within the United States that offer checked baggage service. Thruway Bus Services are not included. The following policies are in effect:

  • Notification that the passenger will be checking firearms/ammunition must be made no later than 24 hours before train departure by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. Online reservations for firearms/ammunition are not accepted.
  • The passengers must travel on the same train that is transporting the checked firearms and/or ammunition.
  • All firearms and/or ammunition must be checked at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled train departure. Some larger stations require that baggage be checked earlier. Please contact your departure station for more details.
  • All firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, taser guns, starter pistols) must be unloaded and in an approved, locked hard-sided container not exceeding 62" L x 17" W x 7" D (1575 mm x 432 mm x 178 mm). The passenger must have sole possession of the key or the combination for the lock to the container. The weight of the container may not exceed 50 lbs./23 kg.
  • Smaller locked, hard-sided containers containing smaller unloaded firearms such as handguns, taser guns and starter pistols must be securely stored within a suitcase or other item of checked baggage, but the existence of such a firearm must be declared.
  • All ammunition carried must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's container; in fiber, wood, or metal boxes; or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. The maximum weight of all ammunition and containers may not exceed 11 lbs./5 kg.
  • The passenger is responsible for knowing and following all federal, state, and local firearm laws at all jurisdictions to and through which he or she will be traveling.
  • All other Amtrak checked baggage policies apply, including limits on the number of pieces of checked baggage, the maximum weight of each piece (50 lbs./23 kg).
  • Firearms/ammunition may not be carried in carry-on baggage; therefore, checked baggage must be available on all trains and at all stations in the passenger's itinerary.
  • At the time of check-in, passengers will be required to complete and sign a two-part Declaration Form.
  • BB guns and Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers), are to be treated as firearms and must comply with the above firearms policy. Canisters, tanks, or other devices containing propellants must be emptied prior to checking and securely packaged within the contents of the passenger's luggage.

General Sporting Equipment

Balls, bats, cleats, fishing poles, helmets, pads, rackets, roller blades, skate boards, sticks (hockey/lacrosse). Allowance varies by sport.

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Carry-On: Allowed - 50 lbs. and 28" x 22" x 14"
Checked: Allowed - 50 lbs. and 75 linear inches. Oversize items (76 - 100 linear inches): $20 per item.

  • Equipment not specified as weapons or hazardous will be allowed onboard free of charge in lieu of a piece of baggage.
  • Equipment may also be checked in lieu of a piece of baggage.

Golfing Equipment

Golf bags, clubs, balls, shoes

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Carry-On: Allowed - up to 50 lbs., no larger than 72" in height
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 100 linear inches

Carry-on Golf Bags

  • Passengers must make carry-on golf bag reservations prior to boarding the train.
  • A small fee per one-way trip is applied to each carry-on golf bag reservation.
  • Carry-on golf bag reservations can be made on Amtrak.com, by speaking with a reservation agent at 1-800-USA-RAIL or a ticket agent at an Amtrak station. If your origin station is unstaffed, you may purchase a golf club ticket onboard the train.
  • Carry-on golf bag reservations cannot be made through Amtrak kiosks. 
  • Your eTicket will reflect your carry-on golf bag reservation if you made it on Amtrak.com or by phone. A separate ticket will be issued if you made your reservation at the station or onboard the train. Passengers must present the golf bag ticket with their travel ticket.
  • Golf clubs must be carried in a bag or case that includes a cover that prevents the clubs from falling out. The bag, case or cover must be securely fastened by zippers or other fasteners. The passenger's name, address and phone number must be on a tag that is attached to the golf bag.
  • Only trains in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin accept golf equipment in carry-on baggage.

Checked Baggage Option

  • Passengers may also check golf bags at stations that offer checked baggage. A $10 handling charge applies. Golf bags are only accepted at stations that offer checked baggage or aboard trains that accept golf bags as carry-on baggage.
  • Golf carts are not accepted.

Chicago - Carbondale

Illini - Trains 392 and 393
Saluki - Trains 390 and 391

Chicago - Galesburg - Quincy

Carl Sandburg - Trains 381 and 382
Illinois Zephyr - Trains 380 and 383


Chicago - St. Louis - Kansas City

Lincoln Service - Trains 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306 and 307
Missouri River Runner - Trains 311, 313, 314 and 316

Chicago - Port Huron - Pontiac

Blue Water - Trains 364 and 365
Wolverine Service - Trains 350, 351, 352, 353, 354 and 355

Chicago - Grand Rapids

Pere Marquette - Trains 370 and 371

Required Medical Devices

Common/powered wheelchairs, scooters, oxygen equipment, canes, walkers, dry ice for medication

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Carry-On: Allowed - up to 50 lbs., 30" wide x 48" long and 2" ground clearance
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 100 linear inches

  • Required medical devices will not count towards a passenger's allowable baggage and will be accepted free of charge if accompanied by a ticket issued at a mobility impaired fare.
  • For oxygen equipment, the total weight of all tanks must not exceed 120 lbs.; within the limit will be allowed two 50 lb. tanks, six 20 lb. tanks, or any number of tanks that weigh less than 20 lbs. each up to 120 lbs.
  • Mobility assistance devices brought onboard must not exceed 600 lbs. to include the passenger.
  • Items that are not required onboard may be checked if accompanied by a ticket issued at a mobility-impaired fare. For items over 50 lbs., call 1-800-USA-RAIL to make shipping arrangements.
  • Passenger assistance at stations or on trains may require a Special Service Request - call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Dry Ice

Amtrak allows dry ice in checked baggage or carry-on baggage as long as it meets the following conditions:

  • Must be clearly and visibly marked "dry ice" or "Carbon dioxide solid".
  • Must visibly display the net weight of dry ice (5 lbs. or under).
  • Must not be checked onboard the train without the passenger being ticketed.
  • Must not be packed to conceal any organic or inorganic item normally prohibited on Amtrak trains.
  • Must be declared by the passenger prior to boarding.
  • Must be properly vented to allow the venting of carbon dioxide gases which could build up and cause a compromise of the container.
  • Must not be packed in a Styrofoam container.
  • If a passenger carries a dry ice container, the container must meet all of the conditions mentioned above, as well as the container must remain with the passenger or the passenger's party at all times while onboard the train.
  • The dry ice container will count as part of the two personal allowable items that can be carried onboard the train.

A customer service representative or other Amtrak agent must conduct a visual inspection of the container to confirm it is properly marked and ensure the container does not contain any cuts, cracks, stains, or leakage (venting excluded).

Musical Instruments

Small musical instruments (flutes, small trumpets and harmonicas). Medium-sized musical instruments (guitars, trumpets and small saxophones). Oversized musical instruments (cellos, bass violins, bass saxophones and tubas).

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Carry-On: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 28" x 22" x 14". Oversized - no larger than 72" in height.
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 100 linear inches

  • Instruments that do not fit in luggage racks will be considered oversize.
  • Smaller instruments must be packed with the passenger's luggage to be adequately protected from damage.
  • In lieu of a piece of baggage, medium-sized musical instruments may be transported for a $10 service fee.
  • Oversize instruments may only be carried onboard with the purchase of an additional full revenue seat.

Skis and Snowboards

Snow skis, water skis, snowboards, poles, boots

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Carry-On: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 72" in height
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 75 linear inches. Oversized items - 76 - 100 linear inches.

  • Skis/snowboards may be carried onboard or checked free of charge in lieu of a piece of baggage. A $20 service fee will apply for oversized items.
  • Skis/snowboards must be enclosed in a full-length protective cover (vinyl/cloth/nylon/or hard-sided case). Ski bags for transport are available at most staffed locations.

Surfboards, Wakeboards and Skegs

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Carry-On: Allowed (Pacific Surfliner only) - up to 50 lbs. and 72" in height
Checked: Allowed - up to 50 lbs. and 120" in height (72" on Pacific Surfliner)

  • A $10 fee will apply to surfboards/wakeboards transported in checked baggage on all trains.
  • Whether checked or carried on, surfboards/wakeboards must be enclosed in a full-length protective cover (vinyl/cloth/nylon/or hard-sided case).

Surfboards/wakeboards of any length may not be carried onboard most Amtrak trains. There is a limited exception for passengers traveling on the west coast in equipment designated as Pacific Surfliner.

  • Surfboards/wakeboards may be carried onboard in lieu of a piece of baggage free of charge on Pacific Surfliner equipment only.
  • Surfboards/wakeboards must be stowed in the overhead racks.