Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853

    How to take the car seat on a train - with pics!

    Most people don't travel by train much these days, and I find myself explaining how you bring your car seat on a train a lot. It's really quite simple, but it can seem kind of intimidating --especially if you're used to the relative complexity of taking a car seat on a plane.

    Well, I happen to be sitting on a train right now with a sleeping toddler on my lap and no entertainment but the CSO iPhone app, so here goes!

    On a train, every child is a lap child, so there are no other options. Rest assured that train accidents are rarely dangerous to train passengers; usually it's the car or the deer or the pedestrian who loses the fight with a train. Derailments are incredibly uncommon, so even though there are no seat belts on a train (and hence no way to install a child restraint) you and your child are much safer than you would be in a car.

    Just like on a plane, it's probably a bad idea to check your car seat with your luggage. I suspect there's less to go wrong (typically train luggage gets handled less) but it's still best to carry your car seat with you when you board.

    Amtrak does not do gate-checking like on a plane. You will stow your own car seat. This isn't as hard as it sounds. In fact, at the station I boarded at today, there is not even any baggage service at all. All luggage is self-stow. Carry on limitations are not anywhere near as strict as on a plane.

    Here's how we did it. We loaded the car seat (a coccoro today, but any car seat will do), on wheels (a stroller frame, but a stroller or luggage cart will work also). We then loaded our bags on/around the car seat and stroller. DH carried the baby, but if I'd been by myself I would have simply worn her in a carrier.

    We walked up to the platform and the conductor helped lift the stroller (bags, car seat, and all) onto the train. He lifted the front end and I lifted the handle. Simple! DH proceeded to our seats with the baby and I unloaded the stuff in the baggage area at the front of the train car we were assigned to.

    This happens to be on a small commuter train. If you are on a Superliner, the process is the same but the self-serve luggage area is on the lower level by the entrance near the "accessible" seating area. So you don't need to schlup your car seat and stroller up the stairs. In both cases, you have access to your luggage at any time, and you can check on your stuff as often as you want.

    I chose to fill up the compartment with the car seat as much as I could to discourage other passengers from adding their things on top of my car seat. That's my husband's bag in the car seat and our stroller folded up next to it. My duffle bag is the bright pink and blue one on the next shelf up. We took the briefcase and diaper bag to our seat to stow in the overhead compartment.

    You may have to move luggage from other passengers in order to make room for your car seat it is ok to move things around this is where your hours playing Tetris in your youth might come in handy. On longer trains, I suggest checking on your car seat after every major (large station) stop or maybe even going down during major stops to make sure passengers can load and unload their stuff without messing with your seat too much. This is more important if the train is full and the self-stow baggage areas are pretty full.

    As you approach your final destination, give yourself a few minutes to reassemble your wheels/car-seat/luggage setup so you are ready to deboard the train when it stops. If you're traveling by yourself, wearing the baby in a back carrier will probably be your best bet unless the child is old enough to stand next to you and not run off.

    I will post the pics in the next post.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  2. Thank You from:


  3. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads
    Join Date
    April, 2001
    Location
    Car-Seat.Org
    Posts
    Many
     
     

  4. #2
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853
    Pics!
    I'll try to get a pic of the whole rolling luggage assembly up later. Here is a pic of everything safely stowed on the train.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  5. #3
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853
    I'm having trouble Uploading pic right now. I'll try again later!

    (huh. I guess they posted after all)
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  6. #4
    CPS Technician tiggercat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,343
    Last time I took the train, there were empty seats so I just propped my travel scenera in next to me, rearfacing, and Megan slept most of the way in it
    Your system looks great!

    Sent from my iPod touch using Car-Seat.Org
    Natalie, CRST-I, mum of Greg (15), Megan (10), Benjamin and Samuel (6).


  7. #5
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853
    That would work, too, if you have room. A rear facing convertible will probably wedge between the seats just fine. But today's train is full.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  8. #6
    CPS Technician Cryssy Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bellevue/Seattle, Wa.
    Posts
    3,424
    We were on the train yesterday and just put Matthews seat next to me. We sat in seats that had a table so he could play as well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org

    Crystal: CPST, DCP and BFF to:
    Hania: 3 months, rf in a nuna pipa
    Piper: 2 years, 26lbs rf in a monkey clek fllo
    Isabella: 4.5 years, 32lbs rf in a clek foonf
    Rocking out in a 2015 Subaru WRX and a 2006 Toyota Sienna

  9. #7
    CPS Technician scoutingbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,280

    Re: How to take the car seat on a train - with pics!

    We took the train last summer and had a pissy ticket collector that didn't like us using an empty seat to set the CCO on. So, we stuck it on the floor between the seats that FF and RF on the train then stuck the baby in the seat. And she slept. And it was lovely except I had nowhere to put my feet. But the sleeping baby won over leg comfort. Coming home we didn't luck out with sleeping baby.

    We actually checked out big bags at the Amtrack counter and were lucky enough that for both the commuter train and the Amtrack route we were at the first and last stops so we had plenty of time to get off the train. We had the boys pull a small rolling suitcase, put the CCO in the maclaren, dh pulled a larger rolling suitcase. One boy had a backpack of snacks, dh had the diaper bag backpack, and I had M in a back carry and dealt with the mac and backpack small boy no longer wanted to wear.

    Anyway, here are pictures of the traveling through train station and onboard the Amtrack from last July. M did ride in the CCO in the mac when we got to our final destination and I needed to take luggage and backpacks. A could handle pushing a stroller better than he could anything else so we switched.

    At Union Station, we had just checked our bags at the baggage counter. I don't think I have a picture with all the luggage in it, unfortunately.


    Sleeping baby on floor of train. Ahhhhh.


    CCO on mac while dh gets the car. I got to wrangle the rest of the luggage and an uncooperative 5 year old.


    Yeah. Going home there was no sleeping until we got to Union Station and I put her in a front carry and paced for the 45 minutes we had to wait. Then I was little help to dh when loading everything on the commuter train. I started out having her RF on the train seat next to me and hoping she would sleep. But since she kept screaming or climbing, this was the best solution.
    Karen
    A: 11 C: 9 M1: 5 M2: 6 months
    [SIZE="1"][COLOR="Black"]

  10. #8
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    6,114

    Re: How to take the car seat on a train - with pics!

    Nice! We go on the train pretty regularly, but don't take car seats since it's a tourist thing and not a traveling thing, and we go right back to our car with car seats. However, we are taking the train one-way on a 8 hour ride in a couple of weeks, and need to take all of our car seats as we are renting a car and driving back. So, thanks for the info, as i was wondering how that was going to work
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  11. #9
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853

    Re: How to take the car seat on a train - with pics!

    Our return train today was not nearly as crowded and we were able to get a table with four seats to ourselves. I was able to set the CCO sideways on a seat with the table to hold it up, and tried to get DD to take a nap in it, but it didn't work. Gave up and nursed her to sleep instead, which I believe may have prompted the family sitting across the aisle from us to change seats. LOL.

    It was sure a lot nicer to travel on a less-full train in general.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  12. #10
    Carseat Crazy cupcakepirate11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    627
    I took a train in Colorado I just put w's keyfit on the seat sideways. He slept the whole time!
    Wyatt Henry, 5.25.2010

  13. #11
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,458

    Re: How to take the car seat on a train - with pics!

    I took a Boulevard with me and Maggie to Flagstaff a few years ago. I kept it attached to my rolling carryon with a Travelling Toddler. The conductor assisted me on with the stuff, took a look at the baggage shelves, said "that looks like you won't have room" and opened up an overflow baggage room, just for me to put my suitcase and seat in! Everyone is always super-helpful when we travel by train. There are limits on baggage but they are pretty high and car seats and strollers don't count!
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  14. #12
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    266
    I just stuck the convertible next to the baggage. I was alone with a toddler and didn't have any problems. I didn't think it was a hassle at all.

Similar Threads

  1. What seat to booster train in?
    By willshop in forum Carseat Chat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-01-2010, 07:11 PM
  2. Thomas the Train Potty Seat
    By ginny4 in forum Swap-O-Rama
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-11-2010, 03:04 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-19-2009, 07:51 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-16-2008, 12:26 AM
  5. Car Seat on bus or train?
    By triscuitsmom in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2007, 07:59 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •