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Best place on train to keep eye on luggage

We know that there are luggage racks above the seats on the trains in Spain, but due to age and ability we try not to lift overhead. We are making reservations on train from Granada to Seville and wonder if anyone knows best seats to place ourselves so we can keep an eye on our luggage. The first class is sold out on our date of travel but many seats left in other carriages. Can someone help? Thanks.

Posted by
23418 posts

In some forty years of train travel we have never worried about our luggage. We generally place it in the bins by the door and forget about it. Our day bag goes on the overhead by our seat and one of the shoulder straps is wrapped about one of the bars in the rack. Luggage theft is not a wide spread problem. If on a long ride we might use a small cable lock and lock the handle of our bags together just to prevent someone from grabbing one of our bags by mistake. On a Regionale train making lots of stop I might be a bit more cautious. Interesting that first class is sold out. That is bit unusual.

Posted by
2267 posts

I agree with Frank that theft on the long-distance trains is a non-issue.

Additionally, rack space on the trains is pretty minimal. Passengers are really meant to put that which will fit on the racks above their seat. Using the vesicular racks unnecessarily for smaller luggage would be inefficient and perhaps impolite.

Posted by
1541 posts

No safety worries for our favorite mode of transport within Spain. Folks are friendly so just ask for help with your luggage.

Posted by
2771 posts

I was worried about this before my first trip, then quickly realized that no one has an interest in my luggage.

When making reservations, you can usually view the seat map when picking your seats. It might show you where the luggage racks are and you can pick seats near them.

Posted by
270 posts

We travel a lot in Spain - frequently by train. I truly believe that luggage theft is not a problem on trains. But, I also remind myself how much of a mess I'd be in if someone picks up my suitcase by accident (or on purpose!). So, I bought one of those little cable locks. It was super cheap. There are two of us, so I usually loop the cable to connect the two suitcases, making it difficult for someone to take my bag. If it were only one bag, I might just loop it around the rack. I know people think I'm crazy to do this, but it's worth the peace of mind I have when I'm sitting in my seat, trying to take a nap.

Posted by
5258 posts

If you haven’t booked your train tickets yet, you may consider taking the ALSA Bus on this journey. Your luggage will be in the hold under the bus and you won’t have to worry about it.

When my mom and I traveled from Sevilla to Granada we took the ALSA bus which was comfortable and efficient.

Wishing you a wonderful trip!

Posted by
3980 posts

Depende… It’s not a good idea to cable a piece of luggage to a rack on trains. In a busy train compartment luggage gets stacked upon stack on the 2 or so shelves. People need to get to their own luggage when approaching a stop and often have to lift something or reposition it to get to their own luggage quickly. It can create a big problem for those trying to retrieve their luggage if something becomes awkwardly cabled to the rack in their way. Cabling two pieces of your own luggage together poses less of a challenge for people trying to add to or take away from the racks.

Posted by
10289 posts

We end up on a lot of Renfe trains and never get to pick our seats, unlike SNCF trains. Our last trip a month ago, which was in first class, many suitcases were on racks in areas between the cars out of sight. Whenever we can't see our luggage, my husband will get up at stops to keep an eye on it. However, the overhead racks in the Renfe trains are huge and can hold a 26" case even. We are really old but still use overhead racks up to a 22" rollaboard.

I wouldn't use a cable lock out of courtesy to others. Sometimes people, particularly parents with children, get on with large suitcases or strollers that can go only on the bottom rack and they need to lift smaller suitcases to higher racks to make room for their large ones. This has happened to me a couple of times.

Posted by
967 posts

As well as the end of carriage racks and overhead racks there is often one or two spots in the carriage to put luggage between seats. Where seats are facing in different directions, usually near the seats with the tables, there is often an upside down V-shaped space between seat backs that is big enough for a large soft bag like a wheeled duffel. Big spinner bags often don't fit because the space slopes together as it rises from the floor.

As a height challenged person (4 ft 10 inches) I cannot use an overhead train rack and I have made use of this space on many European trains. I am hoping they will also exist on trains in Spain and we have tried to book our train tickets for our trip in Feb-March 2023 to be near this potential hideaway.

My 73 year old travel companion is also less willing to lift luggage overhead than he used to be. As a consequence we have also planned to take more buses as on buses the driver will help put your bag under the bus. You do, however, need to be OK to climb a few stairs to get onto the bus.