BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: bikes on trains

Amtrak tests roll-on bicycle service on the Eastern Seaboard

Amtrak is finally starting to get serious about offering bicycle roll-on service on their Capitol Limited line, which runs between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Amtrak conducted a trial of the service yesterday:

Linda McKenna Boxx said she has been trying for more than a decade to get Amtrak to improve accommodations for bicycles on its Pittsburgh-to-Washington, D.C., trains, which closely follow the trails that connect the two cities.

On Tuesday, that goal moved a step closer to reality, when Amtrak allowed 20 bicyclists to take their two-wheelers onto the Capitol Limited train in Pittsburgh in a one-day trial of roll-on service.

Read more by clicking here.

Such a service would be a boon to bicyclists and bike tourists who want to ride on the Great Allegheny Passage or the C&O Canal Towpath…and according to sources, retrofitting baggage cars to handle assembled bikes could be quite inexpensive. Amtrak currently offers bike-as-baggage service on most of their lines, but the bike must be disassembled and placed in a box prior to loading. Let’s hope yesterday’s trial run encourages them to speed up the timetable in offering this new service (which has been in the works for quite a few years).

Thank You For Your Input!!!

At the end of January, I asked our readers to provide input on their bike/train experiences. This was part of a research project I did for a rail advisory group — a group interested in gathering a variety of information for a major rail carrier relating to both recreational cyclists/travelers and multi-modal commuters (bike/rail) for the purposes of developing new stops, routes and procedures for moving bikes and cyclists aboard trains.

I prepared a package of research for them, including several government studies, policies/procedures from municipal transit organizations, photographs of equipment and carrying options and other data. The group was very pleased with the package, but what they absolutely RAVED about was YOUR comments and insights. Frankly, they were blown away by the thoughtful responses you provided to my questions. So, thanks…the rail carrier in question is moving forward with some plans to add routes and bike-carrying capacity to the region being studied. In fact, the representative from the rail carrier told us that based on your comments, they’re refining the procedures to bring bikes onto the trains; now they’ll have the same setup system-wide.

I appreciate your help with this, and just wanted to let you know that without you and your comments, our site really wouldn’t be very fun or informative. Thanks again!

Rail User Experiences Wanted

I’ve been asked to do some background research for a railway advisory group. This group is interested in gathering a variety of information for a major rail carrier relating to both recreational cyclists/travelers and multi-modal commuters (bike/rail) for the purposes of developing new stops, routes and procedures for moving bikes and cyclists aboard trains.

Although I’ve spent a lot of time traveling via train (I don’t fly), I’ve never traveled with a bike…nor have I had the opportunity to go multi-modal. Anyhow, what I’m hoping you could provide is your experiences using trains and bicycles together. The kinds of information that would be useful are:

–how are the bicycles stored or secured onboard? In a separate cargo car or mixed in with passengers?
–any fees you might have encountered while bringing a bike onboard
–hits/misses in the experiences you’ve had. Was it good and efficient or a nightmare of logistical headaches…or somewhere in between?
–what was the purpose of your travel: for recreation or for commuting purposes?
–any specific policies or procedures that worked or needed improvement?
–whatever else you care to add about your time onboard

Please indicate where you used a rail service in your comments…and thanks in advance for participating!