If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the eight Amtrak routes that allow passengers to roll bikes onboard, you’ve likely noticed the trains are a lot more full these days. Seems Amtrak is seeing increased demand for the service, so much so that in California the Caltran and Amtrak trains have begun a reservation system for the service.
In most of the country, riders must box their bike in one of Amtrak’s enormous bike boxes. It isn’t difficult—just remove the pedals and turn the handlebars sideways—but it certainly isn’t convenient or quick enough for commuting. Many trains don’t have extra baggage cars, all luggage is brought on board, and thus cannot carry bikes at all.
The good news is that politicians are getting on board (that’s a train pun). According to Streesblog, several New York lawmakers are asking Amtrak to add baggage cars on the Adirondack and Ethan Allen lines, which run from Manhattan to the upstate area. They’ve recognized that cycling tourism brings business to rural areas.
Have you ever taken a bike on Amtrak or other trains? Share your experience in the comments.