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Old 07-29-2015, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Amtrak Roll-On Bicycle Service (no bike boxes!)

I recently learned that Amtrak is trying out a new service for Michigan's Blue Water and a several other lines across the country. That is, being able to roll your bike directly onto one of their cars.



How much does it cost?
Essentially, you pay zero to ten bucks extra for your ticket, and they have a little bike rack in one of the cars for you to lock up to.

Where is this available?
According to Amtrak's website:
---------------------------------------------
Amtrak Cascades, 10 spots per train, $5
Capitol Corridor, 6 per train, free
San Joaquin, 6 per train, free
Pacific Surfliner, 6 per train, free
Downstate Illinois Services, 4 per train, $10
Blue Water (trains 364 and 365 only), 4 per train, $10
Missouri River Runner, 4 per train, $10
Downeaster (BRK, POR & BON stations only), 8 per train, $5
Piedmont, 6 per train, free
---------------------------------------------

Here's how it apparently works. Call ahead and make sure everything you read is true. Then book your ticket while reserving a spot. Ride to the station, lock your bike to their rack, ride, unlock, ride away. Seems pretty simple.



What bikes will fit?
It looks like different trains have different racks, so if you ride a fatbike (or other weirdo bike) like I do, make sure it'll fit before you book. The website makes some vague comments about recumbents, tandems and other non-standard bikes not being accepted.

Has anyone here used this?

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Old 07-29-2015, 10:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was looking at going on a trip with a friend from Royal Oak over to maybe Battle Creek. There are a couple well-rated single track mountain bike trails there (Custer & The Dump) within riding distance of the Amtrak station, too!

The only problem is that the Blue Water line skips Detroit for Lansing and Flint. I'll have to wait until the Wolverine train converts over (Or did it already? Who knows?) to be able to do a trip like that.

It sounds like a really cool addition, though, and it's just one more step to making efficient, "multi modal" transportation more feasible in this country.

Quote:
Amtrak Roll-on Bicycle Demonstration on Michigan's Wolverine Line
By League of Michigan Bicyclists ˇ Updated over a year ago
What a fun way to celebrate Bike Week.

LMB was pleased to participate in Amtrak's Roll-on Bicycle Demonstration, Wednesday, May 15, 2013 on Wolverine Service Train #350 serving Chicago, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, and Pontiac.

For this demonstration Amtrak removed several tables and booths in the café car and installed four bike stands to allow safe and secure storage while in transit. Amtrak’s primary responsibility is insuring the safe transport of the millions who ride our trains every year. Having a secure location to store passengers’ bicycles supports a safe journey for all aboard.

After a test period, Amtrak will determine the availability of necessary financial resources to retrofit a sufficient number of café cars to allow one on every train operating in the Midwestern network. Only after a sufficient number of cars are converted to allow one car on every train can roll-on bike service be offered on a regular basis.
plus,
http://www.m-bike.org/blog/2011/04/2...ice-by-spring/

What I'm reading is that Amtrak has had Wolverine bike service for several years, but their website says otherwise and I've never seen [nor looked for] any bike parking on Wolverine trains.
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Last edited by Sven7; 07-29-2015 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I worked for a company that makes interior panels for commuter rail cars. When we took a family trip from Buffalo, NY to Ft. Worth, TX in 2006 on Amtrak. While there was no specific racks at that time, I noticed that the double deck cars had luggage shelves that could hold a standard bike.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Poking around through old threads and I hit pay dirt.

I just rode the Cascade Amtrak to Tacoma, WA and back. Next time I can take my bike, using the same feature on the EMX bus.

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