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View Full Version : DC to NYC via Amtrak?



hencio
10-04-2011, 07:39 PM
Travelling to NYC potentially for the day via Amtrak. Since I regularly bike to work, I figure biking to Union Station, taking the train to Penn Station, then biking to our NY office seems like a super efficient thing to do. Wondering if anyone here knows what the rules are for bikes on Amtrak?

Rick

Justin Antos
10-04-2011, 07:43 PM
Hencio - this link (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am/Layout&cid=1241267362028) may help you out. Good luck!

hencio
10-04-2011, 07:57 PM
Hencio - this link (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am/Layout&cid=1241267362028) may help you out. Good luck! Thanks for the link. I didn't see the Northeast line of the list, so I'll have to call. Based on what I've already read, bike on the Acela is out.

Greenbelt
10-04-2011, 08:10 PM
I've always wanted to take the train up to NYC for the day with my bike, but didn't know if they'd allow it. Seems to me that they should, especially on weekends or non-peak hours. Maybe charge an extra fee would seem fair, since bikes do take up space. And ask people with bikes to load in particular locations and wait for others to offload would seem fair.

Lots of people bring tons of luggage on the trains, and there's usually plenty of room for it up in the front or back of each car where they have the wheelchair space.

Lots of bikes on the trains in Italy on weekends, so it has to be possible to figure this out.

RESTONTODC
10-04-2011, 08:20 PM
The NY Bolt Bus or Chinatown bus will let you take the bike for free. I see a lot of people bring their to NY for weekend ride.

https://www.boltbus.com/faq.aspx

bikesnick
10-05-2011, 07:00 AM
in this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/21/AR2008102102421.html) washington post article (from october 2008), the author describes his day trip from bethesda to nyc (by bus) for a day of riding his bicycle in manhattan. (he was 78 years old.)
/bs

Greenbelt
10-05-2011, 10:19 AM
The NY Bolt Bus or Chinatown bus will let you take the bike for free. I see a lot of people bring their to NY for weekend ride.

https://www.boltbus.com/faq.aspx

That settles it -- I'm taking Bolt. They have departures from Greenbelt metro parking lot.

MCL1981
10-05-2011, 11:53 AM
I take Amtrak from WDC to CT (passed NYC) frequently. I have never seen anyone even try to take a bike. And can't think of a single place on any of the cars where you could reasonably stow a bike. Anywhere it would fit would be cumbersome and blockade everyone else. I don't believe it is practical. Maybe the 3am train since it is empty. But any normal daytime (including weekends) train, forget it.

CCrew
10-05-2011, 12:12 PM
Maybe the 3am train since it is empty. But any normal daytime (including weekends) train, forget it.

3am train historically is a mail train and allows checked baggage.

hencio
10-05-2011, 12:49 PM
I called Amtrak. The Northeast line is all carry on, so bikes would not be possible. NYC has a bike share that is supposed to launch summer 2012. Perhaps then it will be possible.

DismalScientist
10-05-2011, 12:53 PM
Back in the 80's I took my bike on Amtrak from Wisconsin Dells to Red Wing, MN. I popped off the front wheel and told them to measure it. It fit the dimensions of carry-on baggage. Since it was about 11 at night and I getting off in a few hours, the conductor just said "Screw it," and stuck it in the area between cars.

bikesnick
10-05-2011, 06:36 PM
NYC has a bike share that is supposed to launch summer 2012. Perhaps then it will be possible.
it also is possible to rent bikes in nyc. we rented from bike and roll (http://bikeandroll.com/newyork) for the 5 boro ride in may. the bikes were new and worked great. they have cruisers, comfort, performance, race, tandem, and kids bikes.
/bs

KLizotte
10-05-2011, 07:45 PM
The NY Bolt Bus or Chinatown bus will let you take the bike for free. I see a lot of people bring their to NY for weekend ride.

https://www.boltbus.com/faq.aspx

This is the bit about bikes on board:

Can I take a bicycle or golf bag?

We do allow them and consider them to be oversize items as long as space is available in the baggage area. The oversize item will count as your one bag allowed under the coach. You’ll be responsible for placing the item in the baggage bin. We will not charge you an additional fee for oversized item provided it is within your limit of one bag under the coach. BOLTBUS is not responsible for damage to oversize items or items that are not placed in normal luggage or a carrying case.

MCL1981
10-05-2011, 10:43 PM
3am train historically is a mail train and allows checked baggage.
There is no baggage car. Its a normal Northeast Regional train. It just happens to be pretty empty since most normal people are asleep. Not mail and no bikes or other unreasonable luggage is allowed. Its quite unlikely that you'll get your bike passed the gate agent, the police officer, and the conductors.

americancyclo
10-06-2011, 10:45 AM
The NY Bolt Bus or Chinatown bus will let you take the bike for free. I see a lot of people bring their to NY for weekend ride.https://www.boltbus.com/faq.aspx

I've heard folks recommend that you lock your bike to one of the pillars in the cargo hold to keep it from getting banged around too much.

RESTONTODC
10-06-2011, 12:12 PM
This Bikes on Transit page from Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia site might be helpful.

http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/resources/bikes+on+transit

Also, here is a story about bike-friendly bolt bus from a Philadelphia Cycling Examiner.

http://www.examiner.com/bicycle-transportation-in-philadelphia/bike-friendly-bolt-bus-contributes-to-environmental-charity

cephas
10-10-2011, 12:43 PM
It's policies like Amtrak's that scream "FOLDING BIKE".

kyleg
10-24-2011, 01:44 PM
Amtrak is exactly the reason why I've kept a folding bike in my stable for the past few years.

Back in 2006/2007, a bike commuter on the Keystone Line in Pennsylvania named Dave worked very hard to get clarification on Amtrak's folding bike policy. (BCGP used to link to a version of the text, but the link seems to be broken). His hard work paid off when Amtrak changed the wording in their conductors' handbook spelling out that folding/collapsible bike were allowed on all trains at all times. I used to carry a copy of the updated handbook text in my wallet in case I ever got any guff but most of the NEC conductors don't even bat an eye at folding bikes anymore. Thanks, Dave!

CCrew
10-24-2011, 06:43 PM
There is no baggage car. Its a normal Northeast Regional train. It just happens to be pretty empty since most normal people are asleep. Not mail and no bikes or other unreasonable luggage is allowed. Its quite unlikely that you'll get your bike passed the gate agent, the police officer, and the conductors.

Yeah, dating myself here since I used to ride it all the time.

Looks like they killed it years back. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Mail_(Amtrak)

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 10:26 AM
Old thread. Any updates? Has anyone done this. I take it the gig is
* The bicycle must be in a box
* The bicycle must be checked (which means only stations with baggage service)

Anyone done it and can report on whether this is such a grand thing?

http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

PotomacCyclist
06-08-2015, 10:38 AM
We've been posting updates on Amtrak's new baggage cars on this thread: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7018-Amtrak-Roll-On-Roll-Off/page3

I think some of the new baggage cars are in service, but they can't start the roll-on bike service until all stations are set up along a particular route. Once the service starts up, passengers will be able to roll their bike into the new baggage cars. I'm not sure what the procedure is about locking the bikes, if that's even an option. The service will only be available on certain long-distance routes. I believe that at least one of the DC-NYC routes will include the service.

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 10:50 AM
Yeah, I dont care about the roll on service. I know they dont offer it where I am going. I am asking about the baggage service.

KayakCyndi
06-08-2015, 12:31 PM
Yeah, I dont care about the roll on service. I know they dont offer it where I am going. I am asking about the baggage service.

Sadly, the last time I looked the vast majority of, if not all, the trains into New York Penn Station were no checked baggage allowed therefore precluding taking bikes. If there was baggage service my understanding is that the boxes Amtrak provides are so big that you can basically roll your bike into it.

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 12:38 PM
Hmmmmmmmmm. I have never heard good things about it. Well no one wants to go to New York City anyways. Bleah!

Tim Kelley
06-08-2015, 12:39 PM
Hmmmmmmmmm. I have never heard good things about it. Well no one wants to go to New York City anyways. Bleah!

Just ride there?

Or use CitiBike?

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 12:44 PM
The real question is a trip to Bahston ~ then New London to Long Island ~ and then having a bike on the North Fork. I think I can rent a bike on the north fork. But I would probably have to hitch hike from the ferry to town (who puts a ferry 10 miles from the closest town?)

Rockford10
06-08-2015, 12:48 PM
My father (who lives around DC) has spent some time trying to take public transport to NYC for years. He found he could get north of Baltimore through Metro and MARC and could get from Delaware through Philadelphia and NJ into NY. The problem was getting from where the MARC train stops (Perryville) into the Delaware system. Conceptually, you could bring bike between Perryville and Newark Del. (?) and then continue along. It would also be terribly slow and cheap, but if you have the time ...

Tim Kelley
06-08-2015, 12:50 PM
to Long Island ~ and then having a bike on the North Fork. I think I can rent a bike on the north fork.


Good luck!

https://www.strava.com/segments/2250201

https://www.strava.com/segments/2920777

https://www.strava.com/segments/4815234

Email me if you want some ideas on bike rental places, or delicious ice cream.

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 12:53 PM
Thanks! Greenport is the family home. Olstead and Utzes. They used to be rum runners. Maybe I will train and Ferry hop and then spend a few days with the fishes.

Tim Kelley
06-08-2015, 12:56 PM
Thanks! Greenport is the family home. Olstead and Utzes. They used to be rum runners. Maybe I will train and Ferry hop and then spend a few days with the fishes.

Mattituck/Laurel area. You can't beat the Magic Fountain for ice cream!

The original family home was in Miller Place.

kwarkentien
06-08-2015, 12:58 PM
The real question is a trip to Bahston ~ then New London to Long Island ~ and then having a bike on the North Fork. I think I can rent a bike on the north fork. But I would probably have to hitch hike from the ferry to town (who puts a ferry 10 miles from the closest town?)

If you weren't so freakishly tall, I could offer up my "Long Island Bike" to you, which I leave 20 miles west of the ferry at my brother's house in Mattituck. You're correct that there isn't much at the Orient end of the North Fork and nearest bike shop is quite a ways away. If you decided to cross the Sound from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, you'd land in downtown with more options to find transit (and a bike shop) closer by. The ride to the North Fork from there has some winding, twisty, hilly fun.

kwarkentien
06-08-2015, 12:59 PM
Mattituck/Laurel area. You can't beat the Magic Fountain for ice cream!

The original family home was in Miller Place.

What what???? That's cra-cra!!!! I'm from Miller Place!!!!!!!

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 01:17 PM
If you weren't so freakish...

Who you calling freakish?

kwarkentien
06-08-2015, 01:18 PM
Who you calling freakish?

If the shoe fits Cinderella...

rcannon100
06-08-2015, 01:34 PM
If the shoe fits Cinderella...

That would be this bike then

http://img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS/img/p/14/08/14084302_120917080000.jpg

TwoWheelsDC
06-08-2015, 01:46 PM
FWIW, BoltBus and Washington Deluxe allow bikes (Megabus does not). Although I wouldn't want to take my Cervelo, at least without doing a test run, I'd take one of my fixed gear bikes in a heartbeat.


Can I take a bicycle or golf bag?
We do allow oversize items as long as space is available in the baggage bin. The oversize item will count as your one bag allowed under the coach. You’ll be responsible for placing the item in the baggage bin. We will not charge you an additional fee for oversized item provided it is within your limit of one bag under the coach.

https://www.boltbus.com/faq.aspx

https://www.washny.com/faqs.php#Baggage%20and%20Seating

PotomacCyclist
06-08-2015, 02:12 PM
Just ride there?

Or use CitiBike?

Or be a pioneer and ride CaBi to NYC.

kwarkentien
06-08-2015, 03:00 PM
That would be this bike then

http://img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS/img/p/14/08/14084302_120917080000.jpg

That's friggin' awesome!!!!!

komorebi
06-08-2015, 04:51 PM
Old thread. Any updates? Has anyone done this. I take it the gig is
* The bicycle must be in a box
* The bicycle must be checked (which means only stations with baggage service)

Anyone done it and can report on whether this is such a grand thing?

http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

I checked my bike on an Alexandria-New Haven trip at about this time last year. (I met up with friends in New Haven, and we then drove and took the New London ferry to Long Island.)

The major downside was that the only Amtrak train accepting checked baggage was the overnight train -- meaning that I arrived in New Haven at about 4:30 a.m., then had to wait around the station for the rather groggy station attendant to finally arrive and officially open the baggage service window.

Other than that, the process was pretty easy. I used my own bike case, but the Amtrak bike boxes are so big that only minimal disassembly would have been required if I had chosen that option. The station attendants didn't blink an eye when accepting my bike case (and didn't charge me the $10 that I thought they were supposed to charge). And the baggage handlers were reasonably gentle when handling my bike case. I've seen airplane luggage thrown around a lot more carelessly, for example.