Folders and Amtrak advaice...or mabe just venting?
Sorry this is so long....
I have been reading posts on this forum for years, but have not posted much myself. My background is in road racing, but I've started to commute on a bike lately as well. I am currently in a job that requires me to stay in a town downstate for part of the week and I just bought a folder in order to replace my car trips with a bike-Amtrak-bike trips. Would be a great change if it would work well. I have been having lots of fun upgrading/ getting to know my folder (although the lack of available parts and range of fit are a bit off-putting), but am not having great luck with Amtrak.
Amtak employees with whom I interact (especially conductors) do not know or believe the baggage policy that seems to indicate that folders can travel with passengers for free. I use the Lincoln Service Trains, which travel between Chicago and St. Louis and find that just about every trip I take I have to explain, lobby, convince even argue with the conductors or agents. I have read everything I can find on the net, have studied the baggage policy, and have discussed this with many conductors, ticket agents, and customer service people.
I wonder if others of you are having a tough time taking your folders on Amtrak trains as well - most of the stories I find are several years old? I have read and have been told over and over that taking a copy of the policy on the train is the thing to do, but lately I have been hearing from conductors that the policy does not explicitly state that there is no fee (even though the customer service people seem to think the policy indicates that there is no fee). The exact language is a bit vague when you really examine it.
Very curious about the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of others - especially if any of you share the same train line as me (though it seems that many on my line have never seen a folder before). I wonder if there is any kind of advocacy group working on bike train relations regarding folders specifically?
thanks for tolerating the rant and for any feedback