Shipping a lwb bent
Amtrak rep in Texarkana says "if it won't fit in a standard bike box, they won't accept it."
The website states that bicycles are generally exempt from Amtrak Express size requirements.
Has anyone on here shipped their lwb bent by Amtrak? If so, would you elaborate a bit on your experience? Any hassle about the box size?
I guess it's bad form to answer your own question, but as no one else has chimed in, here goes.
The Amtrak bike box is 69x41x8.5 inches. The Tour Easy measures out at about 65" minus wheels. So should work as a checked bag on any train. $5 fee. They ask $15 for their boxes, but you can fashion your own if you're into saving a few dollars. Check with the nearest station that will accept checked baggage to verify they have the box. Most will.
As the bike is considered checked baggage, transfers should be reliable, but when possible, be best to
monitor the transfer so that you and the bike will arrive together.
Would still like to hear from anyone whose actually traveled with a boxed lwb bent via Amtrak.
Edit: A bike that needs a larger box than standard should be checkable as long as it doesn't weigh more than 50 lbs. Confusion on the part of station masters reigns on this point. If a problem, have them call 800-377-6914, the number for Amtrak Express, for verification of the policy.
Link to excellent article on Amtrak travel with a bike.
If I were to ship a bike via Amtrak I would wrap the frame very carefully in bubble wrap and remove the deraileur as well.
Those bike boxes (as well as regular baggage) get chucked around pretty callously. Think of the old Samsonite commercial where
a large ape is whaling on a piece of luggage. Just imagine your bike box in the same situation.
And yes I do work for Amtrak, but not as a baggage handler.