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Old 03-09-13, 10:31 AM   #1
leaping_gnome
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Amtrak Surfliner Bike Spots

I've heard recently that the Surfliner service from San Diego to San Luis Obispo has changed so that the walk-on bike racks are only located on the end car of the train, so that there's only room for four bikes per train? Can anybody confirm this? Also, which end of the train is the one remaining car with bike racks? Amtrack just says there's room for four bikes per train.

Jim
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Old 03-09-13, 12:25 PM   #2
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I was on the Surfliner a couple of weeks ago with my bike. You are correct, only the end car had bike racks. The bikes no longer hang but roll into place and are held there by a Velcro strap attached to the wheel. The cable I used in the past to lock my bike, no longer exists. The highest numbered car held the racks. As there were racks on both sides of the aisle, I am sure there were more than four spots. I did not like the new setup. When it is your time to depart you will have to maneuver around other people 's bikes in order to get your bike out.
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Old 03-09-13, 06:43 PM   #3
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Thanks, LawnChair. It's never a sure thing to make it onto the train with a bike and now this space seems particularly limited.
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Old 03-09-13, 07:19 PM   #4
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I would say that six to eight bikes at most could be jammed into the designated bike areas.
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Old 03-09-13, 11:24 PM   #5
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I would say that six to eight bikes at most could be jammed into the designated bike areas.
the question is not whether the bikes will fit but whether they will allow it.
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Old 03-10-13, 01:43 AM   #6
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the question is not whether the bikes will fit but whether they will allow it.
One thing I have learned about taking the train is to try something and make them tell you no. A few times I have been told that there was no more room for bikes. I usually wait until the conductor looks away and I get on another car. One time I just stood with my bike next to the racks until one became available. Another time I sat on the lower level and held my bike next to my seat. Nobody said anything from San Diego to Union Station. I once took the wheels off and stacked it in the luggage section. When you are relying on the train to get back, missing it is a big deal. My advise is to get on and worry about the details later. Tell the conductor you were confused, as long as you stay out of the way, most conductors will just ignore you.

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Old 03-10-13, 10:37 PM   #7
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i've had it both ways, one ride i had to stand the whole way and hold my bike since the train was so full and another some of our group got on but a couple of others were kicked off and had to wait for the next train
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Old 03-13-13, 01:53 PM   #8
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the question is not whether the bikes will fit but whether they will allow it.
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One thing I have learned about taking the train is to try something and make them tell you no. A few times I have been told that there was no more room for bikes. I usually wait until the conductor looks away and I get on another car. One time I just stood with my bike next to the racks until one became available. Another time I sat on the lower level and held my bike next to my seat. Nobody said anything from San Diego to Union Station. I once took the wheels off and stacked it in the luggage section. When you are relying on the train to get back, missing it is a big deal. My advise is to get on and worry about the details later. Tell the conductor you were confused, as long as you stay out of the way, most conductors will just ignore you.
I ride it, and the Metrolink quite often. (almost daily in the case of the Metrolink) My Rule; Always have bungee cord(s), and be polite to the conductors. Bungees are vital if you want to fit more than the allotted bikes.

Being a regular, it is good to know which ones are more sympathetic. The guy on the southbound Amtrak (don't know what #, but it gets to Irvine @ 5:09 pm) is cool.
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