Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen, WA
    My Bikes
    Owner built touring & tandem
    Posts
    371
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Amtrak. Sending your bike ahead of you.

    Hello,

    I know that I will eventually have to ask Amtrak, but does anyone know if it is possible to do this: Embark with your bikes at Toledo, Ohio, sending your bikes to Seattle while we spend a few days in Chicago on the way.

    Tom
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] www.Click-Stand.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    My Bikes
    LeMond Buenos Aires, Trek 7500, Scattante CFR, Burley Hudson
    Posts
    498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tomn,
    I do not know if Amtrak provides that specific service or not. Twice I have packed my bike and had it shipped (FedEx/UPS) to a LBS at my destination who then unpacked it and had it ready when I arrived. Maybe that would work for you.
    Suntree, Fl.
    Burley Hudson (n+3)
    Scattante CFR (n+2)
    LeMond Buenos Aries (steel)(n+1)
    Trek 7500 (n)

    crazyguyonabike.com/lighthorse

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,340
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They used to, I have been unable to verify if they still do or not. I have traveled with bike by Amtrak a few times on the Silver Service/Palmeto, with the bike as luggage. I was required to box the bike (not a big deal) and the box is available from Amtrak, it is plenty big enough to put a most bikes in by just turning the handlebars, lowering the saddle and taking the pedals off.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  4. #4
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen, WA
    My Bikes
    Owner built touring & tandem
    Posts
    371
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi All,

    I think I need to add more info. This is for the return trip after our tour. Last year we pedaled from Aberdeen, WA to Williston, ND and took the Amtrak back. It worked so wee that we are going to use the train again this year. Our plan is to take the Amtrak from Seattle to Williston with the bikes boxed in Amtrak's boxes. Then we will pedal to Toledo, Ohio. There we will start the train trip home. The difference, and my actual question is that we want to stop and spend a few days in Chicago, but let the bikes go ahead, and claim them when we get to Seattle. Has anyone done anything like this?

    Thanks,
    Tom
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] www.Click-Stand.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    444
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Back in 1996 we shipped our bikes by Amtrak to Portland. Our bikes sat in the train station in Portland for a few days until we flew out and retrieved them.

  6. #6
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen, WA
    My Bikes
    Owner built touring & tandem
    Posts
    371
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    Back in 1996 we shipped our bikes by Amtrak to Portland. Our bikes sat in the train station in Portland for a few days until we flew out and retrieved them.
    Oh, I hadn't thought of that! Does anyone know if you can still ship a bike on Amtrak in their box even though you are not going to ride the train?

    Thanks!
    Tom
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] www.Click-Stand.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,340
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tomn View Post
    Oh, I hadn't thought of that! Does anyone know if you can still ship a bike on Amtrak in their box even though you are not going to ride the train?

    Thanks!
    Tom
    It used to be called Amtrak Express, but I cannot find any current information on it. I am under the impression they did away with it. Best bet is to head on down to the local Amtrak station and ask the stationmaster.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Schenectady NY & Wilmington NC
    My Bikes
    a bunch of them, most made by me, a couple made by others
    Posts
    1,630
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Problem with asking AMTRAK employees about something like what you want to do is that you if you ask 3 different employees the same question you often get 3 different answers . In my experience the station agents give out more accurate information that the phone agents.

    Last time I did something like you want to do was in 2005 riding the train from Washington DC to Albany NY. I checked the bike as baggage in DC, The first leg of the trip was to NYC where I spent 2 days visiting my son before going on the final leg to Albany where my bike had been waiting two days. I didn't ask in advance I just did it

    In your case you would change trains in Chicago so you can probably pull it off just by purposely missing your connection train (The empire builder) The only hitch with that train is in the height of the summer vacation season when it sometimes sells out in advance.

    If you do this make sure you clearly print your name address and phone number on the bike box just in case there is an issue.

  9. #9
    mev
    mev is offline
    bicycle tourist
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
    Posts
    916
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tomn View Post
    I know that I will eventually have to ask Amtrak, but does anyone know if it is possible to do this: Embark with your bikes at Toledo, Ohio, sending your bikes to Seattle while we spend a few days in Chicago on the way.
    Tom
    I once cycled to Chicago and rode Amtrak back to Fort Collins. When I arrived in Chicago, I left my bike with Amtrak for a day and a half before boarding my train. That was 1991 and so a lot may have changed, but one additional possibility to check would be that when you disembark in Chicago could Amtrak keep the bike in their luggage area before your connecting train leaves?

    I've done that to a lesser extent a few times in San Luis Obisbo when I did a favorite ride of mine, cycling from San Jose down the coast to SLO over a three day weekend and taking the train back to SJC. Once I arrived in SLO, I would get Amtrak to let me box the bike and leave it with them while I spent a few hours downtown.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jobtraklite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Quincy, IL
    My Bikes
    too many
    Posts
    89
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You can ship your bike ahead. I believe the rules are that it can sit in the baggage room at the destination for two days. After that the charge is $10 per day.

    However, all Amtrak rules are hit and miss. Last summer I checked a bike in Seattle heading for Chicago. I stopped off for three days in Minneapolis before continuing on to Chicago. The bike was waiting for me and they didn't charge me for the extra day.

    I am pretty sure Amtrak Express is still in business and may be cheaper than UPS or FEX. You will have to check with Amtrak to find out which stations have it.

    velonomad, you sound like an Amtrak veteran. Most will say that what you experienced is due to a) a lack or training and communication, or b) laziness; if they say no, then they don't have to figure out how to provide the service. Never the less, train is the only civilized way to travel, except by bicycle of course.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,789
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have not use Amtrak Express (their package service), but... I used Amtrak on my last tour and was pleasantly surprised in many ways. Unlike the airlines they were a joy to work with when I had to change my schedule. The box was huge so packing was easy. The staff was very helpful. Overall it was a positive experience. It was a pretty nice way to see the scenery as well.

    On the negative side, I was surprised with how slow the train was. I could have driven the route faster. Also the seats were not that comfortable to sleep in on a long ride.

    Be sure to check on the stations you use since they must have baggage service or you will not be able to load or unload a bike. In some limited stations and routes you can even just roll a bike on, but these are in the small minority.

    I liked the service well enough that I will use it again.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •