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Old 01-14-14, 01:01 AM   #1
dougdevine
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Traveling w/ bike by Amtrak

I'm looking into traveling by Amtrak to my start point for an upcoming tour and I notice I have to switch trains in Chicago which results in a layover of over 5 hours. I have two questions:

1) Does my checked bicycle box get automatically transferred to the new train or do I have to do it?

2) If I have to do it, is there a place to safely leave it unattended for the majority of the layover? I would like to leave the station and experience some of Chicago without worrying about my bike.

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-14, 01:14 AM   #2
rodar y rodar
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As of last July...
My checked bike was transfered from one train to another in Chicago by unseen Amtrak peoples.
Also, we asked around and found luggage lockers to store one rather large carry-on for several hours while we took a wander. Seems to me they were available in different sizes, the biggest being plenty to fit a 30 inch suitcase, but I didn`t see any that looked big enough for a standard bike box.

FWIW, it was the first time trhough Chicago for both my wife and for me, and found plenty to keep us amused for about five hours within walking distance of the station. Would love to go back and spend some "real" time there now. And welcome to the forums.

Last edited by rodar y rodar; 01-14-14 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 01-14-14, 09:28 AM   #3
indyfabz
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Have done Philly to Seattle twice with a boxed bike. Changed in CHI. The box is automatically transferred. You get to run around CHI and see some sights. Navy Pier/the lake front and the Sears Tower are within walking distance. Lot's of cool architecture to see as yoo walk.

Another advantage of having the layover is that you have a few minutes to go to the baggage department and make sure you bike has made the transfer or is at least prepared to be loaded. The baggage people were nice about checking.

What trains will you be taking?
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Old 01-14-14, 10:11 AM   #4
dougdevine
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Thanks for the quick replies, people! I was a tad apprehensive of the "let me google that for you" type of responses. So thanks for being cool, too! I guess those of us who join this forum in the month of January have to stick together.

It looks like I'll be taking the 49 Lake Shore Limited to the 5 California Zephyr. I could go earlier on the 29 Capitol Limited. Any thoughts on train choice? Or are all Amtrak trains pretty much the same?
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Old 01-14-14, 03:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dougdevine View Post
It looks like I'll be taking the 49 Lake Shore Limited to the 5 California Zephyr. I could go earlier on the 29 Capitol Limited. Any thoughts on train choice? Or are all Amtrak trains pretty much the same?
IMHO the Capitol Limited has more comfortable (Superliner) coaches. The Lake Shore Limited travels through New York so they are limited to single level (Viewliner) cars.

Last edited by Bezalel; 01-14-14 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Viewliner, not Amfleet
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Old 01-14-14, 04:57 PM   #6
fietsbob 
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Only used the Coast Starlight between Emeryville and Eugene, did have to buy the box ..

tried re using it , next trip Flying out Via SFO, UAL wanted to check my [MSR Stove] bottle ,
Empty, passed sniff test.. UAL gave me a New Box then ,to repack ..
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Old 01-19-14, 08:42 PM   #7
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IMHO the Capitol Limited has more comfortable (Superliner) coaches. The Lake Shore Limited travels through New York so they are limited to single level (Viewliner) cars.
Agreed. Having taken both trains, I'd definitely recommend the Capitol Limited as well over the Lake Shore Limited. Better equipment and a more interesting route as well.

And yes, like other people have mentioned, the transfer will be made by Amtrak baggage workers in Chicago. Enjoy looking around downtown Chicago!

Both the Capitol and the California Zephyr are unusually scenic. The Zephyr through the Colorado Rockies is fantastic.
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Old 01-20-14, 08:25 AM   #8
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Definitely the Capitol for the route and equipment.
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