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mainstreetexile 07-27-12 05:23 PM

Bike Friday on Amtrak Coast Starlight?
I'm interested in taking my Bike Friday Pocket Llama on a train trip from San Diego to Portland, OR. I would take the Pacific Surfliner to LA and transfer to the Coast Starlight. I've found a lot of conflicting information, but the most recent thread I've found seems very promising:

To get specific, has anyone taken their Bike Friday or other similar 20" wheeled folder, on the Coast Starlight as a carry-on?

Did you bag it or carry it on without a bag?

Also, I'm not familar with the luggage sections of the amtrak trains and how they are accessed, do you need to lock up the bike in the luggage section?

prathmann 07-27-12 05:41 PM

I took my BF Pocket Rocket on that train a few years ago as carry-on from Paso Robles to Oakland. Didn't bag it, but just set it folded in a luggage area at the end of the car.

bjorke 07-29-12 07:07 PM

Please report back on your experience -- my son is starting at UC Santa Barbara & I expect to be using that train from San Jose a fair bit over the next few years...

Foldable Two 07-29-12 07:48 PM

We haven't taken any bikes onboard, but we have ridden the Coast Starlight many times between Portland and Eugene, OR and Oxnard, CA (the next stop after Santa Barbara). A folded bike is allowed and would theoretically fit in the downstairs luggage rack, there isn't much to lock it to, and, unless there is a downstairs seating section in your car, you'll be upstairs well away from keeping an eye on it. (The Amtrak 'Surfrider' has a better bike set-up, but only runs between San Diego and San Luis Obispo.)

Also, it's a bit of distance from the Amtrak station in Downtown Santa Barbara to the Isla Vista area (guessing 10 miles), where UCSB is located. From our observations, there are bike lanes and a dedicated bike path much/most of the way, but the Coast Starlight gets into SB around 7PM (if on schedule, and later if not) so in the Winter you will be riding after dark.

Suggest you give this one a 'trial run'.


bjorke 07-30-12 10:20 PM

Thx Lou -- I've had my Friday down in SB, and have taken the Starlight, just never together!

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