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Old 11-28-16, 10:44 AM
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CriticalThought
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CalTrain

Thought I'd share this little incident... made me chuckle. I rode to the Burlingame CalTrain station to pick up my wife on the Santana (tandem). I ended up on the platform right at the door that the conductors (two of them) alighted from when her train arrived. They immediately came over to me and asked if I intended to bring the tandem on the train, to which I said "Nope, just picking up my wife". They then told me pretty sternly that tandems are never allowed on CalTrain and that I shouldn't try to bring it on. Their tone felt a little more on the hostile side than the informative side.

It made me curious. Any ideas why? I'm pretty sure I've seen long bikes, recumbents, and tandems on CalTrain before. Then again, I can imagine if someone brought a bike on that couldn't easily be moved how it could cause problems if it blocked other bikes.

Just thought I'd share.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:22 PM
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It's in the rules.
Bicycle General Info

Bicycle Types

Only single-rider bicycles are permitted on trains. Maximum bicycle length is 80 inches, and bikes must not protrude into the aisle. No fuel-powered, tandem or three-wheel bikes are permitted. Training wheels, detachable or collapsible trailers or large, bulky attachments which expand bike width, such as saddlebags, baskets, backpacks or briefcases, are not allowed.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:32 PM
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Thanks DiabloScott! Looks more detailed than I remember, and it all makes sense. I guess I should applaud CalTrain for being openminded about how these are enforced.

"Only single-rider bicycles are permitted on trains. Maximum bicycle length is 80 inches, and bikes must not protrude into the aisle. No fuel-powered, tandem or three-wheel bikes are permitted. Training wheels, detachable or collapsible trailers or large, bulky attachments which expand bike width, such as saddlebags, baskets, backpacks or briefcases, are not allowed.

Bicycles must be kept clean and free of excessive dirt and grease. Bikes must have no protrusions which could cause injury or damage."
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Old 11-28-16, 10:07 PM
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Long, long ago, my wife and I were on a wee tour around the west (started in Davis, stopped in Spokane for my grandparents' golden anniversary and then proceeded on up to Banff and Jasper at the insistence of my uncle from Alaska). When we found ourselves approaching Seattle, we decided that we didn't really want to ride down the coast yet again (we toured a lot), so we called Amtrak about bringing our tandem on the Coast Starlight. The agent on the phone said it wouldn't be a problem and sold us tickets.

Two days later, we went to the Seattle station to check in and were told that tandems were most definitely not allowed on the train. After a bit of discussion, the ticket agent allowed that the conductor can run his train however he sees fit, so we were welcome to discuss it with him. The agent even agreed to help us find the conductor and get us a refund if we couldn't board.

When we found the conductor, things worked out great. He LOVED our bike and was more than happy to allow it on board. We showed him our "parking brake" (disk brake that locks on) and he allowed us to just lean it against a wall. He said he would personally check on it at every stop to make sure no one messed with it.

Of course, back in the late '80s, there just weren't many tandems, or even bikes, out there so the train staff likely hadn't had any negative experiences with them. I doubt if many train conductors would break the rules like that today.
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Old 11-28-16, 10:13 PM
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Sigh. Too many rules these days. No doubt that reasonable conductor who used his common sense and customer service skills to work things out is long retired. And even if he's not he would probably not be allowed to make his own decisions now.
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Old 12-03-16, 08:47 PM
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Outside of the rules (which, in this case, isn't unreasonable) there is a guy that's a little badge heavy. Once, at the Mt View station, there was a guy that was riding up to a middle car (the front car was full, so he was moving up to the middle; he rode so as to not cause a delay) and the conductor told him to get off and walk, which he complied. He then proceeded to get on the train, and the conductor said "No, you don't get to ride on the platform and the ride on the train" and kicked him off. Did the guy break a rule? Yeah...and had he mouthed off or not complied, I'd see tossing him. But this? Overkill, IMO.
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