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Old 05-08-14, 02:51 PM   #1
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Anyone taken a coupled tandem on Amtrak as "roll-on?"

We are currently planning a summer trip to either the Katy trail or Tremepeleau County, WI. Still haven't decided. In either event we're considering using Amtrak for a good deal of the travel from Texas.

I figure I can do a quick frame/cable/timing-chain breakdown on our tandem and get it into two Amtrak bike cases. I haven't actually tried it yet but will the next time I can get two boxes at Amtrak.

My question is this - has anyone traveled with their tandem in two pieces, with a wheel on each one, and been allowed to "roll-on" without boxing it?

Maybe I'm just hitting the wrong people, but I haven't been able to get a definitive answer from anyone at Amtrak.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:13 PM   #2
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That sounds like the kind of thing that is a conductor's call. Unfortunately, that means talking to the conductor, which means you can't get an answer until the train is at the station ready to roll.

I'm going to be spending some time along the Capitol corridor soon and I was considering the same thing. Fortunately, the Amtrak folks along that run are pretty laid back. Also, it doesn't matter to me whether I make the short hop on the train, just cycle it, take the train and leave the bike behind or skip that side trip all together.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:26 PM   #3
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Search Amtrack. There was a regulation posted not too long ago...... The printed word can help a conductor make up his/her mind.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:43 PM   #4
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The policy page (Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Bring Your Bicycle Onboard) isn't too helpful. Most of the trains have vertical racks which don't work well without 2 wheels. Looks like you're at the mercy of the conductor.

They used to allow 2 boxes to be telescoped together for tandems but it looks like they changed their policy

Which routes are you considering?
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Old 05-09-14, 01:52 PM   #5
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AFAIK, tipping the conductor is not prohibited. If getting on board looks dicey, remind him/her of that policy and slip a worthy note. A little grease for the goose.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:06 AM   #6
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I've carried on an S&S backpack case with a single bike in it (Washington DC to Philadelphia) with no issues. Assuming your tandem is in two S&S bags it would probably be fine. But it sounds like you are looking to not take it apart as much as that?
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