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Amtrak and Tandems?

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Amtrak and Tandems?

Old 02-10-15, 09:38 PM
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Amtrak and Tandems?

So roll-on for regular bikes is being upgraded on Amtrak, great.... but not for tandems, bummer.

We would like to travel cross country using checked bagged and (I presume) that means an Amtrak regular bike box (can't telescope anymore). I have read a bunch of dated web info and have no experience. Our tandem (Santana large, not breakable) is 69" long (front to rear drop-outs) with wheels removed. Will a bike box work? Wheels, fenders, racks, panniers, etc. in a different box. I would appreciate advice from those with experience in the past few years. 1-way car rental is twice the price of Amtrak, but perhaps worth it if bike is likely to be damaged.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 02-11-15, 12:14 AM
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I've taken uncoupled tandem frames in Amtrak's bike boxes before; the last time was four years ago (since purchased one with S&S couplers). The fit was a bit tight, so I took the forks/stem/handlebars off as well. The bike box is listed by Amtrak as 70" long (Amtrak - Policies - Baggage Policy & Service - Special Items ) so if your frame is 69", you're in for a tight fit as well. See if it works better without the front end. That also makes the box lighter, which is a very good thing since their baggage handlers aren't the best at dealing with any weight and some of them tend to just drop stuff.

About two years ago Amtrak tightened up their baggage policies. In some locales, the agents are occasionally looking into the bike boxes to make sure there are only bikes in them. It shouldn't be an issue if the "bike" in the box is a tandem frame rather than a complete half-bike, but an ornery agent could insist it's not allowed since they do have a no tandem policy. I've only had one agent ever look inside my box, and that was at a station that gets quite a few bikes in/out and had had an incident with some gear poking out through the box that injured a baggage handler, so I think this is quite rare.
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Old 02-12-15, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas
So roll-on for regular bikes is being upgraded on Amtrak, great.... but not for tandems, bummer.
The new cars as discussed here?

Strava Tandem Club
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