Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Texas
Reload this Page >

Way around baggage handling restrictions on Amtrak?

Way around baggage handling restrictions on Amtrak?

Reply

Old 01-22-11, 09:49 AM
  #1  
OldFencer
Member
Thread Starter
 
OldFencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 38

Bikes: Trek 730

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Way around baggage handling restrictions on Amtrak?

All, I'm trying to work out the logistics of a tour from Marfa/Alpine back home to Austin. Ideally, I'd throw the LHT on Amtrak, ride to Marfa or Alpine, disembark and then point her east.

However, all my email requests to Amtrak say there must be baggage handling at both ends. Austin does, but neither of my two proposed starting points do.

Has anyone done this sans handlers and despite Amtrak's regs?

Thanks
OldFencer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-11, 07:25 PM
  #2  
Creakyknees
ride lots be safe
 
Creakyknees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,223
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
I have no experience with Amtrak but you might ask on the forums here:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/

Lots of experienced tourers hang out there.
Creakyknees is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-11, 05:55 AM
  #3  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,622
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Would bus service be any better?
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-11, 07:39 AM
  #4  
KD5NRH
Senior Member
 
KD5NRH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Stephenville TX
Posts: 3,731

Bikes: 2010 Trek 7100

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 697 Post(s)
Can you take a few extra days and start in El Paso instead?

Of course, then you'd want to take a few more days at the end and go all the way to the Sabine River for "riding across Texas" bragging rights.
KD5NRH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-11, 09:32 AM
  #5  
OldFencer
Member
Thread Starter
 
OldFencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 38

Bikes: Trek 730

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks folks, I was hoping to avoid the bus if at all possible. And while "Across Texas" bragging rights is very tempting, alas time is not on my side.
I'm going to try the Touring forum on this site and then maybe give CGOAB forum a shot.

Thanks mucho!
OldFencer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-11, 09:51 AM
  #6  
Gus Riley
HomeBrew Master!
 
Gus Riley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Aegis Aro Svelte, Surly LHT, Cannondal R3000 tandem, Santana Triplet.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had the same problem in my planning for the return trip home after a TransAm crossing. My ticket on the California Zephyr would have to end either in Omaha, NE or Chicago, IL. But my planned destination is Galesburg (just about halfway between the two, but it is not a luggage stop. This means it is a carry-on only stop...no checked luggage is unloaded.

I don't think there is a way around it unless you have a foldable bike like a Bike Friday, then it might qualify as carry-on. I haven't decided whether I will ship my LHT from San Francisco home or get off the train at Omaha and ride the approximately 500 miles home. A solo RAGBRAI of sorts!
Gus Riley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-11, 10:23 AM
  #7  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,624

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
Remember: Amtrak is run by the government. Amtrak employees keep their jobs and get paid the same whether you ride the !&%# train or not. In fact their life is easier if they can keep you from riding the train.

Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
I don't think there is a way around it unless you have a foldable bike like a Bike Friday, then it might qualify as carry-on.
Amtrak has a different rule for "true folding bikes" (their term) and yes, you can carry them right into the passenger car with you. It's still a good idea to have their folding bike rules printed out and with you. In spite of a clear rule allowing it, it's not unheard of for individual Amtrak employees to show a little initiative and try to prevent people with folded bicycles boarding the train.

Here's my BikeFriday tikit and my wife's Dahon Mu8 riding home in the downstairs luggage bins of an Amtrak Superliner car.
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-11, 01:33 PM
  #8  
OldFencer
Member
Thread Starter
 
OldFencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 38

Bikes: Trek 730

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Don't think there's anyway I could convince an Amtrak employee (motivated or otherwise) that my Surly LHT is a "true folding bike."
I may have to follow KD5NRH's suggestion and just slide on into El Paso to start my ride.

Irksome I say! How hard would it be to put a couple of racks in one of the cars? I've ridden the train a couple of times and I don't recall it so chock-a-block with fixtures that a few bikes wouldn't fit.
OldFencer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-11, 09:19 PM
  #9  
gtragitt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 885

Bikes: 2011 Trek SOHO Deluxe, and 2010 Specialized Roubaix Expert

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
You might send PM to TSL who posts on the 50+ sub-forum. He has indicated he has had no problems with his bicycle on AMTRAK. He isn't using a folding bicycle.
gtragitt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-11, 07:38 AM
  #10  
OldFencer
Member
Thread Starter
 
OldFencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 38

Bikes: Trek 730

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks gtragitt, I'll drop him a PM.

Appreciate it.
OldFencer is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service