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Bicycle box in Amtrak?

Old 11-26-17, 05:29 PM
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gnvl12
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Bicycle box in Amtrak?

I'm thinking of skipping the most part of texas by train.
from El paso to Austin by amtrak train which name is texas eagle.
other traveler that I met told me before I don't have to put my bicycle in a box when I take the train.
Is it true?
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Old 11-26-17, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gnvl12 View Post
I'm thinking of skipping the most part of texas by train.
from El paso to Austin by amtrak train which name is texas eagle.
other traveler that I met told me before I don't have to put my bicycle in a box when I take the train.
Is it true?
Possibly for in state you do not need a box. In California in state is roll on roll off. If I go to Oregon, I pay, what is it now $20 for a box?

Did Trump close some Amtrak routes?

They have boxes at the station, some stations have a pedal wrench, some do not. Sometimes you can get a used box from a arriving cyclist.

At Amtrak boxing a bike means removing the pedals and turning the handle bars side ways. You can take a bike as carry on, if you reduce the size of the box a lot. Dimensions for a boxed carry on bike are buried deep in the Amtrak web site. Print them out if you want to have a oversize carry on. They tried to refuse me entry on the train in Los Angle, until I pulled the print out of official bicycle carry on policy out of my pocket.

Last edited by chrisx; 11-26-17 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 11-26-17, 07:31 PM
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Brilliant Idea.. ask Amtrak they have a website !

Some places you get to use someone else's box they discarded at the train station, if the timing is right.
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Old 11-26-17, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Brilliant Idea.. ask Amtrak they have a website !

Some places you get to use someone else's box they discarded at the train station, if the timing is right.
In San Diego, the old women yells at you and makes you buy a new box, even though there is a used one sitting there.
In Seattle, the old women sends you outside to find a used one, she likes to recycle.
In Vancouver, they send your box down to LA, and have it back in time for you to use again. I always put my name and # on the box, that is how I know this.

Sounds like you will have time for some sounds:
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Old 11-26-17, 08:21 PM
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El Paso station sells boxes. And they handle luggage. Click on baggage.
https://www.amtrak.com/stations/elp.html

Some routes are adding roll on - roll off service where you do not need a box but you might have to make a reservation for that roll on service because there are a limited number of bike racks on teh train. Each route is different because it depends on the capabilities of the trains on each route.

I suggest you plan on boxing the bike, get there early enough that you have time, have the ability to remove your pedals, etc. Then if you do not have to put it in a box, be grateful.

I have boxed up my bike a half dozen times on Amtrak, but only once did I not need to box it up. That time when I made my reservation for my seat I also had to make a reservation for the bike because there was a limit on how many unboxed bikes they can take.

Austin also handles luggage.
https://www.amtrak.com/content/amtra...tions/aus.html

In case you have not traveled by Amtrak before, a hint - you need to get on and off at stations that handle luggage. Some stations do not handle luggage, at those stations you can't get a bike on or off.

There is an exception, if the bike is a folding bike that can be handled as carryon luggage, you can get on and off at stations that do not handle luggage but it is limited to a genuine folding bike that you carry onto the train yourself.

If you have never removed your pedals, some bike shops put them on really tight. It is best to make sure you can get the pedals off before you get to the station. I loaned some pedals to someone and he had a bike shop put them on. I was unable to get tehm off the bike, he had to bring the bike back to the bike shop to do that.

Good luck.
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Old 11-26-17, 10:03 PM
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Amtrak train 422 (Texas Eagle) will carry an unboxed bicycle in the baggage car between stations with checked baggage (that includes El Paso and Austin). You hand the bike up to the person in the baggage car, then go to the baggage car at your destination and it's handed back down to you. You need a reservation for the bike and there will be a charge for it (maybe $20.00?).
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Old 11-27-17, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tcarl View Post
Amtrak train 422 (Texas Eagle) will carry an unboxed bicycle in the baggage car between stations with checked baggage (that includes El Paso and Austin). You hand the bike up to the person in the baggage car, then go to the baggage car at your destination and it's handed back down to you. You need a reservation for the bike and there will be a charge for it (maybe $20.00?).

+1. And it's $20 or less.


Don't understand why this is even a thread. If one can find bikefourms, create and account and post, one can surely find Amtrak's bicycle policy on line by Googling "Amtrak bicycle policy":


https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard


And there is inaccurate information given in this thread. For example, acceptable dimensions are not buried deep in Amtrak's website. They are one of the first pieces of information provided at the above.
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Old 11-27-17, 11:04 AM
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The Eugene Amtrak station was different, I even used it for my trip via SFO > AMS , folded up on top of the Green Tortoise bus

with my bike on that bus between Eugene and San Francisco.. many years ago...
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Old 11-27-17, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Don't understand why this is even a thread. If one can find bikefourms, create and account and post, one can surely find Amtrak's bicycle policy on line by Googling "Amtrak bicycle policy":
https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard
True... but it always helps to get first hand experience. I've traveled across the continent using Amtrak for both myself and bicycle for what amounts to two trips and I will say my experience might be helpful. For starters I was under the opinion that roll-on/off service was NOT available at the Albany/Rensselaer Amtrak station, and the website still seems to indicate that, but the baggage attendant there insisted I could roll the bike on (and I assume off as well) stating that the fact was "not well known."

I took his advice and did not box the bike with the assumption that, as he was willing to do, I could store the bike without a fee in Chicago. With a six hour layover between trains I did not want the bike to be an encumbrance. As it turned out there was a baggage check fee needing to be paid before they'd let me leave the bike. If I'd boxed the bike, instead of taking the roll on/off option, it would have saved me time and money on the trip out to Seattle since Amtrak would have kept the bike for transfer to the next train. I chose the box option on the return trip from Havre, MT and was happier, in that regard, that I did.

Does the bike get better treatment with roll on/off service? Perhaps. That was one of the A/R baggage attendant's selling points. I noticed the boxed bikes seemed to get somewhat rough treatment while the roll on bikes ride in their own individual racks and are passed from hand to hand. My bike did seem to come out of the box with a derailleur bolt that no longer completely seated in the hanger threads. Was that the result of it being bumped around too much? Don't know because I didn't really study it before boxing. The problem could have been there before I left the station in Havre. Will never know for sure.

The whole bicycle situation with Amtrak is a bit quirky from what I can tell. They haven't really worked it out completely. Hence my point. First hand experience can supplement the official website's sometimes less than complete pronouncements.
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Old 11-27-17, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
...
Does the bike get better treatment with roll on/off service? Perhaps. That was one of the A/R baggage attendant's selling points. I noticed the boxed bikes seemed to get somewhat rough treatment while the roll on bikes ride in their own individual racks and are passed from hand to hand.....
On one trip my taillight came completely out of the holder and the AAA batteries were knocked out of the light. The chain was wrapped around the bottom bracket, the only way I could think of that happening inside of a box was if they dropped the bike from a pretty high level.

Couple photos attached of some other experiences, shifter and brake lever sticking out of the box.
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Old 11-27-17, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard


And there is inaccurate information given in this thread. For example, acceptable dimensions are not buried deep in Amtrak's website. They are one of the first pieces of information provided at the above.
You found the info for roll on and use a bike rack.
Now find the info for a boxed bike as carry on lugage, if you can, it is burried deep in the amtrak web page.
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