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Sending a bike as freight on Amtrak?

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Sending a bike as freight on Amtrak?

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Old 07-13-18, 08:28 PM
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spinnaker
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Sending a bike as freight on Amtrak?

Please see my related thread.

Has anyone ever sent their bike Amtrak freight? How does that work exactly? Can the bike go in the same box that bikes go in when you check luggage? If so, it would avoid a huge packing hassle.
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Old 07-14-18, 02:41 PM
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How come you don't just call them up and ask??
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Old 07-14-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo View Post
How come you don't just call them up and ask??
How come you have a problem with me asking here?


Nothing beat experience. Someone on the phone will tell you one thing and reality is sometimes another.
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Old 07-18-18, 03:03 PM
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Amtrak shipping

I sent a bike from Seattle to New Orleans. No problem at all; just take the pedals off and turn the handlebars and put it in one of the boxes they sell. They kept it upright and didn't bang it around. $85 as I recall and there is room at the station to get it going again. They wouldn't let me put any extra gear in the box though.
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Old 07-18-18, 08:30 PM
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I don't have a problem with it. Just don't understand why you don't go the faster route and pick up the stupid phone. The times I've called Amtrak, I was impressed. For the type of company it is and the its size, the phone reps proved they weren't Greyhound! (which is to say they had it going on!)
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Old 07-19-18, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo View Post
I don't have a problem with it. Just don't understand why you don't go the faster route and pick up the stupid phone. The times I've called Amtrak, I was impressed. For the type of company it is and the its size, the phone reps proved they weren't Greyhound! (which is to say they had it going on!)
Yeah you do or you wouldn't be complaining about it You are coming awfully close to being blocked. Which is a rarity for me on bikeforums. .
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Old 07-19-18, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmatdrum View Post
I sent a bike from Seattle to New Orleans. No problem at all; just take the pedals off and turn the handlebars and put it in one of the boxes they sell. They kept it upright and didn't bang it around. $85 as I recall and there is room at the station to get it going again. They wouldn't let me put any extra gear in the box though.
Unless you are traveling with your bike, its cheaper and less trouble to just ship using BikeFlights.com
You can even get a LBS to safely pack you bike and they usually have new bike boxes that are surplus, going to trash.
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Old 07-19-18, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
Unless you are traveling with your bike, its cheaper and less trouble to just ship using BikeFlights.com
You can even get a LBS to safely pack you bike and they usually have new bike boxes that are surplus, going to trash.


I really just need to go one stop., And get it there in one day. Hate to pack the darn thing up just for that. I am rethinking the whole trip. Maybe either rent in both places Or ship the bike to Whitfish and ride there and in Glacier. The issue I have with that is getting rooms. You need to plan so far in advance.
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Old 07-19-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
How come you have a problem with me asking here?



Nothing beat experience. Someone on the phone will tell you one thing and reality is sometimes another.
I check online about shipping by rail but never got any real consensus. In my experience you may get a better deal (and service) using Greyhound.

I needed to travel across country and wasn't sure which was the best. So I checked the web and the majority of positive feedback went to Greyhound.

Based on that, I chose the bus and wasn't disappointed. I just went to my LBS and retrieved a box from their dumpster (it still had the Styrofoam and derailleur brace in it), and carefully packaged my bike. The box was slightly larger than my bike so I threw in my floor pump as well. There was more space left over, but I wanted it to stay as light as possible.


The best thing about shipping your bike in a "bike box" is that it already has all the symbols and warning printed on it. The reviews said they were bike friendly and would treat your bike kindly and they did. I watched them from inside as they loaded it on the bus and they placed it carefully upright in a separate section away from all the other regular luggage.


My biggest fear was that they would toss it down on its side and pile other luggage on top of it crushing the derailleur or worse, the frame. Instead, they treated it with kid gloves.
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Old 07-19-18, 08:12 PM
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I've shipped my bike via Amtrak Express once, and I'd do it again if I needed to, and everything lines up right.

I think that pretty much any Amtrak station that has baggage service can do Express. The big benefit to Express is that you get to use the ginormous Amtrak bike boxes to pack your bike. So all you have to do is remove pedals and turn handlebars, no need for the disassembly and reassembly you'd do using a standard bike shipping box via FedEx or UPS. You'll have to pay the standard box fee if you are using the Amtrak boxes, though, they are not included in the shipping price. I think I paid about $60 for shipping the last time I did it four years ago, you'll have to call Amtrak Express at 1-800-377-6914 (8 am - 8 pm ET, Monday through Friday) to get an accurate quote.

The big disadvantage to Amtrak Express is it's not a point to point service like UPS/Fedex. You have to go to the station to drop off the bike and then to the station to pick up. And you can only ship from/to stations with baggage service.
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Old 07-26-18, 01:41 PM
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I’ve shipped my bike with Amtrak three times when we rode the GAP-C&O Canal trails. The first two times we had to box our bikes, but Amtrak had roll-on service the last time. Boxing the bike is no big deal and Amtrak was very helpful, providing tape and guidance. Their boxes are very big, so an entire bike will fit without removing the front wheel, but you do have to remove your pedals and disconnect handlebars and turn sideways. Bring a pedal wrench and loosen pedals ahead of time if they are tight. Amtrak does not allow you to include extras in the box, such as panniers and large packs, but empty water bottles are OK. They charge an extra $10 for a bike if you’re traveling on Amtrak, plus $10 more for the box. Allow plenty of time to pack and load your bike if traveling on Amtrak, at least two hours to be safe.

If you aren’t traveling by rail and simply need to ship your bike, then BikeFlights is a great option. They are considerably less expensive that UPS, FedEx or USPS. Not sure how they compare in price to Amtrak freight, but certainly more convenient for me. BikeFlights ships via UPS, but at about half the cost, and will pick up deliveries and allow drop offs at numerous locations. The nearest UPS drop off for me is about one mile away, and the Amtrak station is about 12 miles away through lots of traffic.
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Old 07-26-18, 02:42 PM
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Thanks but what I really needed to know is if I can ship my bike freight AND do it in am Amtrak box, The answer seems to be yes as indicated by one of the posts above.

I am fully aware of other shipping options and with accompanying the bike on Amtrak when going as a passenger at the same time.

What I really need is a nice simple way of getting it there without going through the hassle of a complete boxing. It would have really only been a one luggage stop shipment. So it looks like I can freight in an amtrak box. I also found from another site that I should be able to pre check luggage.
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Old 07-27-18, 12:54 PM
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So, who gets it to, and picks it up at the RR Stations?
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Old 07-27-18, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
So, who gets it to, and picks it up at the RR Stations?
Me

My plan was going to be to drop it off in Spokane. Have them send to Whitefish. Fly to Seattle. Take train to Whitefish. Pick up bike.

I wanted to leave from Seattle so I can see the Cascades again and not have to leave at 1:00AM from Spokane.

But I might just ship the bike straight to Whitefish. Do some riding there. Then ride over to Glacier to do some riding.
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