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Bikes on Lake Shore Limited from Albany to Buffalo

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Bikes on Lake Shore Limited from Albany to Buffalo

Old 10-29-20, 07:35 AM
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bktourer1
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Bikes on Lake Shore Limited from Albany to Buffalo

Any recent experience on getting a bike on Lake Shore Limited from Albany to Buffalo?
Conflicting info from Amtrak ref not loading in Albany.
I live in Springfield MA and don't want to drive to NYC to load there.

Thanks
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Old 10-29-20, 08:42 AM
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I took it two months ago; I've also taken several other long-distance trains in the last few months. The baggage car will join the train in Albany, having started in NYC. They're doing it differently these days with loading bikes, by not seeming to require it being boxed even if they dont have the special racks, which is so great and what I always wanted.

The Albany station has two incredible ladies who are in charge of the luggage. Whoever's on will walk you down with your bike fully loaded. You put your stuff on the ground by wherever you train car is, continue down to the baggage car, pop the bike in, grab your stuff, hop on the train. Easy. Seattle, Chicago, and Portland all were similar but without the escort.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:50 AM
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For train-side checking (no box required), the website does say not available to/from Albany. Seems odd. Thatís a major stop.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:52 AM
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Is train service back up in MA? Itís been bus for a long while.

The people at Albanyís station, compared to the poor overworked folks at Chicago, are amazing.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Lanesplitter View Post
They're doing it differently these days with loading bikes, by not seeming to require it being boxed even if they dont have the special racks, which is so great and what I always wanted.
If the car does not have special racks and you give them your unboxed bike, how do they secure the bike? Might they stack bikes against each other without padding?
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Old 10-29-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
If the car does not have special racks and you give them your unboxed bike, how do they secure the bike? Might they stack bikes against each other without padding?
Took the Pennsylvanian from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh last month. The bikes are hung.if you use train side check in. I watched the guy trying to get my bike off the hook. I thought he was going to break a spoke. I came very close to asking him if he needed help. But my touring bike is heavy, and he was rather short, so that may have had something to do with it.

This is my self-hung bike on the Vermonter service, which offers roll-on/roll-off. You do everything yourself. Because my bike is large with a long wheel base I had to remove the front wheel.


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Old 10-29-20, 04:11 PM
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@indyfabz...Thanks for the helpful picture.

I was also wondering about points west on Empire Builder or Capital Limited. If bike goes in baggage car without box nor special bike rack, the bike must be secured somehow.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:35 PM
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I did the ride in September this year, took this train from NYC to Buffalo and then from Albany to NYC on the way back (I know, it was lame to not ride to Poughkeepsie or all the way back to NYC). For the Lake Shore Limited the bikes are loaded into the baggage car, and I loaded the bike in Albany (though in the opposite direction).

I think the Empire Service does not have checked baggage, and it does not take bikes. Maybe one day some of them will have roll-on/roll-off service which indyfabz shows the photo of. The Empire Service goes all the way to the beginning of the trail -- Exchange St. station.

Edit: when you purchase a ticket after entering the passenger name there appears a page allowing one to add a bike (if applicable).

Last edited by csport; 10-29-20 at 08:17 PM. Reason: amend the post
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Old 10-29-20, 06:52 PM
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They haven't been secured on most trips lately. Just laid on the ground. Best thing ever. And no, they most certainly don't need to be secured.
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Old 10-30-20, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
@indyfabz...Thanks for the helpful picture.

I was also wondering about points west on Empire Builder or Capital Limited. If bike goes in baggage car without box nor special bike rack, the bike must be secured somehow.
Empire Builder has train side. Baggage handler hangs it in the baggage car. I believe the Capitol has roll on service. Check Amtrakís website. Itís all there.
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Old 10-30-20, 02:38 AM
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https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard
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Old 10-30-20, 06:48 AM
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Thanks to all for the assist. Planning on riding the Erie Canal next Spring and am in the research stage of the trip.
I rode a few years ago with PTNY. Wanna go unsupported this time
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Old 10-30-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Lanesplitter View Post
They haven't been secured on most trips lately. Just laid on the ground. Best thing ever. And no, they most certainly don't need to be secured.
Here's two examples of how different it is these days, how much more lax it is. From Chicago to Milwaukee, I put my bike in the dining car and sat there by myself. From Chicago to Seattle, I could see my bike through the window when I went downstairs to the restroom. There it was, leaned up against the wall, unboxed, unracked. So beautiful and reassuring!
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Old 10-30-20, 01:24 PM
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It's difficult to see in my photo above, but there is a metal bar which swings out. Attached to the bar is a strap with some Velcro that you can use to keep the bike from swaying.

The only PITA about the roll-on service is that the car vestibule is too tight to get a large bike through with four panniers on. What I did both times I rode the Vermonter was put the panniers in a mesh sleeping bag storage sack (not the sack you use while travelling with the bag but rather the one to store it in when not in use). Tossed those onto the train then rolled the bike on. The bag is so light and compact that you can easily ride home with it.
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Old 10-31-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
Thanks to all for the assist. Planning on riding the Erie Canal next Spring and am in the research stage of the trip.
I rode a few years ago with PTNY. Wanna go unsupported this time
You should check this too. https://bikeeriecanal.com/forum.aspx
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