Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

S&S couplers on Amtrak: No Checked Baggage

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

S&S couplers on Amtrak: No Checked Baggage

Old 08-12-13, 10:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
S&S couplers on Amtrak: No Checked Baggage

I'm planning on taking a tour up NYS bike route 9 from NYC to Montreal, and I was looking at taking Amtrak back. The only train is the "Adirondack" which is a "No Checked Baggage" train. According to the Amtrak website, this means I can take two bags that are under 50lbs and less than 28" x 22" x 14". My S&S couplered bike folds up into a case that is 26" x 26" x 10". I'm wondering if anyone has experience with Amtrak and how strict they are with their carry-on demands - as the bike is just 4 inches over in one demmension, will they reject my bag? In my experience with Amtrak, different lines seem to have different policies, so if someone has particular experience with the Adirondack line, that would be a plus.
TheProctonaor is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 04:18 AM
Membership Not Required
wahoonc's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
If you can handle the bag by yourself quickly and safely it MAY fly under the radar. I have seen plenty of suitcases on Amtrak that were over the limits. But if you get a hard ass conductor or ticket agent all bets are off. FWIW I have never traveled Amtrak with a suit case anywhere near the size limits so YMMV.

Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
wahoonc is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 05:22 AM
Senior Member
indyfabz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,206
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18396 Post(s)
Liked 15,474 Times in 7,312 Posts
No one is going to notice 4".
indyfabz is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 05:45 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 2,594

Bikes: 1992 Serotta Colorado II,Co-Motion Speedster, Giant Escape Hybrid, 1977 Schwinn Super Le Tour

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 455 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 112 Times in 85 Posts
How do you plan to get your case to the end of your trip?
Tandem Tom is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 12:03 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: City of Brotherly Love
Posts: 1,562

Bikes: Raleigh Companion, Nashbar Touring, Novara DiVano, Trek FX 7.1, Giant Upland

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My experiance has been that if you handle it yourself and get it into the luggage area, they don't care. On most coaches there are shelves near the doors for luggage.
Bezalel is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 03:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The S&S backpack case fits pretty easily into a pretty small box (the ones you find at liquor stores leave plenty of room). I send it by mail to my destination, pick it up there and pack the bike. I've used USPS General Delivery service, which allows you to send your package for hold and pickup at a post office. Unfortunately, I have discovered that it doesn't necessarily work perfectly, even if the USPS website says the location accepts General Delivery packages - you have to call the office to make sure.

I'll post my experiences with this after I try it out. Hopefully I won't be booted off the train.

Originally Posted by Tandem Tom
How do you plan to get your case to the end of your trip?
TheProctonaor is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 05:28 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Too many! Santana tandems and triplet; MTBs; touring bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
I carried on my S&S bike on AMTRAK from D.C. to Philadelphia at the end of my C&O Canal ride. I used the backpack case and actually carried it on my back. Didn't get a second look from any of the conductors. It was way heavy, though, as I crammed all kinds of stuff in there in addition to my bike (tent, etc.). I had to pretend it wasn't a big deal, but I was sure happy to take it off once I got on the train! I had the S&S backpack case on my back and was carrying my set of rear Ortlieb panniers.

On my ride I simply carried the backpack case folded up in the bottom of one of my panniers. It was heavy and a bit bulky, but it was only a three-day tour. I left the side stiffeners at home since I knew I'd be carrying the bag myself and didn't need the extra protection.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Old 08-14-13, 12:36 PM
Senior Member
mulveyr's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,572

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 4 Posts
As others have said, if you can carry it on yourself ( without obviously straining to do so ) you're extremely unlikely to have anyone say anything about it. I've used Amtrak strictly on the NY routes ( Empire Service and Lakeshore Limited ) and my experience is that the staff is absolutely excellent. I've even had their baggage guys spontaneously start helping me disassemble bikes for packing when I have my kids with me, etc.
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
04-18-18 04:34 PM
10-26-15 06:54 AM
General Cycling Discussion
07-24-13 04:48 PM
03-12-12 10:05 PM
08-09-11 05:57 PM

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.