Have you dreamed of traveling to a distant state by train with your bike, but cringed at the thought of having to box your bike for the journey? Dream again. Amtrak roll-on bike service is on its way!
Amtrak announced plans to include bike storage racks on its new long distance equipment. The new baggage cars will be installed on all 15 long distance routes by the end of 2014. That includes the Coast Starlight and Empire Builder routes serving Washington state.
“It’s clear that Americans want a national system of intercity passenger rail and Amtrak is moving ahead to build new equipment to meet customer demand,” said Amtrak President and CEO, Joe Boardman.
Washington Bikes executive director Barb Chamberlain is looking forward to switching to trains for her long distance travels.
“Roll-on bike service will make me choose Amtrak over air travel every chance I get. I’ve been waiting for this to transform my vacation choices. This will open up a huge market for Amtrak since bike travel is growing like crazy and legs sometimes need a rest,” she stated.
Bicyclists traveling by train in western Washington and Oregon have been accustomed to roll-on bike service on Amtrak Cascades service sponsored by WSDOT and ODOT. All Amtrak routes in Washington will have roll-on bike service with the expansion to Coast Starlight and Empire Builder routes.