Traveling the Pacific Northwest by bicycle just got easier.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Amtrak announced that additional bike storage racks have been added to all Amtrak Cascade trains, with space for 10 bikes per train now available. Riders can reserve a seat and bike space through http://www.amtrakcascades.com/ or by calling 1-800 -USA- RAIL.
More from the joint announcement:
“Washington is a six-time champ as the top bicycle-friendly state and these bike racks will make it easier for bicyclists to combine Amtrak Cascades and bicycle travel to tour the Pacific Northwest – from Eugene, Ore. to Vancouver, BC, and all stops in between,” said Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.
On-board bicycle storage racks must be reserved in advance and can only accommodate standard bicycles. The racks allow Amtrak staff to hang and secure standard bicycles on the walls of baggage cars. Tandem, recumbent, or other specialized bicycles will require a bicycle bag or box and must be checked as baggage at staffed Amtrak stations. Travelers who do not have a bicycle box can purchase one at staffed Amtrak stations for $15.
When Amtrak Cascades trains began service in 1999, six bicycle storage racks were included in each train’s baggage car.
To reserve a bicycle rack, buy tickets early for the best fares. All cities are on sale at 25 percent off when purchased early. Once on the train, local food and drink is available in recently- upgraded bistro cars.
Interested in bike and train travel? You’ll want to check out Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington. With tours around the state for every budget, every level of experience, this detailed bicycle travel guidebook will give you the how, when, and where that will inspire you to get the best possible view of Washington: from the bike saddle! Preorder an autographed copy through our Kickstarter campaign, which runs through Aug. 28, 2013. Wherever it’s possible to take a train to begin or end your travels, the book will let you know.
“Tandem, recumbent, or other specialized bicycles will require a bicycle bag or box and must be checked as baggage at staffed Amtrak stations.”
Nice in theory until you show up with said “tandem, recumbent or other specialized bicycle” all prepared to buy boxes and pay shipping fees yet Amtrak turns you down because their baggage staff just doesn’t feel like dealing with your “non-normal” bike.
Thank heavens for Bolt Bus and their willingness to be flexible (ie,if they have room, they’ll take it).
Sorry, but Amtrak isn’t going to be a real transportation option for utility and family bike riders until they just let bikes roll on all the time — regardless of size or “normal” status of bike.
If there’s room in the bike/baggage car to load and secure the bike, then the bike should go.
I echo Tim. The bicycle storage area is usually empty. Why does Amtrak have to make it so hard for cargo, Dutch or tandem bicycles? There going to keep losing business to Bolt.
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