BikePGH!

So I asked Amtrak (again)…

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This topic contains 169 replies, has 48 voices, and was last updated by  edmonds59 1 week, 3 days.

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atown

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Jun 25 2014 at 8:30am #

I am very excited for this. I miss being able to roll my bike onto a train for a one day trip/ride to various regions and be able to head home that night on a return train. Hopefully I can soon start exploring more of the state’s less-visited areas on a bike.


RustyRed

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Jun 25 2014 at 9:47am #

<=== sees a PGH to DC trip in her future now!


Benzo

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Jun 25 2014 at 10:07am #

My hope is they will update their reservation system to allow ticketholders to reserve a spot. I would hate to have any uncertainty as to whether there was going to be room or not for my bike, especially when I’m boarding outside my home city.


Benzo

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Jun 25 2014 at 10:07am #

.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 25 2014 at 12:32pm #

*squints eyes* *tilts head*
I’m happy they said this, but from what I gathered in the meetings so far (I only missed one), I don’t see how it’s possible that they will outfit all the routes by the end of the year. They were only talking two routes as pilots by the end of the year, one long-distance (Capitol Limited), one short (the Vermont one).

To go system wide, this is going to be like outfitting all PAT buses with bike racks, and in the meantime — years — getting a train with a bike car will be a hit-and-miss proposition. Each year, they will get a few more cars equipped, and make changes to stations and train handling along those routes. (Some stations are too short to have the baggage car next to the station while they are boarding passengers, so they have to move the train a few feet to load baggage and bicycles. Not an issue on Capitol Ltd, but several others.)

And the matter of multiple routes sharing a pool of cars means they can’t provide the service at all on them, reliably, until they have enough cars equipped to do all the cars that form that pool. And Amtrak is only the point of contact. Much of the car ordering and station modifications have to be agreed upon and contracted out by various state departments of transportation.

Plus there is the non-trivial matter that something can come up to kibosh the whole project, money being only one major one. That is still entirely possible. And even all I said here is not anything close to a complete list of the hurdles to jump.

As I said a few posts up, I had no idea there were so many things in play. Really, we’re probably talking 2018-2020 before we have all the pieces in place. The 2014 date is more about getting the pilot in place and running smoothly.

We are still a long way from getting RORO service on the Pennsylvanian.


n3glv

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Jun 26 2014 at 9:50pm #

Here is the issue.
Checked baggage.
The run to Philly from Pittsburgh has no checked baggage. Full Stop.
The run to DC (senator) does, but of course you’ll need a bike box ($20 from them) and pay an extra $8 or something for extra/oversize bag.

I found this out last January on the coldest night of the year when trying
to go to Florida on the senator. Not only was it 8hours late, it had been
turned into a BUS and BUS==no checked bags == my bike stays here??
Leaves me riding home @ 4am and -17 + increased wind chill from bike.

Bottom line is ASK QUESTIONS FAR AHEAD..
(the morons knew at 11p that it was going to be a bus and bus=no bike, but took chatting up a SECURITY GUARD to find out I was screwed)

fwiw they lost my bag, discovered it busted open at the next stop in fla etc.


atown

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Jun 30 2014 at 10:07am #

So I need to book a trip to NYC this weekend. I’m deciding between Megabus or Amtrak. As I understand, for either situation, I would have to have my bike completely packed in a box? Is that correct? Or is one service more flexible than the other?


Benzo

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Jun 30 2014 at 10:51am #

Megabus official policy is no bikes.

“Bicycles are not permitted on megabus motorcoaches.”

https://us.megabus.com/luggage-allowance.aspx

Amtrack is a bit more accomodating. You have to have checked baggage service available between your start and destination and you also must buy a bike box (typically available at the station for 10 to 20 dollars.) The bike box only requires you to drop your seat down, remove handlebars from stem, and remove pedals from what I remember.

http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

The tricky bit about amtrak is that you need to make sure that there is checked baggage service at your starting station, destination station, and there are no GAPS in baggage service if you need to switch trains.

I don’t think that this is available to NYC due to lack of baggage service on the pennsylvanian and east coast corridor route trains.


Benzo

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Jun 30 2014 at 10:57am #

Greyhound may be a bit more permissive with allowing bikes.

“Packaging exceptions will only be made for the following items: bicycles, skis and ski poles must be packed in wood, canvas or other substantial container, and securely fastened”

https://www.greyhound.com/en/ticketsandtravel/baggageinformation.aspx

I have no personal experience with this. I’ve heard stories of varying levels of success with bikes on greyhound.


edmonds59

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Jul 14 2014 at 6:36am #

Brilliant! Who wants to go to Rugby?

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