Nov 6, 2013
The following is a guest post by Champe Burnley, board member of the Virginia Bicycle Federation.
Tom Bowden, Champe Burnley &, Chris Craig
On Tuesday, October 15, I, along with Linda Boxx of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, and two other Virginia Bicycling Federation board members, participated in a test of roll-on bike service on Amtrak's Capitol Limited Line.
Walking Bikes Through Union Station
The Capitol Limited is a long route which connects Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC daily. It parallels the popular Great Allegheny Passage, C&O Canal Towpath National Historic Park, and U.S. Bike Route 50, and is very popular with cyclists.
Exciting the train with bicycles
We boarded the train at Harper's Ferry and rode to Washington's Union Station. I must tell you, loading my bike on the train was easier than putting it on my car-top rack.
Everyone seemed pleased with how smoothly the test went. It didn't appear to add any dwell time to the train.
This is the first time that an Amtrak's dual-level Superliner car has been equipped with bike racks. The Superliner car has a secure baggage compartment which was equipped with racks where the bikes were stowed.
Arriving in Washington later that afternoon, the bikes were easily rolled off the train cars.
All cyclists participating in the test were positive in their feedback and Amtrak officials seemed pleased as well. It was a good opportunity to work with Amtrak, as well as get to know Malcolm Kenton from the National Association of Rail Passengers. We all hope to see roll-on service on the Capitol Limited as well as other U.S. train corridors in the near future.
Top three photos courtesy of Matt O’Toole, Virginia Bicycling Federation and bottom three photos courtesy of Malcolm Kenton, National Association of Rail Passengers.
BUILDING THE U.S. BICYCLE ROUTE SYSTEM is posted by the Travel Initiatives Department and focuses on news related to the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). The USBRS project is a collaborative effort, spearheaded by a task force under the auspices of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Members of the task force include officials and staff from state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, and nonprofits like the East Coast Greenway Alliance and Mississippi River Trail, Inc.