New Bike Services on Amtrak

Sep 22nd, 2020

It’s a tough time for Amtrak with the pandemic reducing ridership, so we were happy to get some good news – bike services are expanding!

New carry-on bike service is now available for most Northeast Regional routes, the Keystone Service, Downeaster, and Hartford Line routes. There is space for two bikes per departure now, and more spaces will be offered as Amtrak modifies the rest of the fleet. 

Amtrak was able to expand bike service on its aging Amfleet train cars by retrofitting the luggage rack space to convert to bike racks. The bike racks aren’t perfect because they require removing the front wheel to hang the bike by the rear wheel, and they only work for standard bikes (not recumbents or tandems). But it is another step in the right direction, and we have heard that future replacement Amfleet cars will include built-in bike racks. 

This bike rack is the same design that was originally piloted on the Vermonter route in 2015, which was led by a Bicycle Task Force that Adventure Cycling coordinates. The Bike Task Force also advocated for bicycle racks to be included in this recent Amfleet retrofit. 

You can book a bike reservation when you buy your ticket, and the number of spaces available will show up after you enter your contact information. Or you can add a bike reservation to an already purchased ticket by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. Amtrak recommends arriving at the station 30 minutes before departure and you’ll need to remove and consolidate your panniers and bags before loading your bike. Amtrak is also requiring masks and has several cleaning and safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

For more resources on how to travel with your bike using Amtrak, check out this blog post and these resources