True or False: Test Your Amtrak Knowlege

February 8, 2017

True or False? You can bring your bike on Amtrak.

Well, it depends. Where do you want to get on and off? Some stations allow you to roll your bike right into the Amtrak railcar, and other stations don’t allow you to check your bike at all, even if it’s in a box. And that is the problem!

Adventure Cycling and Amtrak have teamed up to make it easier to bring your bike on the train. We need your help! Will you help by donating today to expand and simplify bikes on trains?

Three years ago, Amtrak came to us with the question, “How can we become more bike friendly?” As the bike travel experts, we had some ideas. In fact, we had so many ideas that we formed a “Bicycle Task Force” to solve some of the biggest barriers to bringing bikes on the train.

More true or false ...

True or False? Thanks to the Task Force, you can check your unboxed bike with a station master on 10 of 15 long-distance Amtrak routes.

False. You can use trainside check at all of Amtrak’s 15 long-distance routes.

True or False? Amtrak saw an increase of ridership when they opened the Vermonter and the Capitol Limited to carry-on service, meaning you can carry your bike right into the railcar.

True. 75% of the cyclists who brought their bikes on the Vermonter were new Amtrak riders.

True or False? Adventure Cycling is creating tools to help you find where Amtrak and our Adventure Cycling Route Network and the U.S. Bicycle Route System overlap, so you can discover endless rail-and-road possibilities!

True! We developed an interactive map that lets you overlay Amtrak routes with both Adventure Cycling Routes and U.S. Bicycle Routes.

True or False? You are the vital key to continue expanding our bike travel options.

True! The bike-travel advocacy train is moving, but without your support, our work with Amtrak will end and Amtrak will be a tangle of various stations with confusing bicycle options. Help expand Amtrak travel options and create a truly vibrant multi-modal transportation system by donating today!

Donate today and get a Greg Siple gift as a thank you:

$100-$299: U.S.-made wooden magnet with Greg Siple illustration

$300+: Reusable travel bag with Greg Siple illustration

Photo 1 courtesy of National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) | Photo 2 courtsey of Amtrak

The Thomas Stevens Fan Club is brought to you by the development team, Annette, April, and Michelle. They share an office with a classic Parisian Metropole bicycle. Want to know more about how you can support Adventure Cycling and all the amazing work they do? Call them at 406-532-2760 or email them at


Steve Wilson February 13, 2017, 10:15 AM

Making a donation somehow makes it easier to get your bike on the train? I don't get it.

April February 23, 2017, 12:50 PM

Hi Steve -Good question. In short, your donation makes it possible for Adventure Cycling's advocacy team to be part of the Amtrak Bicycle Task Force. Some of our most exciting work is a result of partnering with groups beyond the cycling community such as Amtrak, state departments of transportation, and federal parks just to name a few. But having a seat at the table isn't free. We currently have two people on staff that are fully dedicated to advocacy work. Your donation goes to ensuring our advocacy team is able to meet with key partners and have a voice at meetings where large-scale decisions about bike travel are made.

Adventure Cycling was recently recognized as the concise voice for bicycle travel when Executive Director Jim Sayer was selected to be on the newly-formed National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI.) It's a huge win for the cycling community to be included in this federal committee and a great honor for Adventure Cycling to be recognized as a key player in travel infrastructure decisions. Our members are to thank for this. Because of their consistent dedication and support, we've not only survived for 40 years but flourished and created a reputation as the voice for bicycle travel.

MARINA E LIBRO February 10, 2017, 7:01 PM

This is awesome. However, what about RECUMBENT bikes???? I do not want to just assume my trike is included in this awesome new development only to find out that "bikes" only have two wheels!!!

April February 27, 2017, 11:00 AM

Amtrak has plans to address the recumbent issue in the near future. They are rolling out a few more bicycle services across their system first, including more carry-on service on some of their long distance routes. They hear from recumbent, trike and tandem cyclists often enough that they do have it on their list to accomplish soon. I have not heard how much they will charge, but I don't think it will be different for recumbents, etc. as it would be too complicated for their reservation system to distinguish.

It may take awhile, things move slowly when you are dealing with a big corporation and a huge amount of equipment and logistics. You can bet we will be working with them as we move into the stage of addressing your needs as a recumbent trike cyclist. Stay tuned.

Chip McMillan February 21, 2017, 5:31 PM

I want to know about recumbent trikes.

Gregory Forrester February 8, 2017, 11:46 PM

All 15 long distance routes is not totally true. On the Empire Builder, you cannot start or end in Portland, Oregon or Pasco, Washington with an unboxed bicycle even though those stations have checked baggage. Amtrak is also in the process of reducing the number of stations that will accept checked baggage. For example, Columbus, WI on the Empire Builder will lose checked baggage services on May 1.

Saara Snow February 9, 2017, 4:22 PM

Hi Greg - you are right that those stations do not accept unboxed bicycles; however, that section of the Empire Builder from Spokane to Portland is the only section of all of their long distance routes that still requires boxed bikes. The Empire Builder DOES have trainside checked service from Chicago to Seattle, so technically that line does still allow unboxed bikes. We've heard in regards to stations with baggage service that Amtrak is opening up certain stations to taking bikes on/off where there may be more demand, for example the West Glacier station. I will ask them about reducing stations with baggage service, thanks for letting us know about that.

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