Amtrak to Begin Welcoming Bikes on Long-Distance Routes

Roll-on bike storage, coming soon to Amtrak trains. Photo: Amtrak

Roll-on bike storage, coming soon to an Amtrak train near you. Photo: Amtrak

The nation’s intercity passenger rail service just got a lot bike-friendlier.

Amtrak announced last week that it is installing new baggage cars — equipped for bike storage — in all trains on its long-distance routes by year’s end. The change will allow Amtrak riders to “roll on” their bikes, rather than disassembling them and transporting them in boxes. The new baggage car equipment is being tested in Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak officials said in a blog post.

Amtrak officials hinted the more convenient bike transport was in response to demand from consumers. Campaigns aimed at securing assembled bike storage aboard Amtrak routes have been waged in New York and other states. Only a handful of Amtrak routes currently allow a limited number of fully assembled bikes.

“It’s clear that Americans want a national system of intercity passenger rail and Amtrak is moving ahead to build new equipment to meet customer demand,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman in the blog post.

In the comments, people were already indicating their intent to ride Amtrak more.

“Roll-on bike service will make me choose Amtrak over air travel every chance I get,” said Washington Bikes Director Barb Chamberlain. ”I’ve been waiting for this to transform my vacation choices.”