Author Topic: Getting bike and gear to start of tour  (Read 425 times)

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Offline John Nelson

Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2016, 11:37:07 am »
The Amtrak web site allows you to check actual arrival times for a station and route for the past week. I suggest you monitor that for a while to get an idea of the range of possibilities. When I went to Chicago on the California Zephyr last summer, I noted that the train typically arrived anywhere from 1 hour to 15 hours late. Armed with that knowledge, it allowed me to plan what I would do if I arrived at 3 in the morning. But, as mentioned, it depends on the route and time of year. I note that right now the California Zephyr has a pretty good track record for the past week. Long-haul passenger service takes a back seat to freight, and many factors are hard to predict and outside of Amtrak's control.

On a positive note, Amtrak is almost certain to get your bike there without damage. Unlike air and bus travel, your bike travels upright with no other stuff stacked on top of it.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2016, 11:38:25 am »
Yes,  on the Calif to WA route, we had to wait on a side track for a couple of hours for a southbound train to pass. They have allowed to rail infrastructure to deteriorate to the point that there was only one track that way.  Too bad--rail travel would be a good way to combat climate change. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 12:19:35 pm »
Just a warning about Amtrak...I've used it twice, once across the country and once up the west coast from LA to Seattle.  Both experiences were disasters. Filthy conditions, WAY late on arrival, unfriendly and uninformed staff.  Etc.  I'll never use them again.  It sounds like others have had much better experiences, so maybe I just hit the wrong train two out of two times.

A few years back, I did the Willamette Valley from one end to the other, and I needed to get to Portland from Eugene.  Amtrak has a train going through there with roll on/off service, but availability and schedules did not work out for me.  Amtrak also has a bus line going through there, with a bike option.  I got one cargo bay to transport my bike and gear.  The staff on both ends were wonderful.  I was personally met in Portland by the station master, who made sure I had a safe route out of Portland.