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Amtrak Expands Roll-On Service

Starting today, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited Line, from Washington, D.C. through Pittsburgh and ending in Chicago, will offer bicycle roll-on bicycle service. Congratulations to Adventure Cycling Association and Amtrak for making this happen!

Amtrak’s timing is perfect, too. Earlier this year the League worked with Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to successfully incorporate language into the Amtrak reauthorization bill, pushing the train service to standardize roll-on accessibility across the country. While the bill hasn’t yet passed the full Congress, we expect it to pass by the end of the year. 

Amtrak’s announcement can be read as a PDF here or in full below.


WASHINGTON – Amtrak is expanding the availability of bike service on the Capitol Limited to allow more passengers the convenience of traveling with their bikes.

This enhanced service begins on Sept. 14 and provides passengers with a way to travel with their bicycles without the hassles of driving and parking vehicles. This service is available at all stations along the Capitol Limited route between Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Passengers will be able to roll their bikes along the platform and onto the train and secure their own bikes on a rack in the baggage cars. Amtrak partnered with Adventure Cycling Association and other bicycle and passenger rail groups to form an advisory bicycle task force to oversee this project to establish walk-on bike service on the Capitol Limited.

“We’ve worked with the cycling community to identify solutions and bring new ideas to expand services for passengers who travel with their bikes,” said Deborah Stone-Wulf, Amtrak Vice President of Sales and Customer Service. “We look forward to measuring the success of this service with an eye to expansion to additional routes across our national network.”

Passengers with bikes must arrive at the station 30 minutes prior to the train departure to allow time to transport the bike to the baggage car. Only standard bikes will be permitted. If equipped with a large seat/saddle bags, the items must be removed from the bike and checked or carried on the train. Reservations are required and passengers must have a travel document (ticket) for their bikes. There is a $20 bike service fee.

Passengers can reserve their bikes by selecting “add bike” when they book their train travel on, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, or by visiting any staffed ticket office. Amtrak stations with ticketing and baggage service that currently provide boxed bike service will continue to offer this service. Standard bike policy and charges apply on trains where applicable.

“The Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal towpath form a 330-mile bike trail system that parallels the Capitol Limited from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.,” said Linda McKenna Boxx, an Amtrak Bike Task Force member and board member of the Allegheny Trail Alliance. “We have been advocating to Amtrak for this kind of service and are so excited that it is finally a reality.”

(Photo courtesy of Adventure Cycling Association) 

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