Bikes On Board Trains

The New York Bicycling Coalition is working to improve the quality of service for passengers who travel by bicycle on Amtrak and all passenger train routes across the state. We believe this can be done by adding roll-on service to trains.

Our work as part of the Amtrak Bicycle Services Task Force is essential to getting roll-on service to be implemented on New York’s Amtrak corridor routes with an on-board bicycle rack system in passenger cars. The task force is works to identify both long-term and short-term solutions for improving Amtrak bicycle access and services in the Northeast. People across New York and the entire US dream of the day when they can roll their bikes onto all passenger trains.

The current requirement – that bicycles be disassembled and boxed – is often a deal breaking inconvenience for many folks since it effectively prevents everyone from using a bicycle to get to and from the train station. It also discourages many people who bike (tourists, commuters, etc.) from traveling via passenger rail.

We believe that roll-on bicycle service on the Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen and Empire trains will encourage more bicycle travel and tourism by connecting tens of thousands of cyclists in New York City, Montreal, and Toronto with some of the most beautiful and bike-friendly landscapes in the state.

NYBC partnered with Amtrak in 2013 to organize three bikes on board” demonstration rides, which generated valuable feedback from participants as well as significant interest from the cycling community. These demonstrations helped move us closer to making roll-on service a reality.

Still, there are many issues we are working to overcome. For example, the roll-on bicycle rack design developed by Amtrak for the 2013 demonstration rides could only accommodate FOUR bicycles, located in the café car…

While not all trains are the same and may require alternatives, we believe a good solution is to add bicycle racks to each passenger car so that more bikes can be accommodated. With your support, we can continue to work with our to partners to get roll-on service on trains throughout New York. It’s our hope to have at least one passenger route with roll-on service by the summer of 2016.

Read our 2015 post with additional info on traveling by train with your bike.

Read more about our past efforts working to get bikes on board trains: NYBC advocates for roll on service in 2012

In 2015, NYBC provided testimony during the Public Hearing for the 2015-2016 State Budget for Tourism Development as well as for the Public Hearing for the 2015-2016 State Budget on the Department of Transportation Two-Year Capital Program. You can watch/listen to them here: