Capitol Limited - checked bikes possible, or only carry-on reservations?

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Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
1
Location
DC
Planning on training from DC to Pittsburg this spring with bikes in tow and biking back. For the week we're interest in, there are plenty of train seats available, but carry on bike reservations are booked out every day that week - as well as in reverse in case we did the trip in the opposite direction.

Is it (still) possible to check a bike in the luggage car at DC Union Station heading to Pittsburg on the Capital Limited? I see in posts like the one linked below that there were options to check bikes, in luggage cars with racks, at some point in the past, but also get the impression that may not always be an option? But then on the Amtrack website (link also below) see the Capital Limited should include both train-side checked bikes and carry-on options.

Was hoping for some recent rider confirmation that checked bikes are still fine, as its a key consideration of our trip. And, if so, is boxing mandatory? There also seems to be varying posts on that over the past several years and longer.

 
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
891
Location
Brownsburg IN
Sorry I don’t have any recent experience on the CL - my experience is 2019. That time I rolled it up to the baggage car and loaded it myself with supervision. Round trip South Bend IN to DC.

Next trip is on the Cardinal in a couple of weeks - that one is a roll-on from Crawfordsville IN to Charlottesville. When I’ve gone CRF to CHI in the past, they’ve handled roll-on a few different ways. Available space in an unoccupied Coach handicap area, the aisle way of a deadheading sleeper, and a dedicated bike rack in the Cafe.

Of course none of that is much help. Sorry.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Bronx
The Capitol Limited should have 8 bicycle carry-on reservation-only spaces per train. If all of the reservation spaces are booked, you might try another day. Checking your bike in a box is still an option. There is no train side loading into the baggage car on this route. For a spreadsheet on all Amtrak routes and heaps of information on how to travel with your bike on Amtrak, visit Train Travel
 

Kramerica

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
146
Location
New Berlin, WI
I did that trip in September 2016, and it was great! Three days on the GAP and three days on the Towpath. Took the train back to Pittsburgh, but our fellow travelers took my bike back so we didn't have to worry about that. PM me if you have any questions about the biking portion of your trip!
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,562
Location
South Bend
I've taken my bicycle on the Carl Sandburg twice:

In 2011 it was running with Superliners, two coaches (one a snack coach) and a Cross-Country cafe. My bike road in the unused kitchen! I got some fun pictures.

In 2012 it was regular Horizons and basically just sat squeezed between the end row of seats like IndyLions photo.
 

Locobill

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
17
We looked I to this recently with the idea of taking 4 bikes onboard. When we tried to reserve it, there are only 2 bike slots available. The Capital Limited doesn’t have a full baggage car, but a coach baggage car. So only 2 spots available. This is pretty dumb since this route has some of the most popular cycling trails.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
891
Location
Brownsburg IN
We looked I to this recently with the idea of taking 4 bikes onboard. When we tried to reserve it, there are only 2 bike slots available. The Capital Limited doesn’t have a full baggage car, but a coach baggage car. So only 2 spots available. This is pretty dumb since this route has some of the most popular cycling trails.

Even more dumb is you could probably fit a dozen bikes in half a baggage car without breaking a sweat.
 

PaulM

Engineer
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
2,333
Location
Quincy, IL
We looked I to this recently with the idea of taking 4 bikes onboard. When we tried to reserve it, there are only 2 bike slots available. The Capital Limited doesn’t have a full baggage car, but a coach baggage car. So only 2 spots available. This is pretty dumb since this route has some of the most popular cycling trails.
When Amtrak finally instituted roll on - roll off bike service at all stations on the Capital Limited in late September 2015, it used repurposed coach baggage cars with 7 or 8 bike racks. The two times I used it, there were 2 regular coaches and this coach-bike car.

It appears the new Capitol Limited doesn't have a baggage car; and there is only one coach and one coach baggage, i.e., no coach-bike car. I tried dummy bookings in several days in April, June, July, and September. The serviced tab under detail all showed bike service; but all were sold out. Now we know that Amtrak's computer systems can't tell the difference between something that is sold out and something that doesn't exits. So it appears that there isn't enough room in the coach-bike cars for bikes and baggage. Or perhaps the coach-bike cars have gone to that mysterious bone yard where all bad cars go. Either way, it is just another service downgrade.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,610
Location
Washington State
Just coach and sleeper? No diner/lounge (aka "CCC") with a service counter and 4 " cafe" tables at one end? So no food service at all? If it had a diner/lounge, that would be its normal current consist. They pulled the Sightseer lounge off the Capitol some time ago.
 
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