TagMichigan

What it’s like to Amtrak it with a bike

Update: This post has been widely shared. I suspect other people have blogged about their experiences of taking bikes on Amtrak. Leave a comment with the link, or tweet or email me, and I will include a link to your blog on this page. 

My friend, Will Vanlue, from Portland describes his experience taking a bicycle on Amtrak to Seattle. He bought a bicycle ticket even though he was pretty sure folding bikes could be brought on as carry-on luggage. It was true and the Amtrak staff refunded him.

Like some light rail trains, Amtrak Cascades cars have vertical storage for full-size bicycles. Travis was able to get his Bullitt “Long John” cargo bike on the train with assistance from the staff. 

The Amtrak Cascades train spoils their passengers compared to those on the Hiawatha or Wolverine, offering a power outlet for every seat, and free wifi. I took the train in April 2010 on my trip with Brandon to Portland and Seattle.

This is a good time to bring up, again, that Michigan trains will soon offer “roll on” bicycle service to passengers in 2012.

Tuesday roundup: High-speed rail and Asian carp

A collection of links and news stories I liked yesterday, Monday, June 4, 2010, the first business day of a new year and new decade. I hope you’ve started on this new year’s resolution.

  • Riding The Rails: How $8 Billion in Stimulus Funding for High-Speed rail Could Change the Face of the midwest—or Get Derailed* (Mindful Metropolis – The article presents nothing new, but for novices on the topic, it combines all of the talks, plans, and dollar amounts that have been discussed over the past few years. New to me, though, is feedback from a meeting of train advocates and industry types at the Spertus Institute in October 2009. *Links to Flash version of entire magazine issue. Download accessible PDF, look for page 28.
  • Columnist warns of forced porch-sitting, with possible mandatory neighbor interaction (Sprawled Out) – John Michlig takes Milwaukee Sentinel writer to task about shoddy journalism and defends real, walkable neighborhood designs. Also, a mention of a new neighborhood design called “coving.”
  • ‘Fewer’ people use fast train (China.org.cn) – The world’s fastest high-speed rail opens in China (Wuhan to Guangzhou); two weeks later there’s subtle criticism of low ridership reports. China.org.cn is interesting; known as “China Internet Information Center” and “published under the auspices of the State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group in Beijing.” It’s hard to know what information comes from the government and what doesn’t.
  • Fight Against Asian Carp Threatens Fragile Great Lakes Unity (New York Times) – The State of New York has joined the State of Michigan’s lawsuit against the State of Illinois to force Illinois to close the waterway connection between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The states fear that Asian carp will soon invade the Great Lakes and destroy the ecology. The State of Illinois operates eight locks and dams along the Illinois Waterway and Illinois River. See map below (made with Google My Maps).


View Lake Michigan to the Mississippi in a larger map

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