American Railroads Carry Bicycle Service

The Vermonter line, which will allow passengers to ride in designated cars outfitted with bike racks starting May 1.Credit

Cyclists who long to ride amid the mountain air of New England this spring and summer will soon have an easy way to get there.

Beginning May 1, Amtrak will offer carry-on bike service, allowing passengers to ride in designated cars outfitted with bike racks on its Vermonter line, which operates each day between Washington, D.C., and St. Albans, Vt., with stops in cities including Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Conn., Springfield, Mass., and Essex Junction, Vt.

“We look forward to measuring the success of this service with an eye to expansion to additional routes across our national network,” Deborah Stone-Wulf, Amtrak’s vice president of sales and customer service said in a statement.

Cyclists who wish to use the service must arrive at their station a half-hour before boarding time. Train cars with bike service will have “bike-friendly” stickers on them, and there will be instructions in the rack area about how to load the bikes. The front wheel of each bike must be removed to fit it into the space, and extras, like panniers and saddle bags, must be removed as well before you add the bike to the rack. An Amtrak crew member will be on hand to help.

You can’t just stroll onboard with your bike, though. Reservations are required, and you must have a ticket for your bike. Bicycle reservation fees are $20 between Washington, D.C. and New Haven, Conn., and $10 between New Haven and St. Albans, Vt. (These reservation fees are in addition to the ticket price.)

Reservations can be made on (select “add bike” when booking),by phone (800-872-7245), or at staffed ticket office.

The only thing greener than the train ride? The bike ride you’ll take when you arrive.