Has anyone gotten off Amtrak at Truckee with a bike?

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rdel...@yahoo.com

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Mar 24, 2024, 2:13:42 PMMar 24
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Reading Amtrak's web pages for answer to this question leaves me less than confident that I could actually get off Amtrak in Truckee with a bike, boxed or not.

Has anyone done this?

Steve Striepeke
Sebastopol, CA
#11010

Cathy Switzer

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Mar 24, 2024, 6:50:58 PMMar 24
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Hi Steve et al,

The Truckee Station building is now a California Visitor Center / small museum. The man staffing the desk there today told me that Truckee is a “stop”, not at “station”, and he suggested that I ask the Conductor about bikes … so I did… 

The California Zephyr (Train #6) from SAC to TRU arrived 6 mins late, the Conductor and two other Amtrak-uniformed persons stepped onto the smallish concrete ramp by the tracks.

According to Ryan, the conductor,  yes, boxed or unboxed bikes can be taken off at the Truckee stop. You have to let the Conductor and Engineer know when you board, then when the train stops in Truckee, they open the baggage car and hand the bike down to you. 

While Ryan was giving me this detail, the train moved forward so the door for the NEXT carriage was lined up with the ramp. Passengers disembarked and boarded from that one door, it seemed similar to my albeit limited experience with brevet starts - organized chaos (😅). The baggage car wasn’t opened, apparently everyone had their luggage in their possession before disembarking, and no one boarding had any big bags.

After the train pulled out of the station, er, stop, I went to share my info with the man-at-the-desk. He was very surprised at my news as he’s NEVER seen the California Zephyr baggage car opened when the train has stopped in Truckee 😳.

You may want to make a call to Amtrak Customer Service, although I doubt if they’ll have the kind of detail needed. If you decide to make the trip, please let us know the results!

Good luck,
Cathy
#15038


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Cathy B. Switzer
1-408-242-6259 iPhone

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Rupesh Kapoor

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Mar 24, 2024, 6:50:58 PMMar 24
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Assuming you're looking at the California Zephyr train, Amtrak will only accept bike reservations between "luggage stops". Truckee is not one of them. The closest ones are Sacramento and Reno.

An alternative might be to take either Zephyr or Capital Corridor (on which you can walk in with your bike) to Sacramento, then catch a connecting Amtrak bus to Truckee. I've never done that personally, so you'll have to check about the bike situation on the bus.

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Juliayn Coleman

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Mar 25, 2024, 1:31:32 PMMar 25
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just want to correct an earlier post that calling Amtrak customer service might not have that level of detail. Amtrak customer service can be really amazing actually. you usually have to wait about 15-20 minutes to connect, so opt for the callback option when you get in the queue.
I often get bicyclists when I call customer service. They really know all the details about each train line and how to get the most out of traveling with a bike. It is worth the time it takes to call and talk to a real person. In my experience, it is just not possible to buy a ticket with a bike through the website, I always call.

With regard to baggage and non baggage stops, there was an article in American Randonneur a year or so ago in which a rider mentioned convincing a conductor to open the baggage car so he could get his bike out at a non baggage stop! :0 I've never tried to do this but it sure piqued my interest!

rdel...@yahoo.com

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Mar 26, 2024, 12:27:09 PMMar 26
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Cathy, Rupesh and Juliayn:

Thank you all for the benefit of your knowledge and experience.

It looks very encouraging for a Spring visit with a friend in Truckee.

I'm thinking the worst that can happen is that I'd need to box the bike and might end up with a bit of an extension to my trip after disembarking in Reno.

The message I'm getting is to be patient and the unwritten rules of Amtrak will reveal themselves.

In the process of researching this train connection I found something that may be of interest to others wanting to use public transit for their rides:

       https://www.estransit.com/routes-schedule/     (all the way to Lancaster!)

Thanks again,

Steve
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