Amtrak 6 Months Late Getting Bicycle Racks Installed on Board the Capitol Limited

Want to take your bike aboard Amtrak? No problem says the nation’s rail passenger carrier. Bike racks will be ready by the end of the year.

Uh, that was the end of last year. Despite announcing June 2014 that baggage cars “equipped with built-in luggage racks that will be able to secure unboxed bicycles” would be available by year’s end.

But six months after that deadline passed, Amtrak is still working to install the bike racks.

Among the trains that were slated to get them were the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited.

Although it won’t commit to a new deadline, Amtrak says that is aiming to get the racks installed and ready to use by the end of summer.

“That’s a process we’ve been working on for quite some time,” said Craig Schultz, an Amtrak spokesman. “We’re very eager to get it off the ground.”

Schultz said that finding the right racks and figuring out how they can fit in a baggage car while also keeping a train on schedule has taken longer than expected.

He said Amtrak wants to ensure that loading and unloading bikes doesn’t add time to boarding or de-boarding and that the baggage cars fit with varying platform heights at en route stations.

The bike racks were to be tested on the Capitol Limited and the Vermonter between New York and St. Albans, Vermont.

Amtrak will solicit feedback from riders who use the service, Schultz said.

Nos. 29 and 39 are expected to have racks to fit eight bikes, something that some bicycle advocates say won’t be enough.

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