Roberta and I had an opportunity to try out the new bike service on Amtrak's Empire Builder on Monday. The cycling advocates, dignitaries were on hand at Union Depot to launch the new service (Star Tribune article here).
Roberta and I have full-sized bikes we use to get around the Twin Cities. Roberta has a stylish Linus bike she got from the Calhoun Cycles, now Perennial Cycles in Minneapolis, and I have a bike built by Lowertown Bike Shop, now located here in Union Depot. It felt really different to wheel our full-sized bikes through Union Depot to the Amtrak platform. We lifted our bikes up to the baggage at the front of the train and walked back to our car. near the back of the train. The train waits a long time at the MSP stop, so we had plenty of time.
We got off at Red Wing, one of our favorite Amtrak destinations. The platform at Red Wing is not long enough to allow passengers to walk from their car to the baggage car. That may change (there are a lot of improvements in the works for Amtrak service in the Midwest).
For now, if you are planning to take your full-sized bike on the train, it's a good idea to call Amtrak and make sure they have that service at your destination. Be sure to read Amtrak's bike policies.
|Dignitaries and bicyclists in the waiting room at Union Depot.|
|Cyclists put their bikes on the baggage cars on the UD platform.|
|One last photo and the journey begins!|
|Nice, new bike infra on Red Wing's waterfront.|
|Roberta and her bike on the Cannon Valley Trail.|
|Roberta's quick sketch of Barn Bluff in her journal.|
|My journal sketch of Barn Bluff.|
|Me and the spectacular view atop Barn Bluff.|
|Mocking on the Mississippi.|
|New store in town (logo & book by the awesome Kevin Cannon).|