We’ve taken our bicycles so many times on Amtrak that it’s easy to forget how intimidating it can be. Most stations don’t offer a lot of help, so you are left to your own devices with prepping your bicycle for the bike box. With that in mind, I thought I’d make a little instructional video. Admittedly, not the most exciting, but hopefully it will take out some of the anxiety of bringing your bike on Amtrak.

Unless your on the few Amtrak lines that allow unboxed roll-on of your bicycle, you WILL have to box your bike. Aside from the pure mechanics of prepping your bike, it is a good idea to call the station you plan to depart from and arrive at to make sure it is a manned baggage station. If it isn’t, you won’t be able to load or unload your bike!

To box your bike for the train only requires two simple procedures: 1) remove your pedals 2) turn or remove your handlebars. These two modifications narrow your bike so it can be easily pushed into the bicycle box.

It is a good idea to have an adjustable wrench (that you know opens wide enough to fit over the pedal flats), a multi-tool, a sharpie (to write your info on the box) and your own roll of packing tape. We’ve been to some stations where they had no tape so we had to make an emergency run to go get some. Now we just carry our own. While you’re calling, you should also ask to see if they have a supply of bicycle boxes at the station.

We hope the video was helpful and will encourage you to take your bicycle on the train!