Bring Your Bicycle On-board
There are several options for transporting your bicycle with you on your Amtrak California trip.
Bicycles stored on-board in bike racks.
Bicycles as checked baggage in a box or other secure container.
Bicycles as checked baggage secured by tie-down equipment (not in a box).
Folding bicycles brought on-board as carry-on baggage (availability varies).
- San Joaquin
Most San Joaquin coach cars have bicycle racks that hold 3 bicycles each. Passengers are responsible for securing their bikes, and spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. On Thruway buses, passengers may stow their unboxed bicycles in the underfloor storage area, however Amtrak assumes no responsibility, and passengers must load and unload their own bikes. Boxed bicycles may also be sent as checked baggage to and from staffed stations.
- Pacific Surfliner
Most Pacific Surfliners are equipped with bicycle and surfboard racks allowing you to bring your bike onboard, unboxed as carry-on baggage.
How Does it Work?
With Amtrak California, you can simply roll your bike up to the train and secure it in a bike rack. Onboard bike space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Onboard bike space is limited to the following number of spaces per car.
Pacific Surfliner* (3 bike spaces)
San Joaquin (3 bike spaces)
*Excludes trains 798/799, which offer bikes as checked baggage only.
Bicycles Stored Onboard in Bicycle Racks
Availability varies from train to train, and station to station. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800- 872-7245) to determine whether bicycle rack space is available on a particular train and route.
On some trains, bungee cords and locking mechanisms are incorporated into the bicycle rack. You may find it useful to bring your own bungee cords to further secure your bike to the rack.
No unusual bikes allowed
Bicycle racks will not accommodate tandem, recumbent or other unusual bikes. Such bikes must be transported as checked baggage, in a box.
Specially designated spaces only
Bikes may not be transported in the vestibule of any car, except in spaces specially designated on certain limited trains.
Amtrak disclaims liability for loss of or damage to bicycles carried onboard and stored in bike racks.
Bikes as Checked Baggage
You can bring your bicycle on Amtrak as checked baggage between all cities where checked baggage services are offered. Not all stations or trains have checked baggage service, and baggage service may not be available every day. For more information, call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The fee for checking a bike as baggage is $5. This is subject to change without notice.
- Check your bicycle at the station at least an hour before departure.
- You may bring your own box or purchase one at the station. Bicycle boxes (new or used) are also usually available for purchase at staffed stations that accept checked baggage for $15/box. Boxes are 69 x 41 x 8.5 inches (175 x 104 x 22 centimeters). Call ahead for details and to make sure that boxes are available. Local bicycle shops also may be able to provide you with boxes. After your trip, you may keep your box and use it again if it is in good condition.
- Bicycles usually must be partially disassembled: Loosen and turn the handlebars sideways, and remove the pedals. Both wheels must remain in the forks. Nothing may protrude from the box or make the box bulge. Nothing except the bicycle may be placed in the box.
- Bring your own tools. It may be helpful to disassemble and reassemble your bike before your trip to avoid any surprises. Some parts, especially pedals, may be especially difficult to remove.
- You may also use a container especially designed for transporting bicycles. Such containers must have handles and must be fully closed and latched, with no portion of the bike exposed.
- Attach your name and address to the box.
- Tandem bicycles may be checked and require two boxes, telescoped together.
Bikes as Checked Baggage on Trains with Tie-Down Equipment
Some trains have tie-down equipment in the baggage car or other areas designated for checked baggage. Where such equipment is available, you can check your bike without a box or other container.
This space is limited, and you must reserve it. Typically, there is a reservation charge.
You must accompany your unboxed bike on its journey on the same train. Amtrak will not accept unaccompanied bikes.
Bicycles not in containers are more likely to be damaged in transit. Accordingly, we disclaim liability for bikes shipped unboxed.
For assistance, call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Folding Bikes Brought Aboard as Carry-On Baggage
Folding bicycles may be brought aboard certain passenger cars as carry-on baggage. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly) are acceptable. Generally, these bikes have frame latches allowing the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bikes of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bikes, and may not be stored as folding bikes aboard trains.
You must fold up your folding bicycle before boarding the train. You may store the bike only in luggage storage areas at the end of the car (or, in Superliners, on the lower level). Folding bikes are not to be stored in overhead racks.
For additional bicycle information click here.