RENSSELAER, N.Y. – New York lawmakers want Amtrak to add baggage cars to its passenger trains that would be capable of carrying bicycles.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sens. Betty Little of Warren County and Brad Hoylman of Manhattan said Monday such a move would get more visitors and tourism dollars into New York state.
They discussed their plan at Amtrak’s Albany-Rensselaer station.
The lawmakers are asking Amtrak to add baggage cars that could carry bicycles on the Adirondack and Ethan Allen trains, which run from Penn Station in Manhattan to the Albany area, Saratoga and destinations in New York’s North Country and Vermont.
“Folks already come from all over New York and the East Coast to visit the miles of scenic bike trails along Lake Placid, Lake Champlain and throughout the Adirondacks and the North Country,” Schumer said. “Now we have the opportunity to boost bicycle tourism further by getting bikes in board our Amtrak trains.
Amtrak said bikes can now be checked in as baggage for $10 each at some larger stations on the Adirondack and Ethan Allen routes, including Penn Station, Rensselaer and Schenectady, and it’s generally looking at ways to accommodate more cyclists.
The railroad has limited “walk-on bicycle service” on its Boston-to-Maine, New York-to-North Carolina and St. Louis-to-Kansas City runs as well as some routes on the West Coast. It also offers bike racks on some trains.
It said it’s working on retrofitting some trains with more racks and building new baggage cars with built-in racks.