Plan to accommodate cyclists on Amtrak begins to take shape

   Senator Betty Little is pictured with a small group of cyclists at the Saratoga Rail Station waiting to board the Ethan Allen Amtrak train on Wednesday, July 25, 2013.

   The cyclists took a short trip north to Fort Edward as part of an Amtrak Carry-on demonstration program that started earlier in the day in Penn Station.  Accommodating cyclists on Amtrak trains in New York has been a goal of Senator Little's, the New York Bicycling Coalition, and area chambers of commerce, among many others.  Little, who chairs the Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee, said a goal is to draw more tourists from downstate who don't have cars, but could board the train in New York City and disembark somewhere upstate and pedal to a destination.

   In June, Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference in Albany to also advocate for the service, along with Senator Little, Senator Hoylman of Manhattan and Assemblyman John McDonald of Cohoes.  

  The bikes were loaded onto a modified dining car, but discussions are underway for a dedicated car that would store bicycles during travel along the Adirondack and Ethan Allen train routes.