Can I bring my bicycle into Union Station? I've taken my bicycle on Metra Trains before but those were platform stops. This Saturday I want to take the train out to Aurora but I need to buy a ticket and leave from Union Station. Can I just carry my bicycle down the stairs and walk it through the Great Hall like I own the place? Is there so bicycle friendly entrance?
Yes, you can. I've walked my bike through the station many times--usually before or after boxing my bike for Amtrak shipment.
But there is also carry-on bicycle service on Amtrak on the downstate route to Springfield. And as you note bikes are permitted on Metra (except rush our or whatever).
So, based on the fact that no one has ever said anything to me about me rolling my bike through the station, I think you will be fine. :)
Can't wait to use the carry-on/roll-on service between Chicago and D.C.
Yes. Unboxing and reassembling the bike in Pittsburgh at 5AM was a real nightmare. The freight staff there and in Chicago and DC were all great, though.
Instead of "downstate route to Springfield" I should have written "downstate route to St Louis." Taking Amtrak to St Louis and biking around St Louis would be a great three-day-weekend trip.
http://www.mcttrails.org/ Madison County Transit bought the abandoned RR right of way and built trails and put bus stops at trails ends. Map includes St. Louis.
OMG, seriously. The trails around Edwardsville, IL are awesome. I wish we had a system like that around here.
I think the mcttrails are the best in IL. You can take a different route every day of the week on it
Take that Lincoln Service train (carry-on) almost to St. Louis. Get off at Alton IL and cross the Mississippi River to get on the Katy Trail. Take that along the Missouri River to Windsor Missouri where you can get on the Rock Island Spur, which is relatively new. It takes you almost to Kansas City.
There an Amtrak carry-on train from there back to St. Louis. It's a one-day return trip if you take the morning train back to St. Louis, then the afternoon train back to Chicago.
A longer extended trip.
I've used various entrances, depending on where I was coming from. The accessible entrances are easiest, but you can use any of them.
Thanks everyone. I will confidently take my bike into Union Station on Saturday. The plan is to take Metra out to Aurora and then ride my bike home (near Wrigley Field) via the Illinois Prairie Path. The first of many bicycle adventures this spring and summer. I go slow, about 10-12mph all the way home. I take a 15 minute rest for every hour I pedal.
sweet! Have a great ride :-)