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Amtrak Station

Parking, Train Station
Rensselaer / Albany NY
525 East Street
800-872-7245

Amtrak Station is located approximately 0.8 mile from the Erie Canal Bike Trail, in Rensselaer NY

Reasonably priced long-term parking
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Forum Discussions about Amtrak Station

Amtrak Station in Albany
Ed Marrone from Springfield (NYC Native) on 10/29/2020 10:11 AM:
Can I or not load a bike in Albany to Buffalo on Lake Shore?
Amtrak sched states yes but *00 phone number has different train numbers that what's currently posted. I live in Springfield MA and don't want to drive to NYC to load up. Looking to ride Erie Canal in the Spring. Know I will hit Buffalo after midnight so that's no problem

Thanks

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 10/29/2020 12:42 PM:
Ed - I just checked and it is the Empire Service that comes into BUF (Depew) from ALB (Rensselaer). I looked into 2021 and the schedule is only open into APR, with trains arriving at 6PM or 9PM which seems earlier than I recall trains arriving in BUF (and is the same on the current schedule). I believe that roll-off service is only available at Depew and not Exchange Street -- Depew being an eastern suburban (not too far from the BUF Airport). So, yeah, it should work if you check about roll-on service status... and it looks like the near midnight arrival may not be true anymore. (Give me a shout if you need any help at BUF end.)

 
EDMUND J MARRONE from SPRINGFIELD on 10/29/2020 02:28 PM:
Thanks for the assist. There is some conflicting info from Amtrak as the Lake Shore 48 & 49 will carry bikes and he #800 number from Amtrak told me I can’t leave from Albany. The trip is for the Spring so I have plenty of research time.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 10/30/2020 03:39 PM:
I'm thinking that this is the same as BUF in ALB - that Rensselaer is the roll-on station not Albany station. Agree you have plenty of time to figure it out -- and half the fun is preparing, right?

 
kmart from Manchester NH on 10/30/2020 04:52 PM:
I did the Erie Canal bike trip from Buffalo to Albany in September. We rented a van at the Albany airport and drove to Buffalo and dropped the the van off at the Buffalo airport. We parked our car at the Rensselaer train station for the week. The hotel in Buffalo had an airport shuttle, so you can drop your bikes off at the hotel and then drop the rental at the airport and shuttle back to the hotel. Due to COVID the shuttle wasn't operating, so I had to uber back. I think a rental is better than Amtrak if you have multiple people in your group.

Bike on Train from Albany to Buffalo
Charlotte Mike from Charlotte, NC on 08/31/2020 12:48 PM:
So I am trying to plan a ride on the Erie Canal in 2021. Thought I would drive to Buffalo, ride to Albany, then train back to collect car.

Is this possible - there seem to be conflicting answers on taking a bike on the Empire Service train. Can you do it if you leave from Schenectady rather than Albany?

Thanks for any clarity or suggestions.

Mike

 
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 09/01/2020 03:59 PM:
Mike, it seems there is some confusion about trains these days. Previously, train service with roll-on ability was offered on one train a day with that train arriving into Buffalo/Depew somewhere around 1:00 AM. At this point, you're probably fine planning a ride/train tour and see what the status is as time comes closer. I'm hoping that there is enough pressure on Amtrak to cause them to offer better roll-on service.

 
Yankee John from Braintree, VT on 09/06/2020 06:46 PM:
There is currently no bike service on the Empire Service trains, but there is bike service on the Lake Shore Limited that runs once/day to Chicago. I just rode the Lake Shore Limited #48/49 from Schenectady to Rochester with my bike. The train was on time, an Amtrak staff person put loaded my bike on the baggage car without difficulty and returned it to me in Rochester undamaged. The only hard part is that the short distance Coach seats are at the front of the train, and the baggage car is at the back, so it's a long walk with your panniers after you drop off your bike. You need to have a reservation for the bike because the baggage car holds only hold 6 bikes. It costs $20 for the bike. The train arrived in Rochester at 2315, and it was an easy ride to the downtown hotels on well lit streets.

The Lake Shore Limited does not stop at the Exchange station in downtown Buffalo, only at the Depew station, and it arrives after midnight. The hotels hear Depew are all dull big box airport hotels. The Lakeshore used to skip Rome, and was 30 minutes faster, but apparently the tracks on the direct route the omits Rome are bad so all of the trains go through Rome even if they don't stop there. There are rumors that the tracks repairs will be completed by next year so the trip will be shorter and the train will arrive earlier. It's not expensive to reserve a taxi van in advance that can transport you to a hotel from Depew, but it will only hold 2 bikes. I would recommend staying at the Hotel Henry on the North end of Buffalo. The bike trails connect to the hotel via the adjacent Buffalo State Campus, and there is ample parking near the hotel to leave your car for free. There is not a continuous trail along the water from downtown Buffalo to the trails leaving Buffalo north to the Erie Canal, so if you stay in a downtown hotel you will have to ride on city streets at the start of your trip. Buffalo has some great architecture, so the ride is actually quite pleasant if it's not rush hour.

 
Yankee John from Braintree, VT on 09/06/2020 06:46 PM:
There is currently no bike service on the Empire Service trains, but there is bike service on the Lake Shore Limited that runs once/day to Chicago. I just rode the Lake Shore Limited #48/49 from Schenectady to Rochester with my bike. The train was on time, an Amtrak staff person put loaded my bike on the baggage car without difficulty and returned it to me in Rochester undamaged. The only hard part is that the short distance Coach seats are at the front of the train, and the baggage car is at the back, so it's a long walk with your panniers after you drop off your bike. You need to have a reservation for the bike because the baggage car holds only hold 6 bikes. It costs $20 for the bike. The train arrived in Rochester at 2315, and it was an easy ride to the downtown hotels on well lit streets.

The Lake Shore Limited does not stop at the Exchange station in downtown Buffalo, only at the Depew station, and it arrives after midnight. The hotels hear Depew are all dull big box airport hotels. The Lakeshore used to skip Rome, and was 30 minutes faster, but apparently the tracks on the direct route the omits Rome are bad so all of the trains go through Rome even if they don't stop there. There are rumors that the tracks repairs will be completed by next year so the trip will be shorter and the train will arrive earlier. It's not expensive to reserve a taxi van in advance that can transport you to a hotel from Depew, but it will only hold 2 bikes. I would recommend staying at the Hotel Henry on the North end of Buffalo. The bike trails connect to the hotel via the adjacent Buffalo State Campus, and there is ample parking near the hotel to leave your car for free. There is not a continuous trail along the water from downtown Buffalo to the trails leaving Buffalo north to the Erie Canal, so if you stay in a downtown hotel you will have to ride on city streets at the start of your trip. Buffalo has some great architecture, so the ride is actually quite pleasant if it's not rush hour.

 
Mark from Vernon on 09/10/2020 08:39 PM:
Mike, my wife and I put our bikes on the Empire train yesterday 9/9/2020
In Albany and trained to Buffalo. We will ride back to Albany where our car is parked.
According to Amtrak they just made this change a couple days ago and now allow two bikes per train.

Mark

 
Charlotte Mike from Charlotte, NC on 09/24/2020 10:38 AM:
Many thanks for the info.

 
kmart from Manchester NH on 09/24/2020 05:51 PM:
I just completed the Erie canal trail from Buffalo to Albany. We drove to the Albany Airport and rented a van and drove to Buffalo and dropped the rental off at the Buffalo Airport. The cost was about $170.00. I split the cost with my co-rider. We parked the car in Albany at the train station parking lot for $30.00 for the week.

Bike on Train from Albany to Buffalo
Charlotte Mike from Charlotte, NC on 08/31/2020 01:37 PM:
So I am trying to plan a ride on the Erie Canal in 2021. Thought I would drive to Buffalo, ride to Albany, then train back to collect car.

Is this possible - there seem to be conflicting answers on taking a bike on the Empire Service train. Can you do it if you leave from Schenectady rather than Albany?

Thanks for any clarity or suggestions.

Mike

 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 08/31/2020 03:13 PM:
Mike, there’s been a few threads on here about that topic. Dive down a few pages into the forums and you should see some of the discussions. It’s not promising though.

Seems to be, like you said, a lot of confusion. Seems like a lot of people are giving up on the trains because of Amtraks mixed Covid related messages and cancellations. There is no guarantee they’ll get their bike on board, dropped reservations out of the blue, and not to mention the messaging from Amtrak is confusing at best. Many are opting for renting a van from one airport to another airport (some local rental places may do one way drop offs but typically only the airports do it).

From the airports you could hire a Lyft or Uber if they’re too far from the trail to safely ride.


Parking in Albany for a week
CTbiker from Avon CT on 07/24/2020 08:16 AM:
Interested if anyone has recommendations for parking in a secure lot or garage in Albany that is not extremely expensive. We are meeting another couple there, so two cars for a week. We are riding from Albany to Rochester.

 
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/24/2020 10:27 AM:
Not specific to ALB, but I've had great luck asking for permission at National Motel Chains. Last week on the GAP I called an was given permission at both the Marriott Courtyard and Holiday Inn Express. Both of these were more suburban, but I didn't mind having a little extra miles to save daily parking fees.

 
Steve from NYC on 07/25/2020 06:47 PM:
Amtrak station in Rensselaer/ Albany has long term parking. Very cheap. Near the end of the trail.

Amtrak Station in Albany
Rick from Grafton, Va on 04/18/2020 03:28 PM:
I know these comments/questions were posted in 2019 but I talked to an Amtrak agent today 4/18/20 and was told no bike/checked service. I told the agent we were planning to remove pedals, loosen handlebars, and box. The answer was NO! I tried doing a tentative ticket reservation and when you get past the date of travel and ticket cost the next screen is extras. At the top of the page it says "here is where you add on extras like pets, golf clubs, bikes, etc. There is a fee for checked pets up to a certain size but no bikes.

This is stupid beyond belief. Amtrak needs to expand their services to include bikes on EVERY TRAIN that goes near bike destinations. They finally started the Washington DC to Pittsburg Pa roll on service a few years ago and I've used it 3-4 times.

We'd wanted to park in Albany and actually train to Niagara Falls and bike back. Now we're back to square one looking for a shuttle service that will only shuttle us. We don't need a guide nor an itinerary.

 
Rick Hancock from Grafton on 04/18/2020 09:03 PM:
i stand corrected. Apparently there is a train that departs in the evening and arrives in Buffalo at appx. Midnight at the Depew station which is appx. 9-10miles from the trailhead. Darn shame as that means a overnight stay in a motel.

 
wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 04/18/2020 10:43 PM:
Rick - pretty discouraging news, but the late night train (typical for Bflo because it's between NYC and Chicago) is certainly an option for you to consider. Depew is a built-up suburban area and there are *tons* of motel options close by. I checked Warmshowers.com (are you a member?) and there are Buffalo options in this reagrd as well. There is also a Hostel in Buffalo (Buffalo Niagara Hostel, www.hostelbuffalo.com). Just not sure why a night is an issue - time or money, but options are available. Although I know nothing about this - is taking a bus an alternative option to the train? It's really discouraging about the train attitude toward bikes -- last year in Toronto I jumped on a train into town with my bike -- no problem just not allowed on Handicapped cars and limit to two per. Maybe I need to do some advocacy with some agencies in NYS.

 
Rick from Grafton, Va on 04/19/2020 10:27 AM:
Time is the main factor but money for a few hours sleep is also a factor unless lodging is relatively cheap. I'd hate to knock on someones door after 12am and haven't used warmshowers. Plus I generally like to get into town, load my gear, and start riding. The time factor is that before starting the Erie Canal ride we want to bike out and back to Niagara Falls then make enough miles out of Buffalo to get to a campsite. I am a Hosteling USA member so that's an option. Do you know offhand if the train service is boxed only or roll on? Otherwise I'll need a PO in the morning so I can send my heavy pedal wrench back home. I think I saw a PO not to far from the trailhead. Thanks for your help as this is my 1st ride on this route.

 
wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 04/19/2020 01:03 PM:
Rick - I'll see if I can get additional info on some of this and get back to you. Good you have till Sept. I might see if there are personal connections to help you out on arrival. Again... you need not come back to Bflo from Niagara Falls to get near Lockport from a mileage standpoint, but if you are intent on riding the canalway in its entirety, then yeah, skirt off to NF and back down to it and head eastwardly. (Obviously NF to Lockport area is roadways.) Touch base with me, my email is my sign-in name here @gmail. (Allegheny Passage is on a maybe bucket list).

 
Rick from Grafton, Va on 04/20/2020 12:23 AM:
Thanks,
My email is athiker80@cox.net. Yes, I'm a thru hiker of the Appalachian Trail. If and when you plan your Passage ride I can give you some info.

 
Steve from New Jersey on 04/20/2020 01:18 PM:
Rick,

It isn't the best option, but when I took the train from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh it came in at almost 1 am. I stayed in the train station until first light. I was offered a chance to sleep in a corner by the station employee as there was no one else there at that time, but I declined. I was very tired the next day but, boy, did I sleep well that night. LOL.

 
Rick Hancock from Grafton on 04/20/2020 06:33 PM:
Steve,
Yeah that 1 train a day with a midnight arrival is a bummer. I've taken the train from DC and Cumberland to Pittsburg. DC station has roll on service and train staff were very helpful. Cumberland you need to lift your bike up to the storage car. Also the attendant wasn't very friendly. I also ride a fat bike and I'm waiting for amtrak to accommodate bigger tires. Amtrak might not be making a ton of money off bike travel but it's certainly cheaper than most shuttle services. Plus I really enjoy train travel.

 
Steve from New Jersey on 04/23/2020 12:12 PM:
Yes. I didn't mind carrying my bike up into the car myself, but when I brought it in there were no more hanging brackets. The guy told me to just leave my bike on its kickstand for the trip. I knew that wouldn't work so I had to tie my bike to the wall with a strap that was there. It worked and bike made it in one piece. I took the late train at the start of my trip because I wanted to take my time going back to Cumberland, without a reservation guiding when I had to be somewhere. I think when I retire I'll do the whole thing from DC to Pittsburgh.

 
Rick from Grafton, Va on 04/24/2020 02:15 PM:
Steve, I actually prefer to ratchet my bike to the wall instead of hanging it on the racks. Amtrak has a money maker but their fairly stubborn. They also don't make it easy to understand roll-on/carry=on, etc. I think the easy way to understand is if your bike reservation is $20 then you roll or carry on. If $10 then you box. Passage/C&O is a great ride. I've done it numerous times and always seem to see something new. We usually do indoor says along the Passage then tent from Cumberland to DC with 1 last indoor at Harpersferry to shower after 3 nights in the tent. Something to consider. If you go to the C&O Greatfalls site you can get a multi day parking pass for free. You ride the last 14 miles of trail east to National Mall. From there bike to Union Station (1 train a day which leaves around 2-2:30pm with 12am arrival in Pittsburg) Might be later than 12am. At the end of your ride you arrive back at Great Falls to a safe vehicle and free parking. You do need to arrive before the rangers arrive or you'll pay a small fee.

Amtrak Station in Albany
Henry from Latham on 03/01/2019 08:27 PM:
Is it easy to take a bike on the train from Albany to Buffalo? Thanks.

 
Judy M from Orange County, NY on 03/31/2019 09:13 AM:
We were looking for transportation between Syracuse and Buffalo on the train. I contacted Amtrak and was told that you can not bring a standard bike on the train. If you have a foldable bike you can. It’s a shame they don’t.

 
Anonymous on 04/19/2019 06:25 PM:
This is news to me since I have reservation for bike on the train from Rochester to Schenectady. The Amtrak site does say they cannot accommodate bikes at the Albany station, but other than that it looks like you can.

 
TS from St. Louis on 04/22/2019 10:03 PM:
Amtrak only allows bikes on the 49 Lake Shore Limited; bikes are barred from all other trains that run between Albany and Buffalo. Usually the Lake Shore Limited departs westbound from Albany daily at around 7:30 p.m. and arrives in Buffalo (DePew station) at around midnight.

For reference, it stretches all the way from NYC to Chicago.

 
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 04/28/2019 08:59 PM:
The information on Amtrak west from Albany was very interesting. Will the bicycle be in the baggage car or are their bicycle racks in the coach cars? Is the schedule only weekday or is it 7 days a week? Do you have to have bicycle reservations?

Thank you for all your help.