This article is being written and posted from the VIA Rail Train 70 which runs from Windsor to Toronto, Ontario every morning.
This passenger train is part of the Bike Train program and allows roll-on bicycles as checked baggage. No disassembly is required, but it does cost an additional $20 each way. Still that’s much less than the standard airlines fees.
According to the VIA Rail web site, cyclists should arrive an hour before departure. Train 70 departs Windsor at 5:30am, but there’s no need to show up before 5am when the station is scheduled to open.
One caution: Not all VIA Rails allow bikes. You need to make your reservations while referencing the Bike Train page. There also seemed to be limited trains returning to Windsor on the weekend.
Another advantage of this service? You can find free parking and ride to the station to avoid the $10 daily fee at the local parking lot. Depending on how long your trip is, that could cover your Bike Train fee.
Now if only Detroit cyclists could get to Windsor without requiring a motor vehicle…
Overall, this nearby system seems to be a good model for Amtrak in Michigan. MDOT told us over a year ago that Amtrak would have such service but that was very optimistic. This M-Live article seems to have the most recent news on this effort.
There is an on-line petition for roll-on bicycle service as well.