You can take advantage of train travel if you want to extend your bicycling range from Mattoon. Of the three trains which pass through Mattoon on the Illinois Central line, two of them will allow you to bring your bicycle on board.

Step 1. Go to the Amtrak website and buy a ticket for yourself and your bike. If you do this well in advance, you can have the ticket sent to you by mail. Otherwise, you'll need to use a bar-code to print the ticket at a kiosk (not available at the Mattoon station, but it is available the Urbana station.) Note that only train # 391 (the Saluki) and train #393 (the Illini) can accommodate a bicycle. It's best to avoid travel times when university students might be returning to EIU or SIU -- the trains may be too full of passengers to easily accommodate a bike.
Step 2. Print your ticket. Look for a kiosk like this at the Amtrak station in Urbana to print out the tickets.
Step 3. Board the train when and where the conductor tells you. Amtrak rules actually require that you remove the front wheel of your bicycle and hoist the wheel and bike into the overhead luggage shelf, but if the trains are not full of passengers and the conductor will permit it, you can secure your bicycle in the space at the rear of the coach. You must bring a bungee cord or tie-down for this purpose as Amtrak does not provide any means to secure the bike.
Enjoy the ride!
Return to more bike rides.

© 2012 Molly Daniel  

This page last modified: 11/15/2012