Amtrak now offers accommodations for cyclists which allows Trail users to do the full 52 miles and not worry about the return trip! See more details below.
Bike reservation fees are $20 in each direction, in addition to the customer's fare. Customers can get the lowest fares on Amtrak.com if they book 14 or more days in advance. Typically, fares for coach range from $17 to $23 between Richmond Main Street Station and Williamsburg, and $36 to $48 between Washington Union Station and Williamsburg.
Loading and Unloading:
All bikes will be carried in the baggage car. There are 12 spaces available per train between Alexandria and Newport News and 6 spaces available north of Alexandria up to Boston. All must be reserved through Amtrak.com in advance.
Customers at Main Street Station should use the elevator, not the stairs, to bring their bikes to the second level. Staff at both stations have been prepped to expect bikes rolling through the station. At both stations, prior to train arrival, cyclists should queue up at the front of the train, which is where the baggage car will be. Cyclists should be able to lift their bike up to about chest height, where the conductor will be waiting in the baggage car to receive it.
Amtrak publishes on their website guidelines for bike sizes and loading: https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard
With the current schedules, Richmond riders can 1) take the train to Williamsburg in the morning and ride the trail back to Richmond, or 2) ride the trail to Williamsburg in the morning and take the train home.
D.C. day-trip riders have the option of taking the train to either Richmond or Williamsburg in the morning, riding the trail in either direction, and taking the train home from the opposite station in the afternoon.
There is currently not an option for day-trips from Williamsburg or Newport News on the train to Richmond because these trains do not have baggage cars.