Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 23, 2012

Being able to ship bikes by train to city would be help

Cumberland is strategically located at the halfway points of the C&O Canal Trail and Great Allegany Passage (GAP) and patrons of these pedestrian byways look to Cumberland for lodging, meals, and repairs.

So far, there are two high end hotels and two boutique B&B’s within walking distance of the trail, and the YMCA that will allow hiker/bikers to pitch their tents on the lawn overnight.

If you’re looking for reasonably price accommodations, you’ll have to bike eight or so miles up to LaVale.

But what is a really major handicap to Cumberland is the unmitigated fact that patrons of the C&O/GAP Trails cannot ship their bicycles on Amtrak because there is no baggage agent to simply open a door on the baggage car in Cumberland.

Countless hiker/bikers on the C&O/GAP Trail have complained that they have had to make Herculean leaps in logistics just to begin or end their outdoor adventures in Cumberland.

If you want to see economic prosperity flow like a ruptured water main, someone strong arm Amtrak into hiring a baggage agent to attend to the bicycles destine for Cumber.

Or better yet, why doesn’t Amtrak just allow bikers to stow their machines in one of the lower level compartments for the three and a half hour trek to and from Washington or Pittsburgh for a small fee? So simple, yet so bureaucratically insane.

John Walker, marketing manager

Little Orleans Lodge

Little Orleans

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