NIPRC/NICTD Bikes on Trains Feasibility Study

The Bikes on Trains Feasibility Study assessed the engineering and operating challenges and requirements for implementing a new service on South Shore Line Commuter trains that would allow standard frame bicycles aboard trains during non-peak periods. The project was developed by a collaborative effort between NIRPC, NICTD and several Northwest Indiana communities and natural resource advocacy groups.

Services Provided

Planning

As part of the planning effort for the Bikes on Trains Feasibility Study, Quandel researched several active successful bikes-on-trains service being provided in other parts of the country. Using best practices and lessons learned from these other agencies, Quandel developed a recommended implementation plan for a NICTD bikes-on-trains service with refurbished dedicated bike cars running on weekend commuter trains between South Bend, IN and downtown Chicago.

Engineering

Quandel evaluated the existing NICTD rolling stock fleet for its ability to stow standard frame bikes during revenue service. The analysis included on-site measuring and testing with several bicycle frame sizes, and conceptual engineering drawings for car body refurbishment. Quandel also assessed the existing station platforms for their ability to provide access from the street level to train cars for passengers with bicycles. Capital cost estimates for the proposed improvements was completed.

Operations

Quandel analyzed NICTD’s current South Shore Line operating characteristics for its ability to support a bikes on trains program. Quandel recommended a dedicated bike car weekend service and generated an operating plan and operating cost estimate.