Using AMTRAK and transitioning from train to trail
Using AMTRAK bike service and transition from Train to Trail
AMTRAK now offers bike service from DC to Pgh to Chicago. This was originally called RORO (roll on, roll off) but is now officially referred to as WOBS (walk-on bike service)
It's pretty straightforward. When you purchase your tickets in advance, you click "add a bike to this ticket" and if there's a bit rack available, you pay another $10 and get a person-and-bike ticket.
Departing Pittsburgh on Amtrak We recommend downloading the Amtrak app. Get to the Pittsburgh Amtrak station, a decidedly unremarkable place, well in advance of your train. About 20 minutes before the train ETA, use the elevator to move your bike and yourself up to the platform level. Leave all your panniers and bags on the bike.
When the train arrives, the conductors and staff will tell you where to go. You're going to put the bike in whichever car is the baggage car, which may be different than the train car you're assigned to sit in. Walk your bike into the baggage car, immediately take the panniers etc off and set them amongst the baggage, and put your bike onto the rack. You can lock your bike into the rack. This is a video that gives a good briefing.
Where to leave your car in Pittsburgh?
If you're driving a car into Pgh and taking Amtrak to DC, where to leave your car? The best answer may be: with a friend who lives here. But if you're talking about using a parking garage, the parking lot closest to Amtrak is the Grayhound Station on Penn Ave and 11th Street. It's right across the street from Amtrak. If you're going to be leaving your car for multiple days, they want you to stop at the desk and tell them your license plate.
From 10th Street, use the tunnel bike ramp that goes under the convention Center. Turn left at the trail along the Allegheny River. You'll go directly to Point State Park.