Wow, well done CTC.
This is good news; it also shows how valuable to us the CTC are.
A lobbying group that genuinely acts for the benefit of not only its members but others too.
I think lots of cycling organisations raised complaints, as did many individual cyclists. I know I did.
I found it really easy taking my bike on the Eurostar to Paris. Has anyone gone through to Marseille with a bike and a Eurostar booking? It seems they won't let you, but if you take the bike in a bike box, do they let you on with that as luggage.
I took the Eurostar from Avignon back up to London last summer. There wasn't any bike booking, it was carry on luggage only. I bought a bike bag in a decathlon and shouldered in onto the train (I rode down so no bag with me). Loads of luggage space on board, some seats were reserved just for that.
When the train got to Lille it was a faff-had to carry all my luggage off, through passport control and the x-ray scanners, and back on board (with the other 200 people).
If you are doing the return trip and staying in a hotel it might be possible for them to keep your bike bag while you're there, and you could pick it up on the last day.
Has anyone taken the Eurostar to Marseille (with a full-sized bike) recently? I'm planning on making the trip later this year, but the Eurostar website seems to say that the only way of travelling with a bike is using their third-party carrier (at a cost of £60 for a single piece of luggage. Thank you, but no.)
Could I get away with partial disassembly (wheels off, turn handlebar) and wrapping in cling-film, or is that a no-go?
Aren't you limited by maximum dimensions of luggage on-board, which happens to be about 5cm short of a bike frame? I was beside myself watching people carry extraordinarily large framed prints onto Eurostar, when a bike frame alone is smaller.. Maybe you need to remove forks and do a full disassemble just to save the dollar.
I think you're right. :( Got the measuring tape out and my frame is about a metre across at its widest point - they say nothing longer than 85cm is allowed. So, that's a no go, although I've sent Eurostar an email, just in case.
Happily, you can still take them on the Eurostar to Paris and then get the TGV to Marseille. Fingers crossed it won't cost too much if booked well in advance.
Tempted to take a bike with me on a last-minute trip I'll be booking in the next couple days. Would prefer to wing it with a 100cm+ bag to Bruxelles.
Anybody had any experience IRL recently?
Worst that could happen is you'd pay £25 to stick it in the bike bit.
Yea, thought so too, just don't wanna dick about with the delay and miss my connections through to Germany.
Don't you have to pre-book for the bike compartment though? They only have a limited number of spaces, otherwise they send it on a later train.
To get guaranteed same-train, you need to book in advance. It's such a faff.
Trip is from Swindon to Bielefeld. Previous I took wheels no problem, but they are well within the limit.
If flying I need a really sturdy box, or proper case, plus pay the extra baggage fee and additional risks. If going by Ferry it's a day longer.
By train, if the bike isn't all bagged up then I face reservations (and fees) from three different companies - GWR, Eurostar, DB.
Seems that all this hassle really reduces anecdotal evidence from others.
Price must have gone up. I've done this a fair number of times and I've never once reserved. If trains full they'll put it on the next one anyway.
Mm, just not keen to risk bike being on a different train and missing my connections. Then again not keen on paying the extra £60 either. Hmm.
I wouldn't recommend it, but if you're prepared for a bit of faff, this is what you have to do: The ICE from Bruxelles to Köln doesn't have space for bikes yet (neither does the Thalys, but there are no plans to provide any on that one), so you'd have to take the Belgian InterCity from Bruxelles-Midi to Welkenraedt, change at Welkenraedt for the tiniest train to Aachen, then take the German Regional-Express (RE, plenty of bike spaces but bike ticket required) to Köln (or possibly further, I think that RE goes direct to Hamm, which isn't too far from Bielefeld). The leg from Bruxelles to Köln takes about 3 1/2-4 hours, I think, if all your connections work out.
Thanks for the details. When I was on Bahn.de it said the journey would go via Köln and guessed it was something like that. I'd done it once before with the wheels and it's not terrible but I forget if it's the exact route - I prefer 6 hours on a train with space to move, to three hours on a plane with a screaming baby behind...
I noticed with train travel that you can have the biggest, most cumbersome bag, and so long as it doesn't look or smell like a bike, you'll have the sympathetic eye.
When I came back with my bike last summer I took the Harwich/Hoek ferry route. It was a tight job to catch the connections in Holland because of delays, and some one or two connections had stupidly limited space for a country of cyclists.
Might recalculate costs and bag the bike, but go on the ferry. May be longer but probably cheaper.
I've done the ferry to Calais with a bike before, too. I didn't find it too bad, although it took a while. I rode to Calais Ville from the ferry port and got a train to Lille and then a direct one (that didn't go via Bruxelles) to Liège. I preferred that to changing at Gent for the Bruxelles train, as I think the non-Bruxelles train was faster, but it's been a few years so I can't remember. As above, the Belgian InterCity from Oostende now goes to Eupen and not to Aachen, so you first have to get to Welkenraedt on the InterCity towards Eupen (if you change at Gent for that train, you don't have to change at Liège), and then take the little train to Aachen. Have fun. :)
Thanks again, good info.
Just tried getting some times/prices using the Harwich/Hoek ferry, and looks like there's some kinda railway closure for the line through Hoek Van Holland. DB won't give prices, railway enthusiast sites say it's being turned into a metro line, or maybe I'm at crossed purposes with something.
Shoulda taken up inline skating...
Last night my partner's beloved old Mercian disappeared on the Eurostar between London and Paris. We've spent some hours shuttling between the little police station of Gare du Nord and the bike pickup shed. We're pretty gutted - apart from the money, she spent ages putting the thing together, finding the bits and pieces, and there is no bike like it.
Sorry to make my first post here a miserable one, but think hard before entrusting a bike to Eurostar/Eurodespatch - the security controls were lacking here. I've added some photos in lieu of working out the most appropriate place to put the word out. The bike has tremendous sentimental value, so please send me a message if you see it online. The photos below aren't great, but the gear is Campag, with a yellow Carradice bag, Brooks saddle, small stem with GB stamped on it, and the big cog is 165, which she tells me is pretty rare.
Edited for fairness and bike details. They are still searching and getting in touch in good faith, but seem to have no idea where it might be. :-(
Well, that sucks big time :( Not sure I've ever used eurodespatch in that direction (but Paris to London a few times already), end of May will be my first time. Looking forward to it now...
Merci. We used it once from Paris to a London and had no problem. If it turns out to have been put on the wrong train, I'll update the thread, but it feels unlikely now...
Anyone have any tips on how / whether to use the Eurostar to get up to around Rotterdam / hook of Holland? I had been planning on doing the sleeper ferry but have moved slowly and the date I wanted is now sold out. Train to Brussels seems possible, but I guess I'd then need a connecting train to go further north...
have you checked Zeebrugge or Amsterdam ferries?
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