Bikes on trains in the UK

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  • Yeah we had reservations for each leg of the trip.

  • Is it the case that reservations are necessary for the fancy high speed mainline trains, but not for the local trains, the ones with curved toilet doors and bike/wheelchair spaces next to them, ensuring that cyclists and wheelchair users always sit in a stink of shit?

  • Cross Country trains don't require reservations, but only have room for 2 or 6 dependent on train configuration. Avanti West Coast req reservations, but you can reserve at the station up to 10 mins before it arrives.

  • Roughly this I think yes. EMR had a sign up in St Pancras the other day saying you couldn't travel with an unfolded bike on their peak services or something. A lot of these franchises just seem not to want bikes at all and make it as difficult as possible.

  • This is a (relatively) bike-friendly service out of London to various beautiful places that could really do with saving: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions¬≠/598397

  • Hmm. Don't you just put the rear in first? Pretty sure I came across same situation, did the same thing "oh bike doesn't fit" before figuring out how to shuffle it in.

  • You're probably right. Might be a bit tricky to spin it around at times e.g. on a busy train.

  • Not turning the bike, just putting the back wheel in first, I think I maybe turned the front wheel to the right slightly to get it in, then straightened up. Anyway, it took a moment to figure out but not difficult.

  • I took my MTB up to Yorkshire last time I went on Virgin, and they had these up right lockers, that neither my front wheel fit into the hook, nor was wide enough for the bars, I ended up putting a cable tie round the front wheel, closing the doors and hoping for the best, plus you can't make the reservation online. Terrible.

  • I'm thinking of where cyclist has entered train and approaches this front first, then has to turn bike around in order to try to get it in rear wheel first. Particularly tricky if busy train so people stood around in that area.

    The old Cross Country trains had narrow storage areas where it was pretty much impossible to turn bike around if it wouldn't go in the way you approach it.

  • London to Leeds - anyone know if they have one bike store like Avanti or if it's that shithouse GWR setup with a couple of useless hanging spots in a couple of carriages?

    LNER I'm talking about - what's their bike carrying like?

  • LNER have exactly the same trains as GWR.

    However, some of the Leeds trains run with old trains with proper guards vans:
    https://225group.org.uk/docs/InterCity-2­25-Services-LNER-from-7th-June-2021.pdf

  • Thanks, I've pinged this over to my train-booking assistant. :)

  • I'm thinking of where cyclist has entered train and approaches this front first, then has to turn bike around in order to try to get it in rear wheel first.

    I believe that hoefla was saying to put the rear wheel behind the pole first, before putting the front wheel in the slot.

    No bike turny required.

  • Ah makes sense, ta.

  • Tandems on trains...

    Looking to go Greater Anglia - Cambridge to Ipswich and then on to Darsham. Their website seems to imply bikes are fine and it's first-come, first-serve. Anyone with any experience? Especially tandems.

    In addition, I will be on my own with it loaded up. Are the lifts at Ipswich any good? The ones in St Neots are woeful and different sizes - one platform just fits a full-size bike and the other I have to stand it on end.

  • The lift at Ipswich is smallish, probably too small. But the old stairs are very gentle, probably simple enough to bump up, at least unloaded.

    From their FAQs:
    "Cycle carriage information
    Tandems may be carried on the following routes and services (except where any relevant time restrictions apply):

    Norwich - Ipswich - Colchester - London intercity trains
    Ipswich, Clacton, Colchester, Braintree, Chelmsford and Southend to London services plus the branch lines to Harwich Town, Walton-on-the-Naze and Southminster.
    Norwich - Cambridge, Ipswich - Peterborough and Ipswich - Cambridge trains (except for the first and last trains of the day between Ipswich - Cambridge and vice versa and the 06.23 Bury St. Edmunds - Ipswich)

    Unfortunately, tandems cannot be carried on any other services and we cannot carry tricycles or bicycle trailers on any of our services at all."

    Which means you're good to Ipswich, but probably not to Darsham, I think it's on the Lowestoft branch.

  • Damn. Ta. Missed that bit.

    Not a great ride up from Ipswich either, I don't think.

  • That's odd as they use the same type of trains on Cambridge-Ipswich and Ipswich-Lowestoft, so they're relying on the staff keeping track of what's allowed where. Possibly worth chancing it and practicing your innocent face.

  • Ride is not so bad on the back roads, this was my route post Dunwich one year:

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8771557

    But does add some mileage

  • Ta. As you say, adds some mileage. Will think about it. Not sure it'll be that much fun on my own and some of that is bound to be in the dark this time of year.

  • T'other chap I was going to meet has a touch of Covid. So problem solved, though not in the nicest of ways (he's doing ok though). Just a normal ride up from Darsham then...

  • Ha so long as you avoid football days Glasgow is pretty great for getting out of as a rider. MTB or Road, often just take an hours worth of small train line out somewhere and then ride back or even ride between one branch and another, theres a busy station within a few hundred metres of house (quiet street in almost the burbs) which connects to everywhere very efficiently (when they aren't on strike).
    The buses here though are a joke though lol, number of times a driver has had to ask the passengers where to go is insane

  • Yeah I have a tandem as well, tbh most of the staff don't know the minutia of all their rules so worth winging it if you are willing to take the risk

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Bikes on trains in the UK

Posted by Avatar for BikerDude24 @BikerDude24

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