Transpennine Express

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Mark1978
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Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Transpennine Express

Postby Mark1978 » 6 Feb 2017, 3:23pm

Does anyone have much experience of bicycle carriage on TPX trains? I'm specifically looking for travelling between Chester-le-Street and Darlington probably 0613 return 1741.

I live next to CLS station and work is around 12 miles from Darlington, in Stockton.

Just wondering how much hassle it would be to commute that way, and if it would be reliable enough, obviously not getting to work because the train had too many bikes isn't an option.

chris3vic
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011, 9:00pm

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby chris3vic » 6 Feb 2017, 7:07pm

Yes me.

Very mixed experiences. The reservations mean absolutely nothing.

The bike area is really just a few seats that fold up. If someone is sat there, good luck moving them, and even if you have a reservation the guards have been largely useless in my experience.

Because it doesn't matter if you have a reservation or not, and the bike spaces are first come first served, you can be denied entry if the spaces are full. I've seen this happen many times between Manchester and Penrith which I sometimes travel on.

What I do is cycle 16 miles to the start of the route at Mcr Airport, so I'm guaranteed a space and can rest easy knowing I'll be one of the first bikes on - but very occasionally even that has been a battle as people use the bike area for large airline luggage. Honestly it's a combination of luck, timing and fate.

I remember once arriving at Bolton for a TPX to Lancaster on a wet Saturday morning - I was just going p to visit family while my wife was away with work. Bike reservation in hand I was told there was too much luggage for me on board as it was 'freshers' week, so the bike couldn't come on. The train went off on its merry way and I had the choice of waiting 1.5 hours for the next train or giving up and going home. I took the third option and I cycled to Lancaster instead.
Last edited by chris3vic on 6 Feb 2017, 8:13pm, edited 1 time in total.

brynpoeth
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby brynpoeth » 6 Feb 2017, 7:14pm

You could get a second bike and leave it at Darlington station, no need to take a bike on the train
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love the three Es: enforcement, enforcement & enforcement

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tykeboy2003
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Joined: 19 Jul 2010, 2:51pm
Location: Swadlincote, South Derbyshire

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby tykeboy2003 » 6 Feb 2017, 7:47pm

Folding bike?

chris3vic
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby chris3vic » 6 Feb 2017, 8:14pm

tykeboy2003 wrote:Folding bike?


This. They're ugly and unfashionable but the train companies love 'em.

Mark1978
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Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby Mark1978 » 6 Feb 2017, 8:34pm

Main issue is that I would need to do this for a good while before I can justify any significant investment in a new bike. In addition I'm not sure I'd want to ride a folder for the 12 miles to work.

chris3vic
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby chris3vic » 6 Feb 2017, 9:30pm

Mark1978 wrote:Main issue is that I would need to do this for a good while before I can justify any significant investment in a new bike. In addition I'm not sure I'd want to ride a folder for the 12 miles to work.


0613 is quite early. Unless you're mid route you might be ok. Evening one could be a struggle though unless your stop is the first.

To be honest, even without a bike it can be a struggle to get on a TPX at peak commute times. Especially if they only put two carriages on :roll:

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby tykeboy2003 » 7 Feb 2017, 8:29am

chris3vic wrote:This. They're ugly and unfashionable but the train companies love 'em.



Ah fashion. The biggest waster of resources on the planet.

What about practicality and cost? Vastly more important considerations to me.

ambodach
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Joined: 15 Mar 2011, 6:45pm

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby ambodach » 7 Feb 2017, 8:53am

The only folders I have real experience with are Brompton and Bike Friday. I would not hesitate to use either for a 12 mile run. Both unfortunately at the top end price wise but used ones do come up. I also have a Dawes Kingpin which is pretty old but has been used for similar distances.

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UAVDave
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby UAVDave » 7 Feb 2017, 9:05am

I have no experience of bikes on TPX, but I do have a lot of experience of TPX between Liverpool and York.

Verdict?

Utterly hopeless, entirely incompetetant, totally disinterested in passengers and the their needs.

I wouldn't depend on them for anything what-so-ever. Putting your ability to get to work on time in their hands and an associated decision about taking a bike on a particular train? I wish you luck with that one!

Dave
Knowledge is being aware that tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is not putting them into a fruit salad.

Mark1978
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Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby Mark1978 » 7 Feb 2017, 9:31am

Haha! It's a fair assessment at least and pretty much what I feared and is why I've never really used train & bike despite living, literally, 2 minutes walk from a station.

Folding bike looks like a possibility but that's a fair outlay when there's a good chance I might discover cycle commuting just doesn't work for me. Having never ridden one I'm not sure how it would fare over the 12 miles between Darlington station and work at Stockton. Mostly on shared use cycle path, so relatively bumpy, and a few miles on road. The terrain is flat but not entirely flat, shown here https://www.strava.com/routes/7574716

Leaving a bike at Darlington is possible, but that leaves the problem of how I deal with maintenance & cleaning, easy when the bike is at home and I have my hosepipe, track pump etc, at work and at a station, not so simple.

geocycle
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Re: Transpennine Express

Postby geocycle » 7 Feb 2017, 9:45am

Agree about TPX, was almost evicted as a result of suitcases in the bike area on the way to Manchester despite reservation. Northern rail are generally a much better bet if they are operating on your route.

Mark1978
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Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby Mark1978 » 7 Feb 2017, 9:59am

geocycle wrote:Agree about TPX, was almost evicted as a result of suitcases in the bike area on the way to Manchester despite reservation. Northern rail are generally a much better bet if they are operating on your route.


They provide services from Darlington to Eaglescliffe - which is only 2 miles from work but they don't run CLS-DAR despite CLS being a Northern Rail branded station.

chris3vic
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011, 9:00pm

Re: Transpennine Express

Postby chris3vic » 7 Feb 2017, 11:42am

tykeboy2003 wrote:
chris3vic wrote:This. They're ugly and unfashionable but the train companies love 'em.



Ah fashion. The biggest waster of resources on the planet.

What about practicality and cost? Vastly more important considerations to me.


Of course they are practical. Doesn't mean I don't think they are ugly as sin :D