Greater Anglia and bikes

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
nez
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Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby nez » 26 Apr 2017, 9:58pm

I want to take a bike from Colchester to Norwich. I've looked at Trainline, National Rail and Greater Anglia websites and I'm starting to wonder if they are hiding the place to book your bike on purpose. They all say you need a bike booking, they offer ticket bookings but no field to book a bike. Is it me? Are they pulling our collective legs?

Elizabethsdad
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby Elizabethsdad » 27 Apr 2017, 6:50am

A few years back I was a regular traveller with Greater Anglia, and I never had any problem just turning up with my bike on the local trains. Best bet would be to get intouch with the ticket office at Colchester

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foxyrider
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby foxyrider » 27 Apr 2017, 8:43am

Book via Hull Trains website :D
Convention? what's that then?
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tykeboy2003
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby tykeboy2003 » 27 Apr 2017, 10:41am

nez dans le guidon wrote:I want to take a bike from Colchester to Norwich. I've looked at Trainline, National Rail and Greater Anglia websites and I'm starting to wonder if they are hiding the place to book your bike on purpose. They all say you need a bike booking, they offer ticket bookings but no field to book a bike. Is it me? Are they pulling our collective legs?


Have you thought about transporting your bike with you sitting on it? It's only 61 miles.

mercalia
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby mercalia » 27 Apr 2017, 12:27pm

you cant do it thru theor website

"How do I reserve a place for my bicycle?


We are unable to process bicycle reservations through our website.

However, one of our support team can process these requests over the phone by calling 0345 600 7245.


Although bicycle reservations can be made after booking online, we recommend making your booking and bicycle reservation together through our call centre so we can confirm whether bicycle spaces are available on the train you wish to travel on.

Your bicycle will be stored in the guards van, so please give yourself enough time to locate it and load your bicycle before the train is scheduled to depart.

For more details on the rules listed by each Train Operating Company, please reference the attached guide"

http://greateranglia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2877/kw/cycles

I have used them twice now and the main line trains have lots of spaces for bikes and also the hoops to lock them to so that dont fall over.

I think in the past you could do it online but the company changed its name recently and also its website I think

nez
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby nez » 27 Apr 2017, 11:56pm

Thanks for replies, no matter how enigmatic. :shock:

awavey
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby awavey » 28 Apr 2017, 1:07am

nez dans le guidon wrote:I want to take a bike from Colchester to Norwich. I've looked at Trainline, National Rail and Greater Anglia websites and I'm starting to wonder if they are hiding the place to book your bike on purpose. They all say you need a bike booking, they offer ticket bookings but no field to book a bike. Is it me? Are they pulling our collective legs?


from Colchester to Norwich, it will definitely be an Intercity train, assuming its not engineering works and bus replacement at the weekends in which case you wont get there with a bike, but in theory you have to reserve a space in the guards van to guarantee travelling on that train, as they really only have room to carry 6 in total I think it is, but you cant book online you are supposed to ring the customer service helpline.
https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel- ... -on-trains

however its fair to say there arent many cyclists use that line IME,except for Dunwich Dynamo, and certainly Ive been standing at one of their stations, and the guard of the intercity train was more than happy to have put my bike in the guard van on the intercity train even though I had no reservation, as it happend I wanted to use one of the local trains as its lot easier just to wheel it on stand with it and wheel it off and less faff than the whole guard puts the bike in the guard van, you get on the train have to sit in a different carriage, then when you get to where you are going, have to get off, get the guard to open the guard van to get your bike out again and bearing in mind the guard might have wandered all the way down to the other end of the train checking tickets and you are always aware you are holding up the train departing whilst they do this.

at least if you are going to Norwich the train terminates there and the guards van is right at the platform exits. and for ref at Colchester heading to Norwich the guards van will be at the front of the train.

so my advice would be its worth trying at least to call the helpline and reserve a space on the train you want. as then you are guaranteed travel, even if you end up finding yourself as the lone cyclist on that train.

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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby Vorpal » 28 Apr 2017, 7:01am

In practice, many people just turn up with their bikes and don't book.

You can book at a station, where they are still manned. That's the only way I've ever done it.

However, they are doing away with guards' vans :( and if you get a new train, you have to put your bike in the area by the wheelchair seating and the toilets. There's generally lots of space, but not as much as on the guards' vans.

As above, if there is a cycling event, like the Dynamo, it's a good idea to book in advance, and you might still risk getting turfed, if you don't turn up early, or there are too many cyclists.
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maxglide
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby maxglide » 28 Apr 2017, 6:59pm

tykeboy2003 wrote:
nez dans le guidon wrote:I want to take a bike from Colchester to Norwich. I've looked at Trainline, National Rail and Greater Anglia websites and I'm starting to wonder if they are hiding the place to book your bike on purpose. They all say you need a bike booking, they offer ticket bookings but no field to book a bike. Is it me? Are they pulling our collective legs?


Have you thought about transporting your bike with you sitting on it? It's only 61 miles.


Quite. It looks like a nice 6 hour job on flat ground.

mercalia
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby mercalia » 28 Apr 2017, 10:26pm

maxglide wrote:
tykeboy2003 wrote:
nez dans le guidon wrote:I want to take a bike from Colchester to Norwich. I've looked at Trainline, National Rail and Greater Anglia websites and I'm starting to wonder if they are hiding the place to book your bike on purpose. They all say you need a bike booking, they offer ticket bookings but no field to book a bike. Is it me? Are they pulling our collective legs?


Have you thought about transporting your bike with you sitting on it? It's only 61 miles.


Quite. It looks like a nice 6 hour job on flat ground.



esp. considering an advanced ticket dont cost much?

nez
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby nez » 28 Apr 2017, 10:29pm

Well I was intending to come back the same day. I'm a pensioner not a TdF rider! :D

Confusedbycycling
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby Confusedbycycling » 13 Jun 2019, 12:29pm

mercalia wrote:Your bicycle will be stored in the guards van, so please give yourself enough time to locate it and load your bicycle before the train is scheduled to depart.

I have found this sentence also on the Greater Anglia website. Because I am German I am trying to figure out, what is a guards van. But my dictionary does not help. So what is a guards van, how do I recognize it? And very important, have this van a predictable position in the train?

I want to use the train from Manningtree to London. I am cycling with a heavy loaded bike. Are there rules, how I have to handle the luggage? Can I go in the train, and keep the luggage on the bike and put off the luggage after entering the train. Or do I have to put off the luggage before entering the train?

nez
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby nez » 13 Jun 2019, 12:42pm

Hi,
There have been no guard’s vans in this region for a very long time. It’s where luggage and parcels used to be carried. If you want to get the intercity (Norwich, Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester) train to London you have to book in advance and places are limited. However if you cycle on to Colchester - about 12 miles, there are trains originating from Clacton and Walton. Thèse are not intercity trains and if you avoid the rush hour these do not need booking for a bicycle. Use the south entrance to Colchester station and you don’t need to carry the bike up and down any stairs.

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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby Vorpal » 13 Jun 2019, 1:16pm

Confusedbycycling wrote:
mercalia wrote:Your bicycle will be stored in the guards van, so please give yourself enough time to locate it and load your bicycle before the train is scheduled to depart.

I have found this sentence also on the Greater Anglia website. Because I am German I am trying to figure out, what is a guards van. But my dictionary does not help. So what is a guards van, how do I recognize it? And very important, have this van a predictable position in the train?

I want to use the train from Manningtree to London. I am cycling with a heavy loaded bike. Are there rules, how I have to handle the luggage? Can I go in the train, and keep the luggage on the bike and put off the luggage after entering the train. Or do I have to put off the luggage before entering the train?


Guard is the same as a conductor in other countries and a van is a train carriage. Intercity (regional / long distance) Are the only passenger trains that still have a guards van in the East of England.

Only the guard (conductor) has a seat there. Some have compartments for oversized luggage. There is usually a place to lock or bungee a bike so it doesn't fall over.

You can normally leave luggage on the bike, but you might not be able to stay in the guards van with your bike, so it's a good idea to keep any valuables on you.

edited to add: my experience with the trains there is not recent, and (as noted above a couple of years ago) they were replacing all of the old stock with trains where you had to put your bike in the same area as the wheelchair spaces.
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mjr
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Re: Greater Anglia and bikes

Postby mjr » 13 Jun 2019, 1:28pm

nez wrote:However if you cycle on to Colchester - about 12 miles, there are trains originating from Clacton and Walton. Thèse are not intercity trains and if you avoid the rush hour these do not need booking for a bicycle. Use the south entrance to Colchester station and you don’t need to carry the bike up and down any stairs.

There are more trains at Colchester and it's mostly a fairly pretty back-road ride but Manningtree is also served by commuter trains originating in Ipswich which do not require reservations. I think they don't have bike spaces so you either occupy one of the wheelchair spaces if no-one's using it (or the folding seats in it) or spend an hour seated by a door holding the bike up in half the wider aisle. You can see a walk-through of the current usual commuter trains at 3 minutes into this video: https://youtu.be/Ouj3VFVAw60?t=180 - these 30-year-old trains (class 321, known as "bins" after the mascot of 1980s quiz show 3-2-1) are scheduled for replacement 2019-2020 but I don't think the new commuter trains (Aventras) have been specced with proper bike spaces either, unlike the new Anglia Regional and Intercity trains (Flirts) which have proper bike spaces not shared with wheelchairs.

Here is a list of all Manningtree-London services, click "Later" until you get to the right time of day (same trains run every weekday I think - or use the form on https://traintimes.org.uk/ to get the exact day) and then the "show stops/details" to see the times in Manningtree and which are "from Ipswich" (OK to use) and which are "from Norwich" (no good). Generally the ones taking 1h12 are from Ipswich and the 1h ones are from Norwich.

If you are arriving at Harwich International at about 8am on a weekday, I think the first train you can use to arrive in London with a bike is the 08:33 Harwich International to Manningtree arriving 08:50, ignoring the reserved-bikes-only 08:53 departure and changing onto the 09:08 Manningtree to London, arriving 10:10.
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