UK Trains - Online bike reservations

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 26 Feb 2018, 10:27am

Thanks.
I know how it should operate, but my worry is, that it may not operate like that on the coal face. I may email CC and get them to give me an absolute assurance.

I took my bike via CC some years ago to Edinburgh from Plymouth, but the train stared at Plymouth, so I made sure I was first on.
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby mjr » 26 Feb 2018, 10:49am

Mick F wrote:Thanks.
I know how it should operate, but my worry is, that it may not operate like that on the coal face. I may email CC and get them to give me an absolute assurance.

Only the CC manager on the train could be absolute, surely?

I took my bike via CC some years ago to Edinburgh from Plymouth, but the train stared at Plymouth, so I made sure I was first on.

It wasn't staring. Those are headlights, not eyes. Don't anthropomorphise trains - they hate that. ;)
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 26 Feb 2018, 12:58pm

:lol: :lol:
Typo!

Yes, the train manager will have the final say-so.
It would help if the booking system was sacrosanct and not first-come-first-served ........ even though the booking is towards the end of the train's cross country journey. By having a space booked for just the last bit, means that the bike space is empty for nearly the whole journey. My wanting only Taunton to Plymouth 60(?) miles of a 600+ mile journey is chicken feed and I wouldn't be high priority.

I would expect that any bikes on that train would be going all the way to Penzance, and probably started their journey Up North somewhere.
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby pete75 » 26 Feb 2018, 1:53pm

mjr wrote:It wasn't staring. Those are headlights, not eyes. Don't anthropomorphise trains - they hate that. ;)


Thomas seems quite happy with it .

Image

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Mick F
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 25 Mar 2018, 7:42pm

Mick F wrote:I'm considering getting the train Taunton to Plymouth with a bike later this year.
Cross Country service from Glasgow to Penzance.

If you look at the online info on the CC website, you get this:
https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/on ... d-cyclists
On most of our trains we have two reservable bike spaces and one further space for unreserved bikes. Bikes without a reservation will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and can only be carried subject to space being available.
My concern is, that if I book a place for my bike to get on at Taunton, what happens if the space is taken up by a non-booked bike that got on in Glasgow?

I doubt very much that the train manager would chuck it off to allow mine on.

Advice please.
Am I worrying too much?
Sort of change of plan.
I would be getting the 19:51 from Taunton which is a GWR train to Plymouth from Paddington.
I went for a ride via Plymouth North Road Station today, and asked the specific question regarding bike bookings.

The lady confirmed that with GWR, you cannot take a bike without a reservation, and that reservation is YOURS. If you don't turn up, the bike space remains empty for the rest of the whole journey unless someone books at the last minute AFTER the train has left where you booked it from.
Basically, your bike booking with GWR is sacrosanct.

I won't be getting the Cross Country train, so never asked them.
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby MikeF » 25 Mar 2018, 10:36pm

Mick F wrote:
The lady confirmed that with GWR, you cannot take a bike without a reservation, and that reservation is YOURS.

Depends which GWR service you are using. On some eg Gatwick to Reading there isn't booking nor reservation facilities - just take your bike.
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Stevek76 » 25 Mar 2018, 11:00pm

It's the routes running the newer class 800s that are reservation only presumably as first have chosen to run these as a flexible configuration so bike spaces are fixed for each run and changed each turnaround at the terminus.

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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby PH » 26 Mar 2018, 12:21pm

Mick F wrote: If you don't turn up, the bike space remains empty for the rest of the whole journey unless someone books at the last minute AFTER the train has left where you booked it from.

How would that work? I doubt they'd know you hadn't occupied the space booked, they don't even do that with seats.

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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 26 Mar 2018, 1:33pm

Answers:

Some GWR trains do indeed not need a reservation. Usually local trains, not longer distance "intercity" services. Tamar Valley Line here, it's first come first served, and even then there's no specific limit. I was on the train yesterday with Mercian, and it was the third bike on there with only two spaces. I've seen half a dozen on the train before.

How it works, is the way it was described to me, but I have no experience of actually booking a bike on a train, though I have with seats of course.

You can board a train as a passenger without a booking. You can occupy a booked seat but must give it up when the "owner" gets on and wants the seat they'd booked. However, you can occupy a seat without issue if the booked journey has passed, or even prior to the booked journey providing you get off before the booking.

GWR will NOT let your bike onto the train without a booking. ( on intercity services)
Passenger are allowed on without a booking or even having a seat available!

Bikes can be booked on as little as 2hrs before the train arrives so long as when your bike is loaded on, you are booked.
If the booked space isn't taken, it's than available to be booked ........... but only after the booking isn't taken up, so that must mean from the next stop or further down the line.

Simple?
Not sure really.

https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/journe ... ard/cycles
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby mercalia » 26 Mar 2018, 2:05pm

Mick F wrote:Answers:

Some GWR trains do indeed not need a reservation. Usually local trains, not longer distance "intercity" services. Tamar Valley Line here, it's first come first served, and even then there's no specific limit. I was on the train yesterday with Mercian, and it was the third bike on there with only two spaces. I've seen half a dozen on the train before.

How it works, is the way it was described to me, but I have no experience of actually booking a bike on a train, though I have with seats of course.

You can board a train as a passenger without a booking. You can occupy a booked seat but must give it up when the "owner" gets on and wants the seat they'd booked. However, you can occupy a seat without issue if the booked journey has passed, or even prior to the booked journey providing you get off before the booking.

GWR will NOT let your bike onto the train without a booking. ( on intercity services)
Passenger are allowed on without a booking or even having a seat available!

Bikes can be booked on as little as 2hrs before the train arrives so long as when your bike is loaded on, you are booked.
If the booked space isn't taken, it's than available to be booked ........... but only after the booking isn't taken up, so that must mean from the next stop or further down the line.

Simple?
Not sure really.

https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/journe ... ard/cycles


well i sugest you never play "just a minute" as you have used the word "booked" or "booking" so many times :lol:

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Mick F
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 26 Mar 2018, 2:57pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Difficult to sit here and formulate an exact reply without leaving myself open to further questioning and further explaining.
All I can do is explain as it was explained to me, and further more, the booking seems to be only able to be done over the phone by using the telephonic booking system.
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby PH » 26 Mar 2018, 5:02pm

Mick F wrote:If the booked space isn't taken, it's than available to be booked ........... but only after the booking isn't taken up, so that must mean from the next stop or further down the line.

Simple?
Not sure really.

Be nice if it worked like that, but my experience is that once a booking is made, it doesn't get reintroduced as an available space if it isn't taken up.

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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby Mick F » 26 Mar 2018, 5:17pm

What about the Glasgow to Edinburgh then all the way down through Berwick, Newcastle, Darlington, York, Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, and to Plymouth train?

What happens if someone books a bike Glasgow to Berwick and doesn't turn up?
What happens if someone wants to book Birmingham to Bristol on the same train but doesn't book until the train has left Berwick?
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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby ubert767 » 26 Mar 2018, 5:50pm

Just booked two of us and two bikes on an Austrian train in June using their website (OBB) and the tickets are spewing out of my printer as I type. A simple and efficient example of how it should be done.
We may have invented railways but the British rail system is a joke of which not even Ken Dodd could have seen the funny side!

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Re: UK Trains - Online bike reservations

Postby bikepacker » 26 Mar 2018, 7:46pm

Regarding train seat reservation which may impact on bike reservations. Last year due to a hospital appointment I had to get the train back from the York Rally. I had both cycle and seat reservations so was not concerned when the train arrived at York already packed. After hanging my bike I went to my seat both mine and the one next to were marked reserved but empty. The train was on the move by now and shortly after a smartly dressed man came and sat next to me. I assumed it was his reserved seat.

Next stop Doncaster and as the train moved off a lady came and asked the gent to move as it was her reserved seat. He stated to her by not taking up the seat within 10 minutes of the train leaving York she had forfeited the seat. A small argument ensued and the lady stormed off to find the train guard. She was not seen again. When the guard came to check tickets the gent told him what had happened, the guard said he was correct and she had forfeited the seat.

This was Cross Country Trains but I believe the same regulation covers other train companies. Could it also cover bikes if the reserved space has not been taken up?
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