Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

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ubert767
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Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby ubert767 » 26 May 2016, 8:33pm

Please can anyone advise on the possibility of taking two bikes on a train from Birmingham New Street to Shrewsbury in the mid afternoon in June, I can obtain a bike reservation from Bournemouth to Birmingham on Cross Country but unsure about the final leg to Shrewsbury.
Thanks if you can.
Rob

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robgul
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby robgul » 26 May 2016, 8:52pm

Last time I did that journey in late 2015 it was a London Midland train and you just get on with the bike (outside of the rush hour) no restrictions - there will be a dedicated bike/wheelchair area in at least one carriage.

The only challenge is getting a bike up and down the stairs to change platforms at New Street - I usually use the escalator but there are lifts which IIRC descend and there's a corridor under the platforms) - keep your ears open for platform changes, a New Street speciality!

Rob

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 26 May 2016, 10:20pm

Two operators on that line: London Midland and Arriva Trains Wales. Plan to get a London Midland train - they're pretty liberal about bike carriage. As Rob says, there's a spacious area outside the accessible toilet where you can stack several bikes - it should be marked with a bike symbol on the outside. Arriva can be a bit fussier.
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby PH » 27 May 2016, 3:52pm

robgul wrote:there are lifts which IIRC descend and there's a corridor under the platforms) - Rob

The new New Street has lifts that serve each pair of platforms, no corridor. it was a delight to use last week, though unimpressed with the tacky look of the rest of the station.

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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby vollerama » 27 May 2016, 4:21pm

Hi there

Nationalrail.co.uk is your friend here. Since they introduced that "PlusBike" thing a couple of months ago their cycle-related information on the site is much improved.

Just enter your journey details and click on the link to get details of the specific timetabled train journey and you should see on then right-hand side of the details bit a small cycle icon. Tap/click on that and you will be shown the cycle restrictions, reservations requirements, etc. They even tell you how many cycle spaces a given train has.

Hope this helps.

PV

ubert767
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby ubert767 » 27 May 2016, 6:34pm

Many thanks for the responses, very much appreciated.

Rob

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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby bromptonrail » 29 May 2016, 4:18pm

Your train from Bournemouth is probably bound for Manchester, as as such will call at Wolverhampton. You could change there as it's a smaller station than New Street.

Alternatively the Arriva Trains Wales service start back at Birmingham International and your Bournemouth train will call there before New Street.By changing there you would be joining the Arriva train at its starting point. I believe reservations are available on Arriva's Class 158 trains to the Cambrian Coast, via Shrewsbury. The bike safe (for 2 bikes) is in the centre of the train.
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Si
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby Si » 29 May 2016, 4:24pm

I use that line, Brum to Codsall, a fair bit. I'd say mid afternoon should be fine as long as there is no special event (footie, air show, etc). Coming back on a Sunday can be crowded...fair number of squaddies.

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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby PDQ Mobile » 29 May 2016, 4:27pm

bromptonrail wrote:Your train from Bournemouth is probably bound for Manchester, as as such will call at Wolverhampton. You could change there as it's a smaller station than New Street.

Alternatively the Arriva Trains Wales service start back at Birmingham International and your Bournemouth train will call there before New Street.By changing there you would be joining the Arriva train at its starting point. I believe reservations are available on Arriva's Class 158 trains to the Cambrian Coast, via Shrewsbury. The bike safe (for 2 bikes) is in the centre of the train.


Yes Get on at International, you will have a quiet train choice of seating and hopefully bike space. Off peak not so strict anyway.

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RickH
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby RickH » 29 May 2016, 8:05pm

I have only had a bike reservation on an Arriva train twice, I think. Once from Haverfordwest to Manchester - coming home from a side-to-side - and recently got one accidentally when I wanted a reservation for my connection on Virgin & the ticket person did me reservations for both trains.

I've been using Arriva for trains going to/through Chester & back pretty much every week for nearly 2 years now and have never yet failed to get on with a bike - even when I've been on the Circe tandem. I've had to stand with the bike (both solo & tandem) in the connection between carriages a few times when space has been tight - usually non bike stuff blocking the space. I've also had the tandem stowed along with 3 other bikes in the 2 (nominal) bike spaces plus 2 or 3 others around the train.

Other routes may, of course, vary but I've found Arriva train staff to be fine.

Rick.

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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby slowpeddler » 30 May 2016, 3:46pm

Hello

There are new lifts to every platform at Brum New St and you can get a fully loaded tourer in. Can get crowded and you might have to wait a tad but its OK.

john

ubert767
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby ubert767 » 30 May 2016, 8:21pm

Thanks once again to all those who have replied to my request for advice.

Living in Dorset, we've always been tempted to take the easy option and turn south for our cycle tours. Much to my shame I've not seen very much of our country and, with all the trouble and uncertainty with travelling abroad at the moment, this year I want to rectify that by touring here in Blighty.
Now that you've convinced me that I can get to Shrewsbury by train without too much stress, can anyone recommend a route from Shrewsbury to Bath (then via the Kennet and Avon canal to Poole). Would it be via the Vale of Evesham or would the Wye Valley or Severn Valley be better ?

Rob

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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby PDQ Mobile » 30 May 2016, 10:47pm

Just stay on the Aberystwyth train you catch in Birmingham International. Get off at Machynlleth in the depths of wonderful Wales. Head south on Lon Las Cymru ( Sustrans) to the Severn then over the big bridge and to Bristol on mostly cycle route (I guess though it not my area). Bristol to Bath cycle track.
A similar sort of route ( but self invented) would get you to leave the train at Newtown or Caersws.
Just a thought! Great scenery. Friendly folks!

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RickH
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Re: Bikes on Trains - Birmingham to Shrewsbury

Postby RickH » 1 Jun 2016, 11:54am

This is a route that we did last summer on the tandem from Cardiff to Chester. From about mile 44 (NE of Monmouth) to 155 (near Tattenhall & further north than you would probably be interested) is is broadly based on my LEJOG route in 2009 but modified slightly to cut out bits of unnecessary mileage &/or hills. It is also largely on very quiet roads & even the section of A road we rode NW of Hereford wasn't unpleasant & not heavy traffic.

If you wanted to use any of this route in reverse there are a couple of things I would note:-

Between miles 110 & 111 of our route is the highest point so you would have a fairly long initial climb if you headed out of Shrewsbury through, say, Pulverbatch (but then a long descent through Wentnor as some recompense). A flatter route would be to head East of Church Stretton to join the route somewhere at, or South of, Clunbury.

To head to Bath I would, after mile 42, head for Monmouth on the B4347/B4233 then head out of Monmouth on the A466 - it didn't seem to be a particularly busy road, is fairly flat until the Chepstow end & has the advantage of taking you past Tintern Abbey. As you pass Chepstow the A466 gets busy but also gets an off-carriageway cycle route that will take you onto the service road along the side of the M48 motorway bridge (the old M4 bridge). After that you are on unfamiliar territory to me but, if I was planning a route here, I would pick out country lanes & suburban residential roads as much as possible to get to the Fishpond/Mangotsfield area of Bristol & pick up the Bristol and Bath Railway Path through to Bath. Others will probably be able to give more knowledgeable advice on this bit.

Hope that is of help.

Rick.