European Trains

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Davidwd
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European Trains

Postby Davidwd » 5 Jan 2017, 9:03am

I am sure this topic must have been covered in the past but I know regulations regularly change.
I have recently been diagnosed with kidney disease and I must not travel by plane or coach due to the DVT risk from the drugs I am on. I desperately want to do the rhine from source to sea (eurovelo 15)
I understand you cannot travel with your bicycle on Eurostar, can anyone suggest a method of getting me and my bike to Basel in Switzerland or should I swap my bike for a Brompton so I can use eurostar, I woud be reluctant to do this as my Kona dew is such a comfortable touring bike.

Winders
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Re: European Trains

Postby Winders » 5 Jan 2017, 9:53am

Bikes on the Eurostar aren't banned but it's not as easy as other services: http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-in ... gage/bikes

Otherwise maybe the Harwich-Holland ferry and trains either end?


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foxyrider
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Re: European Trains

Postby foxyrider » 5 Jan 2017, 10:41am

As previous post, ferry to Holland or Belgium then train down to Switzerland. Call the DB UK ticket office (the number is on Bahn.com) and they can sort out connections and all the tickets you need. They will also get you a better price than trying to do it yourself.
Most likely route will take you across to Germany, probably Düsseldorf, where you pick up a train that will take you down to Basel. You might want to split the journey - it's a long way to try to do in one go, a full day.
Convention? what's that then?
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mjr
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Re: European Trains

Postby mjr » 5 Jan 2017, 10:43am

http://seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm is a good resource.

Getting to most ferry terminals by train is an option, as is the Eurotunnel bike shuttle (I think you'll be on a minibus but only for the tunnel duration).
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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pal
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Re: European Trains

Postby pal » 5 Jan 2017, 12:08pm

UK to Switzerland with an un-boxed bike is in fact relatively painless: Eurostar London-Paris (you can still take a 'whole' bike on some Eurostar trains -- ring the friendly people in the baggage office at St. Pancras to check, before you buy your ticket); then a nice ride across Paris to the Gare de Lyon; perhaps stop for a bit of refuelling at the World's Best Station Buffet (Le Train Bleu); then onto the TGV-Lyria to Switzerland (this is one of the TGV lines which carries un-boxed/bagged bikes on many -- though not all -- of its services). You can do it in a (long-ish) day if you're starting in/near London; or break the journey in London or Paris if not.

The Seat61 website has info on this (with suggested timings for connections -- though you might want to allow a bit more time in Paris, since there's sometimes a bit of a delay collecting the bike at the Gare du Nord). For the Eurostar booking: as noted above, call the baggage people first to check there's space for a bike on your chosen train; then book the ticket via Eurostar (or your ticket provider of choice); then call the baggage people *again* (with your booking reference) to book your bike spot (and pay them £30 for the privilege): it isn't the slickest of procedures, but it works pretty efficiently (in my experience). You can book TGV tickets and make bike reservations for the TGV on the CaptainTrain website.

willem jongman
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Re: European Trains

Postby willem jongman » 5 Jan 2017, 1:49pm

The Harwich Hook of Holland ferry is easy and comfortable. Unfortunately the Intercity Night Line to Basel has been discontinued, but the Austrians are now running a service from Duesseldorf. Hook of Holland/Rotterdam to Duesseldorf should not be too difficult. The website of the Deutsche Bahn is excellent, and not just for Germany.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: European Trains

Postby Cyril Haearn » 5 Jan 2017, 5:49pm

On IC long-distance trains in Germany you may take a bike (best to reserve). You can use stopping trains in Germany with the Schoenes Wochenende Ticket or the Quer-durchs-Land Ticket weekdays after 9oo. Costs about 50 EUR with a bike. Basel Bad station is in Switzerland but is part of the DB Network too. It could be nice to take the train through the Rhein gorge to recce the route. Trains run along both banks.

Many of the stopping trains (RE, Regional Express) are modern double-deckers with a bike section.

Most ICE trains do not take bikes (maybe folders would be accepted). The ICE 4 that is now being introduced has a few bike spaces (must be reserved and paid for).
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Davidwd
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Re: European Trains

Postby Davidwd » 5 Jan 2017, 7:02pm

Thank you all so much for this fantastic information.

David

ANTONISH
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Re: European Trains

Postby ANTONISH » 6 Jan 2017, 8:57am

Deustche Bahn has a London office.
I used it to book tickets by phone for my trip in September (had difficulty booking bike space by internet).
Very good service.

Heathbrook
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Re: European Trains

Postby Heathbrook » 6 Jan 2017, 9:39am

Morning!
Can I recommend a website? http://www.seat61.com
Some great information. I am trying to organise a trip to Lake Como, and I found this site invaluable
Good luck!

Heathbrook
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Re: European Trains

Postby Heathbrook » 6 Jan 2017, 9:40am

Sorry MJR
Just repeated your post!

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mjr
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Re: European Trains

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2017, 10:18am

Heathbrook wrote:Sorry MJR
Just repeated your post!

No worries. Seat61 deserves recommending twice, but I would note that sometimes its recommended sites change and it's not always as strong in warning of new quirks as I'd like, which could lead to fairly expensive mistakes if you don't check everything carefully before clicking "Buy"
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Davidwd
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Re: European Trains

Postby Davidwd » 8 Jan 2017, 10:21am

If I were to use a CTC plastic bike bag could I use eurostar and the TGV?

Thank you

pal
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Re: European Trains

Postby pal » 8 Jan 2017, 12:30pm

For Eurostar and TGV (if you pick the right trains) you don't need a bag at all: for Eurostar, you drop the (complete) bike off at the luggage office in London (and pick it up from the equivalent office at the other end -- though occasionally you can just intercept the baggage man on the platform and pick it up straight away); TGV, you just wheel the bike onto the train yourself (as on UK trains; the bike storage area is typically in one of the end carriages, not in a guard's van). Places for complete bikes are limited (on both services), and the Eurostar in particular can get booked up in the summer, so it's worth reserving as early as possible (and helpful if you can be a bit flexible about the exact trains you take); booking early also means that you can get some of the (extremely) cheap fares on the TGV-Lyria.

For the TGV, the best way to find the trains which carry complete bikes is to search on CaptainTrain (http://www.trainline.eu): if you see a 'bike reservation' option in the right hand column, that means you can take a complete, un-bagged bike (so, e.g., the 07.23 from Paris to Basel allows bikes; the 10.23 doesn't; the 12.23 does; etc)

If you did want to bag/box your bike: Eurostar suggest a padded bag (but also provide boxes); the TGV require something with smaller dimensions than the CTC bag (if you search on this forum for 'housse' (sic!) you'll find more info). But I'd say that (on that route) bagging/boxing would only ever need to be a Plan B, to be deployed in case all of the spaces for fully-assembled bikes had been booked up.

Davidwd
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Re: European Trains

Postby Davidwd » 9 Jan 2017, 3:36pm

This just seems so difficult, I can reserve on Eurostar to Paris and paris to strasbourg but you can't reserve from strasbourg to basil! I can't think of any other way to do it but i may get stuck in Basil. This is 2nd May I am trying to book.

David