Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

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FatLad1980
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Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby FatLad1980 » 22 Dec 2017, 8:48pm

... Andermatt ( http://www.rhinecycleroute.eu )

Sometime next year I would like to cycle the Rhine Cycle Route starting at Andermatt.

I'm not a big fan of packing up my bike to put on a plane and I was wondering if someone with more experience of touring than me can suggest how to get there on trains that don't require the bikes (there will be two or three of us) to be packed up. If some cycling between points needs to be done then that shouldn't be a problem.

I was offered a chance to cycle tour some of Italy and I spent a whole day researching how to get there without packing the bike up. I found out that the french train that went to the start point would carry the back without it being dismantled and packed up, but only as far as the border. :/
Last edited by Graham on 22 Dec 2017, 8:58pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Tigerbiten » 22 Dec 2017, 9:33pm

My first thought was a ferry Harwich to the Hook then train up the Rhine.
Getting as far as Basel is easy, not sure beyond there.

Luck ........ :D

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Peter Molog
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Peter Molog » 23 Dec 2017, 8:16am

Tigerbiten wrote:Getting as far as Basel is easy, not sure beyond there.
After Basel is is the easiest part. :)

In the station in Basel, just buy your ticket for you and your bike.
Every train, or almost every train, takes bikes.
The biggest problem you may encounter is that the bike has to be hoisted in the locomotive. :? I had it once, floor more then a meter above the platform. :x

Peter
Peter

Please, excuse my English. I'm Dutch.

nirakaro
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby nirakaro » 23 Dec 2017, 10:29am

Please, excuse my English. I'm Dutch.

Haha. Please excuse my English, I'm native-born English. Most Dutch people in my experience, speak English at least as well as I do. :lol:

FatLad1980
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby FatLad1980 » 23 Dec 2017, 11:10am

I’m in the North East of Scotland but I have family in Hull so getting the ferry to Rotterdam is no problem.

Google maps/transport Rotterdam to Andermatt gave several options (via Germany or via France).

The Deutsche Bahn website came up with several options and I ticked the option for taking a bike but a footnote said for bikes I need to use the website as opposed to the mobile website.

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Peter Molog
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Peter Molog » 23 Dec 2017, 11:25am

The Dutch site "Treinreiswinkel" (Traintravelshop :D ) gives the following:

https://www.treinreiswinkel.nl/treintickets/zwitserland/voorboeking-basel

Timetable in the red block. This is bike included.

You only have to travel from The Hook to Arnhem.

Peter

Dagtrein = Daytrain
Nachttrein = Nighttrain
Peter

Please, excuse my English. I'm Dutch.

bikepacker
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby bikepacker » 23 Dec 2017, 11:47am

The only time I took a touring bike to that area it was much easier to travel than it is now. I got a ferry to Hamburg (now ceased sailing) and a train direct to Chur. From there I cycled up to Andermatt, however the trains on that line do take bikes.

The other time I went to Andermatt I had a folding bike and went via Paris and Bern. From Bern take the train to Brig and change there for Andermatt. You would have to book a touring bike in advance on the Eurostar and overnight to Berne. From there bike carriage is okay.
Last edited by bikepacker on 23 Dec 2017, 7:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HobbesOnTour
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby HobbesOnTour » 23 Dec 2017, 12:22pm

Hi,

I did this trip last year, so my first helpful hint is not to do it until at least the middle of May - Andermatt was snowed in at the end of April!

I booked a ticket for me and the bike from NL to Bern using the international section of the Dutch train service. https://www.nsinternational.nl/en/

In order to book the bike I had to speak to them directly over the phone - it could not be booked online. They do have a chat function which could also be useful to you.

A big advantage was that I was allowed to bring the bike on Dutch trains during peak hours (normally not allowed) because I had an international ticket.

Total cost from NL to Berne was Euro70 which I thought was a real bargain. It could have been cheaper had I booked it longer in advance - this was a last minute trip. Route from NL was to Arnhem - Dusseldorf (change)-Bern/Basle.

A couple of things to be aware of;
The German trains I was on (and some of the Dutch ones) have spaces for only 2 bikes per carriage, so a group of three may be split up. Or at least the bikes are. Something to think about.
At one stage, 2 cyclists joined the train in Germany and one had a ticket for my bike space (not my seat). There was no need for a big fuss, but they created one anyway and at the next station they had to move one of their bikes to another carriage. I can imagine that there are flaws in booking a bike when a trip involves multiple countries. That's why I'd prefer to use an official train service website than a ticket reseller.

My plan had been to cycle from Bern to Andermatt, but the weather put a stop to that. So I hopped off in Basle and did a loop of Lake Konstanz instead. However, there were options, as said above, to catch a local train, make one change and arrive in Andermatt. I believe that pretty all Swiss trains take bikes.

In researching other routes I have discovered that the trains on the Eurotunnel only take bikes that are packed up.
My experience with trains in France are variable. And the language barrier makes it all more difficult. For one thing, French train stations regularly do not display platform departure information until the last minute leading to a massive scramble to get on board!

Just so you know, large sections of the Rhine cycle route are not near the Rhine at all! Or at least there is a large, high dyke between you and the river. Mainz to Cologne is probably the most picturesque section. North of Cologne can be a bit urban and once you hit NL there are a few options open to you.

Happy Cycling!

Frank

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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Dec 2017, 12:59pm

"My experience with trains in France are variable. And the language barrier makes it all more difficult. For one thing, French train stations regularly do not display platform departure information until the last minute leading to a massive scramble to get on board!"

I have had good experience of giving a small bribe ( a tip!) to get bikes on a French train!!
This resulted in changing an outright blank refusal,"not possible" to be being actually helped onboard with the 3 bikes and panniers!!!
It's worth remembering in a tight spot.
Last edited by PDQ Mobile on 23 Dec 2017, 1:10pm, edited 1 time in total.

brynpoeth
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Dec 2017, 1:09pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:"My experience with trains in France are variable. And the language barrier makes it all more difficult. For one thing, French train stations regularly do not display platform departure information until the last minute leading to a massive scramble to get on board!"

I have had good experience of giving a small bribe to get bikes on a French train!!
This resulted in changing an outright blank refusal,"not possible" to be being actually helped onboard with the 3 bikes and panniers!!!
It's worth remembering in a tight spot.


Did money change hands, how much?
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Dec 2017, 1:12pm

brynpoeth wrote:Did money change hands, how much?

Yes money changed hands!
We were actually pretty desperate.
10 euros but it was some years ago.
France has a much more developed "tipping" culture than the UK. It is seen as pretty normal to give a tip for service.

FatLad1980
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby FatLad1980 » 23 Dec 2017, 6:51pm

Peter Molog wrote:The Dutch site "Treinreiswinkel" (Traintravelshop :D ) gives the following:

https://www.treinreiswinkel.nl/treintickets/zwitserland/voorboeking-basel

Timetable in the red block. This is bike included.

You only have to travel from The Hook to Arnhem.

Peter

Dagtrein = Daytrain
Nachttrein = Nighttrain


Thanks for that :)

The night train seems good, arriving just in time for breakfast. :)

FatLad1980
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Joined: 4 Dec 2017, 12:14am

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby FatLad1980 » 23 Dec 2017, 7:07pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:Hi,

I did this trip last year, so my first helpful hint is not to do it until at least the middle of May - Andermatt was snowed in at the end of April!

I booked a ticket for me and the bike from NL to Bern using the international section of the Dutch train service. https://www.nsinternational.nl/en/

In order to book the bike I had to speak to them directly over the phone - it could not be booked online. They do have a chat function which could also be useful to you.

A big advantage was that I was allowed to bring the bike on Dutch trains during peak hours (normally not allowed) because I had an international ticket.

Total cost from NL to Berne was Euro70 which I thought was a real bargain. It could have been cheaper had I booked it longer in advance - this was a last minute trip. Route from NL was to Arnhem - Dusseldorf (change)-Bern/Basle.
. . . . . .etc . . . .

wow, but I guess the snow would be nice to see.

Where in NL did you arrive and how did you get to Arnhem?

I'd prefer to avoid France ;)

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 360
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby HobbesOnTour » 23 Dec 2017, 7:41pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:I have had good experience of giving a small bribe ( a tip!) to get bikes on a French train!!


Ha Ha! I like your style :-)

I was never refused to take my bike on a train, just generally getting information was difficult. It can be stressful if you're that way inclined. If you're relaxed, the eccentricity can be enjoyable to experience :-)

Frank

HobbesOnTour
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Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby HobbesOnTour » 23 Dec 2017, 8:14pm

FatLad1980 wrote:wow, but I guess the snow would be nice to see.

Where in NL did you arrive and how did you get to Arnhem?

I'd prefer to avoid France ;)


Well, I live in Holland. Caught the train from where I live to Arnhem.

I enjoy France, just the couple of times I wanted to grab a train there was drama ;-) You will have a choice of riding the French or German sides of the Rhine ;-)

The snow was pretty! Helped by the fact that I wasn't trying to cross a mountain in it! :-) The weather was changeable though, from 24 Celcius one day to 2 the next. A guy I met at the southern end of Lake Konstanz told me that a foot of snow had fallen about 30km away the night before. This was at the end of April.

Frank
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