Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Cyril Haearn
Posts: 12295
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Cyril Haearn » 14 Jan 2020, 8:23pm

Night jet run by the Austrian railway OeBB runs most sleeping trains on the mainland, not sure if you can get to Basel direct
You could stay in a B&B and get a day train instead, lovely scenery along the Rhein

I should get the overnight ferry, then a day train, simples (?!)
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

Jdsk
Posts: 146
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Jdsk » 14 Jan 2020, 8:53pm

Welcome.

We rode Oberalppass to Hook of Holland this summer. Two adults on tourers with camping gear. Starting and ending in Oxfordshire. We'd have done all the connections by train by choice. But after much research:

Outward
Rode to Oxford station.
Two trains to Portsmouth.
Overnight ferry to Le Havre.
Picked up a rented Espace and drove to Mulhouse and dropped it off. NB not crossing a border for the one-way route!
Slept in Mulhouse.
Rode to Basel.
Three trains up to Andermatt.
Slept in Andermatt.
Train to Oberalppass... and off.

Return
Rode to Hook of Holland ferry.
Overnight ferry to Harwich.
Picked up by Thrifty, driven to their office in Colchester, picked up Discovery and drove home and dropped it off in Oxford. (This was not a good experience but there don't seem to be any decent options, see recent discussion linked below.)
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=134831&p=1433112&hilit=harwich#p1433112

NB TTBOMK you can't now take bikes on the TGV from Paris to Basel.

Jonathan

nirakaro
Posts: 1084
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby nirakaro » 14 Jan 2020, 10:30pm

If you go to the German railway website - https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de//bin/query.exe/e - you can restrict your search to trains that will carry bikes. It doesn't cover just Germany, and is thorough and easy to use.
You'll generally find that the fast, long-distance trains exclude bikes, but the slower regional trains are fine – so you're sure to need a few changes. One of the benefits of going by train rather than flying is that you can actually enjoy the journey – worth relaxing and taking a couple of days over it if you can.
Getting the ferry (or tunnel) to Calais, then heading to Paris (regional – TER – trains, couple of changes IIRC), may be a better option; then you can get from there to Basel with just one change.
If you were camping overnight somewhere, don't choose Paris – you'll be miles and miles from the station. Choose a town a stop or two before or after, and the campsite's likely much closer.

Jdsk
Posts: 146
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Jdsk » 14 Jan 2020, 10:43pm

Bikes on German trains etc from the Man in Seat 61:
https://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm#Germany

Jonathan

Will
Posts: 191
Joined: 16 Jan 2007, 6:39pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Will » 15 Jan 2020, 8:10am

If you are getting the Hull-Rotterdam ferry then you are probably looking at getting your first train around 11:00 at the earliest. I think it would be difficult to get all the way to Andermatt in a single day, and you would need to break the journey up over two days. This would also give you some flexibility in what trains you get (and remove a lot of the stress).

You could get trains to Düsseldorf on the first day, and then travel to Andermatt from there on the second. You can get dutch inter-city trains to Venlo (via Eindhoven), and then get the eurobahn train from there to Düsseldorf. The eurobahn trains have plenty of space for bikes, the dutch trains can be a bit hit or miss when trying to get on with bikes (but it is usually OK). It takes a minimum of 4 hours to get from Rotterdam Centraal to Düsseldorf Hbf.

From Düsseldorf, you have several choices for getting to Basel or Zürich with bikes:

You can get Intercity express (ICE) trains to Zürich (changing at Mannheim) - takes about 6.5 hours (runs every 2 hours)

You can get a direct Eurocity (EC) train to Zürich - takes about 6.5 hours (only 1 a day leaving at 10:27).

You can get Intercity express (ICE) trains to Basel (changing at Mannheim) - takes about 5.5 hours (runs every 2 hours)

You can get a direct Eurocity (EC) train to Basel - takes about 5 hours (only 1 a day leaving at 10:27).

The ICE trains above are the new ICE4s (that have a compartment for 8 bikes).

The Eurocity trains above have two bike spaces in each coach.

One useful site for getting information on train layouts (and bike carrying capacity) is: https://www.vagonweb.cz/razeni/index.php?rok=2020
You can use the train numbers from the DB Bahn website and look then up on Vagonweb.

If you are travelling with bikes, then you can only book bike reservations for a single train online. You also cannot make bike reservations that require an international bike ticket online. You can phone DB Bahn in Germany to make the reservations (and buy the bike ticket), but you just end up sitting on the phone listening to Iggy Pop singing 'Passenger' on an endless loop. There is a UK based DB Bahn sales number you can phone (0871 880 8066) - I have called them before at 09:00 (when they open) and it was answered straight away.

Will

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 12295
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Cyril Haearn » 15 Jan 2020, 8:14am

The ICE goes very fast on the new line, I found it disturbing, one could not relax and enjoy the landscape
Much better to go via Koblenz, wonderful landscape, cheaper too
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

Andrew-l
Posts: 20
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 12:42pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Andrew-l » 15 Jan 2020, 12:44pm

Summer 2019 I came back from Basel to London with a non-folding bike. I removed the front wheel, turned the handlebars and put it in a cut-down CTC plastic bike bag for the TGV LYRIA from Basel to Paris. There was no problem doing this, other than v limited space on the train!

Demelza
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Jan 2020, 6:39pm

Re: Getting to Andermatt for the Rhine Cycle Route

Postby Demelza » 16 Jan 2020, 12:07pm

WOW - thank you all for your excellent comments and advice!!

There's loads for me to research now and a few websites I'd not yet discovered.

Will get on the case when I have time and let you know how it goes! :D