Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

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Jdsk
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Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Jdsk » 5 Mar 2019, 5:59pm

We need to take two laden tourers from Oxford to Portsmouth.

Any suggestions on how to book the tickets and reserve spaces for the bikes? First leg is GWR and second South Western.

Thanks

Jonathan

st599_uk
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby st599_uk » 5 Mar 2019, 8:18pm

You can't reserve a bike on that South Western Railway route, it's first come, first served.

There are also rush hour cycle bans.

What time do you need to be at Portsmouth (and which Portsmouth station)?
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Bmblbzzz » 5 Mar 2019, 8:49pm

If you use GWR site to book tickets, you can book bikes at the same time for all operators - as long as there bookable spaces. Some other operators' sites allow this too, but I can't remember which ones.

Woodtourer
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Woodtourer » 5 Mar 2019, 10:28pm

Not sure if this would be helpful. But we took National Express bus from Heathrow to Portsmouth last year. Worked great!

Astrobike
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Astrobike » 5 Mar 2019, 10:59pm

Do cross country trains not go through Oxford as they do a train to Southampton where you can change to
A local train to all Portsmouth stations , Portsmouth and southsea is the best station if you are catching the
Ferry to France or Spain, as for booking you will need to ring them to book the bikes .
Mike

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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Mar 2019, 8:37am

XC Voyagers are a bit crap for taking bikes on, especially laden tourers.

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mjr
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby mjr » 6 Mar 2019, 9:07am

Astrobike wrote:Do cross country trains not go through Oxford as they do a train to Southampton where you can change to
A local train to all Portsmouth stations , Portsmouth and southsea is the best station if you are catching the
Ferry to France or Spain, as for booking you will need to ring them to book the bikes .
Mike

Gwr.com and a few others (updated list on http://www.atob.org.uk) will book the bikes on XC. No need to phone unless you want.

I think XC Voyagers on that route have small bike cupboards between coaches D and F, visible on https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/on ... our-trains seating plan. Often they get large suitcases dumped in them, but I'd move it into the neighbouring rack. But space is limited so GWR and SWR may be more likely to have space at the right times.
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Mar 2019, 11:58am

The GWR Cardiff-Portsmouth trains are usually packed. At least they are between Cardiff and Salisbury, I doubt the crowds all vanish further south.

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mjr
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby mjr » 6 Mar 2019, 12:22pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:The GWR Cardiff-Portsmouth trains are usually packed. At least they are between Cardiff and Salisbury, I doubt the crowds all vanish further south.

From the OP's comments of using GWR then SWR, I'm assuming they're changing at Reading and Guildford. Connections from Oxford to the Cardiff-Portsmouth route are poor.
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Mar 2019, 1:05pm

Yeah, it's a shame the Oxford-Bristol directs got scrapped.

Astrobike
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Astrobike » 6 Mar 2019, 5:28pm

Agreed X C are not the best ,that said traviling with a loaded touring bike with any train company in this country is always going to be a fraught experience .
The 3 times I have traveled with C S they have got me and my bike to where I wanted to go with no great delays

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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Mar 2019, 5:51pm

Something I picked up from chatting to a guy on his way back from the Highlands to Bristol on an XC Voyager (I had been camping in the Midlands) is that bikepacking-style luggage makes for easier train journeys, simply because it's less bulky to doesn't need to be removed from the bike before you hang it up. Of course this is also because you can't carry so much...

Jdsk
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby Jdsk » 6 Mar 2019, 5:51pm

st599_uk wrote:You can't reserve a bike on that South Western Railway route, it's first come, first served.

There are also rush hour cycle bans.

What time do you need to be at Portsmouth (and which Portsmouth station)?

Thanks

Sunday evening in June.

Train dep Oxford 1916, arr Portsmouth and Southsea 2143, change at Reading.

Jonathan

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mjr
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby mjr » 6 Mar 2019, 6:03pm

Jdsk wrote:Sunday evening in June.

Train dep Oxford 1916, arr Portsmouth and Southsea 2143, change at Reading.

I don't know what's going on there because http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_far ... 44703.aspx says the times aren't yet confirmed for June.
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irc
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Re: Oxford to Portsmouth: how to book trains

Postby irc » 6 Mar 2019, 10:13pm

Jdsk wrote:
st599_uk wrote:You can't reserve a bike on that South Western Railway route, it's first come, first served.

There are also rush hour cycle bans.

What time do you need to be at Portsmouth (and which Portsmouth station)?

Thanks

Sunday evening in June.

Train dep Oxford 1916, arr Portsmouth and Southsea 2143, change at Reading.

Jonathan


Some services show times 3 months out and let you buy full price tickets but don't let you book seats. Without a seat booking you can't book a bike. The online cheap ticket and bike booking is now open as from today up to the week including 22nd May. For June I would suggest waiting a week the check every day to see if the cheap tickets are released and try and book the bikes then.

But you may need to be fast. By 5pm today the bike spaces were gone on my first choice service though I got an alternative.