Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

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Nickeveson
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Nickeveson » 26 Jun 2019, 9:39pm

Just reading all these replies 're bikes on trains and it saddens me. Surely in this new age of cleaner transport the rail companies should be promoting bike travel, and making it easier to transport them. It seems like we have taken a backwards step...years ago guards vans/compartments were crammed full of bikes.
Two per train is just not good enough!

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Sweep
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Sweep » 28 Jun 2019, 6:34am

On securing bikes on trains, some of the straps can be a pig to extend. Some trains don't have straps at all. I good idea I think to take your own strap. Can be light/narrow, hardly load bearing. Strap I stress, not a dreaded bungee.
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Slowroad
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Slowroad » 29 Jun 2019, 8:32pm

Apologies for going rather off-topic -
On securing bikes on trains, some of the straps can be a pig to extend. Some trains don't have straps at all. I good idea I think to take your own strap. Can be light/narrow, hardly load bearing. Strap I stress, not a dreaded bungee.

What's wrong with bungees?
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mjr
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby mjr » 30 Jun 2019, 7:52am

Slowroad wrote:Apologies for going rather off-topic -
On securing bikes on trains, some of the straps can be a pig to extend. Some trains don't have straps at all. I good idea I think to take your own strap. Can be light/narrow, hardly load bearing. Strap I stress, not a dreaded bungee.

What's wrong with bungees?

It'll let your bike leave the wall over a big enough wobble or bump, then smack it back into the wall or very occasionally let it drop down.
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Sweep
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Sweep » 30 Jun 2019, 8:43am

Slowroad wrote:Apologies for going rather off-topic -
On securing bikes on trains, some of the straps can be a pig to extend. Some trains don't have straps at all. I good idea I think to take your own strap. Can be light/narrow, hardly load bearing. Strap I stress, not a dreaded bungee.

What's wrong with bungees?

Potentially dangerous, though train fastening use quite possibly one of the less dangerous applications.
Sweep

brynpoeth
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Jun 2019, 8:57am

Slowroad wrote:Apologies for going rather off-topic -
On securing bikes on trains, some of the straps can be a pig to extend. Some trains don't have straps at all. I good idea I think to take your own strap. Can be light/narrow, hardly load bearing. Strap I stress, not a dreaded bungee.

What's wrong with bungees?

They stretch far too much, could rebound and hit one in the eye
I use luggage straps from the diy store for securing luggage and on a train/bus

Bungees are only good for bungee-jumping (not tried that yet :wink:)
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Mick F
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Mick F » 30 Jun 2019, 9:38am

I'm going to be cycling St David's Head to Lowestoft next spring. Loads of time to sort out the travel to/from each end.
I'll be riding my Moulton and towing my Carry Freedom trailer. The planning of the trains is a bit of a headache even though I have months and months to get it right.

Getting a small-wheeled bike stowed on a train isn't good, and the trailer will have to be stripped down to stow it with the luggage.

Option 1:
Pack everything into a big suitcase.

Option 2:
Take the bike as a complete item and suffer the issues of booking.

Option 3:
Use hire cars on a one-way hire both ways.

Looking at the costs involved, the train fares will be circa £150 total. Hire cars will be circa £120 each plus petrol = perhaps £350.

If cost was no object, the hire cars would win hands down. This is very sad indeed. All it needs is for the train companies to have a luggage van like they used to.
Mick F. Cornwall

soapbox
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby soapbox » 30 Jun 2019, 1:45pm

Reading this thread just confirms my thoughts about the disjointed, unhelpful, and woeful state of bike provision on our railways. I gave up on them years ago, despite it being easier to take a bike on a train in the north west than in other parts of the country. Very sad that people who are prepared to not contribute to congestion and pollution on the roads are treated with such contempt. I'm harking back to the 80s, but it really was the easiest thing in the world to just get on a train at my local station, and get an affordable ticket to anywhere in the country, with a bike, without booking anything, even with four or five of us.

rotavator
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby rotavator » 30 Jun 2019, 2:33pm

soapbox wrote:Reading this thread just confirms my thoughts about the disjointed, unhelpful, and woeful state of bike provision on our railways. I gave up on them years ago, despite it being easier to take a bike on a train in the north west than in other parts of the country. Very sad that people who are prepared to not contribute to congestion and pollution on the roads are treated with such contempt. I'm harking back to the 80s, but it really was the easiest thing in the world to just get on a train at my local station, and get an affordable ticket to anywhere in the country, with a bike, without booking anything, even with four or five of us.


May be if TOCs were allowed to charge a fare for carrying bikes then they would have an incentive for improving facilities for carriage of full sized bikes. I suspect that they would need a prod from government to actually implement improvements. On a train in Germany I was struck by the good facilities for carrying bikes but I assume that there is a charge for bike carriage.

soapbox
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby soapbox » 30 Jun 2019, 3:14pm

rotavator wrote:May be if TOCs were allowed to charge a fare for carrying bikes then they would have an incentive for improving facilities for carriage of full sized bikes. I suspect that they would need a prod from government to actually implement improvements. On a train in Germany I was struck by the good facilities for carrying bikes but I assume that there is a charge for bike carriage.


Yeah, that could be a game-changer, but striking the right charge would be difficult. I'm pretty sure they know that if they provided facilities for free they would be used, but too high a charge might be seen as wasted space. I don't know about other parts of the country, but in the north west we used to have carriages that had a large open space, sometimes with a luggage rack, with fold-up bench seats, that were very versatile for luggage, prams, bikes, or standing people on a busy train. I can't understand the rationale of phasing them out when they didn't reduce passenger capacity, which dedicated cycle storage does.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby Oldjohnw » 30 Jun 2019, 3:20pm

There is unimaginative and minimal provision for cyclists all over. In my small but central market town, pop c12,000, there are two cycle rack points each with accommodatin for two bikes in the entire town. Of the four out if town supemarkets plus one shopping area only one has bike racks.

Train provision is woeful and accessibility dismal. Having said that, my own local station (I travelled several times a week from there so know the staff) cannot be more helpful and even phone the destination station to say I am on the train.

My station is mainly LNER with 125s and 225s which have bike accommodation in the engine unit. Worth noting that your bike is upended and supended. Can be a problem if fully loaded: be prepared to remove your bags.
John

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graham bowers
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby graham bowers » 9 Jul 2019, 10:08am

I'm wondering what happens if you have a reservation, but the bike spaces are taken by bikes that are not reserved? I made a journey with a folder recently and spoke to another cyclist on board who'd just hung his bike up without a reservation, so no vacant bike spaces remained.

mnichols
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby mnichols » 9 Jul 2019, 9:11pm

graham bowers wrote:I'm wondering what happens if you have a reservation, but the bike spaces are taken by bikes that are not reserved? I made a journey with a folder recently and spoke to another cyclist on board who'd just hung his bike up without a reservation, so no vacant bike spaces remained.

I think you would have to find the guard, show your reservation and they would have to sort it out. If someone is on without a reservation I think they would be asked to get off the train

brynpoeth
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Jul 2019, 12:04am

.. At the next stop :?
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pete75
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Re: Bikes on Trains UK - what do I need to know

Postby pete75 » 10 Jul 2019, 6:56pm

mnichols wrote:
graham bowers wrote:I'm wondering what happens if you have a reservation, but the bike spaces are taken by bikes that are not reserved? I made a journey with a folder recently and spoke to another cyclist on board who'd just hung his bike up without a reservation, so no vacant bike spaces remained.

I think you would have to find the guard, show your reservation and they would have to sort it out. If someone is on without a reservation I think they would be asked to get off the train

Happened to us at Grantham station. Two bikes booked only space for one. Platform man said put the other at the end of the first carriage behind the engine.