Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

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mjr
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby mjr » 28 Jan 2020, 10:46pm

Angstrom wrote:
mjr wrote:It's all part of discouraging cycling, isn't it?

No intention to discourage anyone, just a pragmatic approach.
SNCF gets beaten all the time for a) being too expensive and b) costing too much to the tax payer (among other things).

Space for bikes in TGVs not only take up space that could be sold for more travellers when there are cyclists in the train. They also take up space for 80% of the time when cyclists aren't there.

Why aren't the bikes stored in crumple zones like on some UK trains? That space cannot be used safely for passengers.

Plus with cycling holidays being on the rise, there will never be enough bike space at peak periods so they know whatever they do people will complain.

I bet fewer people complain if there are some bike spaces. What an argument! We cannot satisfy all demand so therefore we will withdraw supply! :-s

We just have to deal with it. We can (and I do also) moan, but it ain't going to chnage quickly.

We have to deal with it, but we shouldn't just do that. We should write to TGV's customer service accounts and let them know we are angry.

I know of people travelling with Blablacar with their bikes (car-pooling).

I saw a news item today about a surge in thefts from covoiturage/carpooling parking places. I'm surprised it hadn't happened sooner, as it's a place where most cars won't be touched for hours and most of them seem to be unguarded.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Angstrom
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby Angstrom » 29 Jan 2020, 11:31am

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:Space for bikes in TGVs not only take up space that could be sold for more travellers when there are cyclists in the train. They also take up space for 80% of the time when cyclists aren't there.

Why aren't the bikes stored in crumple zones like on some UK trains? That space cannot be used safely for passengers.

Maybe they haven't thought about it you should definitely reach out to them telling them you have figured it out. :wink:

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:We just have to deal with it. We can (and I do also) moan, but it ain't going to chnage quickly.

We have to deal with it, but we shouldn't just do that. We should write to TGV's customer service accounts and let them know we are angry.

I was just being pragmatic. SNCF does what it is asked to do and manages their priorities accordingly, like other businesses. Cyclists represent a tiny part of their business. SNCF prefers to please other stakeholders. Cyclists more happy is icing on the cake for them. I don't like it but that's how it is. I'm not sure we cyclist would be ready to pay for a non subsidized ticket for our bikes, meaning that if the law would force SNCF to add space (which I hope will happen with European legislation under discussion) we'd ask other people to pay for us. It will never happen at large scale.

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:Plus with cycling holidays being on the rise, there will never be enough bike space at peak periods so they know whatever they do people will complain.

I bet fewer people complain if there are some bike spaces. What an argument! We cannot satisfy all demand so therefore we will withdraw supply! :-s

That's not what I meant. They know that keeping a profitable TGV network and service cannot be done while catering for the growing cyclist community needs. It's absolutely not scalable. The more popular cycling holidaying gets, the less relevant the TGV offering will be. Other more flexible means will have to be developed (put back into service) like traditional trains where wagons can be added and fitted with appropriate equipment for a much lower cost. Or buses with trailers.
Bike advocacy groups act like they don't understand that. At their own perils. They should negotiate good and more realistic alternatives instead of fighting lost battles. Examples of good fights:
1) Forcing SNCF to schedule Intercités trains on all major routes. The network is there. The equipment is there. It can be adapted to demand variations very easily. It can be done at low cost.
2) Making it easier to pack bikes on normal TGVs: a bag rental system, offering storage for one's bag while traveling. Possibility to ship the bag to another station for those departing/arriving in different places.
3) Convenient bike transportation and temporary storage so one could send the bike in advance and find it at your final destination.

All of these ideas cost much much less than transforming TGV trains to accept a rising number of travelers, for a very seasonal demand, with very little flexibility to adjust to a difficult to predict future demand.

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:I know of people travelling with Blablacar with their bikes (car-pooling).

I saw a news item today about a surge in thefts from covoiturage/carpooling parking places. I'm surprised it hadn't happened sooner, as it's a place where most cars won't be touched for hours and most of them seem to be unguarded.


I meant that few people I know use Blablacar car pooling app for travelling and to my surprise, were able to find rides they could go on with their bikes.
The idea is to not take your car therefore not leaving it for long periods in a dedicated parking area.

brynpoeth
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jan 2020, 11:39am

Some of the double-decker coaches in Germany (maybe two or three out of five in a set) have multipurpose areas downstairs, with tip-up seats or no seats, for cycles, wheelchairs, prams etc, plus toilet suitable for wheelchair users

Do the TGV-duplex vehicles provide for disabled people in wheelchairs? I thought that was a legal requirement

I wouldnae mind travelling in a 'conventional' intercity train, very fast travel can be unpleasant if one is used to enjoying the landscape
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mattheus
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby mattheus » 29 Jan 2020, 12:12pm

brynpoeth wrote:Some of the double-decker coaches in Germany (maybe two or three out of five in a set) have multipurpose areas downstairs, with tip-up seats or no seats, for cycles, wheelchairs, prams etc, plus toilet suitable for wheelchair users

Do the TGV-duplex vehicles provide for disabled people in wheelchairs? I thought that was a legal requirement


I've seen those basement multipurpose areas,possibly in France, definitiely in Belgium.
On the Western TGV last year the bikes were allocated to part of the last carriage, shared with suitcases. I don't think they included wheelchair provision.

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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby Angstrom » 29 Jan 2020, 4:34pm

brynpoeth wrote:Do the TGV-duplex vehicles provide for disabled people in wheelchairs? I thought that was a legal requirement

Indeed they do.

They are located in 1st class area, obviously on the lower deck. They have extra space for someone on a wheelchiar but the area is ill suited for storing a bike (no way to fasten it). Impossible to just lean a bike on a window, even if the floor plan is big enough. It would require an extra removable device to allow fastening of bikes, a necessity for obvious safety reasons.
Then what happens if a disabled person wishes to book this place and it is taken by a bike?

I wouldnae mind travelling in a 'conventional' intercity train, very fast travel can be unpleasant if one is used to enjoying the landscape


In the example of Paris-Bordeaux, the conventional railway track has been (and probably still is) the best non high-speed railway on the French network. Prestigious trains were commercially linking the 2 cities at 200 km/h cruising speed and more.
It's no coincidence it is the last high speed track to be opened in France between 2 major cities. As a matter of fact, the French state had set criteria for funding or not new high speed lines. They ruled that a minimal percentage of time had to be shaved off compared to the existing scheduled travel time if they were to fund the project. This could only be achieved by slowing down trains for years prior to the decision to allow a sufficient time gain between TGV and traditional train. Michel Rocard (former prime minister in France who made the final decision to approve of funding of the TGV to Bordeaux) admitted in one of his books he'd been fooled by SNCF executives who wasted every traveler's time to achieve their goal (he took it as an example to show that technocrats outmaneuver politicians very easily).

This to say that it could be possible to reach Bordeaux on a conventional train at very reasonable speed if SNCF wanted to to.

Angstrom
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby Angstrom » 11 Feb 2020, 2:33pm

bohrsatom wrote:A heads up for those looking to ride in France this year. According to Freewheeling France, since January bikes are now no longer permitted on the following TGV routes:

  • Paris-Nantes
  • Paris-Rennes
  • Paris-Bordeaux

The SNCF online booking system does confirm this - it won't show any TGV services between Paris-Bordeaux once you add a bike reservation.

These services previously allowed bikes for a €10 surcharge. I used the Paris-Bordeaux service a few years ago and found it a very smooth way to get to Southwestern France. Very disappointed that this is no longer the case, as an alternative route is going to be very time-consuming and complex.

Sorry to pull this post up again but if someone is interested in this subject.
It is possible to reach Bordeaux from Paris by train without disassembling the bike.

Although the French online booking oui.sncf will show no possibility to do so, the way to go is to book:

  • Paris->Limoges (Intercités, 10€ for the bike) and then
  • Limoges ->Bordeaux with TER (regional train. No charge for the bike).
Its bears a reasonable cost of 67 € (with bike) and the fastest journey is 6 hours (6h37 - 12h39).

Not bad at all actually since the distance by bike according to Cycle.travel is 623km. That's more than 100 km/h average speed. Even Chris Froome can't beat that. :lol:
It's a very nice journey too.

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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby mjr » 11 Feb 2020, 3:20pm

6 hours is still a big step back from 2 hours by TGV, though.
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Angstrom
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby Angstrom » 11 Feb 2020, 4:27pm

mjr wrote:6 hours is still a big step back from 2 hours by TGV, though.

But 2 hours is so much less than it was before and what is actually required to go on holidays.

6 hours for 600 km ! Come on!

Human beings are never satisfied... (Sigh).

Always want more.

brynpoeth
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Feb 2020, 6:05pm

Right again, it is a holiday, 100 kmh average is plenty
Besides, the scenery is much better on the old classic magistrale route, at 300 kmh the view is blurred
..
BoJo just approved hs2, soon* the UK shall catch up :?
* 20 years?
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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby Angstrom » 12 Feb 2020, 8:13am

I checked again and booking a spot in a TGV for a not disassembled bike is now possible again between Paris and Bordeaux.
Note that there is one proposed train during the week-ends, but many on a week-day.

It is very odd because I did look a couple of months ago and it was not possible.
But it's good news. A 2 hour ride.

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Re: Bikes no longer permitted on western TGV services

Postby mjr » 12 Feb 2020, 9:48am

Very good news!

You can say that four more hours non-cycling travelling doesn't matter on a holiday but most people have finite holidays from work so four hours more each way means basically a day less cycling and so your holiday horizons become a little smaller, you experience less of a country, which I suggest is bad for us in general. It's a balancing act between time, money, robustness, sustainability and cycling experiences and restrictions like this move that balance in a bad way.
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