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Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 1:51pm
by Queens Park Pete
Finally managed to acquire a cycle reservation for my mini North Wales tour from Crewe! Thanks Avanti. However on ticket arrival I note my seat reservation is 6 carriages away from my beloved steed ( and cant be selected on their site or at the station)! Hopefully I will be alllowed to move a little nearer but this seems a fairly ludicrous arrangement which will delay departure and also risk me weighing up missing my train or passing almost every passenger as I walk the length of the train to get to coach A (as requested).
Anyone else had this fun?

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 2:24pm
by jgurney
Queens Park Pete wrote:Finally managed to acquire a cycle reservation for my mini North Wales tour from Crewe! Thanks Avanti. However on ticket arrival I note my seat reservation is 6 carriages away from my beloved steed ( and cant be selected on their site or at the station)! Hopefully I will be alllowed to move a little nearer but this seems a fairly ludicrous arrangement which will delay departure and also risk me weighing up missing my train or passing almost every passenger as I walk the length of the train to get to coach A (as requested).
Anyone else had this fun?


Just the same happens on LNER and GWR! It is very annoying as it is so easy to avoid, by the railway operators having a policy of automatically booking someone with a cycle reservation into a nearby seat (except, as below, where they have bought a ticket for a class which is not near the cycle store).

If you are not travelling for a few days yet you may be able to try re-booking a seat nearer the cycle space.
Is the booking for going to Crewe from somewhere in England, or from Crewe to somewhere in North Wales?

If you are travelling to Crewe to then go on to N. Wales, you will probably be on a 'pendolino' (class 390). On these, the cycle store is in coach A where it is next to standard class seating. If you are going from Crewe into N. Wales on an Avanti service then the train will be a 'super voyager' class 221, which also has cycle storage in coach A but on cls 221's A is the first class carriage so you could not sit there unless going first class.

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 2:53pm
by richardfm
When I was booking on GWR last week I couldn't book a cycle space until after I had reserved a seat, so there was no opportunity for the system to reserve a seat near the cycle

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 3:07pm
by Queens Park Pete
jgurney wrote:
Queens Park Pete wrote:Finally managed to acquire a cycle reservation for my mini North Wales tour from Crewe! Thanks Avanti. However on ticket arrival I note my seat reservation is 6 carriages away from my beloved steed ( and cant be selected on their site or at the station)! Hopefully I will be alllowed to move a little nearer but this seems a fairly ludicrous arrangement which will delay departure and also risk me weighing up missing my train or passing almost every passenger as I walk the length of the train to get to coach A (as requested).
Anyone else had this fun?


Just the same happens on LNER and GWR! It is very annoying as it is so easy to avoid, by the railway operators having a policy of automatically booking someone with a cycle reservation into a nearby seat (except, as below, where they have bought a ticket for a class which is not near the cycle store).

If you are not travelling for a few days yet you may be able to try re-booking a seat nearer the cycle space.
Is the booking for going to Crewe from somewhere in England, or from Crewe to somewhere in North Wales?

If you are travelling to Crewe to then go on to N. Wales, you will probably be on a 'pendolino' (class 390). On these, the cycle store is in coach A where it is next to standard class seating. If you are going from Crewe into N. Wales on an Avanti service then the train will be a 'super voyager' class 221, which also has cycle storage in coach A but on cls 221's A is the first class carriage so you could not sit there unless going first class.

It's a Pendolino- the arrangements seem to have changed since Covid seating was introduced. As it is early on a Sunday, i am hoping I can persuade a guard to let me move seats... Not sure I can move it without a trip to the station- but the person selling the ticket in Brighton said they werent able to change the tickets they were allocated!

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 3:08pm
by Queens Park Pete
richardfm wrote:When I was booking on GWR last week I couldn't book a cycle space until after I had reserved a seat, so there was no opportunity for the system to reserve a seat near the cycle

The new Normal! :(

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 3:09pm
by jgurney
richardfm wrote:When I was booking on GWR last week I couldn't book a cycle space until after I had reserved a seat, so there was no opportunity for the system to reserve a seat near the cycle

Quite - but that could easily be remedied by the operator.

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 3:14pm
by whoof
Whenever I book a bike on a train I'm always seated nowhere near the bike.
Three options I've used.

Find an available seat near the bike.

Coming up to each stop get up and walk to the bike carriage, as you say in the current situation not great idea.

I've bought a folding bike so can put it in the luggage rack and don't need to book it. Which I only do if I'm not having to ride much at the other end as it's a pretty poor thing to ride.

I do find travelling with a bike on a train more stressful than with a bike on a plane.

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 3:30pm
by PH
How do you know where your bike is being stored?
It may be a train I haven't been on, but I never know in advance. OTOH I haven't bothered to find out, I just store the bike and find a seat, ignoring the booking unless there are no other available seats. I've only made four train trips in the last few months and only one of those with a bike, all the trains have been almost empty, though they've also all been off-peak.

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 4:46pm
by Queens Park Pete
whoof wrote:Whenever I book a bike on a train I'm always seated nowhere near the bike.
Three options I've used.

Find an available seat near the bike.

Coming up to each stop get up and walk to the bike carriage, as you say in the current situation not great idea.

I've bought a folding bike so can put it in the luggage rack and don't need to book it. Which I only do if I'm not having to ride much at the other end as it's a pretty poor thing to ride.

I do find travelling with a bike on a train more stressful than with a bike on a plane.

It's a week touring in Snowdonia so not really an option for my folder.
Under Covid rules, we are expected to only use our allocated seat to maintain social distancing on these Avanti services. Not sure how much flexibility there will be.
The online train plan (which used to let you pick your seat near the bike storage) shows coach F is a distance away from the bike store.

Just hoping not to watch some scrote whizzing along the platform with a just washed Panorama that he has acquired!! Station watch not that easy with 5 carriages to walk through. At very least felllow passengers will assume I am severely incontinent! Luckily only two stops!

Re: Train reservation fun and games

Posted: 3 Sep 2020, 4:47pm
by Queens Park Pete
PH wrote:How do you know where your bike is being stored?
It may be a train I haven't been on, but I never know in advance. OTOH I haven't bothered to find out, I just store the bike and find a seat, ignoring the booking unless there are no other available seats. I've only made four train trips in the last few months and only one of those with a bike, all the trains have been almost empty, though they've also all been off-peak.


Avanti are insisting on reservations and policing sitting in your booked seat apparently!