Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby geocycle » 28 Jul 2011, 6:59pm

Thanks again for the advice regarding gare du nord. It really helped. All went smoothly
The only things I would add is make sure you have lots of time as they are v laid back, and think carefully how to carry all your panniers, it was a long walk with no trolley. Also it's quite a walk to the back of st pancras.
Last edited by geocycle on 29 Jul 2011, 7:34pm, edited 1 time in total.

toontra
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Joined: 21 Dec 2007, 11:01am
Location: London

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby toontra » 28 Jul 2011, 7:29pm

geocycle wrote:Also it's quite a walk to the back of st pancras.


Yes . They're at opposite ends of the station - and it's quite a big station!

Glad you got back OK, GC.

tim_f
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Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby tim_f » 6 Aug 2011, 11:39am

geocycle wrote:Also it's quite a walk to the back of st pancras.


I came back from Paris to London in June with my bike booked on as luggage,

When one books a bike space they send you a link to a web page where you can get directions to the counters.

At Paris it is slightly confusing as the counter looks closed, you have to carry on for a few meters and go in entrance where the luggage carts are.

At St Pancras I put my panniers on a trolly and pushed it down the road to EuroStar Despatch. There was a trolly point outside the counter where I could deposit my trolley.

At the Paris end it not so well organised and no trolleys are available at Euro Star Despatch.

Last year I came back from Avignon via Lille with my bike dissembled and wrapped in plastic sheeting. It was ok but I made a hash of reassembling the bike at St Pancras because I was too tired and was in a hurry to catch my train back to Newcastle.
Nothing wanted to fit back together and I kept on putting thing on the wrong way around. Ended up getting everything working outside Newcastle station at midnight.

On balance I think the £30 is worth it to avoid the hassle of reassemble and carrying the bike parcel and panniers on to the Eurostar.

Tim.

Jonty

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby Jonty » 6 Aug 2011, 6:23pm

Well done: a result.
What happens to some people when they get a job which requires them to wear a uniform? :evil: It's not Gary's fault of course: it's the people who appointed him.
We've used it once and what seemed a civilised (ie poshish) couple with a child got on at a station before we entered the chunnel. When the child went asleep they proceeded to clip its toenails. We were sitting nearby being mortared by toe clippings. :roll:
Where's that email petition on bringing back the death penalty? :wink:
jonty

toontra
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Joined: 21 Dec 2007, 11:01am
Location: London

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby toontra » 6 Aug 2011, 6:37pm

Thanks for the update Tim. By the way, do you still have to bag-up your bike if it's going as luggage or do you just wheel it into Eurostar Dispatch?

I'm slightly paranoid as I'll be taking my best bike (hopefully set up perfectly after lots of fiddling). If it gets bashed I'd be really upset, especially after shelling out £30.

tim_f
Posts: 231
Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby tim_f » 6 Aug 2011, 6:55pm

toontra wrote:Thanks for the update Tim. By the way, do you still have to bag-up your bike if it's going as luggage or do you just wheel it into Eurostar Dispatch?

I'm slightly paranoid as I'll be taking my best bike (hopefully set up perfectly after lots of fiddling). If it gets bashed I'd be really upset, especially after shelling out £30.


You do not have to bag your bike if you are sending it by Eurostar Despatch.

But I think you can use a CTC style bag if you want to. I recall there is a sign offering plastic bags for sale at the London end, but did not see a sign at the Paris end.

I think at Paris they use luggage trailers which hang the bikes vertically by their wheels to take the bikes from the depot to the train. So bags in poly bags may not be extra hassle for the. Do not know how they do it in London.

One interesting point is that one of the guys on the booking phone line told me that if ones bike goes on the same train one can collect it on the platform as it is being unloaded by handing over your despatch note. When I came back from Paris in June I think my bike was on a earlier train as I did not see anyone unloading bikes.

mcr
Posts: 22
Joined: 26 Jan 2009, 4:29pm

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby mcr » 7 Aug 2011, 1:08pm

tim_f wrote:
You do not have to bag your bike if you are sending it by Eurostar Despatch.

But I think you can use a CTC style bag if you want to. I recall there is a sign offering plastic bags for sale at the London end, but did not see a sign at the Paris end.



I've been a bit put off by the following, hidden away on the Eurostar site's Q&A section (if you type in 'bicycle' to the search field):

Please note that it is the responsibility of the passenger to provide protection for their bike when handing it over for travel on Eurostar. We strongly recommend a bike bag or cover is used. In the unlikely event of loss or damage, our limit of liability is limited therefore we recommend that you have your own travel insurance before registering your bike.

We can provide protective covers for a small charge and we also insist that panniers and other bags as well as pumps, waters bottles, lamps, speedometers etc are removed.


Anyone know what the 'small charge' is?

geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby geocycle » 7 Aug 2011, 5:39pm

My impression at Gare du Nord was that the bike would be hung up on one of the luggage carts by its front wheel. I just handed it over with empty water bottles and speedo still attached but took the bags off. Two other cyclists (one with a carbon specialized something or other) did the same. The guy handled it carefully as did the guys at St P although of course I don't know what happened in the middle. In my view if it was bagged it would be likely piled up with the other cases etc so on balance I'd leave it unbagged unless you want to properly bag it with lagging etc.

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CJ
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Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby CJ » 8 Aug 2011, 3:21pm

tim_f wrote:One interesting point is that one of the guys on the booking phone line told me that if ones bike goes on the same train one can collect it on the platform as it is being unloaded by handing over your despatch note. When I came back from Paris in June I think my bike was on a earlier train as I did not see anyone unloading bikes.

Yes that is possible, but the trains are very loooooong, so depending on where and when exactly you exit the train, the press of other passengers on the platform can prevent you from aprehending or even to seeing the bikes coming out, before they are loaded and driven away.

The bike hanging space is in the middle of the train somewhere around carriages 10/11. So to be sure of intercepting the bikes on their way off the platform you will want to travel in the front half of the train.

The Eurostar lives at St Pancras, with carriage number 1 at the bufferstop there. So to be in the front half of the train, you should try to get a carriage number higher than 10 outward from London, and lower than 10 returning.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

hoogerbooger
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Joined: 14 Jun 2009, 11:27am

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby hoogerbooger » 9 Aug 2011, 10:41pm

You may be lucky and find a trolley at St Pancras where you hand in the bikes. We were.

You've more chance of winning a Euro lottery roll-over than finding a trolley (chariot) at Gare du nord.there's about four of them chained to posts to taunt you. You could probably make a good living hiring them out. It's a long walk back to the checkin after you've handed the bike in and removed your bags.

RE worry about getting a nice bike scratched - the solution - don't tour with a posh nice paint job. scratch it yourself before they do and acclimatise to the inevitable. A touring bike used for touring will get scratched. Hamerite doesn't cost much. A scratch is probably the worst you'll get on Eurostar. They are just covering their backs with the bag recommendation.

Wollaton Wheeler
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Joined: 19 Aug 2011, 10:31pm

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby Wollaton Wheeler » 19 Aug 2011, 11:26pm

I had similar experience on the sunday before you. I was met by an intransigent official at the ticket barrier. I asked for verification and was refused a copy with him stating it was an internal email and he couldn't allow me to take it. There were three of us with CTC bags and one with a larger canvas one travelling together. The large canvas black bag sailed through. We were stopped and despite over-polite reasonning were refused passage onto the train. He was insisting that the tollerance for plastic had run out and that they were no longer tollerated by Eurostar. We had connections to catch in London. the situation was getting critical (they like you to check in 30mins before departure time) when we finally decided to bail out and run with our bags to the courier office to try to get the bike onto our train! What happend next was farcical and disorganised but we managed it with seconds to spare! It would seem that 'fashion police' have knackered what was an excellent system that we have been using for a few years.

jimmyclarke01
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Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:38pm

Re: Eurostar not accepting CTC plastic bike bags

Postby jimmyclarke01 » 20 Aug 2011, 5:28pm

hoogerbooger wrote: Anyone managed to use a CTC poly bag on a TGV - Like Lunea Corail, you couldn't then book a bike on un-bagged unless you do this at the same time you book a ticket , which means you have to book by phone via Rail Europe ( google it)


I took the TGV from Marseille to Lille using nothing but a slightly bag shaped motorcycle/scooter cover bought for £15 from a HyperU, held closed by two bungee cords and two small pieces of duck tape I borrowed off the hotel. There was no room on the luggage racks so the guard told me to leave it near the door and move it if the platform happened to be on that side. I didn't touch the pedals, saddle or handlebar - all I did was remove my wheels and mudguards. I seriously think it all comes down to whether the guys on the train and the platform like bikes or don't.