Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

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Slowroad
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Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Slowroad » 1 Aug 2013, 10:11pm

There's no lift and two steep flights of stairs, horrid to negotiate with a laden tourer. Five minutes between trains one way, three the other! Mind you they were pretty laid back about leaving on time...
Direct trains to Harwich are infrequent but preferable.
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sailorp
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby sailorp » 3 Aug 2013, 5:58pm

We changed at Manningtree last year, and were allowed to cross the tracks with an escort.
They used the tannoy to tell us.
Probably because the Manningtree-Harwich train was standing at the platform (not on the main line), and they wanted to leave.
Nice of them to let us cross the line, they could see we were pretty heavy loaded.

Slowroad
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Slowroad » 3 Aug 2013, 8:25pm

That's interesting! It's a quite small, rural station, I think it can depend who is working there. I've contacted them re the disability issue but not heard yet.
Actually this was my only gripe about the journey, I'm now a fan of Greater Anglia and the Dutch Flyer!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

Squeezebox
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Squeezebox » 3 Aug 2013, 9:05pm

This is also interesting for me too as Im off to Harwich in September and using the Dutch flyer so Manningtree is a possible change for me. Might just make sure I get that direct train then from London.......however......I have been in contact with the train operators and just had the following email from them that might be of use to anyone thinking of the same :

Recieved from Greater Anglia Customer relations. 2nd Aug 2013:
If you are travelling on the direct service from London Liverpool Street to Harwich International is a non reservable train which cycles are allowed to travel on this service but it is on a first come first serve basis and can not be booked in advance. The trains that are changing at Manningtree are reservable from London Liverpool Street to Manningtree but are non reservable from Manningtree to Harwich International. You can turn up on the day without reservations, but again it would be on a first come first serve basis.

Slowroad
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Slowroad » 3 Aug 2013, 10:14pm

There were at least 4 bikes on the direct train when I came back and I think that's more than the official limit - doesn't say but it usually seems to be 2. As with all this sort of thing it can depend on which staff you meet.
Some people catch the train to Manningtree then cycle - it's not far. Still have to negotiate steps though!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

Squeezebox
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Squeezebox » 3 Aug 2013, 10:42pm

Hmmm....so...

Trains during the week leave London Liverpool street (mostly on the hour) for Manningtree, and yes there are a few minutes only to change to the train from Manningtree to Harwich (it seems you need platform 1). Slowroad (Hello again) and others, there is a pic of the stairs (which you, Slowroad, already know what they look like....sorry if I have spoilt the suprise of others :lol: ) if you google them, I can't get the link to work! Also 01206 391114 is given for Manningtree station, maybe one could call to ask for assistance on a certain connection?

There is also a London service to Colchester leaving just after the hour and changing there for Harwich, but Ive no knowledge of Colchester station in relation to loaded touring bikes. This service is about half an hour or so longer.

Direct trains from London to Harwich are very few as mentioned. Also, cycles (non folding....yawn that one again :( ) cant leave London between 16:30 and 18:30. If like me you are aiming for the 23:15 ferry from Holland to Harwich then the only direct service in the afternoon and later is the 19:32, getting in at 20:54. However you can board the ferry upto two hours before "sailing" (do they still have sails? :lol: ). But you cant book a bike place on this one...... :x ....so you either book a train with a change at Manningtree (and cant book from that bit, but as just mentioned I guess its only 10 miles to cycle including steps then!) or risk the amount of bikes per non booking train and randomness of staff and try direct.

I am trying this in one shape or form on 4th September, so if anyone else around that afternoon then we can join forces .....you will spot me....I will have a bike loaded down with panniers brewing a cup of tea halfway down Manningtree staircase !

Vorpal
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Vorpal » 3 Aug 2013, 11:19pm

I had help from station staff once to take my bicycle up & down the stairs 8)

Squeezebox wrote:Also, cycles (non folding....yawn that one again :( ) cant leave London between 16:30 and 18:30.


You need to take the Norwich service:

http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-i ... ey/cycling

London Liverpool Street - Norwich Intercity Services

Free of charge.

Reservations in advance are compulsory.

Six dedicated bicycle spaces are available in the Guard’s van.

The Guard’s van will be locked 3 minutes before departure time from London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Please arrive in good time to make sure your cycle is safely on board by then.

Reservations on the mainline Intercity service can be made by calling our Customer Relations team on 0845 600 7245 and selecting option 8. You must provide at least 24 hours in order to make a reservation. Spaces are subject to availability, on a first come, first served basis.
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Squeezebox
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Squeezebox » 4 Aug 2013, 12:00am

Thanks for that Vorpal, I hadnt spotted that reservations are compulsory ! Thanks for link.

However thats confusing me still more as the email I had (quoted above) said you couldn't make reservations on the direct route. Perhaps the direct route isnt part of Norwich Intercity ????

Im going to make a reservation anyway and change at Manningtree as Im so facinated to see its increasingly famous steps, even if I have to spend an hour getting down/up them and wait for the train an hour later :lol:

.....maybe spending an hour going up and down them would be a good way to exhaust myself before a long night on the ferry !

Vorpal
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Vorpal » 4 Aug 2013, 12:35am

Squeezebox wrote:However thats confusing me still more as the email I had (quoted above) said you couldn't make reservations on the direct route. Perhaps the direct route isnt part of Norwich Intercity ????

Im going to make a reservation anyway and change at Manningtree as Im so facinated to see its increasingly famous steps, even if I have to spend an hour getting down/up them and wait for the train an hour later :lol:


The Norwich train is not the same as the Harwich train. It's easier to take the Harwich train if you can go outside peak hours. The only reason to take the Norwich train is the guard's carriage. But once you're past Shenfield, you can change at any station that is shared between the routes.
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Tigger
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Tigger » 4 Aug 2013, 6:15am

Squeezebox wrote:There is also a London service to Colchester leaving just after the hour and changing there for Harwich, but Ive no knowledge of Colchester station in relation to loaded touring bikes. This service is about half an hour or so longer.

Sounds like you're set on the Manningtree change... but just for completeness, changing at Colchester is ok with loaded bikes as it has lifts. But they are well hidden as I only found out about them recently, having lugged moderately loaded bike up and down the stairs on several occasions :lol:

London trains usually come in on platform 2, Harwich trains leave platform 5. Ten minutes would be ok for this.

BTW, as referred to above, there is tons of info on rail station layout and (disabled) facilities on the ?National Rail website. You can even get a 'walk through' I think. I'm on my phone so can't offer a link atm.

About the Intercity guards van... might be different setting off from a terminus but I've used it a couple of times (Ipswich and Diss) with no reservation - tho there was plenty of room.

Vorpal
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Vorpal » 4 Aug 2013, 8:26am

Witham has lifts, as well. And it's quieter station, so may be an easier place to change.

I've never had reservations for the guard's carriage, but the last time I used it, it was still NXEA.
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megilleland
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby megilleland » 4 Aug 2013, 11:19am

Squeezebox wrote:
"there is a pic of the stairs (which you, Slowroad, already know what they look like....sorry if I have spoilt the suprise of others :lol: ) if you google them, I can't get the link to work!

They look like a category one climb!

corrigan
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby corrigan » 4 Aug 2013, 8:58pm

Bought Dutch Flyer tkt hoping to depart from Liverpool st on evening boat train 7-32 with bike. has anybody any anecdotal evidence of cyclists being refused boarding due to overcrowding with bikes . would scupper my plans if that siuation prevailed.Departing Thursday 15/08, [hopefully].

JJF
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby JJF » 5 Aug 2013, 11:23am

I have used Dutch Flyer several times....catching the Liverpool St/Harwich train at Chelmsford. I've never seen more than a couple of other cyclists on the train and a handful on the ferry. My journeys were in June and Sept.

Squeezebox
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Re: Don't change at Manningtree for Harwich!

Postby Squeezebox » 19 Aug 2013, 5:46pm

Further to all the above !!!....phew...

I took it upon myself to contact Greater Anglia to make a bike reservation from Liverpool Street to Manningtree (Ive decided to go that way and spend an hour brewing tea on the now famous Manningtree Stairs, cant wait to see them :lol: ).

So I emailed customer services at Greater Anglia and got sent a booking reservation number to enter into the ticket machine at Liverpool Street with confirmation that my bike was reserved on a certain train. So still doubtful it will guarantee me a place with bike on the train but at least I have the number to get the bike through the barrier. Had I not contacted them and made this reservation I wonder if I would have got through.

But the eamil was easy to do so worth it maybe ? Just in case.