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Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 12 Apr 2015, 10:43pm
by chris_suffolk
Looking to take my bike down to Dover by train in the summer. Will need the services of Greater Anglia and South Eastern trains.

Can anybody advise on the storage facilities aboard each company? Are bikes held securely via the top tube, or just the front wheel? It's a carbon road bike and I'm worried about damage prior to even starting my tour (Dover - Cape Wrath). Happy to encase it in pipe lagging, or more, if required

Any help appreciated - thnx.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 12 Apr 2015, 10:49pm
by wirral_cyclist
I've only done a few train journeys and mostly with TPE and all the bike spaces I've used are just leaning spaces, with a velcro strap to stop bike falling over.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 7:59am
by Richard Fairhurst
I've never seen a train where bikes are held by the top tube (though I might have missed something!). Most either have a (generally feeble) front wheel holder, or as wirral_cyclist says, just 'leaning space'; wheel hooks on the ceiling are also increasingly common. If you're anxious about the bike then I'd very definitely suggest you go with your padded pipes idea.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 8:06am
by Vmlopes
Hanging front wheel hooks on Network South East on the ones I have been on

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 8:50am
by Vorpal
There are several different methods for holding bikes (or not) on trains. On Abellio Greater Anglia, most trains do not have any special place for bikes. You just need to find a wheelchair spot, or use the entry area for the carriage and stay with your bike. It is possible on some trains to stick the front wheel between a vertical hand rail and glass divider such that you don't have to hold it. But you may still need to move it out of the way for people entering and exiting the train.

I'm not sure about South East. I think I was only on them with my bike once, and then they had a little compartment behind the driver with space for two or three bikes. There were hooks for straps, but no straps. I think I used my own bungie cord to hold my bike. This was some years ago, so it may have changed, or I may be remembering another train service and confusing it with South East.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 8:55am
by iviehoff
Richard Fairhurst wrote:I've never seen a train where bikes are held by the top tube (though I might have missed something!)

I went on some East Coast trains at Easter, and they were so secured.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 9:07am
by iviehoff
chris_suffolk wrote:Looking to take my bike down to Dover by train in the summer. Will need the services of Greater Anglia and South Eastern trains.

Can anybody advise on the storage facilities aboard each company?

It rather depends which specific routes and hence what specific train types.

Whenever I've used Greater Anglia to transport a bike, it's always been lean it up in a shared disabled/pushchair/bike area, and be prepared to move it during the journey in case you are in the way. Some people just prop them up in the vestibule if they get on at the wrong door, or the other area is already occupied, in which case they have to be particularly active about getting out of the way. But that's been travelling on commuter lines such as to Bishops Stortford and Ipswich/Colchester. This is the norm on commuter lines in the SE. If you are on the Norwich train, which is loco-hauled intercity stock, it is likely to be quite different.

On the Dover line you are most likely to have Cl 375 Electrostars, though Cl 465/466 Networkers is also possible. I have travelled on a Cl 375, but not with a bike. I don't recall seeing any specific cycle carriage area, so probably it is rather like commuter trains above.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 9:20am
by mjr
Some of Greater Anglia's Turbostars (at least Peterborough-Ipswich and Norwich-Cambridge routes, train numbers 170xxx) have a bike stand next to the easy-access toilet where you can hang some bikes by their top tube on two rubber-coated prongs and secure any sort of bike with the "luggage straps" provided so it won't fall off/over into the aisle in the curves (especially each side of Thetford!). I've seen six bikes safely in such an area, but people had to use their own luggage straps to secure some. EDIT: there's a picture on http://keeppushingthosepedals.blogspot. ... rs_23.html although the bike isn't on the rack.

I think hauled Norwich-London services (train numbers 90xxx) have a bike store somewhere that you have to ask the station staff where to stand to access it and the train staff to open it. I've not seen inside one since the last "cascade" of trains, when the Norwich-London line got the second-generation Glasgow-London trains (which had been replaced by the Pendolinos).

Otherwise, remember the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) and put it across the right-hand doorways. I prefer to stand between my bike and the door in such situations, to hold it and prevent it falling.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 10:23am
by ANTONISH
On South East trains there is some limited dedicated space but this is also a wheelchair space. You can however generally use any carriage and keep your bike in the door space - (opposite side to passengers getting on of course). I use a toe strap or a strong elastic band to apply the front brake while on the train - this prevents a lot of movement.
You don't have to pre-book.
You can't take bikes on commuter services to and from London in the rush hour - apart from that you should have no problem.
I've never seen a hanging hook on network South East.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 11:19am
by Vorpal
mjr wrote:Some of Greater Anglia's Turbostars (at least Peterborough-Ipswich and Norwich-Cambridge routes, train numbers 170xxx) have a bike stand next to the easy-access toilet where you can hang some bikes by their top tube on two rubber-coated prongs and secure any sort of bike with the "luggage straps" provided so it won't fall off/over into the aisle in the curves (especially each side of Thetford!). I've seen six bikes safely in such an area, but people had to use their own luggage straps to secure some. EDIT: there's a picture on http://keeppushingthosepedals.blogspot. ... rs_23.html although the bike isn't on the rack.

I forgot about those. I haven't used the trains with those carriages much, they are somewhat in use between Norwich and London, too.

ANTONISH wrote: I use a toe strap or a strong elastic band to apply the front brake while on the train - this prevents a lot of movement.

Yes, I have a velcro strap or two on each my bikes that I use for this purpose (not just on trains).

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 11:31am
by Barrenfluffit
"the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) "

This is very much a station by station thing. Island platforms (between the lines) mean the side varies according to which line your on; this might reflect historic circumstances. Even two line railways may have island platforms.

You can look up the train types on wiki.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 12:22pm
by mjr
Barrenfluffit wrote:"the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) "

This is very much a station by station thing. Island platforms (between the lines) mean the side varies according to which line your on; this might reflect historic circumstances. Even two line railways may have island platforms.

True. It varies line-by-line and sometimes area-to-area. East Anglia has mostly outside platforms and even some with islands are operated so that the doors generally are on the left, whereas I think both the Southeastern routes to Dover (the old LCDR and HS1) have islands near London, plus Rochester and Faversham, with outside platforms elsewhere - rather annoying if you don't get the bike into a bike space.

Possible pic of a Southeastern bike space at https://www.flickr.com/photos/smsm1/10046338153 from someone who works with cycleipswich.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 7:36pm
by don1
Last time I travelled with my bike down from Yorkshire to London for the Dunwuch Dynamo, there was a 'guards carriage' with 3 Sheffield stands inside to lock your bike to.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 7:56pm
by gaz
+1 to the comments from ANTONISH re Southeastern services, including their Javelin trains.

don1 wrote:Last time I travelled with my bike down from Yorkshire to London for the Dunwuch Dynamo, there was a 'guards carriage' with 3 Sheffield stands inside to lock your bike to.

Was the service hauled by a steam locomotive? :wink:

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 8:43pm
by Barrenfluffit
With slow lines, fast lines and island platforms, the train can arrive on either side.
Its only the non island type that you can be sure of (unless its a single track line...). Experience goes a long way :)