Train from Inverness to London

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
ebgt
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Joined: 30 Sep 2016, 8:21pm

Train from Inverness to London

Postby ebgt » 23 May 2018, 10:04pm

Hi

I'm cycling LeJog in late June/early July.

I'm aware of the various courier companies, flight options etc. But for some reason I want to bring the bike back on the train & cycle home from the station. So - I'm currently exploring how possible/impossible/unpleasant it will be.

I have a train ticket with a bike reservation from Thurso to Inverness - getting in there about midday. So, now I'm looking to get a train the rest of the way.

Has anyone done this recently? I can find trains - but can't see any way to reserve a bike space on on either the Virgin or Trainline websites. Do you have to call the company? Or is it just not possible to bring a bike on those trains?

Advice appreciated.

Thanks

philvantwo
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Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby philvantwo » 23 May 2018, 10:31pm

Mick F will tell you all you need to know!

simonwoodward66
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Joined: 20 Jul 2015, 1:54pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby simonwoodward66 » 23 May 2018, 11:42pm

If you use the ScotRail website you'll be able to book a bike space through that.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my MotoG3 using hovercraft full of eels.

jgurney
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Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby jgurney » 24 May 2018, 12:34am

I have done that journey the other way with a bike, on route to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. I used the sleeper,, to reach Thurso at a useful time next day.

You may be best off doing the same, as the other options are making changes on route and then getting to Kings Cross late at night, or staying in Inverness overnight and getting the through day train in the morning.

If you don't fancy or don't want to pay for a bed, the sleeper also has seating (first class seats at standard prices, last time I saw it).

To book on the sleeper, see https://www.sleeper.scot/tickets-timeta ... ore-travel

For booking the through day train, I suggest the GWR website. For bookings involving changes, best off 'phoning Virgin East Coast.

Ron
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby Ron » 24 May 2018, 9:08am

ebgt wrote:Has anyone done this recently? I can find trains - but can't see any way to reserve a bike space on on either the Virgin or Trainline websites. Do you have to call the company? Or is it just not possible to bring a bike on those trains?Advice appreciated.Thanks


See this page for details of bike transport on the sleeper train Inverness to London Euston.
https://www.sleeper.scot/on-board/cycles-and-pets

Although commonly know as the Sleeper train, you can also opt to travel in the seated portion of the train. A bit cheaper but less comfortable. There is also the option of a sole occupancy cabin or sharing a two bunk cabin with A.N.Other.
Book your bike on as soon as possible, I have frequently had to delay the start of a holiday because the bike spaces were fully occupied on the Inverness to London direction.

bogmyrtle
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 10:29pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby bogmyrtle » 24 May 2018, 10:09am

If you choose the seat option on the Caledonian Sleeper be aware if the coaches are full or if you get landed with the individual seats at the end of the carriages the journey is pretty uncomfortable.
If it isn't busy and you are lucky enough to bag three seats in a row at least you can lie down which makes it a bit more bearable.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

ebgt
Posts: 25
Joined: 30 Sep 2016, 8:21pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby ebgt » 24 May 2018, 1:27pm

Thanks for the input. Eventually booked on the sleeper - but all berth seem to be taken, so going to have to sit. On the plus side only £50 for the journey.

They don't have a shortlist for if berths, that anyone's aware of, do they? So they notify you if one comes free?

jgurney
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Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby jgurney » 24 May 2018, 2:09pm

ebgt wrote: They don't have a shortlist for if berths, that anyone's aware of, do they? So they notify you if one comes free?


I don't think so. You could enquire again a few days before you travel, in case there have been cancellations. Once the train leaves Inverness, or later pick-up stops like Aviemore or Kingussie, it would not hurt to ask the sleeping car stewards if there have been any no-shows leaving vacant berths.

ebgt
Posts: 25
Joined: 30 Sep 2016, 8:21pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby ebgt » 24 May 2018, 3:32pm

So. Two long hours and multiple phone calls later - this is what I learnt (posted in the hope that it saves someone else the time/stress):

I booked the sleeper through Scotrail - error. At the time it showed no sleeping berth available - but there was a bike reservation to be had - so I took it. Better than nothing.

I hadn't twigged that Caledonian Sleeper are the owners of the service - and should have started with them. When I called them they told me there are berths available & I should cancel with Scotrail & re-book with them.

Scotrail then (at first) refused to refund the ticket - despite one of their customer services staff telling me earlier that they would as they had "sold the fare in error".

At this point I dug in - and forced them to go back and listen to the recording they made of the conversation. They did - eventually backed down - and gave me my money back.

End of the day - book through Caledonian Sleeper. Save yourself the grief...

Grrrrr.

PhilPub
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Joined: 29 Jun 2015, 4:08pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby PhilPub » 5 Jun 2018, 12:00pm

Hi there,

For future reference/anyone else who's interested, I travelled back from JOG to London King's Cross over this weekend; Saturday afternoon train Thurso to Inverness, B&B overnight in Inverness, then on the 09:40 direct to King's X on Sunday. I booked the main train journey online through the Virgin website (£30 each for two with a Two Together railcard!!), then rang them separately to confirm a bike booking. They gave me a bike booking reference over the phone, and it's important to take a note of this because you collect your bike reservation "ticket" separately, but in exactly the same way as your travel ticket.

All went extremely smoothly, give or take delays due to an Ed Sheeran gig in Edinburgh, and a small fire breaking out on the train apparently. :shock:

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Cunobelin
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Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Jun 2018, 12:10pm

When we did the Great Glen, there were a few problems.

Apparently there is a lot of freight goes on the sleeper and for this reason were was limited bike space.

rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby rjb » 5 Jun 2018, 1:34pm

Just booked a flight from Inverness to Bristol. £20 on Sleasyjet. :mrgreen:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

charliepolecat
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Joined: 22 Mar 2018, 3:53pm

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby charliepolecat » 5 Jun 2018, 5:34pm

Just booked a flight from Inverness to Bristol. £20 on Sleasyjet


Including the cost of shipping the bike?

peter b
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Location: Warsash near Southampton

Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby peter b » 5 Jun 2018, 7:45pm

Whilst understanding your wish to cycle home 'in glory', we are returning from JOG on 2 July and when planning our return, the rail fares were extraordinary. I have checked just now and it is £170 single each. We opted to fly and booked with Easyjet for £45 each (Inverness to LGW) and have arranged for our bikes to be couriered home from JOG, taking the coach down to Inverness from JOG. This has worked out significantly cheaper than taking the train (and substantially faster saving an overnight stay in Inverness). Not sure what the Easyjet fare is now.

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Mick F
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Re: Train from Inverness to London

Postby Mick F » 6 Jun 2018, 5:23pm

philvantwo wrote:Mick F will tell you all you need to know!
Sorry, late to the party here. :oops:

Booking the trains for you AND the bike is a minefield I reckon.
I recently took the train home from Exeter and booked it online but had no info about how to book the bike. The option was there, but no matter how I clicked on it, it wasn't there on my eventual tickets.

I phoned them.

Unluckily there were no bike spaces available .......... but the website didn't say so. :evil:

Because I wanted me + bike to travel, and just me was pointless, I was understandably rather upset. The lady on the 'phone understood completely and said that as I'd bought an anytime off peak ticket, I could get a later train and she'd be able to book me + bike onto that. That was ok then. :D

Had I gone through the booking system and actually bought a ticket for a specific train and NOT been able to get the bike on and not been able to change to a different train, I would have been furious.

They didn't confirm my complete booking until I'd paid, and until then, I didn't know that my bike wasn't included.
Personally, I'd rather pay to take a bike, and that way it has a bought and paid for ticket in its own right. You could theoretically pay for a bike to go on the train, and you could travel independently. The two of you should have that option IMHO.
Mick F. Cornwall