Transporting Bike via Train

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
MattyDeez
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Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 12 Jan 2013, 7:05pm

Hi,

I would like to know how a non-folding bike is transported via east coast mainline, i tried phoning and e-mailing the company but no answer at all.

Im going from Newcastle to Penzance, i know i have to book it 3 months in advance for the cheapest and to secure the slot.

Thanks.

Duke3376
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby Duke3376 » 12 Jan 2013, 8:18pm

There are specific areas of the Trains where the bikes are put, usually there is some sort of hook from the ceiling where the front wheel is hung from.
It certainly is like that on Virgin Trains, and the cross country service.

Duke

gbnz
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby gbnz » 12 Jan 2013, 8:58pm

Assuming you're booking online via East Coast Trains, it's worth checking what operators you'll be travelling on.

East Coast Trains are primarily running from London To Glasogow/Aberdeen, whereas you'd probably be travelling on Arriva Cross County (Former Virgin Cross Country Trains), with possibly a local operator at the far end . It's normally a cramped "cycle storage" space, with an expectation you'll hang your bike up on a hook, via front or rear wheel.

I've always ignored the train staff and left it standing on two wheels, regardless of how far I'm travelling, to the distress of one memorable, ginger haired scottish women, who didn't know what to do (I merely said, yes, no, yes, oh I see, for 300 miles, whilst leaving the bike alone)

MattyDeez
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 13 Jan 2013, 3:46pm

Thanks, at least thats cleared some confusion up! Is it safe in there? Any seats close to where i can easilly watch whos going in and out?

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Swallow
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby Swallow » 13 Jan 2013, 3:56pm

I've only ever used First to carry my bike. They use a guard type van and the bikes, up to six, are carried upright. When booking just ask for a seat in the carriage next to the guards van. There's no access during the trip but I keep an eye out when stopped at stations.
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MattyDeez
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 13 Jan 2013, 4:05pm

First Class?

gbnz
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby gbnz » 13 Jan 2013, 5:55pm

In my experience, it's only the old British Rail HST 125/225's which have a guards van (As used by First Great Western, East Coast, Grand Central (If they're still around), etc, etc

All the Arriva Cross Country trains I've ever been on (Which you'd be travelling on), are ex virgin trains, without a guards van.

Thats said, it's easy enough to lock the bike to something and take any valuables out of the panniers. Though I've never had an issue with theft/security on long distance trains, they tend to carry a higher quality passenger, c/w higher quality staff, than the likes of the short distance urban trains
Last edited by gbnz on 13 Jan 2013, 8:49pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Swallow
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby Swallow » 13 Jan 2013, 7:19pm

MattyDeez wrote:First Class?

Sorry no, First Great Western
'Kernow bys Vyken'

MattyDeez
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 14 Jan 2013, 7:43am

Yeah, i'll just bring a heavy duty lock and keep a watchful eye.

The Mechanic
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby The Mechanic » 14 Jan 2013, 2:46pm

I traveled on the Cross Country Trains service from Aberdeen to Penzance when I did LEJOG in May last year. The bike compartment is indeed a number of slots where you hang your bike vertically by the front wheel. There are straps to stop it rattling around. My bike stayed there for the whole of the journey (14 hours). The unfortunate bit was that I was traveling First Class and that compartment was at the front of the train whilst the bike space was at the back. This was not a problem as I was getting on and off at the termini. If I had been getting off at an intermediate station I guess I would have had to struggle all the way through the train with my kit, otherwise I might not have been able to get off in time. I could have gone by a faster route but that would have meant transferring trains a couple of times and I could not be harrassed with a bike in tow.

PS Paying First Class fare for a 14 hour train journey is worth every penny.
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MattyDeez
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 14 Jan 2013, 7:45pm

What, at £300? No thanks. Rather pay £69 and the hassles that ensues!

The Mechanic
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby The Mechanic » 15 Jan 2013, 8:35am

I think I paid £143 for a 1st class ticket. Booking early is the key.
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Big T
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby Big T » 15 Jan 2013, 1:23pm

MattyDeez wrote:What, at £300? No thanks. Rather pay £69 and the hassles that ensues!


If you book far enough in advance, then you can get 1st class for not much more than standard. I paid £75 1st class from Penzance to Derby. 1st class includes free at-seat food and drink :D and more leg room and comfortable seats. I got half of the fare back, as the train was half an hour late into Derby station, so I could claim under the Delay Repay scheme.
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gbnz
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby gbnz » 15 Jan 2013, 8:54pm

Or if you wear a suit and tie, c/w briefcase and rolled newspaper, you can often get away with travelling first class, without a ticket. Once did Birmingham to York on a Virgin Cross Country train in the rush hour, though the ticket inspector was giving me suspicious looks by the end of the journey (I'd made it clear I didn't wish to be disturbed)

On the other hand, the issues I had travelling first class East Coast, Aberdeen to Newcastle, wearing a fleece and combat trousers were legion :shock: . Every few stops I was asked for my ticket, even had three staff talking about "how he can't have a proper ticket". they even seemed a bit dubious, on being shown my 1st class ticket :!:

MattyDeez
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Re: Transporting Bike via Train

Postby MattyDeez » 16 Jan 2013, 8:15am

Haha, brilliant. I always wear clothes like that.

I've priced it up, £200 first class is the cheapest, where as £60-70 for 9 hours. Think i'll opt for the cheaper option as 9 hours out of my life wont hurt!