Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby NEvans » 3 Sep 2014, 1:38pm

merseymouth wrote:Hi All :) Most trouble free rail journey I have had in years was on the East Lancashire Railway, a Deltic with a proper guards van, yippee. TTFN MM

A Deltic is a real train which has space unlike modern electric. I used to commute through Waterloo, they had guards vans which often had plus of a dozen bikes in, and now bikes are banned in rush hour. Bit short sighted in my view (Good news for Brompton share owners though).
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So blame Newton not me when you're bored waiting at the top of the hill.

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby ferrit worrier » 3 Sep 2014, 5:42pm

I've just travelled down to Penzance by train. Stockport to Reading then Reading to Penzance. At Stockport the train dispatcher assisted me with getting the bike on the train. Tony thank you very much. :D at Reading The train dispatcher went to find out which end of the train the cycle coach was and about 10 mins before positioned us ( two more cyclists turned up) more or less in the right place. unfortunately I didn't get his name but well done guys :D

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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby Ron » 3 Sep 2014, 10:56pm

alans wrote:Being a sometimes contrary sort of chap I lock my bike in situ & don't give a ff/ra about their rules

A risky strategy, the rules are generally in place for a good reason.
On the sleeper trains the guards vans did not stay attached to the sleeping berth coaches for the duration of the journey, so anyone chaining their bike to the van would find at their destination that not only could they not find their bike but they wouldn't find the van it was locked up in.

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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby Bicycler » 4 Sep 2014, 11:14am

NEvans wrote:
Mick F wrote:
By having a bike in a bag, it isn't a bike.
If it isn't a bike, there is no restriction.
If your bike is in a bag, it's not a bike ................ it's luggage. :lol:

I had a friend on a different route put card padding on parts of the bike and when asked stated it was a package taking as a present. The guard didn't argue.

I do not advise anyone to take this approach. There is always the risk of being charged an excess fare (it is quite a lot at 50% of your total fare) for the item of luggage. This is actually the correct procedure where a guard agrees to allow an exceptionally large item to be carried so if you don't expect to pay extra you are relying on their leniency and discretion to waive the excess. You rely on their discretion anyway as the guard is perfectly entitled to decide not to carry your "package". I suspect that some would choose to take that attitude if they thought you were taking the Mickey and trying to circumnavigate the requirement to have a cycle reservation.

It may not seem like it but cycles are actually exceptional for items of their size in the way they are allocated designated space and the rules allow them to travel for free.

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Mick F
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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby Mick F » 4 Sep 2014, 3:38pm

I don't doubt for one second that you are correct on this point.

Mrs Mick F and me made a denim bag with a long zip, and wide webbing straps. My Mercian was put in upside down with the wheels and mudguards removed. I took the rear mech bolt out and protected the chain and mech as it hung downwards.

The wheels were put in separate bags made from an old tent fly sheet, and the mudguards were held together with lazzy bands. The wheels and mudguards were placed besides the upturned frame and the long zip done up.

The straps were the correct length to hang over my shoulder so I could carry it. My Mercian weighs 23lbs including mudguards.

The bag was as long as a bike frame - 3ft 6ins or so, and only as wide as the handlebars. The bike stood on the saddle and handlebars and the highest point was the chain wheel, so less than 3ft high. It fitted in the luggage area on the trains without issue.

I took this bike/bag combo on the trains from Glasgow to Portsmouth via London on a few occasions when we lived up there and I had courses to do in Pompey whilst in the RN.

And last time it was used was from Glasgow to Wick via Inverness prior to my Jogle in 1994.

BTW when I arrived at Wick, I wrapped the bag up on the back of my bike and pedalled to Jog and posted the bag back home. I still have it still wrapped up in the parcel complete with the address, stamps, and post mark.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Train issues at both ends of LEJOG

Postby Bicycler » 4 Sep 2014, 4:15pm

When does a it cease to be a bike in a box/bag and become just a box/bag of components?

Technically the permitted size of normal luggage is actually pretty small (about a metre in length I think) but obviously people carry bigger stuff every day and nobody bats an eyelid. I can't envisage that there will ever be a problem with a bike dismantled enough to fit into a bag creating a perfectly ordinary looking bit of luggage which fits nicely in the luggage rack. Guards don't carry tape measures and go looking for arguments with unsuspecting passengers.

What I would caution people against is expecting that it will be fine to put their complete bike in a bike bag or box (or as suggested just wrap a bit of card round certain bits) and lug it onto the train as "luggage". Anything that is so big or bicycle shaped as to be impossible to ignore or which completely fills luggage racks or obstructs gangways or doors is likely to attract a guard's attention. NEvans' friend might have been able to get away with a bit of cardboard and a knowing wink but that's not to say that you or I would have the same luck. At the start of an end-to-end I simply wouldn't want to take the risk.