surviving the train to Thurso

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Crashtel
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surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 19 May 2014, 10:49pm

Ok going to take a break from work to do a few items on my "things to do before I die" list, thought I'd start with camping Jogle trip. Booked the train to Thurso, only the 3 changes, Birmingham NS, Edinburgh and Inverness from here in Reading. Being a novice at this how easy is it to move a loaded tourer, between trains, do you leave the panniers on the bike or take them in the train with you? Do you get hassled to hurry up? any advice welcome.

Also I arrive in Thurso at 21:30 (yes tickets were very reasonable), I'm undecided if it would be better to start riding and find a campsite mid morning and snooze or stay in Thurso, anyone arrived around this time in July? what did you do?

Terry

Ben@Forest
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Ben@Forest » 20 May 2014, 1:03pm

'Fraid to say it's a fairly obvious answer and depends on three things, how heavy is the bike, how heavy are the panniers and how strong are you? I can load a Dawes Galaxy with two front-size panniers (but on the rear rack) onto a train quite easily. I've never cycle-toured by train with all four panniers, two rear-sized and two front-sized, but think I'd struggle to get that load onto the train. If you do take the panniers off you'll probably find other train passengers might pass them up to you as you're getting the bike on.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 20 May 2014, 1:07pm

Generally you should take panniers off, so that other cyclists have more room to get their bikes on. At any rate, the bike spaces on the Voyager trains from Reading to Birmingham and (almost certainly) Edinburgh are so small that you'll have to remove them to get the bike to fit.
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matt2matt2002
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby matt2matt2002 » 20 May 2014, 1:46pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Generally you should take panniers off, so that other cyclists have more room to get their bikes on. At any rate, the bike spaces on the Voyager trains from Reading to Birmingham and (almost certainly) Edinburgh are so small that you'll have to remove them to get the bike to fit.


I'll second that.
Never seen a bike with the 4 panniers fitted, on a train.
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notlobgp14
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby notlobgp14 » 20 May 2014, 8:14pm

If you're taking four panniers you need to lighten the load :wink:

I find that I just end up wearing my favourite shorts, shirt etc and carry somethings not to use them :( Washing things through, if you get the weather for drying is OK.

Crashtel
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Location: Reading, Berkshire

Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 21 May 2014, 11:23am

Thanks for all your experience, I had a feeling I should have just cycled from Reading to JOG them headed for LE! Oh for unlimited time to tour! Anyway I'm going to give it a go, So this is the solution I'm going for, two woven textile shopping bags that you see going round at the airport baggage claims, load these with the 4 panniers and the tent - probably easier to carry two bags than struggle with 5, leave these on the platform whilst I get just the bike loaded. I should be an expert or be in a right frazzled by the time I get to Thurso! Thanks goodness my lift back to Reading from Sennen cove campsite is a phone call away.

Thanks again wish me luck Terry

skicat
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby skicat » 21 May 2014, 12:13pm

I live in Maidenhead, not too far from Reading. I'm heading up to JOG in September, but intending to get an overnight sleeper from Euston to Inverness, then local train up to Wick. The sleeper seemed to work out to be more reasonable than daytime trains. I haven't been able to book it yet as I'm still outside the 3 month timetable window :roll: .
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Crashtel
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 21 May 2014, 1:47pm

Hi Skicat, when I started looking it was £177 rate for Reading to Thurso but searching around leaving on the 6:10 train in July I got it for £54 which Ithought was pretty good, notwithstanding the 3 changes! Good luck with your trip.

BE1
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby BE1 » 21 May 2014, 4:31pm

[url]nationalrail.co.uk[/url] has a feature called stations made easy. It allows you to plot a route from platform X to platform Y, setting parameters such as no steps or steep ramps: it then provides a map and photos of the route. Forewarned is forearmed :)

Crashtel
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 21 May 2014, 10:47pm

BE1 thanks, what a useful feature. I'll give it a good look over the next few days thanks.

Mark1978
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Mark1978 » 22 May 2014, 11:02am

BE1 wrote:[url]nationalrail.co.uk[/url] has a feature called stations made easy. It allows you to plot a route from platform X to platform Y, setting parameters such as no steps or steep ramps: it then provides a map and photos of the route. Forewarned is forearmed :)


Then your train gets put into a different platform!

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ferrit worrier
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby ferrit worrier » 22 May 2014, 6:56pm

If your arriving that late at Thurso there is a backpackers hostel in the town might be easier for a first night.

Malc

http://www.sandras-backpackers.co.uk/
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Crashtel
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 23 May 2014, 12:12pm

Thanks Ferrit, look pretty good, not stayed in a hostel since Peru about 10 years ago, I can liken the bed to like sleeping in a wheelbarrow, but it was next to an Inca wall. Sandras looks much better and no sign of having to lock the door with a padlock, definite possibility.

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TrevA
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby TrevA » 23 May 2014, 8:14pm

From memory, you don't have to go up or down any stairs at Edinburgh or Inverness. You can just wheel your bike from one train to the next, with panniers attached. I'd wheel the bike onto the train with panniers on and then take them off. The Edinburgh-Inverness and Inverness-Thurso trains have a rack similar to what you would put onto the back of a car, to load you bike onto. So you have to lift your bike a couple of inches off the ground, onto the rack. best to take the panniers off beforeyou do this. Be aware that, even though you've reserved a bike space on the Inverness-Thurso train, someone may have plonked a pushchair in the bike space.

We stayed in a B&B in Wick (train goes to Wick after Thurso) as we arrived at 22.15 at night.
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Crashtel
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Re: surviving the train to Thurso

Postby Crashtel » 24 May 2014, 8:52am

Trev, thanks this is very good info, many thanks.