Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

brynpoeth
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Jun 2018, 7:52am

Been on the train in Germany several times recently, left my bike at the station
The lower deck of one double-decker (rake of 7) is a multipurpose area for bikes, prams, wheelchairs, with folding seats
If the train is full people on the (uncomfortable) tip-up seats are understandably unwilling to move

The trains get quite full on Sunday evenings for example. A couple of prams, wheelchairs, big suitcases and there is no room left for bikes

On some routes there are no double-deckers, just glorified buses with space for maybe two bikes. Conveniently, right by the toilet :wink:

The rules are complicated of course, I will do some research and report back
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

Littgull
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby Littgull » 17 Jun 2018, 10:25am

brynpoeth wrote:Been on the train in Germany several times recently, left my bike at the station
The lower deck of one double-decker (rake of 7) is a multipurpose area for bikes, prams, wheelchairs, with folding seats
If the train is full people on the (uncomfortable) tip-up seats are understandably unwilling to move

The trains get quite full on Sunday evenings for example. A couple of prams, wheelchairs, big suitcases and there is no room left for bikes

On some routes there are no double-deckers, just glorified buses with space for maybe two bikes. Conveniently, right by the toilet :wink:

The rules are complicated of course, I will do some research and report back


What you have described regarding bicycle carriage on public transport would be 'paradise' here in the backward UK.

brynpoeth
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Jun 2018, 9:39pm

You could be right, I remember seeing a job advert a couple of years ago, people were sought for a few weeks in summer to help cyclists load and unload their bikes, lots of time to talk cycling while waiting, a dream job?
Probably it made sense to employ them to keep the trains on time

People are employed full-time at quite small junction stations to help passengers decipher timetables and the like :wink:
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

atoz
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby atoz » 19 Jun 2018, 11:39pm

Thanks for all the posts. Keep them coming!

For those who think it isn't possible with multiple units. It was in the past, as the first generation of DMU's had guard spaces in one of the coaches. it's actually quite simple to sort this problem out with modern stock- just remove fixed seats, and have folding/retractable ones. In fact you find this on the 2nd gen DMU's such as the class 156- was on one only yesterday- was actually an original design feature. Even Pacers have had some adaptation so bikes can be stored - non slip floor and slots for tyres. It doesn't have to cost. But of course it can mean losing some space. Tough. So is actually catering for disabled users, but the law is quite clear on that one- although the rail companies seem to think the DDA is strictly advisory. It's just greed and government policy that's the problem. There's always enough money for unecessary first class space on DMUs (BR actually abolished this, for very good reason), and other things like wifi. Nice but not essential. Unlike the fact that proper treatment of toilet sewage isn't considered essential- words fail me.

Undercapacity is a problem produced by privatisation. Apparently the standard coach rake of the Transpennine Leeds-Manchester Piccadilly service back in the 1980's was up to 7 coaches- this when you consider the passenger loadings were rather less then. These trains had buffet space and guard space. But they were loco hauled. Since privatisation all you get now on this so called express is if you're lucky, 2 sets of 3 coach DMUs with no communicating door and no buffet or guard space. Like austerity, it is a choice, not a necessity. Yes, it's a different sort of railway- a nasty rip off railway.

And yes- Cycling UK should have seen issues with trains and cycle carriage coming decades ago. They must have known this, after all, it's common knowledge about the working life cycles of trains, and how long it takes to develop new rolling stock. Privatisation's been around a long time now, so that excuse won't fly. Even under BR this was happening. So why hasn't there been a proper coordinated campaign?

So why the deafening silence? We have a right to know. Someone from HQ, answer this now. Justify your position, or consider your position.

Littgull
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby Littgull » 20 Jun 2018, 4:04am

atoz wrote:Thanks for all the posts. Keep them coming!

For those who think it isn't possible with multiple units. It was in the past, as the first generation of DMU's had guard spaces in one of the coaches. it's actually quite simple to sort this problem out with modern stock- just remove fixed seats, and have folding/retractable ones. In fact you find this on the 2nd gen DMU's such as the class 156- was on one only yesterday- was actually an original design feature. Even Pacers have had some adaptation so bikes can be stored - non slip floor and slots for tyres. It doesn't have to cost. But of course it can mean losing some space. Tough. So is actually catering for disabled users, but the law is quite clear on that one- although the rail companies seem to think the DDA is strictly advisory. It's just greed and government policy that's the problem. There's always enough money for unecessary first class space on DMUs (BR actually abolished this, for very good reason), and other things like wifi. Nice but not essential. Unlike the fact that proper treatment of toilet sewage isn't considered essential- words fail me.

Undercapacity is a problem produced by privatisation. Apparently the standard coach rake of the Transpennine Leeds-Manchester Piccadilly service back in the 1980's was up to 7 coaches- this when you consider the passenger loadings were rather less then. These trains had buffet space and guard space. But they were loco hauled. Since privatisation all you get now on this so called express is if you're lucky, 2 sets of 3 coach DMUs with no communicating door and no buffet or guard space. Like austerity, it is a choice, not a necessity. Yes, it's a different sort of railway- a nasty rip off railway.

And yes- Cycling UK should have seen issues with trains and cycle carriage coming decades ago. They must have known this, after all, it's common knowledge about the working life cycles of trains, and how long it takes to develop new rolling stock. Privatisation's been around a long time now, so that excuse won't fly. Even under BR this was happening. So why hasn't there been a proper coordinated campaign?

So why the deafening silence? We have a right to know. Someone from HQ, answer this now. Justify your position, or consider your position.


That's a very informative post. I'm livid that Cycling UK haven't campaigned effectively for more bike space provision on trains. So much so, that unless they urgently get their act together on this I will not be renewing my membership when it is due in September.

toontra
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby toontra » 20 Jun 2018, 8:31am

Things are going backwards. Yesterday I tried to book tickets and bike reservations on a return trip from London to Scotland in September, which I do every year. It was a case of booking the train tickets and ticking a box to add the bike. This resulted in a single collection code for picking up all the tickets together. Took a couple of minutes all told.

This year it's no longer possible to make bike reservations on the Virgin East Coast (soon to be LNER) site. Instead I had to call someone in India (with the inherent language issues), ask them to check whether there were bike spaces available on specific trains, wait while he MADE ANOTHER CALL TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT to check on that (which took 8 minutes), write down 2 8-digit codes for collecting the 2 separate reservations, and THEN buy the actual tickets, resulting in another collection code.

The whole process took just over 18 minutes. This is an absolute farce. Why the hell has this been allowed to happen? The cynic in me suggests this is just another way of train companies deterring people from bringing bikes on trains.
5 & 6 day solo LEJoGs - http://6-daylejog.blogspot.com/

jgurney
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby jgurney » 20 Jun 2018, 10:13am

Littgull wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Been on the train in Germany several times recently, ...
The lower deck of one double-decker (rake of 7) is a multipurpose area for bikes, prams, wheelchairs, with folding seats. If the train is full people on the (uncomfortable) tip-up seats are understandably unwilling to move

The trains get quite full on Sunday evenings for example. A couple of prams, wheelchairs, big suitcases and there is no room left for bikes

On some routes there are no double-deckers, just glorified buses with space for maybe two bikes.


What you have described regarding bicycle carriage on public transport would be 'paradise' here in the backward UK.


Sound much like the poorer quality UK trains to me - people on tip-up seats in the supposed bike space, supposed bike space full of pushchairs and luggage, two bikes per train ....

jgurney
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby jgurney » 20 Jun 2018, 10:34am

atoz wrote: It doesn't have to cost. But of course it can mean losing some space. Tough.


That is not the best message to give to other pro-rail campaigners who ought to be allies. Telling people sick of having to stand 'You can't have more seats as I want space for my bike. Tough.' will not win many supporters out there. Joining them calling for more overall capacity so cyclists and other users are not competing for the same scarce space is more useful.

There's always enough money for unecessary first class space on DMUs ..., and other things like wifi.


People will pay more for first, so it does get provided. The issue of whether we want better cycle carriage at a price (cycle carriage fees) is one that might be debated. Wifi does not take up any significant space on board.

the standard coach rake of the Transpennine Leeds-Manchester Piccadilly service back in the 1980's was up to 7 coaches- .... But they were loco hauled. Since privatisation all you get now ... is DMUs


Much as I like loco haulage myself, it does have practical drawbacks and the shift to MU's was more due to changes in technology than anything else. Publicly owned railways around the world have also gone over to MU's. Distributed traction is cheaper, more reliable and (very slightly) safer.

So why hasn't there been a proper coordinated campaign? So why the deafening silence?


I think part of the reason is a lack of clarity over what to campaign for:
- more bike space now at the expense of inconvenience to other passengers, or join others in longer-term demands for more capacity?
- demand to keep free bike carriage or call for better facilities with fees charged?
- what sort of space do we want on what trains? In passenger accom or separate? Hanging hooks for stripped bikes or scope for rolling laden tourers straight on complete with panniers, etc?

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horizon
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby horizon » 20 Jun 2018, 11:57am

I spoke to a (reasonably intelligent) GWR train manager yesterday regarding the new intercity trains being introduced in the south west (and this affects people doing LEJOG). He said:

1. As far as he knew each 5 car unit would have two bike spaces (hanging).
2. Each ten car train would be made up of two five car units with therefore 4 bikes spaces in total.
3. These spaces would be reservable but he didn't know whether reservations would be compulsory.
4. He didn't know (and no-one does yet) what sort of train would be doing various routes and times (i.e. whether they would have 2 or 4 spaces).
5. Nine car units would also be introduced but he didn't know (and suggested that no-one does yet) what bike spaces they will have.
6. He said that in his experience, he never had to turn away a cyclist, booked or not and that two spaces was generally OK.
7. He also said that due to the system of (semi-) compulsory reservations, there weren't too many cyclists trying to board. He lost me at this point.
8. Folders would still be allowed.
9. Finally, he said (and this I think is the most important bit) that the bike space provision and interior layout design is stipulated not by the TOC or Hitachi but by the DfT. If this is the case then our voices need to be aimed at the relevant department of the DfT and our local MPs.

I would just reiterate that if GWR do as they seem to be doing, the local service will be good with the old HST bike compartment being used on the route from Exeter to Penzance. However the service from Paddington will I presume be a disaster and LEJOG a distant memory (so much for the record breaking).
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

toontra
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby toontra » 20 Jun 2018, 12:51pm

horizon wrote:2. Each ten car train would be made up of two five car units with therefore 4 bikes spaces in total.


As I understand it, only one compartment (i.e. 2 bike spaces) is for cycles and available to book. The other is for various large objects - prams, large suitcases and.... surfboards have been mentioned by GWR :roll:

That's why they have that ridiculous metal dividing bar - to make the spaces "flexible". It will also knock a large chunk out of a carbon bike frame!
5 & 6 day solo LEJoGs - http://6-daylejog.blogspot.com/

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horizon
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby horizon » 20 Jun 2018, 12:59pm

toontra: we haven't yet got the trains in the south west so no-one seems quite sure, especially as the line won't be electric and it's more likely that we will get five car units. Have you seen/travelled on one of these?
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

toontra
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby toontra » 20 Jun 2018, 1:27pm

horizon wrote:toontra: we haven't yet got the trains in the south west so no-one seems quite sure, especially as the line won't be electric and it's more likely that we will get five car units. Have you seen/travelled on one of these?


Yes, twice from London to Bristol - both times in the 2 x 5 car configuration. It was an unpleasant experience trying to get my bike onto the hanger in the really cramped 2-bike compartment. God knows what would happen if the person with the inside bike gets off before you! It would require removing the outside bike first and finding somewhere to prop it before getting yours out.

Apart from that the carriages in the Hitachi's are really tacky. Much lower headrests on the cheap plastic seats and far too bright ceiling strip lights. They look like budget tram carriages from the 90's.

Also the "smart" seat reservation system wasn't working - and apparently still isn't many months after going into service. The whole episode, including the botched electrification, is a farce that would be funny if it didn't have such serious consequences, financially and practically.
5 & 6 day solo LEJoGs - http://6-daylejog.blogspot.com/

brynpoeth
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Jun 2018, 8:14pm

Two modern curses
Air-conditioning and artificial light
Another: open-plan only carriages

Do the trains still have to drop their pantographs and coast through Steventon?
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

atoz
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby atoz » 22 Jun 2018, 11:47pm

jgurney wrote:
atoz wrote: It doesn't have to cost. But of course it can mean losing some space. Tough.


That is not the best message to give to other pro-rail campaigners who ought to be allies. Telling people sick of having to stand 'You can't have more seats as I want space for my bike. Tough.' will not win many supporters out there. Joining them calling for more overall capacity so cyclists and other users are not competing for the same scarce space is more useful.

There's always enough money for unecessary first class space on DMUs ..., and other things like wifi.


People will pay more for first, so it does get provided. The issue of whether we want better cycle carriage at a price (cycle carriage fees) is one that might be debated. Wifi does not take up any significant space on board.

the standard coach rake of the Transpennine Leeds-Manchester Piccadilly service back in the 1980's was up to 7 coaches- .... But they were loco hauled. Since privatisation all you get now ... is DMUs


Much as I like loco haulage myself, it does have practical drawbacks and the shift to MU's was more due to changes in technology than anything else. Publicly owned railways around the world have also gone over to MU's. Distributed traction is cheaper, more reliable and (very slightly) safer.

So why hasn't there been a proper coordinated campaign? So why the deafening silence?


I think part of the reason is a lack of clarity over what to campaign for:
- more bike space now at the expense of inconvenience to other passengers, or join others in longer-term demands for more capacity?
- demand to keep free bike carriage or call for better facilities with fees charged?
- what sort of space do we want on what trains? In passenger accom or separate? Hanging hooks for stripped bikes or scope for rolling laden tourers straight on complete with panniers, etc?


There's a lot to respond to here:

The first point made is a bit of an Aunt Sally. As the real issue is undercapacity there is plenty of common ground actually. I don't see why it is necessaary to choose between seats and bike spaces. We need both! I was trying to make the point that it's like austerity- a false choice.

The point about unecessary 1st class is that you can't justify it on heavily laden DMU services which masquerade as expresses. First tried this tactic before with older type class 158 Sprinters and it was a failure - the "premium"- people didn't want to pay extra for red seats and a bit of curtaining. And it really annoyed others who had to unecessarily stand. Under BR these trains didn't have first class, and later with Northern the first class partition area disappeared. The point about wifi was actually the cost of retrofitting rolling stock to make it possible. I wonder how the cost of doing that compares with a few folding back seats so a few bikes could be accommodated.

What type of space do we want? Exactly- we need to decide, and campaign Cycling Uk seems not to want to do neither. When GWR introduced the new Hitachis from Paddington, apparently only Sustrans were involved in the "consultation" on bike space design- not Cycling UK, and apparently disabled organisations involved with cyclists were not consulted either. For example hanging hooks are a problem if you've an issue with your shoulders, as I know well.

The shift to mulitple units is nothing to do with technological developments. It is more convenient to run trains this way as it is easier to reverse with 2 cab ends. Diesel locos can be adapted for push pull working but this costs. Also multiple units are lighter than the heavier type diesels, and BR scrapped the lighter class 31s, 25/26 etc with Mk1 stock that had simllar lighter loadings. BR even scrapped the highly reliable classs 47s which could have been used for longer. DMU's are not as comfortable as loco hauled. They can be really noisy- anyone travelled on Voyagers recently? But more importantly they have limited capacity. Loco hauled can be as long as you like within reason as long as there is enough motive power to pull it. And with the amount of people now using trains, the more coaches, the better. I remember from my childhood being on a schools chartered train taking a lot of different secondary school pupils to the Pompeii exhibition in London in the 1970s- a truly huge long train, it went through every goods line and colliery siding on it's leisurely way to London.

There is no real difference in safety between modern DMUs and modern coaches since they share the same design, derived originally from the MK3 coach still with us on the 40 year plus HST's. The older DMUs are a lot less safe, fortunately they're not capable of 125mph running.

As for why there hasn't been a campaign. I suspect it's politics that is the problem. The issue is at least in part the rules that are set by the Department of Transport which underpin how the rail companies operate. Cycling UK don't want to campaign about this effectively IMHO as that would ruffle the feathers of Tory MPs. As the CTC they have always been reticent about open criticism of governemt policy. Again, it's a bit too reminiscent of the NCU. It may, in the words of an old advert, be "good to talk", but sometime soon Cycling UK needs to kick ass. Ask yourself how effective Cycling UK is on this issue as compared with other campaigning organisations such as Stonewall. it's not even getting close to hitting the dartboard, let alone hitting double top.

I wonder if anyone at York Rally is impressed with Cycling Uk's lack of action- esp as Cycling UK were quite happy to "let it go"...

brynpoeth
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Jun 2018, 7:49am

Trains can often not easily be lengthened, often the platforms or the passing loops limit the length

At Colwyn Bay station there is a sign for drivers: "are you stopping at Abergele?"
Can anyone explain? :?
Diolch
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome