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

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

Postby horizon » 26 Jun 2018, 3:47pm

My own recent experience of trains (and I use about eight different trains a week) is one of occasional disasters (complete cancellations, late running etc) mixed in with what is quite an extraordinary service. Mostly the trains are empty (I travel off-peak where possible), they are fast, convenient, in Cornwall very cheap and have, most of the time, bike spaces. I simply wouldn't take the car when I can relax, read, sleep and snack. My anger is due to the TOCs wanting to deprive me of this: my convenience is also environmentally friendly and socially good - it's an arrangement made in heaven. Add in that it will keep me off the NHS a bit longer and the blinkered shortsightedness of the TOCs is breathtaking.

So, IMV, train travel (especially with a bike) isn't all bad and it's nearly quite amazing.
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.

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

Postby Vorpal » 26 Jun 2018, 6:45pm

thirdcrank wrote: I don't see enabling the automatic right to turn up for a train with a bike as feasible.

It doesn't work that way in bike-on-train friendliest countries, and I wouldn't necessarily ever expect it to work that way. In Denmark, bikes can generally go on trains. Booking is theoretically required on regional & intercity trains, but this is only enforced when they are very busy. There are a few busy commuter routes on which only folding bikes are allowed at peak times.

Norway is similar, although there additional popular routes where booking is required. In both countries, people have to pay to take their bikes.

I think that the important point which is missed in the UK, is one of *integrated* transport.
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Jun 2018, 7:03pm

Integrated transport. (In best Maurice Chevalier accent) Ah yes, I reemembair eet well!

An aspiration - and nothing more - of the New Labour govt., in 1997, delegated to the Secretary of State for Everything that Blair Wasn't Interested In: I give you Two Jags.

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

Postby horizon » 26 Jun 2018, 8:17pm

thirdcrank wrote: I don't see enabling the automatic right to turn up for a train with a bike as feasible.


But a practical expectation is very feasible and currently almost provided: even at two spaces per train it works and that isn't a lot to ask. Strip out peak services into cities and some holiday trains and the rest of the time a very modest provision is all it takes. I do complicated journeys across southern England: on train after train after train I find a space. The sad thing is that it would take so little extra to make it work really well - that is why I so strongly object to pwa's view that seats come first. It isn't rocket science (if you get the joke :D ).
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Jun 2018, 8:27pm

We aren't talking about the bits of the network/ off-peak times when there's no problem, simply because there's no problem there/then.

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

Postby pwa » 26 Jun 2018, 8:30pm

horizon wrote:
thirdcrank wrote: I don't see enabling the automatic right to turn up for a train with a bike as feasible.


But a practical expectation is very feasible and currently almost provided: even at two spaces per train it works and that isn't a lot to ask. Strip out peak services into cities and some holiday trains and the rest of the time a very modest provision is all it takes. I do complicated journeys across southern England: on train after train after train I find a space. The sad thing is that it would take so little extra to make it work really well - that is why I so strongly object to pwa's view that seats come first. It isn't rocket science (if you get the joke :D ).


The seats issue has to be solved by a combination of longer trains and longer platforms. On the ram packed trains I've endured the presence or absence of a couple of bikes would have made little or no difference, so I'm not blaming bikes, or wheelchairs or whatever for the problem. But for me, with other transport options, paying for standing up is something I will not do. So the question of whether I can take a bike is an academic point I never get to.

Think how different things might be if standing entitled you to a complete, on the spot refund. I'm sure matters would be resolved pretty quickly if that happened.

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

Postby horizon » 26 Jun 2018, 9:29pm

pwa wrote: So the question of whether I can take a bike is an academic point I never get to.



Well, this is a thread about taking a bike on a train. It's the other way round for me: if I can't take a bike then I don't go by train. I haven't bothered too much about the problem of overcrowding on trains. As the roads have become congested then train travel was bound to come back. The way the airline industry deals with it (and coaches for that matter) is to book seats. I'm just wondering (a) if that will happen with trains and (b) why it hasn't already.

PS You've answered my point about your views on bikes - I appreciate that.
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.

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

Postby pwa » 26 Jun 2018, 9:40pm

horizon wrote:
pwa wrote: So the question of whether I can take a bike is an academic point I never get to.



Well, this is a thread about taking a bike on a train. It's the other way round for me: if I can't take a bike then I don't go by train. I haven't bothered too much about the problem of overcrowding on trains. As the roads have become congested then train travel was bound to come back. The way the airline industry deals with it (and coaches for that matter) is to book seats. I'm just wondering (a) if that will happen with trains and (b) why it hasn't already.

PS You've answered my point about your views on bikes - I appreciate that.


It all boils down to trains not having enough space for what they are expected to carry. They haven't just "come back", they are carrying more people than ever before, and the number of seats, together with room for other stuff, hasn't kept pace. The poxy companies that run them are getting away with treating people worse than they would be allowed to treat cattle.

If people had to book a seat for each journey the carriers would lose a large part of their business, which would make them wake up and do something about the problem.

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

Postby atoz » 26 Jun 2018, 11:23pm

brynpoeth wrote: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


Platforms in my area were shortened by BR to save money. Some stations are now having to lengthen them again..

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

Postby Vorpal » 26 Jun 2018, 11:28pm

Part of the problem is a disconnect between infrastructure and train operators. There is, in some areas, a clear need for additional capacity, but that isn't always feasible without platform additions, new bypass tracks, or laying a second set of tracks, where there are at-capacity single tracks.

It would do the economy, the rail service, and congestion on the roads, a great deal of good to have additional infrastructure projects, but Network Rail have to make up for 20 years of neglect.
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby atoz » 26 Jun 2018, 11:29pm

Littgull wrote:Additionally, if I was a daily work commuter using Transpennine Express to commute to work with my bike and suddenly found myself unable to take my bike on the train due to their new restrictive bike spaces policy, I would demand a part refund of my season ticket to fund a Brompton (that doesn't require a reservation).


Problem is, Bromptons are not that practical if you live at the top of a hill village where 2 of the 3 roads that service the village have a 1 in 6 gradient. And there's the cost of a decent folder, esp one with plenty of gears. An acceptable road or hybrid bike that will take panniers is a lot cheaper. So that's double discrimination- not enough room for an all round bike on trains, and being forced to have a folder that costs more money.

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

Postby atoz » 26 Jun 2018, 11:44pm

jgurney wrote:
atoz wrote:The shift to mulitple units is nothing to do with technological developments.


At risk of going off topic, it had a lot to do with technology. Distributed traction requires effective remote control of multiple engines and requires several small engines or motors to be affordable compared with one large one. Before those requirements were met, locomotive haulage was the only practical and affordable option.

It is more convenient to run trains this way .... Also multiple units are lighter than the heavier type diesels


Quite - which is why now it is practical it is being done.

There is no real difference in safety between modern DMUs and modern coaches


Outside my field but I gather there a a slight advantage for MU's in that their weight and therefore track adhesion and braking effort is more evenly distributed: in a loco-hauled rake making an emergency stop, due to the loco weighing more than the train, there is a slightly higher risk of carriages skidding and failing to decelerate as fast as the loco, then concertinaing behind it. To link back to cycling, it is a bit like the hazards of braking sharply while towing an unladen trailer.


Actually the point I was really making was about capacity. Most multiple units just aren't long enough. As for braking peformance- HST's are in practice loco hauled at both ends, and have no difficulty stopping from 125mph- due to disc brakes and the power cars being quite light at 70 tons. Most MU's don't run at that speed, even now. And there is the question of noise and comfort. Unless you're lucky and the soundproofing is OK, the racket can be amazing. Multiple units are a cheap option, but don't address capacity issues- try standing on a class 185 as it goes over points at speed if you think standing's OK- it's not a good experience.

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

Postby jgurney » 27 Jun 2018, 1:00am

pwa wrote:If people had to book a seat for each journey ......


Some countries do have reservation-only trains, e.g. France has some. They do pose some problems:

- they mainly make good sense on purely long-distance services, but even then there will be some passengers who are wiling to stand rather than get a later train, and the operators have no commercial incentive to turn away people willing to pay to do that. If all the seats are booked up days in advance it can make travelling due to unforeseen emergencies very difficult.

- reservation-only makes no sense on short and frequent routes. If you are going shopping in town, having to book a train for an exact time for the 10-minute trip, when they run every 15 mins, rather than go when you feel like it, is far too restrictive.

- there are a lot of trains in Britain which mix the two functions. E.g. the Scarborough - Liverpool and London Waterloo - Exeter St Davids trains carry both long-distance users and those making short hops like Malton to York or Yeovil to Sherbourne. This makes reservation-only operation impractical.

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

Postby mjr » 27 Jun 2018, 1:28pm

atoz wrote:
brynpoeth wrote: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


Platforms in my area were shortened by BR to save money. Some stations are now having to lengthen them again..

Many platforms in my area have been lengthened and the few that aren't/can't should be usable with Selective Door Opening. However, in a huge shameful failure of planning/coordination between the DfT and the battling business units that make up today's railway, there aren't enough trains to use them (possibly not enough power in the overhead lines either), so 8-car platforms mostly have 4-car trains using them and 12-car platforms are mostly used by 4s and 8s. Many of the scheduled 12-car trains from Cambridge's new 12-car platforms (7&8) towards London seem to be cancelled as part of the "RailPlan 2020" fiasco (formerly known as Thameslink 2000 until some joker dubbed it Thameslink 3000...) and so we have 12-car platforms often used for the 3-car Birmingham-Stansted services because of the track layout.

I agree with Vorpal that there is a disconnect between infrastructure and train operators. Like bikes on trains, this seems like it should be easier than they're making it...
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby atoz » 1 Jul 2018, 2:53pm

I notice that Thurs-Fri there was the Cycle City Active Manchester conference. You would have thought that there might have been something on the programme on the subject of cycles and trains- but no. Nothing on the programme- see http://landor.co.uk/cyclecitymanchester/programme.php.

No-one, I mean no-one, wants to touch this, do they? It really is a hot potato. Precisely the reason to have a campaign about it. It's almost that taking your bike on the train is the type of cycling that dare not speak it's name. Is there a clause 28 against it? You know the sort of thing...a pretended cycling-train relationship?

Words fail me. This is Manchester we're talking about. I mean, the city that has had huge problems due to the meltdown of rail services recently thanks to Northern Rail not coping. To be fair, the programme would have benn drawn up a long time ago- but not to have anything about cycles and trains?

Meanwhile- I spotted a couple of interesting items on Youtube. One was an ITV report on accessibility and trains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWgv9wK7764

Also something similar from the Papworth Trust

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKt5zk-bl6w&list=PLOShHMRT8MYCVYBuvz8DMpZJSf20U63B

Also Disability Uk's campaign against driver only operation

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2018/april/disability-rights-uk-opposes-driver-only-operation-trains

All of these are relevant to our concerns, and one would have thought Cycling UK would take these on board.

Note that Transpennine have railed back on their de facto ban on accesssible travel - see https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2018/june/transpennine-express-climbs-down-over-inaccessible-trains - mentions "organisations"- hopefully that included Cycling UK. If so, why the secrecy?

Additionally I notice this subject didn't feature in the 2018 Cycling UK AGM

That sums up the case for the prosecution..