bike on train

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peter236uk
Posts: 543
Joined: 14 Feb 2007, 1:44pm

bike on train

Postby peter236uk » 7 Sep 2010, 10:06am

HI not sure if anyone can help with this, I am away on Business next week and travelling to Leeds and Manchester next Tuesday and Wednesday, I am trvelling from Biggleswade down south.
It pretty straighforward journey but would like to take my bike its not a folder , I guess couple of things would I be able to and do I have to book the bike in !

Thanks

gbnz
Posts: 1662
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: bike on train

Postby gbnz » 7 Sep 2010, 11:10am

I assume you'll be using East Coast, Transpennine and/or possibly Hull Trains, Northern Rail. All take bikes, East Coast being best with a designated parcel / bicycle carriage (They're running HST 125's, 225's). All but Northern have tended to require reservations being made, East Coasts website being the best to use (And allowing tickets to be booked on other franchise train operators).

That said, I'd check the websites of the first three operators. It's quite routine for train operators (Who don't want cyclists using their trains), to change terms & conditions every other month (Arriva Cross Country have been the worst in my experience, the t & c's having changed (Or the local interpretation of t & c's) frequently during the past two years.

Without a doubt, the most valuable asset, is the ability to sweet talk station staff and when they cause difficulties, advising them to ....... ....... (Persistence is vital and to date, has never failed me).

geocycle
Posts: 1759
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: bike on train

Postby geocycle » 7 Sep 2010, 11:16am

Yes but but you usually need to make a reservation for your bike when you buy your tickets. This usually works OK unless your plans change or you miss a connection. You are then at the mercy of the guard. Note that different operators have different procedures for reservations. Leeds to Manchester is usually transpennine express. Here are their rules:

'Most of our trains have a dedicated area for carrying two bicycles. These are carried free of charge and space can be booked in advance by calling our reservations team on 0845 600 1674. They can confirm how many spaces are available. If you are unsure when you will be travelling, you can take your bike with you without booking in advance, but space will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. For more information visit our Cycle Policy or download a copy of our cycle policy'

vernon
Posts: 1584
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 6:03pm
Location: Meanwood, Leeds

Re: bike on train

Postby vernon » 8 Sep 2010, 2:24am

I have found the East Coast trains web site invaluable for booking journeys when I want to take my bike on the trains. The web site indicates when a reservation isn't possible for the bike and usually this is because the train operating company on one particular stretch of track doesn't operate a reservation service. For instance, it wasn't possible to reserve a bike space on the London-Portsmouth trains when I travelled to Portsmouth from Leeds because South West Trains operate a first come first served policy on that particular line.

peter236uk
Posts: 543
Joined: 14 Feb 2007, 1:44pm

Re: bike on train

Postby peter236uk » 8 Sep 2010, 5:39am

I think to be honest I am going to use a car, i know its not very green but to be honest as I cant guarantee a decent seat and somewhere to store my cycle, I cant be bothered with the hassle on such a long journey.
I will still take my bike in the car and to be honest it works out cheaper although I do not pay, its a pretty poor state of our rail service and the hassle people face.

gbnz
Posts: 1662
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: bike on train

Postby gbnz » 8 Sep 2010, 8:27am

What hassle did you experience?

peter236uk
Posts: 543
Joined: 14 Feb 2007, 1:44pm

Re: bike on train

Postby peter236uk » 8 Sep 2010, 9:53am

None yet but as I have to travel first to Leeds from Bedfordshire with a change at Peterborough, then the following day across to Manchester and change to a local train.
I do not have a folder so the bike would either have to go in special area or in coach with me and that can be hassle, I do not fancy haiving to stand with my bike for 2.5 hours.
I would have to put some decent clothes in my panniers which is not a problem plus have bag with laptop etc , so all in all a car is simpler door to door although I will take a bike with me perhapds get a spin in.

vernon
Posts: 1584
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 6:03pm
Location: Meanwood, Leeds

Re: bike on train

Postby vernon » 12 Sep 2010, 9:03am

I think that most of the hassle is imaginary. I've found booking takes online takes a couple of minutes. I've not yet had a problem getting my bike on to a train in six years' worth of rail travel.