German wants to reserve bikespace

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Confusedbycycling
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Apr 2019, 7:52pm

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Confusedbycycling » 17 Apr 2019, 2:28pm

mjr wrote:Book journeys online through London-South Wales operator http://www.GWR.com because they reserve bikes online.


I have tried this. But this site refuse to make a reservation for theGreater Anglia part of the journey

[/quote="mjr"]
Every train from Norwich to London Liverpool St is an intercity service, but those don't visit Harwich - you change at Manningtree onto those. There are also a few direct Harwich-London services leaving after the ferry arrives and not requiring reservations.
[/quote]

On the one hand Greater Anglia told me:
„ If you travel on a direct train service from Harwich International to London Liverpool Street, this service would be non reservable so no cycle reservation would be need. „


On the other hand:
<https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/cycling/bikes-on-trains> gives the information:
„Restrictions of non-folding bikes on peak services
For the comfort and safety of all passengers, only folded cycles can be accommodated during busy times. This applies to the following Stratford and London Liverpool Street station services.
These restrictions apply Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays:
AM – any trains arriving at Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 07:45 and 09:45*
PM – any trains departing from Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 16:30 and 18:30*!“


JohnW wrote:I really hope you enjoy your tour here - please let us know your experiences.


I have cycled 2006/2007 the Northseacycle Route from Harwich up to the Orkneys. The car drivers were okay. I remember I was a kind of sensation for the people.

2014 I cycled from Harwich along the southcoast to Cornwall, than to Bath, Reading. Than I drive round the northern part of Greater London back to Harwich. It was a hot summer during the holiday. I had three weeks no rain. But it was horrible. Way back to Germany I felt more comfortable in the city of Rotterdam than in the English country side.

2017 I cycled again in Scotland. Car drivers were ruder than 2006/7. For example passingplaces. 2006/7 mainly all car drivers give me the time to reach the passing place or the waited for me using the passing place and give way. 2017 the most car drivers did not wait, to enable a safe passing for both parties. They passed me in the narrow part of the street.

On the one hand it seems to me the farther away from London, the better the car drivers behave. On the other hand in spite cycling is getting more popular, the car driver treat the cyclist more badly. In Germany it is the other way round.

2006/7 there were no SUVs in Britain. 2014 I met them all one single track minor roads. They are to quick and need to much space, so passing is always a little bit stressful. Do I damage the car or damage the car me?

But in 2006 the Times claimed cyclist have to cycle left so near to the kerb as possible. 2017 the TImes claimed the same rules like in Germany. Cyclist need a space from 1meter to the kerb. And car drivers have to pass the cyclist with a saftey distance of 1,5meters.

In Germany I made many rides avoiding intentionally the cycle network and I am safe. In the UK I would recommend using the cycle network. It is safer. But some things seems to me to be crazy and dangerous using the NCN. The very narrow pathes along the channels. (Bath Reading) Or the gates on NCN-routes, where it is necessary someone lift the bike over the gate, because the gate should hinder motorcyclist to use the NCN-route.

But from a German point of view, it looks like you have not enough space on your streets. My impression is, the British have always one lane less than they need.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1791
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Oldjohnw » 17 Apr 2019, 2:58pm

horizon wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Yesterday I tried GWR to travel from Berwick to Newcastle. Each time I tried to add my bike it told me 'none available'. There are over 20 trains each way and it seems I have to try each train, one at a time, until I get a positive.



So did you try all 20*, as a matter of interest? It can be that all trains are booked (e.g. first week of holidays London to Cornwall) but it is possible that the computer is wrong. If you do get a booking on a train you had already tried or find that no booking was possible for some reason, can you report back?



* BTW It isn't brilliant that that is what you have to do (but the train companies do have profits to make you know, they are not there to serve customers) but it doesn't often happen IME.


I gave up after about 5 trains as I had to go out.
John

Cycling and recycling

JohnW
Posts: 6224
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 17 Apr 2019, 5:53pm

gbnz wrote:..............Only problem being that even in 1847, the train company tried to deter passengers (Nb. Never mind cyclists). They built the towns station four miles out of town :wink:

I expect they wanted it near the railway. :wink: :wink:

thelawnet
Posts: 2198
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby thelawnet » 17 Apr 2019, 7:52pm

I thought this was going to involve sunbeds and towels. :lol:

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 17 Apr 2019, 9:42pm

Confusedbycycling wrote:On the other hand:
<https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/cycling/bikes-on-trains> gives the information:
„Restrictions of non-folding bikes on peak services
For the comfort and safety of all passengers, only folded cycles can be accommodated during busy times. This applies to the following Stratford and London Liverpool Street station services.
These restrictions apply Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays:
AM – any trains arriving at Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 07:45 and 09:45*
PM – any trains departing from Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 16:30 and 18:30*!“


Grr, they've retimed things and broken the boat trains for bikes! :(

I think what you could do is buy a ticket without reserved bike on that part of the journey (as long as it still reserves a suitable GWR service) then use these trains to London:
0828 Harwich International to Manningtree (doesn't go to London so bikes allowed) arrives 0850, ignore the Intercity and catch the commuter-style train at 0908 arriving London Liverpool Street 1010. It's only 10 minutes after the Intercity.

But from a German point of view, it looks like you have not enough space on your streets. My impression is, the British have always one lane less than they need.

I think it is more accurate to say British motorists always want one more lane than they've got! Our streets are plenty wide enough, if only we'd restrict motoring a bit!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

JohnW
Posts: 6224
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 17 Apr 2019, 10:40pm

mjr wrote:......................if only we'd restrict motoring a bit!

If only :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:.............a lot would be better!

Confusedbycycling
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Apr 2019, 7:52pm

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Confusedbycycling » 18 Apr 2019, 9:15am

mjr wrote:
Confusedbycycling wrote:On the other hand:
<https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/cycling/bikes-on-trains> gives the information:
„Restrictions of non-folding bikes on peak services
For the comfort and safety of all passengers, only folded cycles can be accommodated during busy times. This applies to the following Stratford and London Liverpool Street station services.
These restrictions apply Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays:
AM – any trains arriving at Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 07:45 and 09:45*
PM – any trains departing from Stratford or London Liverpool Street between 16:30 and 18:30*!“


Grr, they've retimed things and broken the boat trains for bikes! :(

I think what you could do is buy a ticket without reserved bike on that part of the journey (as long as it still reserves a suitable GWR service) then use these trains to London:
0828 Harwich International to Manningtree (doesn't go to London so bikes allowed) arrives 0850, ignore the Intercity and catch the commuter-style train at 0908 arriving London Liverpool Street 1010. It's only 10 minutes after the Intercity.


Thank you for your reply and help. I think this is very helpful for me.

After reading some threads here, I have some more questions. In Germany you can always go from the bikespace to your seat without leaving the coach. I had the impression, it could happen, that I have to leave in the UK the coach, run along the platform and entering the train again to reach my seat. Are I am right?

If yes, how can I figure out, which kind of bikespace a train have? It is important because of all the cycle bags I am carrying around.

Bike reservation again. I found this article on the net:

https://saveecrewards.co.uk/cycling/bik ... ion-online

I understood, if I am using the online systems of the in the article mentioned railway companies, I can reserve a bike space also for a railway company online, which offers only possibility of bike reservation by calling the company. Is this right? I am a little bit afraid, that I am lost in translation, because this seems not very logical to me.

User avatar
LinusR
Posts: 293
Joined: 24 May 2017, 7:27pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby LinusR » 18 Apr 2019, 9:36am

Confusedbycycling wrote:After reading some threads here, I have some more questions. In Germany you can always go from the bikespace to your seat without leaving the coach. I had the impression, it could happen, that I have to leave in the UK the coach, run along the platform and entering the train again to reach my seat. Are I am right?

If yes, how can I figure out, which kind of bikespace a train have? It is important because of all the cycle bags I am carrying around.



It's nearly impossible to tell. Different railway lines have different trains and also each line can have different trains on, too. With some you have a bike compartment that you have to leave and re-enter the train to get a seat, while others you can sit next to your bike. My advice: be prepared to be running around as the bike space might be at the opposite end of the platform depending on which train arrives.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 9:50am

Confusedbycycling wrote:After reading some threads here, I have some more questions. In Germany you can always go from the bikespace to your seat without leaving the coach. I had the impression, it could happen, that I have to leave in the UK the coach, run along the platform and entering the train again to reach my seat. Are I am right?

It could happen. UK locomotive-hauled trains mostly have the bike space in the old luggage compartment at one end of the train, marked with a bicycle symbol. Some are long, but platform staff usually know where it will be, so ask. More recent "multiple units" (fixed formations with motors underneath multiple cars) have bike spaces in the passenger areas, near some doors, which hopefully are marked with a bicycle symbol - but not always! :evil:

Confusedbycycling wrote:If yes, how can I figure out, which kind of bikespace a train have? It is important because of all the cycle bags I am carrying around.

Generally, the same trains do the same routes the same days each week, so looking them up on Wikipedia usually works. For your journey, Harwich trains and commuter-style trains take bikes in the passenger areas and Norwich-London intercities currently have luggage compartments (picture here) but I think from the mid-May timetable changeover, they'll start to be replaced by new Swiss multiple units (called Flirts) which have bikes in the passenger areas next to the doors with the green stripe and bike symbol (seen about 1min into this video). The Paddington-Newport will probably be a Class 800, there the bike hangs up, as cyclebath show and hate.

More precisely, once bike reservations are open, searching on http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk, then clicking the train you intend, then "more detail" shows the intended train type under "Operational details" - either loco or EMU and often the EMU type (but sometimes they show a similar-speed one - my line is still shown as class 365 but now uses class 387 but they're similar in terms of bike spaces: mostly just have to trap them in the right-hand doorways and keep an eye out for the train calling at a platform that side) - but things can change last minute if a train breaks or something. As a poet once wrote, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang oft a-gley" ;)

LinusR wrote:It's nearly impossible to tell.

Really? Name a service and someone probably knows. If you ask nicely, someone may even have photos!

LinusR wrote:My advice: be prepared to be running around as the bike space might be at the opposite end of the platform depending on which train arrives.

My tactic, if there's no platform staff or they don't know: have the bags on me already if possible or on the bike but ready to lift off quick if not, stand about a bike length back from the yellow line or paving edge, about a third of the way between the two outermost stop boards (often black squares with a S or number on) but nearer the direction the train will come from, then as it arrives, watch for a bike symbol heading past and if it doesn't then walk towards the back of the train.

Confusedbycycling wrote:Bike reservation again. I found this article on the net:

https://saveecrewards.co.uk/cycling/bik ... ion-online

I understood, if I am using the online systems of the in the article mentioned railway companies, I can reserve a bike space also for a railway company online, which offers only possibility of bike reservation by calling the company. Is this right? I am a little bit afraid, that I am lost in translation, because this seems not very logical to me.

It's not logical but it is correct: you can book bikes online when buying from another railway company's website, even if you're booking a journey on a railway company that only allows you to book bikes by phoning up! However, that page was written in 2017 and I'm told C2C's website no longer books bikes.
Last edited by mjr on 18 Apr 2019, 12:25pm, edited 2 times in total.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

JohnW
Posts: 6224
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 18 Apr 2019, 10:56am

You will have concluded, from all replies above, that bikes-by-train in England (I don't know about Scotland - it's years since I took my bike on the train in Scotland) is not popular with most train operating companies. The whole of rail travel in this country can be difficult and complicated but my conclusion is that most of the operating companies would really like to put a complete ban on bikes-on-trains. My conclusion is that operators' attitude is that one bike space could be filled by two human passengers, and therefore generate more revenue (i.e. money for shareholders).

One company in our area seem to be very tolerant and on the few occasions that I've used Northern locally I've had no problem and my bike has come with me - but that's only for about 10 miles to avoid a length of dangerous road, and at quiet times on a local service. Our other local company have provided quite good and fairly secure bike storage on some manned stations, probably aimed at commuters who have regular habits.

Many years ago I travelled with my bike extensively within and to and from Scotland, and there was always plenty of room and on-train staff always good humoured. But then we got the Thatcher government who privatised the system, and the traveller seems to me to be at best second on the list of priorities. I have to say to our German friend that it's just not easy, and I envy cycling colleagues who report tales of wonderful in Germany. I really hope that you enjoy whatever you'll be doing in Britain and that all goes well for you. As for me, I don't even think about bikes-by-train anymore.

Perhaps you could persuade DB to take over all our railways!

just as a P.S. - from Liverpool Street Station to Paddington Station in London - I'd walk it, wheeling my bike - it's not very far. Street maps of London are readily available. It's not too far, and riding on busy London's roads, if you're not fully familiar with the city and route, can be very difficult. If you do that, and watch the antics of London cyclists you'll be amazed at the behaviour of some of them.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1791
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Oldjohnw » 18 Apr 2019, 11:07am

JohnW wrote:You will have concluded, from all replies above, that bikes-by-train in England (I don't know about Scotland - it's years since I took my bike on the train in Scotland) is not popular with most train operating companies. The whole of rail travel in this country can be difficult and complicated but my conclusion is that most of the operating companies would really like to put a complete ban on bikes-on-trains. My conclusion is that operators' attitude is that one bike space could be filled by two human passengers, and therefore generate more revenue (i.e. money for shareholders).

One company in our area seem to be very tolerant and on the few occasions that I've used Northern locally I've had no problem and my bike has come with me - but that's only for about 10 miles to avoid a length of dangerous road, and at quiet times on a local service. Our other local company have provided quite good and fairly secure bike storage on some manned stations, probably aimed at commuters who have regular habits.

Many years ago I travelled with my bike extensively within and to and from Scotland, and there was always plenty of room and on-train staff always good humoured. But then we got the Thatcher government who privatised the system, and the traveller seems to me to be at best second on the list of priorities. I have to say to our German friend that it's just not easy, and I envy cycling colleagues who report tales of wonderful provision in Europe, including Germany. I really hope that you enjoy whatever you'll be doing in Britain and that all goes well for you. As for me, I don't even think about bikes-by-train anymore.

Perhaps you could persuade DB to take over all our railways!

just as a P.S. - from Liverpool Street Station to Paddington Station in London - I'd walk it, wheeling my bike - it's not very far. Street maps of London are readily available. It's not too far, and riding on busy London's roads, if you're not fully familiar with the city and route, can be very difficult. If you do that, and watch the antics of London cyclists you'll be amazed at the behaviour of some of them.


Travelling within Scotland, apart from some routes at some times, is reasonably easy and generally welcomed. Scotrail even offer a bike breakdown facility if you use trains. Getting there is something else.
John

Cycling and recycling

Brucey
Posts: 35529
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Brucey » 18 Apr 2019, 11:46am

call me simple-minded if you like, but just booking a train ticket (without getting completely ripped off) is nightmare enough for me, and by itself is a major deterrent to using trains of any kind. God forbid you should turn up at a station intending to travel that day; I can only compare the experience with being wilfully robbed.

Add on a layer of 'carrying bike' and it is no surprise that folk would prefer to do almost anything to avoid catching a train anywhere. I'd strongly suggest that anyone looking into train travel also investigate coach travel; it seems mad to have stinky buses cluttering up the roads when there is a train but if it is easier/cheaper (and it is usually both IME) then it makes some kind of sense....

The problems with bikes on trains in the UK rail industry stem from there being too many (mostly idiotic) operating companies which each have their own 'rules' which are nigh-on impossible to find out about (*), vary with the rolling stock/staff/timing on particular routes anyway and in any event don't make total sense at any level.

My solution to the whole 'bike plus train = big problem" is to use a folding bike. I have a bike (with big wheels so it rides more normally) for this exact purpose. So far (not many journeys admittedly mainly because of the first problem) it has worked for me. Another method is to use the 'rinko' style technique to make a non-folding bike a small enough package that (once wrapped perhaps) it qualifies as mere 'luggage'; this works too but if you have to travel between stations you no longer have something that rolls or can be quickly unfolded; it has to be carried.

(*) I once spent some time trying to find out from the individual companies what the stipulated sizes for 'folding bikes' actually were. After half a day wasted I gave up. I later found that someone else had recently (and God knows how) found the correct information, and that it didn't seem to matter anyway; the rules on folded size are usually ignored, except when the train is busy, in which case you and your bike may be the first things ejected from the train regardless of it being the correct size or not..... :roll:

I used to travel by train a lot in the pre-privatised era. The trains then were often old, knackered, and not especially clean. Well, we have had our 'experiment' with privatisation and IMHO it has been a failure; in many areas the rolling stock is still old and knackered but it is fundamentally less suitable for the task in hand because in many cases it was never designed for that kind of service. I don't think any measurable aspect of the operation of the rail network has improved greatly as a result of privatisation. All that has happened is that even morepublic money is being spent and less of it is actually going into things that make the railway network operate; arguably (like our water and electricity industries) in many cases profits made in the UK are going to subsidise the (effectively nationalised) industries in other EU countries.....crazy....

Would I wind the clock back to the old knackered dirty trains? In a heartbeat. At least then, you could buy a ticket without jumping through stupid hoops or getting completely ripped off, and taking a bike was usually not difficult. I sincerely hope that a forthcoming government uses the human killer on our 'privatised railways' experiment.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Confusedbycycling
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Apr 2019, 7:52pm

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Confusedbycycling » 18 Apr 2019, 12:26pm

JohnW wrote:Perhaps you could persuade DB to take over all our railways!

British people in Germany praise DB and do not understand, why nearly every German is swearing about DB. They always say, you should be pleased about your railway system, you do not know the British one. I am a little bit frighten using trains in the UK. :wink:

mjr wrote:A lot of very, very helpful things

Thank you a lot. You have been a great help.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 12:57pm

JohnW wrote:Perhaps you could persuade DB to take over all our railways!

Please, no! The DB-owned company I use most is CrossCountry and they are very poor for bikes (2 bikes per train, reservations required). I've also used Chiltern, who seem no better or worse than most London commuter-style operators (no formal limit but bikes stuffed near doorways). I'm glad if Northern are better, but DB's UK train companies are all over the show.

JohnW wrote:just as a P.S. - from Liverpool Street Station to Paddington Station in London - I'd walk it, wheeling my bike - it's not very far. Street maps of London are readily available. It's not too far, and riding on busy London's roads, if you're not fully familiar with the city and route, can be very difficult. If you do that, and watch the antics of London cyclists you'll be amazed at the behaviour of some of them.

Not too far? I think the obvious direct route is a 90 minute walk pushing a bike through one of the busiest areas in London (around Oxford Street if not on it). If you use the superhighway-based route I posted above, it's often only busy from Liverpool Street to Bank and it's signed from the end of Queen Street to Westbourne Crescent (at which point there is no hint on how to get to Paddington on a bike... grrrr... but it's right onto Gloucester Road and right onto Praed Street, then it's on the left).
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 12:59pm

Confusedbycycling wrote:
mjr wrote:A lot of very, very helpful things

Thank you a lot. You have been a great help.

No worries. I've been helped taking my bike on trains, both in the UK and Belgium, so I'm basically repaying my debt.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.