German wants to reserve bikespace

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Ivor Tingting
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Ivor Tingting » 18 Apr 2019, 1:02pm

The few times I have taken my full frame bike by train it has been a painless experience save for a few very rude other passengers but nothing as bad as risking your life on dangerous roads. I have bought tickets on line and at stations and just got on when the train arrives no problems. The only time I have had to reserve was with the old Virgin East Coast Service when I went to Skye and the West Coast of Scotland in 2014 I think. The Virgin experience of booking and reserving was excellent and the journey itself efficient and on time. The price was very cheap I think about £50 return but I booked ahead. The mail coach on the Virgin train had lots of space for bikes, mine was the only one. All the staff were courteous and polite. Scotrail from Edinburgh all the way to Fort William were ok as well but cannot remember if I had to reserve or just take pot luck. In any case it wasn't a problem lots of space available for my bike. In my experience you should be fine but I cannot guarantee this as others have written rules and regs for carrying bikes on individual trains may have changed since I last went on one with my bike although if you get a Brompton no such problems, just fold it up and walk on.
I have to ask why you keep coming back to cycling in the UK if as everyone agrees it is an inferior place to ride in terms of safety compared to Germany? From Germany I would be looking at places other than the UK to cycle tour. Riding a bike in the UK is not a pleasant experience unless you can find a dedicated cycle track or path, very quiet rural roads but then you are at risk of being flattened by morons in huge 4x4s speeding too fast or ride off road altogether then problem solved. Too many cyclists have been knocked down and killed in this country not to mention all the abuse and hatred. I think Germany and neighbouring countries would be much nicer places to ride than the UK.
Last edited by Ivor Tingting on 18 Apr 2019, 2:50pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JohnW
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 18 Apr 2019, 1:23pm

mjr wrote:...............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....................

I've done the walk once, with a bike, with a companion , but in the reverse direction. It was fairly quiet and we took just under the hour. The bloke I was with was a Londoner and very familiar with the route. It was a long time ago - pre-Boris - and cycling provision was very bad. We walked because he'd been knocked off doing just the same route some months previously, and took the view that discretion was the batter part of valour. It's just my memory, but it certainly didn't seem all that far. As a relative stranger to London (the only time I've cycled there was about 30 years ago, from Kings Cross to the start of the London-Brighton, in the early hours, when there was very little traffic) I wouldn't feel happy with cycling across.

I still think that, with the complications of travelling bike-by-rail and unfamiliarity with cycling in London, the walking option would still be my choice. Am I wrong in that mjr? - I do often find that walking is the simplest way to cross London.

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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 18 Apr 2019, 1:30pm

Oldjohnw wrote:.....................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.

Good news for the Scots then. If Scotland do get independence, would it be possible to move the boundary south to a line between the Mersey and the Humber? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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mjr
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 1:38pm

JohnW wrote:
mjr wrote:...............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....................

I've done the walk once, with a bike, with a companion , but in the reverse direction. It was fairly quiet and we took just under the hour.

It's 4.4 miles. Pushing a bike and with all the London traffic lights, that's good going IMO. I couldn't do it.

JohnW wrote:I still think that, with the complications of travelling bike-by-rail and unfamiliarity with cycling in London, the walking option would still be my choice. Am I wrong in that mjr? - I do often find that walking is the simplest way to cross London.

Each to their own, but I wouldn't walk it if I had a bike - I'd even hesitate if I had my stick! I'd either use the Circle/H&C or cycle it. Personally, I usually cycle such zone 1 journeys these days, even if I've not taken my bike and it means using London Cycle Hire, but I maybe am more familiar with London cycling than most non-Londoners. The CS routes, Quietways and upgrades to a couple of the older routes like Tavistock Place have improved things immensely, although there are still some irritations (like having to push between Savoy Street and Wellington Street due to a combination of banned turns and median barriers).
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Oldjohnw
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Oldjohnw » 18 Apr 2019, 1:53pm

The suggestion that the answer is to get a folding bike is both simple and sensible. But at £1000 not necessarily practical.
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brianleach
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby brianleach » 18 Apr 2019, 2:37pm

I may have missed this in the thread but I use the GWR web site for all journeys. My experience is that you can book the tickets and the bike spaces at the same time. Not always easy to travel though especially CrossCountry.

Reverting to the Scottish journeys my understanding is that the lovely old Virgin trains on the east coast line have been replaced by new Hitachi units which have a combined luggage/bike space per 5? car unit. Supposed to take 2 bikes (hanging of course) but that looks dubious to me.

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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 3:17pm

brianleach wrote:Reverting to the Scottish journeys my understanding is that the lovely old Virgin trains on the east coast line have been replaced by new Hitachi units which have a combined luggage/bike space per 5? car unit. Supposed to take 2 bikes (hanging of course) but that looks dubious to me.

The "lovely old Virgin trains" were nationalised-era Intercity 225 trains from 1991. Given how Virgin managed to make the Voyagers so much worse than their Meridian siblings (but bike space is about as bad on both IIRC), I shudder to think how they would have turned out if the bearded one had had input into the design.

The new ones are the electric-only siblings of GWR's bi-mode IETs, branded Azumas. They have a mix of 9 and 5 car sets, same as GWR. I suspect the bike accommodation is similar to what I linked from cyclebath above, but some reports say the 9-car units actually have 8 bike spaces, so maybe they've chosen to have more bikes and less large luggage racks than GWR. I suspect we won't know for sure until they enter service.
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Oldjohnw
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Oldjohnw » 18 Apr 2019, 4:52pm

mjr wrote:
brianleach wrote:Reverting to the Scottish journeys my understanding is that the lovely old Virgin trains on the east coast line have been replaced by new Hitachi units which have a combined luggage/bike space per 5? car unit. Supposed to take 2 bikes (hanging of course) but that looks dubious to me.

The "lovely old Virgin trains" were nationalised-era Intercity 225 trains from 1991. Given how Virgin managed to make the Voyagers so much worse than their Meridian siblings (but bike space is about as bad on both IIRC), I shudder to think how they would have turned out if the bearded one had had input into the design.

The new ones are the electric-only siblings of GWR's bi-mode IETs, branded Azumas. They have a mix of 9 and 5 car sets, same as GWR. I suspect the bike accommodation is similar to what I linked from cyclebath above, but some reports say the 9-car units actually have 8 bike spaces, so maybe they've chosen to have more bikes and less large luggage racks than GWR. I suspect we won't know for sure until they enter service.


They are running now on the East Coast: don't know how many. I've seen a couple this last week.
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mjr
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby mjr » 18 Apr 2019, 5:03pm

Oldjohnw wrote:
mjr wrote:The new ones are the electric-only siblings of GWR's bi-mode IETs, branded Azumas. [...] I suspect we won't know for sure until they enter service.


They are running now on the East Coast: don't know how many. I've seen a couple this last week.

Do you mean running tests? https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/ln ... ms.179677/ suggests the first one enters service 15th May.
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brianleach
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby brianleach » 18 Apr 2019, 6:16pm

Perhaps we're talking about different stock. I meant in terms of convenience travelling with a bike. I went from Kings X to Edinburgh last year. As I recall up to 6 bike spaces in the engine behind the driver. Standing on the floor and no need to remove panniers unless all 6 racks full. The door is then locked and the bike collected at Edinburgh.

I've travelled on the GWR Azuma's recently admittedly not with my bike and the bike spaces double up as luggage space. Hence only accepting bikes with bookings otherwise the space will be full of suitcases.

In addition it is hanging space, all panniers will need to be removed and I seriously doubt if you can get more than 1 touring bike in the space. Time will tell. I hope I'm wrong.

I shall probably take the folder to Manchester at the end of May as I don't fancy standing all the way to Winchester with my bike as I did from Shefgield last year!!

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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Brucey » 18 Apr 2019, 6:25pm

Oldjohnw wrote:The suggestion that the answer is to get a folding bike is both simple and sensible. But at £1000 not necessarily practical.


agreed. But fortunately you don't have to spend £1000; for example my folding bike is a Rudge (Montague) BiFrame and it cost me a small fraction of that. Better yet, apart from the frameset, most of the parts that make it go are common-or-garden parts which appear on any number of older 26" wheel MTBs etc, i.e. they are readily available and not too pricey. Proprietary parts that make the most compact folding bikes fold very small are, by and large, rather expensive.

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Oldjohnw
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Oldjohnw » 18 Apr 2019, 9:23pm

mjr wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:
mjr wrote:The new ones are the electric-only siblings of GWR's bi-mode IETs, branded Azumas. [...] I suspect we won't know for sure until they enter service.


They are running now on the East Coast: don't know how many. I've seen a couple this last week.

Do you mean running tests? https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/ln ... ms.179677/ suggests the first one enters service 15th May.


Ah - you are probably right. I saw one going over the Royal Border Bridge and on at signals at Reston. Never thought about if people on board!
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JohnW
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby JohnW » 19 Apr 2019, 12:27am

mjr wrote:
JohnW wrote:It's 4.4 miles. Pushing a bike and with all the London traffic lights, that's good going IMO. I couldn't do it........................

In that case, assuming that 4.4 miles is correct and the shortest route, my memory may be failing me. Having read the whole of your post, I conclude that you are very familiar with London - perhaps daily? - perhaps you work in London? I remain of the opinion however, that given the complications in the OP's experience, walking would be less stressful - maybe waking will take less time than trying to sort the way through the process of buying a rail ticket.

This may be just me, but in that instance I'd walk that distance rather than take the train. As you say, each to his own......................London is unique in Britain though; the tube obviates the need to know the way!

Confusedbycycling
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby Confusedbycycling » 19 Apr 2019, 7:54am

JohnW wrote:This may be just me, but in that instance I'd walk that distance rather than take the train. As you say, each to his own......................London is unique in Britain though; the tube obviates the need to know the way!


Knowing the London underground visiting London as a teenager I have slight memories of the underground stations. Very steep and long escalators. Perhaps to steep to go upstairs with a heavy loaded bicycle.

Asking https://tfl.gov.uk, it seems not to be possible to use elevators.

Knowing the traffic in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I planned to try cycling, but I am prepared that I will decide to push my bike. I am not afraid of the traffic. I am living in the city of Frankfurt. But the traffic of a city and left-sided traffic together could be to hard.

Talking about left-side traffic. What side I have to use on bridleways, railway paths and so on. I had the impression that one can use the side he likes.

JohnW wrote:I have to ask why you keep coming back to cycling in the UK if as everyone agrees it is an inferior place to ride in terms of safety compared to Germany? From Germany I would be looking at places other than the UK to cycle tour. Riding a bike in the UK is not a pleasant experience unless you can find a dedicated cycle track or path, very quiet rural roads but then you are at risk of being flattened by morons in huge 4x4s speeding too fast or ride off road altogether then problem solved. Too many cyclists have been knocked down and killed in this country not to mention all the abuse and hatred. I think Germany and neighbouring countries would be much nicer places to ride than the UK.

First at all I had good experiences in 2006/7 following the british part of NSCR. 2017 Scotland was okay, but the weather awful. The only bad experiences was 2014 in Southengland. I explain this 2014 experience, with the high density of population in this area and the holiday time. Many ways were overcrowded. I hope Wales will be better.

In general, there are countries, mainly the Scandinavian countries, where you have to use normal streets similar to the UK. If this streets a crowded it is dangerous, if this streets are lonely is is beautiful, if the landscape is beautiful. The UK have landscapes, which are beautiful and unique.

I did last year Iceland with a bicycle. The traffic was at the end so bad, so I used the bus. The first time I did that. But the the other part I have cycled and the good impressions I got in Iceland were worth it. And I hope it will be the same in Wales.

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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace

Postby brynpoeth » 19 Apr 2019, 8:06am

Going to Wales, Plus One!

Berlin is better than London, lots of trains go right through, stop several times, with 1-2 easy changes one can reach almost any station in the city. But why is there no 'Nordkreuz' on the Ring Railway? :?

Birmingham is better than London too, one big through station
..
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