Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
chris_suffolk
Posts: 577
Joined: 18 Oct 2012, 10:01pm

Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby chris_suffolk » 12 Apr 2015, 10:43pm

Looking to take my bike down to Dover by train in the summer. Will need the services of Greater Anglia and South Eastern trains.

Can anybody advise on the storage facilities aboard each company? Are bikes held securely via the top tube, or just the front wheel? It's a carbon road bike and I'm worried about damage prior to even starting my tour (Dover - Cape Wrath). Happy to encase it in pipe lagging, or more, if required

Any help appreciated - thnx.

wirral_cyclist
Posts: 785
Joined: 17 May 2010, 9:25pm
Location: Wirral Merseyside

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby wirral_cyclist » 12 Apr 2015, 10:49pm

I've only done a few train journeys and mostly with TPE and all the bike spaces I've used are just leaning spaces, with a velcro strap to stop bike falling over.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1620
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 13 Apr 2015, 7:59am

I've never seen a train where bikes are held by the top tube (though I might have missed something!). Most either have a (generally feeble) front wheel holder, or as wirral_cyclist says, just 'leaning space'; wheel hooks on the ceiling are also increasingly common. If you're anxious about the bike then I'd very definitely suggest you go with your padded pipes idea.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Vmlopes
Posts: 54
Joined: 21 Feb 2015, 8:24pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Vmlopes » 13 Apr 2015, 8:06am

Hanging front wheel hooks on Network South East on the ones I have been on

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18752
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Vorpal » 13 Apr 2015, 8:50am

There are several different methods for holding bikes (or not) on trains. On Abellio Greater Anglia, most trains do not have any special place for bikes. You just need to find a wheelchair spot, or use the entry area for the carriage and stay with your bike. It is possible on some trains to stick the front wheel between a vertical hand rail and glass divider such that you don't have to hold it. But you may still need to move it out of the way for people entering and exiting the train.

I'm not sure about South East. I think I was only on them with my bike once, and then they had a little compartment behind the driver with space for two or three bikes. There were hooks for straps, but no straps. I think I used my own bungie cord to hold my bike. This was some years ago, so it may have changed, or I may be remembering another train service and confusing it with South East.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby iviehoff » 13 Apr 2015, 8:55am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:I've never seen a train where bikes are held by the top tube (though I might have missed something!)

I went on some East Coast trains at Easter, and they were so secured.

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby iviehoff » 13 Apr 2015, 9:07am

chris_suffolk wrote:Looking to take my bike down to Dover by train in the summer. Will need the services of Greater Anglia and South Eastern trains.

Can anybody advise on the storage facilities aboard each company?

It rather depends which specific routes and hence what specific train types.

Whenever I've used Greater Anglia to transport a bike, it's always been lean it up in a shared disabled/pushchair/bike area, and be prepared to move it during the journey in case you are in the way. Some people just prop them up in the vestibule if they get on at the wrong door, or the other area is already occupied, in which case they have to be particularly active about getting out of the way. But that's been travelling on commuter lines such as to Bishops Stortford and Ipswich/Colchester. This is the norm on commuter lines in the SE. If you are on the Norwich train, which is loco-hauled intercity stock, it is likely to be quite different.

On the Dover line you are most likely to have Cl 375 Electrostars, though Cl 465/466 Networkers is also possible. I have travelled on a Cl 375, but not with a bike. I don't recall seeing any specific cycle carriage area, so probably it is rather like commuter trains above.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16725
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby mjr » 13 Apr 2015, 9:20am

Some of Greater Anglia's Turbostars (at least Peterborough-Ipswich and Norwich-Cambridge routes, train numbers 170xxx) have a bike stand next to the easy-access toilet where you can hang some bikes by their top tube on two rubber-coated prongs and secure any sort of bike with the "luggage straps" provided so it won't fall off/over into the aisle in the curves (especially each side of Thetford!). I've seen six bikes safely in such an area, but people had to use their own luggage straps to secure some. EDIT: there's a picture on http://keeppushingthosepedals.blogspot. ... rs_23.html although the bike isn't on the rack.

I think hauled Norwich-London services (train numbers 90xxx) have a bike store somewhere that you have to ask the station staff where to stand to access it and the train staff to open it. I've not seen inside one since the last "cascade" of trains, when the Norwich-London line got the second-generation Glasgow-London trains (which had been replaced by the Pendolinos).

Otherwise, remember the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) and put it across the right-hand doorways. I prefer to stand between my bike and the door in such situations, to hold it and prevent it falling.
Last edited by mjr on 13 Apr 2015, 10:39am, edited 1 time 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.

ANTONISH
Posts: 1908
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby ANTONISH » 13 Apr 2015, 10:23am

On South East trains there is some limited dedicated space but this is also a wheelchair space. You can however generally use any carriage and keep your bike in the door space - (opposite side to passengers getting on of course). I use a toe strap or a strong elastic band to apply the front brake while on the train - this prevents a lot of movement.
You don't have to pre-book.
You can't take bikes on commuter services to and from London in the rush hour - apart from that you should have no problem.
I've never seen a hanging hook on network South East.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18752
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Vorpal » 13 Apr 2015, 11:19am

mjr wrote:Some of Greater Anglia's Turbostars (at least Peterborough-Ipswich and Norwich-Cambridge routes, train numbers 170xxx) have a bike stand next to the easy-access toilet where you can hang some bikes by their top tube on two rubber-coated prongs and secure any sort of bike with the "luggage straps" provided so it won't fall off/over into the aisle in the curves (especially each side of Thetford!). I've seen six bikes safely in such an area, but people had to use their own luggage straps to secure some. EDIT: there's a picture on http://keeppushingthosepedals.blogspot. ... rs_23.html although the bike isn't on the rack.

I forgot about those. I haven't used the trains with those carriages much, they are somewhat in use between Norwich and London, too.

ANTONISH wrote: I use a toe strap or a strong elastic band to apply the front brake while on the train - this prevents a lot of movement.

Yes, I have a velcro strap or two on each my bikes that I use for this purpose (not just on trains).
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 13 Apr 2015, 11:31am

"the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) "

This is very much a station by station thing. Island platforms (between the lines) mean the side varies according to which line your on; this might reflect historic circumstances. Even two line railways may have island platforms.

You can look up the train types on wiki.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16725
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby mjr » 13 Apr 2015, 12:22pm

Barrenfluffit wrote:"the platforms are usually on the left of the train (looking in the direction of travel) "

This is very much a station by station thing. Island platforms (between the lines) mean the side varies according to which line your on; this might reflect historic circumstances. Even two line railways may have island platforms.

True. It varies line-by-line and sometimes area-to-area. East Anglia has mostly outside platforms and even some with islands are operated so that the doors generally are on the left, whereas I think both the Southeastern routes to Dover (the old LCDR and HS1) have islands near London, plus Rochester and Faversham, with outside platforms elsewhere - rather annoying if you don't get the bike into a bike space.

Possible pic of a Southeastern bike space at https://www.flickr.com/photos/smsm1/10046338153 from someone who works with cycleipswich.
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.

don1
Posts: 107
Joined: 14 Jun 2013, 8:06pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby don1 » 13 Apr 2015, 7:36pm

Last time I travelled with my bike down from Yorkshire to London for the Dunwuch Dynamo, there was a 'guards carriage' with 3 Sheffield stands inside to lock your bike to.

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14164
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby gaz » 13 Apr 2015, 7:56pm

+1 to the comments from ANTONISH re Southeastern services, including their Javelin trains.

don1 wrote:Last time I travelled with my bike down from Yorkshire to London for the Dunwuch Dynamo, there was a 'guards carriage' with 3 Sheffield stands inside to lock your bike to.

Was the service hauled by a steam locomotive? :wink:
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 13 Apr 2015, 8:43pm

With slow lines, fast lines and island platforms, the train can arrive on either side.
Its only the non island type that you can be sure of (unless its a single track line...). Experience goes a long way :)