Travelling By Train With Bike

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  • Travelling By Train With Bike
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Book your tickets by phone and make sure you get a bike booking at the same time

    toppers3933
    Member

    There is no guarantee that you will get your bike on the train even with a booking. But make one anyway because it can be very useful. Where you out your bike depends on what type of train it is. Old inter city trains have a guards carriage for them. The pendolinos have a bike storage area behind the drivers compartment at one end of the train.
    My advice is make a booking and get there as early as you can because sometimes they let people on without a booking but only let a couple on (usually 2). So if you’re 3rd then often booking or not they won’t let you on. Which has happened to me a couple of times.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    Top tip, many conducters dont check the time and date of the reservation. I have a ticket I’ve used several times on the of chance as I often get there early (strava). Obviously I will now get caught next time.

    One thing, do you lock your bikes in there? I do but once a conducter git the arse with me for dithering, he told me it was totally safe? I was utterly unconvinced as how can they check you take the right bike off.

    rossi46
    Member

    Advice please, i’m travelling to Scotland in August to go riding- i’ll be going from Kings X to Glasgow.
    Iv’e not been on a train with my bike for 12 years, is there still such thing as a guards carriage that you can put your bike in and offload it at the other end?
    And do you have to buy specific tickets to sit in the carriage behind the guards carriage?
    Also do you have to declare your bike when booking the tickets?
    I’ll be buying from the train line (and not being hysterical like the people in the advert) 😉

    Thanks for your help in advance STWers 😀

    toppers3933
    Member

    Always lock it up on an inter city. Because it most certainly is not totally safe. I just sit so I can see the bike area on a pendolino.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Bike + train can be a total arse. My last long haul was Ipswich / Havant. The Anglia railways bit involved reservations and a guards van. I locked it up in there and they were fine about it. Just made sure it wasnt in the way of any access points first.

    A tip too. you cannot normally access the guards van intternally. You have to get in via the platform.

    rossi46
    Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone 😉
    I’ll definately take a lock and i’ll aim to be there early doors to make sure i get on one.

    oliverd1981
    Member

    take the wheels off and put it in a holdall

    Premier Icon BlobOnAStick
    Subscriber

    Have you thought of the sleeper service from Euston? Departs about 2100, arrives in various locations in the morning (IIRC Inverness at about 0830, other destinations available) it has a guards van for bikes and the staff are very friendly, although you may not get a full nights sleep!

    butcher
    Member

    I’m interested in this topic. Mainly because I’ve never been on a train in 12 years, let alone taken my bike on one. And that was probably my second train trip of all time. What can I say….we don’t have a train station. So pretend you’re explaining this to an alien.

    How do you know which is the ‘guard carriage’ you speak of? And more so, how do you know if the train has one? And would I be sentenced to a beheading if I accidentally wheeled my bike onto a regular carriage?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    AFAIk there is no such thing as a Guards Carriage these days. There may be a large compartment in the engine unit just behind the driver (e.g. East Coast have these) that’ll take 5 bikes.

    In most other cases there will be a couple of bike spaces on the train – clearly marked on the door to the relevant carriage. These take different forms depending on the type of carriage. Some require that you hang the bike vertically by front or back wheel. Some have a bar sticking out (like a car hatch rack) that the top tube will go over. I’m pretty sure they all say that you shouldn’t lock your bike up so you’ll want to sit somewhere with a decent view of it. You may need to remove any panniers, especially if you end up sharing the space with another bike.

    I like taking my bike on the train. It gives an added flexibility of routes and feels like more of an adventure than driving somewhere.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I live in Stafford and I always find that going to the station and talking to the staff there gets better prices and service than on the web.

    IanW
    Member

    You’ll be fine as long as you dont look like the usual storm trooper mtb type in which case you may get arrested by the douche police.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Bikes places can be reserved online at the same time as buying tickets at http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/

    I think you get the option after choosing what type of seat you want – window aisle etc.

    For the OP August train/bike tickets should be booked ASAP as the cheap tickets are released 12 weeks ahead. The longer you wait the more the prices go up.

    Premier Icon northernerindevon
    Subscriber

    The Trainline cheekily charge a £1 to book on card. Virgin Trains don’t and can be used to book any journey. I know its only a pound but it pisses me off….

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I did the west coast a few times years ago, was easier to take a bike bad and put it on the train properly, you can always take your luggage on 🙂

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    KX and Glasgow ought to be fine. Get there early and there won’t be any unbooked bikes taking the place that you’ve booked.
    Friend books his from KX to Glasgow or Aviemore. Impression I get is it is much easier/better than on the West Coast mainline.

    toppers3933
    Member

    i have found that “we will not carry a bike unless it has a reservation” to vary massively between carriers. i commuted for 4 years on the train with a bike and was never asked for a reservation for that journey. ever. and the only time i had a reservation (the first time i made the journey) they wouldn’t let me on because there was already 3 bikes on the train. so i gave up reserving because it made no difference. this was with a number of carriers. im not saying dont reserve. definitely do. i just want to reiterate get there erarly and make yourself known to the ticket collector/guard that you have a reservation and ask which end of the train the bike storage is likely to be. that way you are more likely to get on.

    sas
    Member

    ask which end of the train the bike storage is likely to be.

    With the emphasis on the “likely”. It’s not unusual for the train to be in a different formation from normal, meaning you have to leg it to the other end of the platform.

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