bike on train Reading to Portsmouth


New Member
Hi, and help! I've got nowhere trying to get this info by phone - very frustratiing. All I need to know: do I *have* to make a reservation to travel off peak weekday with my (non-folding) bike, or can I just turn up and take a chance? Cycling K&A Bristol to Reading, have to get the train back on Monday.


Mexico City
No, I've travelled off-peak loads with SouthWestTrains and Southern without reserving the velo. They might not let you on between 4.30 and 7pm if its a bit crowded, mind you. That's happened to me in the past.


Legendary Member
The trains from Reading into Paddington have plenty of bike storage- separate compartment at the front (back end of locomotive). I've always made a booking at my local station but often I've missed a connection and have not had any trouble getting on without a reservation.

I haven't done the Portsmouth run lately- it used to be pretty easy but they've changed the rolling stock since.

I don't know why it is sometimes difficult to sort out a reservation over the phone- sometimes it's OK, sometimes they just don't know how to do it. It's the same if I go to the local station to arrange one- I have to pick the window with the guy who knows what he's doing (he's worked there as long as I can remember!), then it's easy.

I've no idea what his equivalent at your local station looks like though.


Here for rides.
go southern pompey to redhill/gatwick and then first great western onwards to Reading deffo no reservations/restrictions off peak

but watch out for engineering works; no bikes officially on buses.
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