Bikes on trains?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Randombiker9, 20 Feb 2018.

  1. Randombiker9

    Randombiker9 Well-Known Member

    So i have some questions about taking a normal hybrid bike on a train as:

    1. If you do this do you have to reserve a space?
    2. Are there any restrictions
    3. what happens if your bicycle gets stolen on the train?
    4. any other info?
    I'm wondering as i've applied for a job which i can only get to by a train and then 35 min cycle because 2 hours would be way to long for me to cycle from my area.
  2. Supersuperleeds

    Supersuperleeds Guru

    It depends on which train operator you are going to be using.
    HLaB and raleighnut like this.
  3. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    As @Supersuperleeds says, it depends which train operator run the service.

    Up here in Gods Own County, Northern officially have a "two bikes per train" rule but with no pre-booking, it's technically first come first served.
    I've never seen anyone turned away though, but it could happen. Regularly on my journey to work there will be 3 or 4 bikes on the train and no-one seems phased.

    Trans Pennine Express have a two bikes pre-booked rule, but we got 4 on a train back from Scarborough after one of @nickyboy 's legendary rides with no trouble - just a polite request with sensible stowing and the guard was fine. Then another cyclist got on at the next stop making 5 bikes on the train. The only problem is that TPX will then reserve you a seat at the opposite end of the train meaning you can't see your bike...

    Virgin East Coast and Cross Country are apparently a lot more pedantic about it, with compulsory booking. Virgin make you lock the bike in a compartment that only train crew have access to (so hope they remember at your stop!)

    Edit to add: you need to keep an eye on your bike throughout - if it gets stolen the train company won't be interested. Check first as some have rules that forbid you locking the bike on the train.
    If I take my bike on a train I normally either stay with it, unless I can get a seat where it's in direct line of sight and close enough to react if anything happens.
    Randombiker9 likes this.
  4. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Randombiker9 likes this.
  5. Go to the National Rail enquiries site.
    Look up a train journey that you are interested in.

    When it displays the timetable, click on details

    The next page will have a cycle icon. Click on it, eg.
    This will then give you the bike conditions for the train company operating that service.
    Randombiker9 and Dogtrousers like this.
  6. OP

    Randombiker9 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys i live in berkshire. So most of the trains are GWR (Great western railway) although seen a couple of cross country and that's all i've seen.
    mjr and NorthernDave like this.
  7. TinyMyNewt

    TinyMyNewt An execrable pun

    South coast, UK
    Southern will not let any full-size bikes on trains heading towards Brighton or London before 9 am. You wouldn't physically be able to get on with a bike anyway, as those trains are rammed.
  8. OP

    Randombiker9 Well-Known Member

    Look up a train journey that you are interested in.

    When it displays the timetable, click on details

    The next page will have a cycle icon. Click on it, eg.

    This will then give you the bike conditions for the train company operating that service.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks that's helpful.
  9. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    There may be secure overnight cycle parking at or near the rail terminal at the work end of your journey, this might cost a little but could save you worries re. getting a bike on the train.
  10. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    Randombiker9 likes this.
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    To avoid bike getting stolen, stay with the bike or lock it to a solid part of the train with a d lock, ensuring its not blocking anything

    Everything else covered

    Anywhere around London on a potential commuter route, you'll be unwelcome before 9.30 or after 4pm on a weekday

    If travelling at weekends, check no works anywhere which might mean the train is replaced by a which case you'll be riding to your destination
    Randombiker9 likes this.
  12. ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Ohio, USA
    My daughter loves Thomas the Tank Engine and some of his friends came to Sodor from the GWR! :wub: Sorry, train geek here. We don't have commuter trains where I live.
  13. Dommo

    Dommo Senior Member

    This isn't *always* true. If you're going against the general flow or even with it, but on a less cramped train, you can be fine. I've been doing a trip on GWR commuter trains into and out of Paddington for the past year with various non-folding bikes and as long as I pick certain trains, I've been fine, even at rush hour times. For example, a train that stops more and is slightly slower will be shunned by the majority of people, leaving all of it's 8 shiny, new carriages free for my perusal. I find that once you've done the commute a few times, you know which trains to get, which route to take through the station to avoid the worst crowds and where to stand without getting in the way when waiting for a train. I've not had an angry word all year from another commuter!
    mjr likes this.
  14. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    I have found this to be the same with South Eastern. When I moved to the wilds of Kent I bought a Brompton to go with the train journey. I found that certain rush hour trains on my route are never hugely busy in both directions. Seeing as I dislike the Brompton I am now taking my normal bike on the trains Monday to Thursday and the Brompton on a Friday. I did ask the guard if it was ok with the big bike and he said officially no, but as long as it's not too busy or causing an obstruction then they don't mind. And that has proven to be the case so far.
    However, there is a caveat to that. When the trains are borked for what ever reason and over crowding does occur then you have to either wait or cycle the journey and for me that would be 29 miles.
    Salty seadog and mjr like this.
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