London Midland trains through Birmingham

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by upsidedown, 27 May 2008.

  1. upsidedown

    upsidedown Waiting for the great leap forward

    The middle bit
    In a bid to make my two to three times a week 44 mile round trip more manageable, i'm going to try the train, hopefully to make it a five times a week 20 mile round trip; i plan on getting on the train in Stourbridge, through Birmingham.

    The LM website says they welcome cycles, but anybody know the reality ? Is there cycle storage or do you have to stand by the door moving your bike side to side as the platform sides change?

    Would be great to do as it's £50 a month for a season ticket, and would allow me to ditch the second car, which we only have for emergencies when i drive to work.

    The other slight worry is that the destination station is 'stop on request', where you tell the guard when you get on that you want to get off there; he couldn't possibly forget could he ?
  2. CopperBrompton

    CopperBrompton Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops

    Does it really make financial sense to keep a second car for emergencies? By the time you add up road tax, insurance and the likely maintenance issues arising from lack of use, I would have thought cabs would be cheaper for any emergency journeys?

    On the stop-on-request thing, I would have thought that the guard failing to stop the train would give legitimate concern on your part for his safety ...

  3. domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Trains from Stourbridge are Class 150 units. Bicycle area in these from memory is in the saloon behind immediately behind the driver's cab - there's a few seats plus an area for cycles, so you shouldn't need to resort to vestibules. As for request stops, so longs as you have advised the guard, you shouldn't have any problems. Best thing might be to give the journey a go on a couple of days and see how it goes before leaping in with the season ticket?

  4. OP

    upsidedown Waiting for the great leap forward

    The middle bit
    Cheers for the replies.
    I was going to try it a few times before the season ticket, its £51 a month by direct debit, or £7.50 each day !!

    The 'emergency' car costs £20 a month insurance, £200 a year tax, so will at least cover the season ticket if i go for it. Hadn't thought about taxis, i guess it's the comfort factor of having a car sat outside, it hasn't been used for weeks though so would love to get rid.

    Normally costs about £30 a week if i drive every day, so with a mixture of trains, full commute rides and car every now and again i should be quids in.
  5. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    I've used those trains a few times with bike - not a good idea on peak services as they're rammed, and the bike space is actually against a bench seat so normally has people sitting there. Be fine for a folder though.
  6. Johnny Thin

    Johnny Thin New Member

    I'll second that - it would be v inconsiderate during the rush hour though people do. You could also try cycling it, I used to and it'll take about an hour, with an alternative route through Harborne when the Hagley Rd traffic was gridlocked.
  7. MERV

    MERV New Member

    The Mile End Road
    Yeah I never use the train when it's crammed.
  8. OP

    upsidedown Waiting for the great leap forward

    The middle bit
    OK cheers again for the advice.

    JT, i'm a bit surprised thay you say it would be v inconsiderate during rush hour, i thought that was the whole idea of cycle facilities on trains ? It's been a long time since i went on a train so i'll take your advice.

    My journey is actually to Redditch, but you can't get a direct train there. As i said earlier i'm exploring alternatives for tired or bad weather days, looks like that's not it !

    My normal ride's really nice , apart from the ring road and the run up to the Hagley road junction i only have about a mile of traffic on the A38 at Catshill, shame there's no viable public transport alternative.
  9. OP

    upsidedown Waiting for the great leap forward

    The middle bit
    Well, thought i'd give it a go on my way home tonight. Got to Earlswood station, train rolls in, asked the guard where bikes go...
    Guard: "Sorry there's a pushchair in there"

    Me: " Is there somewhere else i could put it?"

    Guard: " I think there might be a place for bikes somewhere else"

    Me: " Where would that be?"

    Guard: " Somewhere further down the train."

    I'd assumed that as there were only 3 carriages he would have acquainted himself with the layout, apparantly not.

    As the train filled up at Wythall, and i'd moved the bike about 20 times i felt it necessary to get off out of courtesy so found myself at Whitlock's End, a very long, into the wind, 21 miles through Longbridge, Rednal and back to Stourbridge followed.

    The only good bit is that as the guard was obviously incapable of moving i didn't actually pay for the 2 stops that took me further from home, small victory i suppose :-)
  10. tomfoolery

    tomfoolery New Member

    I take these trains in the other direction (Birmingham to Black Country in the a.m.) and have never had any problems. Look for the carriage with the cycle/pushchair/wheelchair sign by the door. They can be anywhere so you have to be watching as the train comes in, and be prepared to scoot along the platform. There'll be 3 sideways folding seats on either side (as mentioned above) where you can get your bike in. I do a different journey but always get space there.
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