Question for you bike and train traveller regulars

probably a simple one for you experienced train bookers.

I've got to book a journey for next week involving two different train companies. As I'm not going near a station I'll have to do it online but they say five working days for the tickets. Do most offer a faster ticket delivery? Or if I book through Virgin I can pick all the tickets up at one of their machines (if the damn thing works when I get to it!).

I still have to separately book the bike spaces though with Arriva and Virgin. Can I do this without tickets or do I need them first?

I'll know the answer tomorrow when I ring up but as I'm just deciding on a couple of other things, I thought I'd ask on here. What's the best procedure?
 
probably a simple one for you experienced train bookers.

I've got to book a journey for next week involving two different train companies. As I'm not going near a station I'll have to do it online but they say five working days for the tickets. Do most offer a faster ticket delivery? Or if I book through Virgin I can pick all the tickets up at one of their machines (if the damn thing works when I get to it!).

I still have to separately book the bike spaces though with Arriva and Virgin. Can I do this without tickets or do I need them first?

I'll know the answer tomorrow when I ring up but as I'm just deciding on a couple of other things, I thought I'd ask on here. What's the best procedure?
Sorry - never booked a bike slot in my life - but I do travel on Arriva trains a lot and I don't think many (or even any) of the multitudinous bikes I see on Arriva trains every week on the Cardiff to Manchester route have been pre-booked - and I've never seen the guard (or is it a train manager?) making enquiries about whose bike it is. I've taken my roadie on Arriva trains a few times - just turn up, load into one of the spaces near the doors and grab a seat. Simples. I suspect you only need to worry about VT.
 
OP
C

Crackle

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Sorry - never booked a bike slot in my life - but I do travel on Arriva trains a lot and I don't think many (or even any) of the multitudinous bikes I see on Arriva trains every week on the Cardiff to Manchester route have been pre-booked - and I've never seen the guard (or is it a train manager?) making enquiries about whose bike it is. I've taken my roadie on Arriva trains a few times - just turn up, load into one of the spaces near the doors and grab a seat. Simples. I suspect you only need to worry about VT.
It depends on the route. The Chester-Holyhead route definitely needs a reservation. Well, so it says. Mind you so does Manchester to Cardiff. You may be right.
 

lukesdad

Guest
Book the bike first Crax . If you buy a ticket and the bike slots are full you re fecked. Apparently a guard could refuse the bike even with a reservation although under what circumstances im not sure.
 
If they didn't have a good night the night before, toothache, or any other reason they hav a bad temper.

The ubiquitous "Elf and Safety" is the trump card.
They don't actually need a reason apart from that!
But back to the original OP

Some stations have a machine outside.

It is possible to pick tickets up from these. You punch in a code you are given than pay in the normal way
 

theclaud

It's teeceegawnmaaaad
Location
Swansea
Wot Ade said, except I use East Coast rather than Southern. If there are no bike spaces it will tell you when you attempt to make the seat reservation. There is a special delivery option if you don't trust the pick-up-at-the-station thing, but of course it costs.
 
OP
C

Crackle

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Thank you both, that worked a treat, I'm booked. Oh, I presume Southern would have told me if there were no bike spaces too.

Last question, so I'm prepared. Does anyone know where the bike storage is on Virgin trains, guards van, middle and can I leave the panniers on do you think or do I need to take them off? I know the Arriva trains on the line I'm using but not the Virgin ones.
 
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