Train Engineering works and bikes HELP!

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Turdus philomelos, 15 Apr 2010.

  1. Having spent far too much planning and organising my Bike Tour of Holland I have just discovered on East Coast Trains website that my return leg home is effected by engineering works over the weekend and bus replacement is in service. What do I do? How do I get home? My bike is not allowed on the bus, is it?
    Some of you may suggest just cycle but Harwich to Edinburgh is a bit too far my old legs!
     
  2. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    I assume you mean the Harwich - Liverpool St leg - This has happened to me several times going to Hoek from Harwich - I actually reversed my tour and finished at Stavager instead of Harwich once - last year I got lucky and came home a day earlier than I had planned

    Check where the rail closure is - last time the rail bus was between Harwich and Colchester - The cycle to Colchester is pretty easy or possibly you could catch an Ipswich to London train from Maningtree if the closure is nearer Harwich

    If the closure is somewhere further south the above is complete rubbish and please ignore
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Turdus philomelos

    Turdus philomelos Guru

    Location:
    West Lothian
    I think the engineering works is between Norwich and Peterborough
     
  4. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    What was the whole route

    I do not know how it affects cost but when I came back from Stavanger to Newcastle I had to make a big loop through Manchester to avoid a closure on the ECM

    could you do Harwich - London Liv - Manchester -Preston Edinburgh

    I tell you from experience that it is not a fun way to spend a day
     
  5. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Have you investigated the possibility of taking the Ijmuiden to Newcastle or Zeebrugge to Rosyth ferry instead of Hoek to Harwich?
     
  6. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    Sounds more logical than anything I said - the post made me relive my stupid journey - came out in sweat
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Turdus philomelos

    Turdus philomelos Guru

    Location:
    West Lothian
    Thanks for that, I will check that route out. Being a typical Scot I want to keep it as cheap as possible!
     
  8. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    Or take a CTC bike bag - I have taken the bike on a rail replacement bus but in a bag
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Turdus philomelos

    Turdus philomelos Guru

    Location:
    West Lothian
    Snorri -the Harwich - Hoek of Holland return ferry is already booked it was alot cheaper than from Newcastle. Like a lot of services in Scotland, the Rosyth ferry was far to expensive aswell. You know what, I've always fancied a cycle round the Broads, will just have to find a cheap B&B for two nights.
     
  10. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    A man after my own heart - out of adversity comes triumph - and another couple of days touring
     
  11. andym

    andym Über Member

    It depends on the type of bus. If it's a double-decker/single-decker bus then you are stuffed, but if it's a coach with luggage space then (in my experience) you should be OK. Worth giving the train company a call.
     
  12. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    Trouble is the "rules are" and the bus driver I wrote to the rail passenger regulator last year about this and got an answer that more or less said no chance of this changing in the future
     
  13. SavageHoutkop

    SavageHoutkop Über Member

    "Full size cycles may not be carried on replacement
    bus services during engineering work or service
    disruption, but it should be possible to carry folding
    cycles on replacement bus services provided they are
    folded and covered."

    Latest pamphlet thingy covering cycling vs rail.

    East Coast seem to have the most sensible cycling policy though (IIRC), so it might be worth giving them a call. Get whatever confirmation that you are allowed the bike on the train in writing (if possible) and wave under nose of driver. Don't think you'll get any unfortunately...
     
  14. andym

    andym Über Member

    All I can say is that I have carried a bike on a rail replacement coaches on at least a couple of occasions without any problem. On one journey the driver even lifted the bike out of the 'hold' for me. There's plenty of space. If the replacement service uses a coach then you have a pretty good chance. OK you might get a jobsworth driver, but most drivers are reasonable people and won't leave you stranded. To my mind it's worth considering whether or not to take the risk.
     
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