Author Topic: Getting Back from JOG (or maybe Dunnet Head)  (Read 1044 times)

Getting Back from JOG (or maybe Dunnet Head)
« on: January 20, 2016, 12:41:55 pm »
I'm planning a charity LEJOG (for Affordable Counselling in the South West), and plan to arrive at JOG (or Dunnet Head) on Friday 1 July.

I'm aiming to get the night sleeper back from Inverness to Euston, leaving at 20:44, with a bike reservation drop-off time of 19:45.

Scotrail tells me that there is a train leaving Thurso at 13:06, arriving at Inverness at 17:01, and that bikes can be reserved in advance.

I could book my Caledonian Sleeper from Inverness to Euston now, as they're bookable up to a year in advance, and the Thurso to Inverness leg 3 months in advance.

I've heard that there can be problems with the ScotRail service.  Has anyone had experience of using it? What do I need to know in advance.

Wowbagger

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Re: Getting Back from JOG (or maybe Dunnet Head)
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 06:04:40 pm »
I have twice caught trains from Thurso to Inverness. Correction: I have twice travelled from Thurso to Inverness having paid for a rail ticket.

The first occasion was after our LEJOG 9 years ago. There were three of us with two bicycles. We had two bike reservations, we caught the lunchtime train and the train guard looked unhappy that three bits of bike/bikes were lugged into the bike space (tandem has S & S couplings), but made no comment about it.

The second was in July last year. The train was replaced by two coaches. There were two of us heading for Inverness and our bikes were placed in the hold. our bus went straight there, missing out all 26 (or whatever) intervening stations, and we arrived at least an hour ahead of schedule. The previous day I had been to the station to see how the land lay and a replacement bus was about to leave.  A party of cyclists heading for Glasgow appeared to have been given their own minibus for the direct journey, with the bikes in the back.

Scotrail seem to want to get cyclists back to civilisation from up there, and in my limited experience they do. However, they appear not to want to pay train drivers any overtime.

There is also this: http://www.jogferry.co.uk/Express-Bus.aspx which I have never tried.

Edit: it would appear that that bus doesn't take bikes. The guy who told me about it said that it did. There is also this: http://www.johnogroatsbiketransport.co.uk/cyclist-transport.php.
Homo sapiens - a creature so intelligent it knowingly sowed the seeds of its own destruction and did nothing about it.

Re: Getting Back from JOG (or maybe Dunnet Head)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 06:46:56 pm »
Thanks, Wow.  Food for thought.  Frustrating that the Caledonian Sleeper can be booked up to a year in advance, but not the Thurso to Inverness one.

One person suggested getting it from its starting point, Wick, to raise the chances of getting a bike reservation at what will no doubt be a busy time of year.

The bus taxi service looks interesting, but pricey, compared with the advance rail ticket price of £6!

Re: Getting Back from JOG (or maybe Dunnet Head)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2016, 07:02:07 pm »
Last I used it there were no problems with bikes on thew train.
We had reservations and had printed the reservation coupons to attach to the cycles.
Some folk did turn up on spec and had a very sympathetic guard.
Book a year ahead to get cheap sleeper and risk it would be my advice.