Author Topic: Getting bikes to cologne  (Read 932 times)

Getting bikes to cologne
« on: April 14, 2021, 01:41:05 pm »
This has probably beencovered but that also things change. Im hoping that either next summer (2022) or Easter 2023 I will be going on a family tour starting from near cologne

I need to get four loaded bikes, two adults and two kids there. Any useful hints. Return will be via Hook Holland to Harwich and being a easy train ride for us its a good place to start rather then Eurostar/ferry from Dover

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 03:11:22 pm »
There are severe restrictions on ICE trains' bike-carrying capacity. However, slower trains in Germany are well-equipped with bike spaces.

If you've got time, you could make your way to Trier and cycle along the Mösel Radweg to Köln.

This may be of some help, although it's a little dated: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=32533.0

Edit: I just read through the whole of that thread and realised that I had never edited out my typos. Only 11 years late... Oh, and my photos don't seem to be working any more, even though they undoubtedly exist. I think it might be some sort of security issue as my gallery isn't https:// . I've got my Man working on it.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 03:58:04 pm »
Seat61 is a goldmine ... https://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm#taking-your-bike-on-trains-in-mainland-europe

When I went to Germany in 2019 I took a lightweight bike bag which served the purpose to be able to take the slightly dismantled bike onto the trains in each direction. Slower trains might work better when you have 4 bikes to factor in, so you can take them on board without dismantling.

I couldn't find trains going directly to Hook that would carry bicycles, but The Hague and Rotherdam are not far away and can both be reached along pleasant cycle paths.

Eddington: 130 miles

Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 03:58:40 pm »
That's an awesome write up wow. Think I could do with borrowing an auntie Helen to get us to Cologne.


Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 04:43:58 pm »
Trier reminds me of my favourite General Patton story:

Quote
The Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), Eisenhower’s HQs, radioed Patton’s army to halt outside of Trier because it “would take four divisions” to seize the city. Unbeknownst to SHAEF, Trier was already in American hands, as the 10th Armored Division had pushed through with the infantry.

Patton then sent his now-famous message, “Have taken Trier with two divisions… what do you want me to do, give it back?”
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 04:58:00 pm »


Seat61 is a goldmine ... https://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm#taking-your-bike-on-trains-in-mainland-europe

I couldn't find trains going directly to Hook that would carry bicycles, but The Hague and Rotherdam are not far away and can both be reached along pleasant cycle paths.

Trains don't run to the Hoek van Holland any more, it's now part of the Rotterdam metro. I understand that bikes can be conveyed on the metro as far as Schiedam Centrum, where you can transfer to the mainline network. Alternatively, it's not far to ride, on Dutch cycle paths pretty much all the way and as flat as the proverbial pancake!

With changes at Rotterdam Centraal, Utrecht Centraal, Arnhem Centraal and Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof you can get to Köln Hauptbahnhof on trains that definitely carry bikes - InterCity in the Netherlands and Regional Express in Germany. There is also an alternative route to Köln from Rotterdam Centraal, changing at Eindhoven Centraal, Venlo and Mönchengladbach Hauptbahnhof. This gives 2 trains per hour, pretty much all day with a journey time of just over 7 hours.

Information from the DB Navigator app, based on the weekday timetable.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
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jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2021, 05:51:42 pm »
I did the opps of this when I wasn't very well... I'd ridden out to Koln from The Harwich Ferry and then got the train from there to Brussels and from there Eurostar - you have to change trains on the border from German to Belgian (I think?). German lady in ticket office was very very helpful, train guard at boarder change over less so (didn't tell me about the guards van so I had bike in carriage with me and ensuing hassle of moving it around at every stop.

Eurostar was excellent.
Regards,

Joergen

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 06:31:33 pm »
That's an awesome write up wow. Think I could do with borrowing an auntie Helen to get us to Cologne.
Here’s my version of Wow’s write-up: http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk/mosel-2010/

From Hoek van Holland, as others have said, there is no longer a train. You need to cycle to Schiedam and from there you can get trains that go in the Köln direction via Venlo. I think you will need quite a few changes though.

As Wow said, you can’t take ICE trains (the fast silver ones) but you can take the RE (Regional Express) and they usually have reasonable bike space. You can also get a family train ticket in DE which should be reasonable value.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2021, 06:35:04 pm »

Ferry to Hoek, metro to Roterdam, IC train to Arnhem, Arriva stop train to Dusseldorf, DB re train or S-Babn to Koln.

Done.

No reservations needed on any of them in normal times.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 06:45:04 pm »
Can you take bikes on the Metro then? And is it actually running yet?
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 06:46:53 pm »
Can you take bikes on the Metro then? And is it actually running yet?

Yes. And yes. Outside of rush hour.

Been running since at least 2019 when I used it.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 06:53:48 pm »
It wasn’t running last time I went that way but of course that was pre-Corona but I think was 2019.

There was an electric storm which killed all the trains and I ended up stuck in Tilburg. Managed after a couple of hours to get a train to Nijmegen but the NS website had no trains from there to anywhere near me. So Klaus drove to pick me up. He was halfway to me when someone told me about the Arriva train... but it was too late by then. Venlo would have been less of a drive for Klaus!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 07:58:37 pm »
The metro looks an important part. I could easily cycle to Roterdam but don't want to wipe the rest of the family out with a ride and then a day on the trains before we even start.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 08:14:46 pm »
It used to be the case that you could take bikes on rush-hour trains in NL in July & August. No idea if it still is. But of course it's a Metro rather than whatever it was.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2021, 08:40:09 pm »
We took the train from Amsterdam to Mainz in summer 2017 with 2 tandems and one solo bike.  As Wow has already said ICE trains are best avoided but IC trains have good cycle capacity.
Avoiding ICE trains necessitated using 4 separate trains for us, all the changes were fine except the Dusseldorf which was tight on time and very busy.
DB Rail have an English language booking line, they were terrific when we used them, really took their time ensuring that we had a booking that would work for us. 

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2021, 08:58:02 pm »
It wasn’t running last time I went that way but of course that was pre-Corona but I think was 2019.

There was an electric storm which killed all the trains and I ended up stuck in Tilburg. Managed after a couple of hours to get a train to Nijmegen but the NS website had no trains from there to anywhere near me. So Klaus drove to pick me up. He was halfway to me when someone told me about the Arriva train... but it was too late by then. Venlo would have been less of a drive for Klaus!

Ouch.

Knowing where to get across the border has proven very useful on my various jaunts in the area.

Heerlen -> Aachen,
Venlo -> Dusseldorf,
Arnhem -> Dusseldorf.

I've used them all at one point or another. There's talk of a direct IC train from Aarchen into the Dutch network, but I can't find any info on it.

The metro is definitely running, 9292.nl confirms. Very useful. Officially you can't take a bike on it before 0900. But I've yet to be checked.

Yes, you can take bikes on NS trains at any hour in July and August, I always forget about that...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2021, 12:43:25 pm »
It may have changed since 6 years ago, but I got charged an excess fare on one train I caught from Munich as apparently the ticket I had only applied to slower trains.  So make sure the tickets you buy are valid for the trains you are planning on catching.
In the dark, all views are the same.

Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2021, 07:20:31 pm »

Ferry to Hoek, metro to Rotterdam, IC train to Arnhem, Arriva stop train to Dusseldorf, DB re train or S-Babn to Koln.

Done.

No reservations needed on any of them in normal times.

J

This is the easiest way, but:

[1] Bike capacity on Dutch IC-trains is limited. If you get the crappiest of all Dutch trains (for train nerds: model ICMm-IV), then you'll barely fit 3 bikes into one carriage. You may have to split your family, temporarily, into duos.

[2] Buying a bike ticket for the stop train to Dusseldorf is a pain in the ass. It's possible via the DB navigator app (not at Arnhem Centraal afaik). The obvious buttons to click are: Transport Associations, Rhein-Ruhr, Select Ticket, and then whatever you need. At least, there now appears to be an explicit Fahrrad-ticket, in the past it was one of those mysterious Zusatz-tickets.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2021, 07:44:59 pm »
This is the easiest way, but:

[1] Bike capacity on Dutch IC-trains is limited. If you get the crappiest of all Dutch trains (for train nerds: model ICMm-IV), then you'll barely fit 3 bikes into one carriage. You may have to split your family, temporarily, into duos.

For those not resident. If you download the OV Info app, it will tell you what type of stock each service will use, as well as give live arrival/departure info.

With that information, for Dutch IC trains the bike settings are:

- VIRM 4 - space for 2 bikes at each end of the train, I think it' the 2nd set of doors from the ends.
- VIRM 6 - Same as the VIRM 4, but an additional space in the middle for 2 bikes. Note that while officially it's max 2 bikes per space on the virms. I've seen 8+
- ICM 4 - These have space for 2 bikes, at each end of the train. Enter via the end most set of doors
- ICM 3 - Space for 2 bikes at one end only, entry via an end set of door, Which end arrives at which position of the platform is a roulette. ICM 3 is often run in a dual config, with two of them. Sods law says the bike spaces are at the opposite ends, if one is full, it's a sprint to the other end in hope it isn't.



Quote

[2] Buying a bike ticket for the stop train to Dusseldorf is a pain in the ass. It's possible via the DB navigator app (not at Arnhem Centraal afaik). The obvious buttons to click are: Transport Associations, Rhein-Ruhr, Select Ticket, and then whatever you need. At least, there now appears to be an explicit Fahrrad-ticket, in the past it was one of those mysterious Zusatz-tickets.

Oh, you need to pay for a bike ticket on that? oops...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2021, 03:04:11 am »
Which of those code names is a koopler and which is a bison?

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yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2021, 02:11:02 pm »
Which of those code names is a koopler and which is a bison?

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Koploper - ICM3 and ICM4 - Electric Multiple Unit currently in service with NS
Bison (.en) or Buffel (.nl) - DM '90 - Diesel Multiple Unit no longer in service with NS (May be in use elsewhere!)


Links are to Dutch Wikipedia
NS = Nederlandse Spoorwegen
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2021, 03:28:14 pm »
Dank je

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yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2021, 03:54:45 pm »
Niets te danken!
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire

Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2021, 08:20:34 pm »
Mooi dat er hier nu ook Nederlands wordt gesproken.

Thanks, yorkie. To be honest, as a native Dutch person I didn't quite understand what FifeingEejit meant by a koopler, but you made the connection :-)

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Getting bikes to cologne
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2021, 08:36:33 pm »
Yeah remembered the names wrong.
For the little Nederlands I've managed to learn and speak, and my friends using English in the house as a rule so they know what their kids are saying about them, I also manage horiffic mashes with Duits.

Which is a problem since they live  in an area popular with Germans since as soon as i've made the mistake of "ik spreekt niet goede Duits" The locals are speaking in German at a level beyond my knowledge.

Get them back when I forget to speak English though.

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