Author Topic: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial  (Read 1971 times)

Do you have a small wheel separable tandem such as a Bike Friday or a Circe Helios with the separable system? We need crew and bike for a a train loading trial in Glasgow on 1st of December. To fill in the background to this trial: Last year Scotrail came out with new rules for taking tandems on their trains so you can take a tandem on some services. At the same time they brought in a ban on taking separated tandems on any services. Most of the companies are easy about tandems that split for transport letting them load as two solos so this ban came as an unwelcome surprise. We will be taking part in the loading trial in Glasgow with a big wheel tandem with S & S couplers, certainly the most common sort of splitting frame, but it would very useful to have a small-wheeler along too. Please comment and message me if you can help.

Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #1 on: 22 November, 2023, 11:04:42 am »
Try posting here: http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/ I know there are some Circe Helios owners on that forum.

Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #2 on: 25 November, 2023, 09:18:22 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion.

Until a few hours ago we appeared to have a Bike Friday and crew lined up but have just found out the crew has other pressing business on Friday so I will try posting as you suggest now.

Martyn

Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #3 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:42:06 pm »
The five loading trials in Glasgow went very well. We only had one big wheel separable to load but given the perceived difficulties from the Scotrail side (largely dispelled by the trials I hope) and the time available using in-service trains during their dwell time in Glasgow, this was the ideal number of bikes. I am following up the helpful lead for Edinburgh.

We also got first hand experience of travelling with our heavy touring tandem in one piece on three Avanti West Coast Pendolinos.

It was a bit cold hanging around at the stations, well below recommended temperatures for our eigth decades of life but we also fitted in a happy ride along the canal to the Falkirk Wheel and back, all done by an hour or so after sunset.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #4 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:53:31 pm »
We also got first hand experience of travelling with our heavy touring tandem in one piece on three Avanti West Coast Pendolinos.

How did that go?  I've only used one once since before the plague (fortunately with a standard mountain bike), and was disappointed that the unconventional-bike-friendly cupboard area has been downgraded with dangly bike racks, and the internal door is now crew access only to prevent you getting your bike ready to unload before arriving at your destination.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #5 on: 03 December, 2023, 02:42:47 pm »
We took our two solo touring bikes on pendolinos three weeks ago. On the way up (a refurbished 11 car) had some racks which were a bit odd - 2 of them enabled us to slot our wheels in, but the other two were sort of blocked off, no idea how you were supposed to use those, but only 2 bikes on the train so no issues. On the way back (unrefurbished 9 car) it was just the empty cupboard space, so no dangling seen at all. So is there a third variant? Also it was possible to get through. We asked the train manager and were told to open the door before our stop and go through to get ready.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #6 on: 03 December, 2023, 03:40:31 pm »
The one I encountered was along the long wall of the cupboard, and designed to take four bikes; two dangling interleaved with two at ground level.  The bikes would meet the wall at an angle, so as not to stick out too far and block the gangway.  So if I wanted to transport the Streetmachine, instead of simply wheeling it into the cupbaord and securing it with the strap it would either have to be completely unloaded and dangled by the rear wheel (likely in a way that would cause the handlebars to block other bikes), or supported by the rear mudguard.

Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #7 on: 03 December, 2023, 06:48:36 pm »
Our booked direct train on the way back from Glasgow was cancelled so I got to see three different Pendolino sets with both the older free form cupboard type and the newer four space arrangement intended to have two bikes hanging by their back wheels (spaces A and C) and two with both wheels on the deck (B and D).
There was a 26" wheel MTB with us on the way back but we simply overlapped that with the tandem which stood on its wheels, the front wheel in space D, the most far forward.
The only minor problem is that there is a curved-edge door on the back of the cycle space with some safety doo-dah hanging inside. This made the turn from the door that side too tight with both wheels on the deck as the bike was forced to roll to the right by contact between the stoker bars and said curved-edge door. The Avanti station man at Rugby was happy to lift the back of the bike to effectively shorten it and let me get it around the corner. I had to lift it solo at Glasgow and Margaret did the lift at Preston. It might help to turn the pilot's seat post 90 degrees anticlockwise to let the bike stand more upright but I didn't think of that at Preston before our final loading. The door on the other side of the train is fine. It is important to make sure the train manager knows you have a bike to unload as the external doors to the bike spaces can only be opened with the appropriate key. The communicating door to the carriage A opens easily from the carriage side and there are two seats right next to the door reserved for cyclists.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Small wheel separable tandem+crew needed Glasgow train loading trial
« Reply #8 on: 03 December, 2023, 08:02:27 pm »
The communicating door to the carriage A opens easily from the carriage side and there are two seats right next to the door reserved for cyclists.

Only if you have a carriage key or force the mechanism.  They used to just have a push-button and a sign saying train crew only.  Possibly they haven't made this modification on the entire fleet yet?