Author Topic: Tandems on the tube  (Read 657 times)

Tandems on the tube
« on: November 20, 2019, 07:17:16 pm »
Has anyone had any experience of taking a tandem on London Underground? 

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 09:58:03 pm »
No, indeed it's a long time since I took a bike on the tube.

Sounds like a YouTube hit in the making. Going to one of the nice deep stations? :demon:

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PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 10:13:23 pm »
Think that you can’t take any sort of bicycle on the “deep” lines. Where are you hoping to go to/from?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 11:19:21 pm »
Just surface lines....within the rules for "cycles", depth and time-wise.  The Docklands Light Railway expressly forbids tandems, but there is silence when one looks at the underground's web pages. 

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 11:28:02 pm »
It’s going to be dependent on getting it past station/platform staff without them noticing it and deciding to make a fuss. Drivers are unlikely to care / spot it.

I’d say your chances of getting it through the gates at a staffed central station aren’t amazing.
Surface stations in the suburbs are much less often staffed, especially off peak, and there are places you can access the network without going past staff. What’s your route exactly?

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 12:39:54 am »
...was thinking Central Line, east or west, above ground.   I wonder which reason or rule the staff would be able to quote if they turned a tandem away.  I seem to remember penny farthings being raced at Hog Hill, their journey included some district line travel.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 10:42:07 am »
central line operates small trains, a tandem (even if smuggled past the staff) would not be gladly received by fellow passengers.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2019, 12:51:25 pm »
We never tried a tube train but did successfully take the tandem around London on the overground from Richmond to Shadwell (having finished a Ditchling Devil with a rather non functioning bike). We did wheel it past the gate at Richmond whilst the member of staff was distracted by other cyclists with non functioning Oyster cards, so whether it would have been challenged we don't really know. In fact the overground trains are perfectly suitable for a tandem but as Zigzag says, not so much a Central Line train - ours would not fit on one of these without completely blocking a doorway.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 12:51:47 pm »
The objection to bicycles on tube trains is that they impede along-the-train evacuation.  Presumably it's easier to fit a penny-farthing (which is tall, but not especially long) in in a way that doesn't obstruct the passage of passengers than a long bike.

On that basis, I'd say your chances would be improved with a shorter (small wheels) or separable tandem.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2019, 01:17:14 pm »
It's going to come down to how much the staff care and how much attention the staff are paying,a dn how much blagging you're willing to do. If you whizz through confidently enough they might not even notice. The actual rules matter not.

The station staff at Richmond all work for South West Railway, so don't care what you're taking on the Under/Overground, which is one of the many possible loopholes onto the network.

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2019, 05:28:40 pm »
OK Thanks all for your input,  Bhoot comes closest.  So no experiences to report.   My normal bicycle completely blocks the doorway on ]lightly trafficked outer lines of the tube but nobody worries because I always move it before opening at plaforms on the same side. However, I don't think a tandem much impedes movement along a carriage compared with a bicycle.  Evacuation unimpeded!  I'd say that foot passengers themselves are probably the biggest impediment to safe evacuation -  witness the crammed central lines during the rush hour! Very unsafe. They should be banned.   BTW there are very few passengers on outer Central line trains outside rush hours - I'd think they would be rather curious rather than unimpressed.  Cycles are a breeze btw.

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 10:45:22 pm »
I've always assumed no tandems on the tube, and so never tried taking mine.

Learned today that no items longer than two meters are allowed, so guess that would rule them out.

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 05:13:19 pm »
Great.  Thanks, Orienteer.  Here's the relevant document dated November 26 2019 [!] 
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-conditions-of-carriage.pdf

I note that a folded bicycle which may be taken on any London Underground line at all times can have wheels any size [section 9.6]  which  would include an Airnimal with 24" wheels.

The standard Circe Helios tandem reduces to 1.9m with the front wheel removed, and there's also a separable coupling model, fwiw.

Re: Tandems on the tube
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 06:25:54 pm »
Yes, I can reduce the length of my tandem (converted Moulton ATB) by detaching the front section, but wo+manhandling the two parts would be troublesome, especially if stairs were involved.

I'll stick to using the car for transportation! We normally head out of town rather than in for rides.

I do take solos on the tube, just have to avoid the deep tube tunnels and weekday peak hours.

It's a pity that no bicycles will be allowed in the central Crossrail tunnels either, despite the tunnel walkways provided for train evacuations.