Author Topic: Bikes on trains  (Read 4444 times)

Bikes on trains
« on: May 04, 2015, 10:03:59 pm »
How do all.  Hope you've enjoyed your bank holiday.

Quick question regarding taking a bike on a train. I was hoping to get the train from Warrington to Southport this weekend and ride back along the Transpennine Trail, but I can't see anywhere on thetrainline.com to specify I want to book a bike on.  Am I being a numpty, or are there more hoops to jump through to achieve the seemingly simple task?

Cheers,

Pete

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 10:05:55 pm »
Use a different booking engine, e.g. the TransPennine Express website.

Not all of them have the bit for bike bookings, annoyingly.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 10:10:05 pm »
a) check the 'cycle policy' of the companies (TOC) whose trains you wish to use. Some TOCs require reservations, some do not. For the journey you state, it may well be Northern Rail, who do not usually require reservations.

b) if a cycle reservation is needed, you can do it at https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/  It doesn't matter whether you are using their trains or not.

HTH

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2015, 10:19:34 pm »
thetrainline.com charges a booking fee, so you can save money buying your tickets somewhere else anyway.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 10:22:26 pm »
http://www.southernrailway.com/ are my current favourite, as they understand cycle reservations and will post you tickets free of charge.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2015, 10:34:32 pm »
Thank you all. Much appreciated. That's the tickets sorted at least! 

Now its just the fun of taking my bike on the train for the first time and having to make a dash from one station to another in Wigan for the 13 minute change over.  I do hope the ride's worth it.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 07:42:35 am »
http://www.southernrailway.com/ are my current favourite, as they understand cycle reservations and will post you tickets free of charge.

Ditto London Midland
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 08:07:10 am »
http://www.southernrailway.com/ are my current favourite, as they understand cycle reservations and will post you tickets free of charge.

TPE here, for the same reasons, unless I'm booking an east coast service which tends to get a slight online discount via their own website - although I haven't used EC much since they became virgin.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2015, 08:23:20 am »
http://www.southernrailway.com/ are my current favourite, as they understand cycle reservations and will post you tickets free of charge.

TPE here, for the same reasons, unless I'm booking an east coast service which tends to get a slight online discount via their own website - although I haven't used EC much since they became virgin.

Under Virgin, "slight online discount" seems to mean that I only have to mortgage 1.5 of my limbs.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2015, 11:00:56 am »
Redspottedhanky also will do cycle reservations.

D.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 11:05:50 am »
As will chiltern. Southern are where I normally use now out of habit (and occasionally they, accidentally I think, discount non-southern tickets in their deals), but any of the sites that use that booking system do the same job.

The Trainline is a clunky system that costs more with the fees, but is advertised widely. Stick to the train operator sites or redspottedhanky (who also take clubcard vouchers)
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 11:17:42 am »
Redspottedhanky also will do cycle reservations.
But they now charge £1 booking fee, plus £1 for postage.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2015, 04:58:58 pm »
Redspottedhanky also will do cycle reservations.
But they now charge £1 booking fee, plus £1 for postage.

I generally buy a months worth of tickets (£150 ish) in a go and collect at a machine so just pay a pound. I think the fees for trainline when I used my card were about £6.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 03:45:00 pm »
Photo here of the bike spaces on the new (so new they haven't yet arrived!) electric HSTs.
http://hitachirail-eu.mynewsdesk.com/images/class-800-801-interiors-bicycle-storage-space-323845


Apparently, at least on Great Western where most of these trains are headed, you'll soon be able to book a bike space on day of departure rather than at least 24 hours ahead as now. Hopefully this will stop people booking a space on every train for the day, just in case!
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 03:49:57 pm »
Yup, that looks like the mock-up I played with with the CTC.  Works about as well as anyone else's dangly bike space.  (Well, marginally better than CrossCountry's.)

I see they've used the standard mountain bike that bike spaces are designed for.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2016, 03:52:40 pm »
What I note is that one is hanging from the rear wheel.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2016, 03:58:01 pm »
That's usually what you have to do to get two bikes to share a dangly bike space.  Unless they've got drop bars or are very different sizes.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2016, 04:00:20 pm »
I've never seen it done like that in practice, but I haven't used that many danglers. Where possible, I'll take a flip-seat train to avoid them, even though it's slower.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2017, 10:44:20 am »
b) if a cycle reservation is needed, you can do it at https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/  It doesn't matter whether you are using their trains or not.

HTH

Yes, that did help! Thank you!

I've spent the last week trying to book a ticket and a bike space for a CrossCountry service. Would previously have used the Southern Trains website, but that's gone crap, and ended up phoning CrossCountry instead ...only to be told to call back in a week because the cycle spaces hadn't been released yet. That or buy a flexible ticket for twice the price so that I could adjust the timing to suit possible bike space availability when they became available. I declined that option!

I just phone them back again on the allotted day, only to be told that their system was showing all the bike spaces as 'full' for the train I wanted and for 2 hours either side.

Came here to rant and clutch at straws, but spotted the East Coast tip and thought I'd give it a try - it seems to have worked! (Probably won't actually believe it until I have the orange cardboard in my hand though.)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 10:54:54 am »
If it's a Voyager I wish you strength and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y arms.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2017, 11:07:35 am »
It's a "Diesel multiple unit". S-t-r-e-t-c-h-y arms always required because I'm not an average bloke.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2017, 11:16:28 am »
Diesel multiple unit should mean a space with tippy seats to lean it against, or something similar. S-t-r-e-t-c-h-y arms not required in this case.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2017, 11:36:58 am »
You don't need to book bikes on an XC Voyager anyway.  Two of their spaces are reservable, one is walk-up, all of them are accessible without the guard's say-so, none of them are ever checked and all their trains take more than three bikes on a regular basis.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2017, 11:42:36 am »
You don't have to, but it's good for peace of mind because as you say, the 3 bike spaces usually contain 4 bikes, half a dozen oversized suitcases and a bin bag full of discarded coffee cups before you even get on. However, it looks as if nikki's not going on a Voyager anyway.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Bikes on trains
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2017, 12:32:44 pm »
Does CrossCountry do anything other than the big Voyager style trains? I think that's the sort of thing I'm expecting (and I've been allocated a seat in coach D), although tippy seats next to a toilet may actually be preferable...