CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Booking bikes on trains

(59 posts)

  1. firedfromthecircus
    Member

    And I found your attempt very helpful thanks Darkerside.

    Slings post too. ;-)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. WickyWocky
    Member

    Seat 61 is a good resource for all things about European train travel. Here's the link to taking bikes on trains

    http://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm

    Unfortunately the high speed and very nice ICE trains don't seem to carry them unless disguised as luggage.

    The DFDS ferry port in Amsterdam is quite a way from Amsterdam. The nearest station, I think, is Haarlem.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. PS
    Member

    The DFDS ferry to Amsterdam docks at IJmuiden. The nearest station to there seems to be Driehuis.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. Rosie
    Member

    Those links are very useful.Thanks all.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. Rosie
    Member

    I'm going to the same cottage in Skye as last year on 25 July and went to book my cycle on the train. Went to the Haymarket. No spaces left either to Kyle of Lochalsh or Mallaig. The booking for end of July would have only been open a couple of days. I could take a chance, but don't want to risk it. It's not a huge deal, as I can get public transport to Skye and be picked up and I didn't use my cycle much in Skye last year as the friends I was with were walking, but what a pain it is, in a country which needs money from tourism and tries to sell itself as a destination for cyclists.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. paddyirish
    Member

    Not good- can you get to Fort William and /or Inverness? Add a day's cycle to get to Skye?

    I'd let Abelio know of your displeasure and the fact that their capacity is woefully insufficient. Copy in Visit Scotland too

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. Morningsider
    Member

    Rosie - have you checked the Caledonian Sleeper? They operate a very early service from the Waverley to Fort William. Leaves at 0450 - might have cycle spaces available as they seem to have made it almost impossible to actually book a ticket or find information on their services.

    Details: https://www.sleeper.scot/index.php/?component=com_articles&id=96

    Probably best to phone them, as these daytimes tickets (which are advertised on their website) - cannot be booked online. Still, what do you expect from SERCO.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. ARobComp
    Member

    Rent a bike box = luggage ?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. LaidBack
    Member

    I have a large bike bag that could be useful. Take this with you and chances are you won't need it. We used this subterfuge to get a third bike onto a train with only two bookable spaces. Turned out there was enough space - two extra unbookable spaces.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. Tulyar
    Member

    Edinburgh-Fort Bill service currently leaves 04.50 (sits in platform from roughly 03.30, and gets an empty van and seated coach attached in Edinburgh. Gets to Fort Bill before 10.00 and so a midday sailing for Armadale. With the road bridge at Kyleakin there is probably a case to replace the car carrying boat on this service with a high speed 300 passenger boat (with space for some freight/single emergency vehicles) - this would be cheaper to operate and much faster for the crossing (a similar vessel now operates Gourock-Dunoon but at about half its maximum speed (30+kts))

    04.50 now stops at Glasgow Queen Street Low Level at 05.45-ish. This may change as it has been noticed that the Glasgow-Oban train departs 10 minutes EARLIER, and offers connections for the morning sailings rather than sailings after lunchtime. Timetables change on 17th May.

    Travel tickets for all Edinburgh-Mallaig services are valid on the train, but you may need to book a seat (hardly likely given that there are normally fewer than 5 people on the seats leaving Edinburgh most time I've used it).

    Remember too that Scottish Citylink do carry bikes if they are dismantled or folded down and packed in a bag or case (and space is available).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. Ed1
    Member

    Is there scotrail trains from Lockerbie to edinburgh what's it's like getting bike on if not? I don't want to book as don't know how long will take

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Ed1, unfortunately not. Scotrail trains get as far south as Dumfries, Carlisle and Newcastle, but Lockerbie is on the WCML and Scotrail trains don't use the WCML between Carlisle and Carstairs. The Caley Sleeper of course does use the main line but doesn't stop at Lockerbie.

    From Lockerbie heading north you have Virgin Trains on weekdays, but only a couple at most in the morning and again in the evening — and those are going to Glasgow, not Edinburgh.

    The FirstTransPennine trains from Manchester Airport to Edinburgh do stop at Lockerbie. They alternate with a service to Glasgow Central. There are a couple in the mornings and a few in the afternoon/evenings, but only every two hours.

    RealTimeTrains makes it very easy to find out what trains are leaving from a station, where they originated, where they're headed and when. Here is a Lockerbie list for today and an average Wednesday next week.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. sallyhinch
    Member

    If it's the TransPennine Express from Lockerbie there are bike spaces in the carriage (with flip-up seats). You can use them without booking if there is space. If it's the Virgin train the bike goes in the special locked space and you need to have booked.

    Beware that the Transpennine Express originates at Manchester Airport and nobody seems to have thought that passengers to and from an airport might have a lot of luggage with them so the bike space often gets repurposed as a luggage space. The whole train can also get very full at Lockerbie on a Saturday

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. Tulyar
    Member

    As a backstop the X74 runs between Glasgow & Dumfries via Moffat and has provision to carry up to 6 bikes, if you have any problems

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. Ed1
    Member

    I turned around when got messages about 20 miles from Moffat as I check and realised not many trains I tried Dumfries and it 67 quid compared to 18 quid. I will try it again in a few weeks booking or use x74 or on a weekday when more trains or will take tent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    I know this has been mentioned elsewhere, but just got by email from Virgin EC.

    Disappointing still not sorted.

    "

    Calling all cyclists

    It’s not currently possible to book a spot for your bicycle online, but you can still book space. If you want to bring your wheels, call us on 0345-722-5111 and we’ll get it sorted.

    "

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. ejstubbs
    Member

    @chdot: It is still possible to book cycle spaces for VTEC services online by using certain other TOCs' online booking sites. See:

    http://saveecrewards.co.uk/cycling/bike-reservation-online

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. LaidBack
    Member

    ScotRail certainly has bike space booking. Can book any train - just used it to go to Newcastle with Cross Country and Virgin EC.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. HankChief
    Member

  20. Greenroofer
    Member

    @HC - I use TPX trains for my leisure rides, and I'm relaxed about booking in advance (as I always do anyway). The thing that is annoying is that it means you can't use the train as a 'get me home' option if your long ride becomes a disaster. Say, for example, you were planning a ride from Manchester to Edinburgh (nice round 400km), but found when you got to Carlisle that you just weren't up to the final stretch, you wouldn't be able to jump on a TPX train back to Edinburgh. Lockerbie becomes useless as a bail-out point as all the trains from there are TPX. If you seriously think you might bail, then you will need to buy a ticket from your bail-out station just in case. Having that ticket means you will probably use it...

    If I were a regular TPX commuter, I'd be fuming. They suggest you buy two bikes...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. gembo
    Member

    Apparently common in nederlands - one bike to take you from home to station where you take the train then at the other ended you have your second bike that takes you from the station to your place of work, apparently. Too many bikes to allow bikes on trains at peak commute times. Can take bike on train off peak but must buy it a ticket, apparently

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. sallyhinch
    Member

    In extremis, the Carlisle-Dumfries-Glasgow service takes bikes without reservations, and has six hanging spaces.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. paulmilne
    Member

    Buying two bikes is fine for a regular commuter with fixed end points (indeed I do that myself) but less handy for @Greenroofer's scenario.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. Tulyar
    Member

    In this wired/wireless age it beggars belief that TPE bookings (transfer from National system to TPE at midnight) involve centrally printing tickets & posting them (internally) to the starting points for trains.

    Crosscountry can do a reservation 5 min before departure as they have an instant reservation system, which can see what spaces are available on their trains and allocate then - twitter of call centre, can also text TM so you will be expected.

    Most interesting is the new assisted travel app, which uses the CIS/PIS data feed to the information systems on stations etc, tracking the train in real time using TRUST or DARWIN feeds directly fed from the signalling system outputs. You can see how such an app can be delivered by using RealTimeTrains.co.uk itself an app by an independent developer (Tom Cairns), or you can beat the dash for the train when the display shows which platform, by using OpenTrainTimes, which shows where the trains are on the tracks - including your train in the platform before the displays are activated....

    All it needs is an app on which every train can be tracked, and you can see which are full and which have bike spaces, and optional 'other' spaces for bikes (which we already see with Scotrail - often 12-16 bikes on the trains to the Arran Ferry and even 32 bikes on an 8-coach 'happy train' to Glasgow - when its quiet). This is based on the agreed safety case, originally for trains with no bike spaces, where bikes were allowed in the double door vestibules on the opposite side to the platforms, and with the rider staying by the bike to move it when required.

    This of course means that a 3-coach Class 170 running to Tweedbank, and not too busy, can carry 16 bikes using the door vestibules for 2 bikes apiece at the guard's discretion - something not possible with the Class 158's.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. HankChief
    Member

    So, my TPE experience is turning into a bit of an epic...

    Got on train at Haymarket and had to shift a while bunch of people out of the bike storage area, only to find the train was terminating at Carlisle due to a landslip further south.

    I'm now trying out the Northern train from Carlisle to Newcastle before hopefully picking up another train South from there.

    The guards have been told to relax all the rules on bike reservations so I got on all right (not seen another bike heading the same way).

    The Northern train stores the bike by sticking the front wheel into a slot and securing it by a strap - I only found the strap after the bike fell out :-( glad I didn't bring the nice bike.

    Fingers crossed I can get on the next train South or I might have to contemplate an overnight ride back to Edinburgh...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. Greenroofer
    Member

    @HC - are you planning some kind of epic ride at the end of all this?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. HankChief
    Member

    (Not yet...) just a social trundle round Yorkshire with an old friend, trying out a couple of canalside paths (from my Sustrans traffic free routes book) with 2 climbs (from my 100 greatest climbs book) thrown in for good measure :-)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. Tulyar
    Member

    Megabus from Neville Street (outside station) to Edinburgh around 23.10 -handy when you miss last train - usually has plenty of seats, since many get off at Newcastle - wrap bike up & it goes in hold or trailer. Natex also carries wrapped up bikes, as does Citylink

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. SRD
    Moderator

    Took 4 bikes to Blair Atholl. Had reservations for 2. Main problem was luggage stored in the bike space. Guards on both trains excellent. Friendly & helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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