CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Questions/Support/Help

Trains to Aviemore: unreserved bikes allowed?

(15 posts)
  • Started 2 months ago by Mandopicker101
  • Latest reply from gembo
  • This topic is resolved

  1. Mandopicker101
    Member

    I'm heading north tomorrow with a friend, intending to do a bit of cycling. Problem is there's two of us and (according to Scotrail) only one bicycle reservation (and yes, we're both taking our bikes).

    Are Scotrail apt to apply some latitude and not bother or actually get very bothered because you haven't got a reservation?

    As it is, the plan is to travel as far as Newtonmore and amble Aviemore-wards.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. jonty
    Member

    Travelling from Pitlochry to Edinburgh (which is the same line) the man in the ticket office suggested that I might have bother putting my bike on the next East Coast train depending on the conductor, but as it happened he was totally chill. I think ScotRail is even more flexible - the main concern for unreserved bikes is whether there's space. I imagine you'll be lucky in this regard given that it's the winter.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. Mandopicker101
    Member

    Thanks - that's good to hear. Cycling hols are back on track...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. Mandopicker101
    Member

    In the end, I needn't have worried. The guard cared not a jot. Well done Scotrail.

    Disembarked early, at Dalwhinnie, and rode the 20 odd miles to our holiday let near Feshiebridge. Lots of liquid sunshine dropped on us at the start. Pause at the Newtonmore Grill for, er, apple crumble and custard before going on.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. LaidBack
    Member

    @Mandopicker101 - sometimes guards are like that. It's the randomness that makes it stressful.
    Apple crumble - good choice!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. unhurt
    Member

    Oh, Newtonmore Grill - is that the place at the S end that had ducks outside? Glad it's open again if so, it shut for a while when I was still driving up & down to Caithness a lot and I missed it (usefully placed for personal refuelling. I'm not a huge fan of the Ralia Cafe...)

    ETA: no, I'm a geographical eedjit. It's the place in Dalwhinnie I'm thinking of, opposite the wee petrol station.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. Rosie
    Member

    @andopicker101 I've got myself in a lather about whether I'll get my bike on the unbooked train and then have had no problem with the guard. This discretion by the guard makes me reluctant to demand a cast-iron booking system - it could work to your disadvantage. More spaces please...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. Rosie
    Member

    I did pick up a train at Newtonmore once, no problems me getting on. By the time we got to Pitlochry it was getting very crowded, though I don't think anyone was turned away.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. Tulyar
    Member

    Option also for Citylink coach (Clause 56) - with bag or groundsheet covering it (bars turned also useful)

    Faster to Perth via M90, free coffee on 'Gold' services. (Seat) Booking advisable & fare = £0 booking = £1

    Reports indicate that up to 30 bikes on LNER Up Highland Chieftain between INV-EDB but only unloaded at main stops (8 min available at EDB)

    PLEASE help me with a crowd-sourced survey, by counting the totals if bikes and passengers on any train you are using, with details of the type of train & number of coaches/units.

    Typically I'm recording trains off peak with 30-50% passenger loading, & 10% of passengers with bikes. DM me with reports

    Note that a 3-car Class 170 with discretionary use of door vestibules on the side away from platform can fit in around 16 bikes.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. Mandopicker101
    Member

    One last brush with the uncertainties of Scotrail and bikes on my trip up north.

    On the way home, we decided to drop off the cyclists at Pitlochry, lunch at Escape Route and then have a pleasant ride round Loch Tummel as a last hurrah.

    Made it to the station in good time for the 5:35. The chap in the office advised buying tickets on the train as we didn't have reservations. He didn't want us to be in a situation of having bought tickets we couldn't use.

    Who'd think a Tuesday evening train in early February would be full to the gunwales? Scotrail staff evidently. Mild concern that we might not make the train.

    As it was, we had zero problems on board, plenty of space.

    This trip has demonstrated that Scotrail seem to want to try and be accommodating, but the booking system doesn't give you confidence that, actually, the guard will just smile and say no problem if you lack a reservation. I'd like to think that's just an unfortunate wording on their system rather than a policy to discourage cycles from just turning up.

    My friend who traveled up separately said his bike was in the guard's van. Zero issues. Could we not just have those on all long distance Scotrail services? Handy for big luggage too.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. jonty
    Member

    I don't know how many different ticket office staff there are at Pitlochry but based on my and others' experiences at least one of them is an (otherwise exceedingly helpful) pessimist, at least when it comes to the likelihood of successfully getting your bike on a train.

    Having said that, I guess all it takes is a few irate customers to make you wary of making any implicit promises.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. gembo
    Member

    Also if it is not up to you and you know at least one guard is a stickler.

    Way back in the origin myths of this forum there was a friendly guard who let you pile on your bikes. Someone had their bike scratched by someone else's bike and complained to ScotRail. The helpful guard was disciplined for his helpfulness.

    Goes around comes around

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. bax
    Member

    the booking system was always a farce in practise

    you often get fockers steaming on double quick at waverley, locking !!! their bike to the bit without a reservation, then scuttling aff like beetles to hide til they reach their wherever

    by the time you depart Perth, and the guards often change there, you've got a right old royal knees-up between the chancers and the two !!! legit cycle reservations

    most guards just shake their heads in disgust and move swiftly on, what else can they do

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Way back in the origin myths of this forum

    The....have I been. Misinformed?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. gembo
    Member

    @IWRATS, I have PM'd you. Basically the Welsh were here first as you pointed out Stathclyde and Strath Clwyd. After a gubbing on Arthur's seat called Godotthin they went to Wales. This then allowed Dunedin to emerge. After several millennia an entity called CHDot materialised with a virtual reality which then involved a monthly worship in reality reality at a temple called PY which involved Bells one winter solstice and forced the whole cargo to Cult.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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