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catching the euro train with bike

mazzamazza Posts: 52
edited November 2007 in Tour & expedition
can i catch the train fron london to paris with my bike using a bike bag from the ctc

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Yes and no. If it's the big plastic bag that you put over the bike without dismatling it then the answer is probably no. (I say 'probably no' because if you get an understanding train manager they might let you put it in the cargo compartment). Otherwise it's a bit of a risk. Ideally you should need to be able to put it on the luggage racks which means taking the wheels off etc. I'd recommend the Ground Effect Tardis bag which you can pack down and send to your final destination (either to a hotel or poste restante to a post office).
  • adh038adh038 Posts: 67
    Ive done this from Waterloo to Belgium on Eurostar many times and never had a problem providing that the bike is in a full bike bag (with wheels off, h'bars turned etc). Make sure you go through the big scanner though (not sure how this changes with the move to St Pancras). On most Eurostar trains, Carriage 3 has a much bigger luggage area that will easily accomodate the bike. Other carriages are generally tricky with smaller luggage areas that have little or no space for a bike, especially when busy. They don't tell you this when you 'check-in' however!!
  • With the current Eurostar euphoria in mind, I had a look at the Eurostar site with a view to ride-on/ride-off. It seems like it is possible (sort of) if you book but they reserve the right to bu**er you about for 24 hours. Hardly had me cancelling my flight.
    ================================
    Cake is just weakness entering the body
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    With the current Eurostar euphoria in mind, I had a look at the Eurostar site with a view to ride-on/ride-off. It seems like it is possible (sort of) if you book but they reserve the right to bu**er you about for 24 hours. Hardly had me cancelling my flight.

    That is at least something of an improvement on the previous position. Though the French Railways actually converted the cargo compartments on the same type of train to carry bikes.

    I was reading an article yesterday in the CBI's magazine about Eurostar's Tread Lightly policy where they aim to become carbon neutral by some date in the future. May be worth writing to them to suggest that becoming more bike-friendly would be a start?
  • Make no mistake - eurostar is not bike friendly.

    Apart from the st Pancras having parking for only about 3 bikes, the eurostar company and it's freight division don't care about your bike.

    I've posted about this before, so apologies to those sensitive to repetitive rants:

    A friend of mind sent his brand new Condor Italia via the eurostar frieght. It was put on the train in London but never made it to the depot in PAris. Between the train and the depot it went "missing". His was the only one of five nice bikes that went missing - his was also new and shiny - the rest of ours were covered in cardboard, bubble wrap and grime.

    If you take it on the train with you, suggest you get there super early and watch over the luggage space like a hawk for hard suitcase bashing action. And if you have a removable gear hangers - take a spare.

    good luck
    "There are holes in the sky,
    Where the rain gets in.
    But they're ever so small
    That's why rain is thin. " Spike Milligan
  • I couldn't recommend Eurostar more highly.

    Our family took our bikes (4 of them) on Eurostar direct to Avignon the year before last. As we had cycled to Waterloo, it was a slight palaver breaking the bikes down and bagging them up on the concourse before check-in, but otherwise their procedures and the journey were dead easy. We didn't even need to book to take the bikes - you can just turn up with them and there's no charge. The bike bag counts as one piece of your 2 carry on items allowed - the panniers were the other item.

    At no point did anyone except us handle our bikes - so any damage would be down to us. We had a stout but unpadded Velox bike bag each, in the standard 'wheels-off' 90x120 size which goes through the scanner and fits on the carriage end luggage racks. They cost about £30 each from Chainreaction. The bags rolled up into a sausage which went in a bag supplied and bungied easily on to the top of the rack, they weighed about 3 lb each.

    There were dozens of people on the same train with padded and hardcase bike bags (all going for Ventoux I guess) who, I presume, were using hire cars and wouldn't even have had the slight hassle of packing and unpacking the bikes at each end like we did.

    Even if you don't travel on Eurostar, a trip to St Pancras is well worth a detour and give yourself enough time for a glass of bubbly.
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