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Anyone used Virgin Trains to carry their bike?

simonnsimonn Posts: 88
edited April 2008 in Tour & expedition
Hello,

In order to cart my knackered Raleigh back from London after this
http://www.justgiving.com/simonnicholl
I've managed to book it on a train from Euston to Preston,despite Virgin's help.

Has anyone any tips to ensure as problem-free a journey as is possible,please?
I'm thinking in terms of securing the bike/padding it etc. .
All ideas are welcome!

Cheers,

Si.

http://www.justgiving.com/simonnicholl

Posts

  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    I've only done one trip.

    I was okay on the Virgin train from Leeds, but had problems on the local train to Leeds. There had been restraining straps in the bike compartment but they had broken. Fortunately I'd taken some long bungee cords in case I needed to make my bike more secure.

    If there is another bike in the compartment, there is a good chance of them swaying against each other so it might be an idea to take some bubble wrap to put between them.

    Don't forget to attach your bike reservation ticket to your bike.

    Last piece of advice - my seat was at the far end of the train from the bike compartment. I left it a bit late to get out of my seat between Birmingham International and Coventry (about 10 minutes by train). I hadn't allowed for the degree of overcrowding on the train and couldn't physically get to my bike through the train :shock: ! I had to disembark at Coventry and run along the crowded platform and get back on at the other end of the train. I then had about 1 minute to get my bike off the train against a flow of people trying to get on. Make sure that you are there, standing next to your bike 5 minutes before your station!
  • simonnsimonn Posts: 88
    Hello Colin,

    That's great advice-thanks very much!
    I'll definitely bring a bungee and some wrap too.

    Cheers,

    Si.
  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    I do this trip at least once a week with the bike, and often twice. The bike storage is at the front of the train (beyond Coach A), at Euston. If the door isn't open, see if the driver is in his cab and bang on the window - often there are no platform staff around. I've never had a problem getting a driver to let me on. The driver change for all trains is usually at Preston, so I find it useful to make a bit of polite conversation and check that the driver is getting off there. You can walk back into Coach A from the van - the door is marked staff only, but it's not locked; that gives you loads of time between Leyland and Preston to get back up to your bike before you arrive at Platform 5 or 3.

    IMHO Virgin are brilliant with bikes; the driver and the train managers are all really helpful.
  • simonnsimonn Posts: 88
    Hi Ray,

    That's brilliant-thanks for the tips!

    All the best,

    Si.
  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    rdaviesb wrote:
    I do this trip at least once a week with the bike, and often twice. The bike storage is at the front of the train (beyond Coach A), at Euston. If the door isn't open, see if the driver is in his cab and bang on the window - often there are no platform staff around. I've never had a problem getting a driver to let me on. The driver change for all trains is usually at Preston, so I find it useful to make a bit of polite conversation and check that the driver is getting off there. You can walk back into Coach A from the van - the door is marked staff only, but it's not locked; that gives you loads of time between Leyland and Preston to get back up to your bike before you arrive at Platform 5 or 3.

    IMHO Virgin are brilliant with bikes; the driver and the train managers are all really helpful.
    Used them recently to get to a funeral in Stockport--I agree with everything above. Compared to some of the miserable awkward sods on GNER.....
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
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