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Refuse cycles on train

Cannock ChaseCannock Chase Posts: 558
edited October 2013 in Tour & expedition
Has anyone been refused taking their bicycle on a train even though they HAVE made a cycle reservation?

Next summer the wife and I hope to cycle around Brittany. This will initially involve a train journey from the Midlands to Plymouth by Cross Country Trains. Reading the companys website it obviously recommends making cycle reservations which of course I will do. It also says:
"For safety reasons, our on-board staff can refuse to allow bikes on board if there is insufficient space on the train"
Has this ever happened to you?
A two-weeks cycling holiday without the bikes is a little pointless..!!
I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
Trek Madone - Carbon


  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,840
    Yes, a quite a while ago though.

    It was on a Sunday, I'd made a reservation at the station and the timetable had subsequently been changed due to engineering work so the train didn't exist, and the next logical train was jam packed so no way I could get on.

    I only travel locally with my bike now so don't reserve and just avoid peak times and don't have a problem. Some train staff will go out of their way to help you.

    Can you book yourself on the train at say 10am, then if you can't get on that one for any reason there will still be a later train you can get and still make the ferry?
  • Thanks for the reply. I haven't looked at ferry times yet, but depending on that we may play safe and travel down to Plymouth the day before and book a B&B.
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
    Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
    Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
    Trek Madone - Carbon
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Thousands of cyclists travel every day with their bikes - although of course as with any form of transport things go wrong. Probably the main thing to worry about is maintenance work and rail replacement services - but these are planned and advertised well in advance - so there's no need to get caught out.

    Train companies will always cover themselves with small print - but IME train staff will always be helpful - especially if you have a reservation. But I'd definitely second thistle's suggestion of leaving yourself a train in hand.

    When I toured Britanny (4? years ago) I stayed in Roscoff before catching the morning ferry to Plymouth - so presumably the ferry the other way is a night ferry. If that's still the case you have the whole day to get there. Ditto Portsmouth.

    I'd check train and ferry times - I expect you'll find that it's a lot easier than you think.

    You may also find that there are different options for getting there - ask on here if you need more.
  • BodhbhBodhbh Posts: 117
    It happens now and then that a train is so full there's no way in hell you're gonna get on with a bike no matter if it's reserved or not, i.e. some Arriva trains doing the North Coast of Wales over the summer. This has happened only once in the last 6-7 years of reguarly using the trains to trainsport bikes. I've not been refused with a reservation for any jobsworth reason.

    Long distance trains with dedicated bike space it shouldn't happen. I'm talking about trains where you're fighting for bike room with human beings.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I guess you could get a situation where an earlier train breaks down and the passengers (and their bikes) all get on the next train - and so everyone has a bike reservation. But that is unlikely.

    Some train services have more bike spaces than others: the First Great Western services out of London are a better bet than the Virgin (except I think they may not be Virgin) via Birmingham.
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