Bikes on Central Trains

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Pauline, Apr 1, 2003.

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  1. Pauline

    Pauline Guest

    Please excuse me delurking and asking and bringing up the old 'bikes on trains' chestnut. I would
    have tried the CTC site but it's offline at the moment.

    Just how many bikes can fit on a single long distance type of train operated by Central Trains? I'm
    trying to book a trip to East Anglia over Easter for two of us, but every single train on 3
    different days I've checked on thetrainline.com will only accept one bike. The Central Trains
    hotline person didn't know the answer and could only suggest turning up and trying to get on the
    train. Maybe they only allow one space to be booked so as to leave room for the on spec customers?
    Anyone got any experience of this? I'm almost thinking that Virgin aren't all that bad...
     
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  2. John B

    John B Guest

    Pauline wrote:

    > Please excuse me delurking and asking and bringing up the old 'bikes on trains' chestnut. I would
    > have tried the CTC site but it's offline at the moment.
    >
    > Just how many bikes can fit on a single long distance type of train operated by Central Trains?
    > I'm trying to book a trip to East Anglia over Easter for two of us, but every single train on 3
    > different days I've checked on thetrainline.com will only accept one bike.

    A good link for bikes on trains is the a2b sie: http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html

    Sorry to bring bad news, but it seems they only take two on long distance trains :-( If Trainline is
    only allowing one then perhaps the other space is already booked. Certainly Central Trains
    reservations should be able to tell you or try the national bookings number.

    But "should be able to' in trainspeak often means can't be bothered.

    > The Central Trains hotline person didn't know the answer

    See above re trainspeak

    > and could only suggest turning up and trying to get on the train.

    Pathetic response. Push for an answer.

    Cannot you travel by Anglia Trains? - they are far more cycle friendly

    John B
     
  3. Albert

    Albert Guest

    "Pauline" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Please excuse me delurking and asking and bringing up the old 'bikes on trains' chestnut. I would
    > have tried the CTC site but it's offline at the moment.
    >
    > Just how many bikes can fit on a single long distance type of train operated by Central Trains?
    > I'm trying to book a trip to East Anglia over Easter for two of us, but every single train on 3
    > different days I've checked on thetrainline.com will only accept one bike. The Central Trains
    > hotline person didn't know the answer and could only suggest turning up and trying to get on the
    > train. Maybe they only allow one space to be booked so as to leave room for the on spec customers?
    > Anyone got any experience of this? I'm almost thinking that Virgin aren't all that bad...
    >
    >

    so far we've done nottm to boston, sheff, leeds, matlock, and all points between.

    and back again.

    we're keen to do Liverpool & Manchester in the next few weeks...

    the worst reaction we've ever had was from a load of skegness holiday returnees that seemed to think
    bikes were for kids and were in the way.

    Easter could be a nightmare due to the three evils of not much rolling stock, Easter and East Anglia
    (middle of nowhere with sand at the terminus)

    top tips:

    go for it ! just turn up, turn up early and try to suss the trains stopping point. the very front
    and rear carriages have good space for 2 bikes and some of the carriages have room for 4+ on a quiet
    route, off peak you'd be more likely to find that latter. forget the cycle carriages. 4 bikes + one
    seat and a loo= waste of carriage space.

    one of you must get on the train immediately to secure a table seat with a clear line of sight view
    of your bikes whilst the other one waits until all the other travellers get on the train. I usually
    'occupy' 2 of the seats with me and 2 with baggage then swap places with mrs albert who watches /
    sorts bags.

    one table *back* from the toilets is advisable :)

    stand firm ! you have every right to travel with 2 bikes and 2 large rucksacks, the guard isn't that
    bothered and the other 'victims' just want not to crash.

    take fluids, foodstuffs and something to read. delays are the only regular feature on central trains
    network. take some wet wipes for when yo get off as most of the trains are *filthy* (optional
    in-travel pods and boi-haz suit)

    take your time, allow at least 4 extra hours and bask in the warm glow of a fact that you're not
    like them !

    Albert
     
  4. Well, a local CTC member uses Anglia Railways and looked extremely surprised when I asked if she had
    to book in advance or had any problem gettig her bike on an Anglia train - she said she didn't
    pre-book & never had a problem. Go figure!

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  5. >Well, a local CTC member uses Anglia Railway

    Oops - misread "Anglia" to mean Anglia Railways. Sorry!

    I'll get me coat,

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  6. Pauline

    Pauline Guest

    "John B" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Pauline wrote:
    >
    > > Please excuse me delurking and asking and bringing up the old 'bikes on trains' chestnut. I
    > > would have tried the CTC site but it's offline at
    the
    > > moment.
    > >
    > > Just how many bikes can fit on a single long distance type of train
    operated
    > > by Central Trains? I'm trying to book a trip to East Anglia over Easter
    for
    > > two of us, but every single train on 3 different days I've checked on thetrainline.com will only
    > > accept one bike.
    >
    > A good link for bikes on trains is the a2b sie: http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html
    >
    > Sorry to bring bad news, but it seems they only take two on long distance trains :-( If Trainline
    > is only allowing one then perhaps the other space is already booked. Certainly Central Trains
    > reservations should be able to tell you
    or try
    > the national bookings number.
    >
    > But "should be able to' in trainspeak often means can't be bothered.
    >
    > > The Central Trains hotline person didn't know the answer
    >
    > See above re trainspeak
    >
    > > and could only suggest turning up and trying to get on the train.
    >
    > Pathetic response. Push for an answer.
    >
    > Cannot you travel by Anglia Trains? - they are far more cycle friendly
    >
    > John B
    >
    >
    >

    Thanks for the AtoB link.

    I'm trying to get from Brum eastwards, so Anglia Trains are not an option.

    Like you said, the AtoB link shows that there are two bike spaces per train. The weird thing is that
    I have checked a dozen or so different train times on the Brum New St-Ely route using thetrainline
    and every single train seems to have exactly one bike space already booked. The only one that would
    allow me to book 2 bikes turned out to be rail replacement bus service on Easter Sunday and I don't
    fancy our chances with that option.

    Why does it have to be so hard? It looks like are choices are down to :
    (a) take separate trains,
    (b) travel via London including getting from Euston to Liverpool St (cycling it fills me with fear -
    is it possible to get bikes in London taxis?)
    (c) even worse option, hire a car

    Pauline
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    > Like you said, the AtoB link shows that there are two bike spaces per train. The weird thing is
    > that I have checked a dozen or so different train times on the Brum New St-Ely route using
    > thetrainline and every single train seems to have exactly one bike space already booked. The only
    > one that would allow me to book 2 bikes turned out to be rail replacement bus service on Easter
    > Sunday and I don't fancy our chances with that option.

    My other half and I once ended up on a replacement bus service with two fully loaded tourers. We had
    booked and were a little alarmed to see that the train had been replaced. However, the coach driver
    was very helpful and we got both bikes into those big under-floor luggage areas. He didn't bat an
    eyelid when two more bike users turned up without reservations but complete with trailer bikes. He'd
    have got those in too if the couple hadn't had a massive argument and decided to go elsewhere.

    Though I accept that a bus isn't something you'd like to rely on for such a booking.

    Colin
     
  8. Thus spake "Pauline" <[email protected]>

    > Why does it have to be so hard? It looks like are choices are down to :
    > (a) take separate trains,
    > (b) travel via London including getting from Euston to Liverpool St (cycling it fills me with fear
    > - is it possible to get bikes in London taxis?)

    Might be possible but the Metropolitan or Circle Line (from Euston Square, across the road) would be
    cheaper. Bicycle may be taken on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and District lines.
    They can also be taken on overground sections of othe Underground lines. Bikes can't be taken on the
    Underground during the rush hour.

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  9. Rg

    Rg Guest

    "Pauline" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "John B" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Pauline wrote:
    > >
    > > > Please excuse me delurking and asking and bringing up the old 'bikes
    on
    > > > trains' chestnut. I would have tried the CTC site but it's offline at
    > the
    > > > moment.
    > > >
    > > > Just how many bikes can fit on a single long distance type of train
    > operated
    > > > by Central Trains? I'm trying to book a trip to East Anglia over
    Easter
    > for
    > > > two of us, but every single train on 3 different days I've checked on thetrainline.com will
    > > > only accept one bike.
    > >
    > > A good link for bikes on trains is the a2b sie: http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html
    > >
    > > Sorry to bring bad news, but it seems they only take two on long
    distance
    > > trains :-( If Trainline is only allowing one then perhaps the other space is
    already
    > > booked. Certainly Central Trains reservations should be able to tell you
    > or try
    > > the national bookings number.
    > >
    > > But "should be able to' in trainspeak often means can't be bothered.
    > >
    > > > The Central Trains hotline person didn't know the answer
    > >
    > > See above re trainspeak
    > >
    > > > and could only suggest turning up and trying to get on the train.
    > >
    > > Pathetic response. Push for an answer.
    > >
    > > Cannot you travel by Anglia Trains? - they are far more cycle friendly
    > >
    > > John B
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Thanks for the AtoB link.
    >
    > I'm trying to get from Brum eastwards, so Anglia Trains are not an option.
    >
    > Like you said, the AtoB link shows that there are two bike spaces per
    train.
    > The weird thing is that I have checked a dozen or so different train times on the Brum New St-Ely
    > route using thetrainline and every single train
    seems
    > to have exactly one bike space already booked. The only one that would allow me to book 2 bikes
    > turned out to be rail replacement bus service on Easter Sunday and I don't fancy our chances with
    > that option.
    >
    > Why does it have to be so hard? It looks like are choices are down to :
    > (a) take separate trains,
    > (b) travel via London including getting from Euston to Liverpool St
    (cycling
    > it fills me with fear - is it possible to get bikes in London taxis?)
    > (c) even worse option, hire a car
    >
    >
    > Pauline
    >
    >

    The online ticket booking system appears to be flawed when it comes to bikes - I just had the same
    problem with booking 3 guys and 3 bikes to go to Southport from Brum

    - the answer is the good old telephone !

    Call the booking service and do it that way - don't take no for an answer when it comes to the bikes
    - and here's another tip ... never mind that they are not the obvious choice book with GNER's call
    centre and get immediate sense rather than the voice recognition rubbish that The Trainline inflicts
    on you (go to GNER's website for the number)

    Good luck

    RG
     
  10. Al_mossah

    Al_mossah Guest

    Off the subject slightly, the booklet detailing what each train company allows has a couple of
    useful statements such as:

    "Space for bikes is very limited" and "No booking is possible".

    Plan your trip around that information!

    Peter

    "wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Well, a local CTC member uses Anglia Railways and looked extremely
    surprised
    > when I asked if she had to book in advance or had any problem gettig her
    bike
    > on an Anglia train - she said she didn't pre-book & never had a problem.
    Go
    > figure!
    >
    > Cheers, helen s
    >
    >
    > ~~~~~~~~~~
    > Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending
    a
    > reply!
    >
    > Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the
    keyboaRRRDdd
    > ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  11. Pauline

    Pauline Guest

    "al_Mossah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Off the subject slightly, the booklet detailing what each train company allows has a couple of
    > useful statements such as:
    >
    > "Space for bikes is very limited" and "No booking is possible".
    >
    > Plan your trip around that information!
    >
    > Peter
    >
    >
    > "wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Well, a local CTC member uses Anglia Railways and looked extremely
    > surprised
    > > when I asked if she had to book in advance or had any problem gettig her
    > bike
    > > on an Anglia train - she said she didn't pre-book & never had a problem.
    > Go
    > > figure!
    > >
    > > Cheers, helen s
    > >
    > >
    > > ~~~~~~~~~~
    > > Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before
    sending
    > a
    > > reply!
    > >
    > > Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the
    > keyboaRRRDdd
    > > ~~~~~~~~~~
    >
    >
    What makes planning even more confusing is that if you use a online booking system such as trainline
    it asks how many bikes you are taking which naturally makes you think that you CAN book your bike on
    the train. Same story using the Central trains hotline number - the call centre operative was going
    to make a single bike reservation for me. My partner spoke to a 'real' person at Central who said
    that there is no bike booking possible whatsoever. We just have to take our chance. Great.
     
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