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Taking A Bike on a Train
Posted by Emma Morton on

Taking A Bike on a Train

Travelling by train and bike is a great way to sustainably get around, whilst enabling you to explore further afield.

It's really important to plan ahead before you get to the station, here's our guide to help you:

1. The type of bike you have is important.

A foldable bike is not only easier to take on a train it may be the only way certain times of day. They can be stored in luggage areas or the overhead shelves as long as secure. Every train company operates different policies (see point 2) but generally regular bikes aren't permitted during rush hour periods. Tandems are not permitted on trains currently, although this may change in the future.

 2. There are lots of different train operators with different policies.

Unfortunately this does make planning a journey, particular if traveling with multiple operators, a bit more complicated.  The National Rail website provides a link to each operator's website here if you want to do everything yourself. Alternatively ticket booking sites can be a good way of viewing live availability and getting the right tickets booked. 

3. Bike is Best

E-scooters, tandems, motorbikes and tricycles are not permitted on trains. We always knew it but this just confirms bike is best (although shame about tandems and tricycles).

4. Bikes Travel for Free

Yes that's right, there's no extra cost for taking your bike on a train, but they may need a ticket and a space reservation. If that is the case then you can only collect the tickets at the station or from a ticket a machine, they are not available digitally.

5. (Reserved) Bikes have their own dedicated carriages.

So it's important to know where those carriages will be on the platform before the train pulls in. It may help to give yourself a bit extra time to arrive at the station before your train is due to depart.

6. Not All Stations Are Equal

Stations will have at least two platforms, which means you may have to cross the tracks at some point. Some stations are not overly bike friendly in this respect, so be prepared to carry your bike over a bridge. Many stations do offer good cycle parking facilities with some now offering secure parking for a subscription fee.

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