Use of Vline services

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Mulgabill
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Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:41 pm

G'day all!
I am planning a short tour from Swan Hill and back to Bendigo via the Murray river towns. I thought of catching a vline service to Swan Hill via Bendigo to start my tour. VLine tell me it depends on the train and the conductor if they will take my bike!!!!. This is not a very satisfactory answer. but it was the best I could get. :roll: I can imagine turning up at the station and being told "no we are not taking bikes today" :shock: :cry:
Has anyone had any recent experience using vline with a fully loaded touring bike??
And yes I did a search but could only find old references.
Thanks!

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DonQx
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby DonQx » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:50 pm

I caught several Vline trains with fully loaded folding touring bike Oct-Dec 2017.
Always got on no worries, outside peak times.
Didn't have to fold the bike once, just rolled on fully loaded.
One very grumpy conductor lady told me that I should have known to take the bags off beforehand, but I could roll the fully loaded bike on anyway.
The other conductors were very good to deal with, even tho some of them a bit stressed.
Being courteous and asking them how they'd like to handle it goes a long way.
You may strike it unlucky of course if either a group of cyclists lined up before you or if for some reason the luggage area(s), depending on train type, is chockers.
I wouldn't worry too much about it, just go. Maybe allow for the possibility of not getting on the first train, even tho that seems unlikely based on my experience.

:-) dq

macca33
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby macca33 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:07 pm

The key words are 'off peak' - they are fairly accommodating.
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Cyclophiliac
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Cyclophiliac » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:01 pm

I would have used V-Line trains myself to visit the Victorian Alps a few times, because if there's one thing I absolutely love, it's riding road bikes up mountain roads. :D That's why I visited the European Alps and Pyrenees the last 2 years. But as with the OP, I've been put off by their policy on bicycles. First, they charge you extra for the bicycle, then they refuse to guarantee you can take it on the train! :roll: That's pretty poor business practice.

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Mulgabill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:17 pm

Thanks for your replies to date!
I will ask at my local station this time and see what response I get. Unfortunately it looks like I may have to change trains at Bendigo as the Swan Hill service does not stop at all the outer-suburban stations. The PTV Help Line was no help!

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Mulger bill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:14 pm

SWH services don't stop at SBY which is a pain. Been that way ever since they hung wire over the tracks and made my town just another suburb.

Easiest option is via spark to Sydenham where they stop (Pl03) to pick up. For 6 car sparks, pick the cab end of any "M" car except the front as that's utilised as a wheelchair place. Spark Consist is almost always M-T-M-M-T-M. I'd recommend the centre units as that gives easiest access to the lifts at Sydenham.

Swan Hill services are typically operated by an N class loco hauling 3 or 4 N class carriages. The East end car (Melbs end, rear of train towards SWH) has a fairly spacious luggage space accessed by wide sliding door (wait for staff assistance). I recommend positioning about 25-40m towards Melbs from the bottom of the stairs to reduce stand time and make it more obvious to the conductor that you intend to travel on that service.

Carriage is indeed subject to space availability, it never hurts to politely request rather than demand access.

There will be times when a train service cannot be operate for planned or unplanned reasons, a replacement road coach service will usually be provided but there is no formal requirement to provide space in most cases.

I'd suggest going HERE before heading out for the most up to date advice, V/Line also offers an SMS notification service or a mobile app for Droid or or iThings is available from the relevant place.

Hope this helps
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Mulgabill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:18 pm

Thanks Mulger for your reply. Another option I am considering is to catch the velocity morning 0751 service Sunbury to Kangaroo Flat or Bendigo and change to the following SH service or alternatively ride to New Gisb and catch the 0837 SH service from there.
I'm now thinking that along with your suggestions and my options above it should work. My only concern is that I could strike a narky conductor who says "No way son"!!! :roll:

Mike Ayling
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mike Ayling » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:20 am

We have taken our S&S coupled tandem to and from Warrnambool and to and from Bairnsdale. We have to uncouple it so that it can fit between the yellow lines in the luggage compartment and every time the conductor advised that bikes come last in the luggage hierarchy and "we may not get it on" however we got it on every time. The last trip up from Bairnsdale was in May 2017.

Mike

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Mulgabill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:46 am

Thanks Mike for the info.

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Duck!
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Duck! » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:33 pm

I had to jump on a train from Wangaratta back to Melbourne with my bike (just a regular MTB and a backpack, not a fully-laden tourer) last month. No problem at all getting the bike on, was just instructed to wait down the end of the platform with other checked baggage to load it into the cargo carriage.

As indicated a few times above, the key phrase to be aware of is "Off Peak times"; you *probably* won't have a problem, but there's an increased possibility of not being able to get the bike on at higher-demand times. The service I got on was early afternoon on a Monday; probably not the quietest, but not super packed either.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Mulgabill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:35 pm

Cheers Duck! :)

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Duck!
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Duck! » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:36 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:I would have used V-Line trains myself to visit the Victorian Alps a few times, because if there's one thing I absolutely love, it's riding road bikes up mountain roads. :D That's why I visited the European Alps and Pyrenees the last 2 years. But as with the OP, I've been put off by their policy on bicycles. First, they charge you extra for the bicycle, then they refuse to guarantee you can take it on the train! :roll: That's pretty poor business practice.

I was not charged extra for my bike.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Mulgabill
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mulgabill » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:44 pm

I had a friend who was stranded in Gippsland as his planned return to Melb, for work next day, was by train which was unexpectedly cancelled and the services replaced by coaches that would not take his touring bike & gear. He had to overnight in Traralgon and catch the train the following morning. He was not a happy camper!!!! :(

Mike Ayling
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mike Ayling » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:27 am

Mulgabill wrote:I had a friend who was stranded in Gippsland as his planned return to Melb, for work next day, was by train which was unexpectedly cancelled and the services replaced by coaches that would not take his touring bike & gear. He had to overnight in Traralgon and catch the train the following morning. He was not a happy camper!!!! :(


That is always a risk.

Mike

Mike Ayling
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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Mike Ayling » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:29 am

Duck! wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:I would have used V-Line trains myself to visit the Victorian Alps a few times, because if there's one thing I absolutely love, it's riding road bikes up mountain roads. :D That's why I visited the European Alps and Pyrenees the last 2 years. But as with the OP, I've been put off by their policy on bicycles. First, they charge you extra for the bicycle, then they refuse to guarantee you can take it on the train! :roll: That's pretty poor business practice.

I was not charged extra for my bike.


Charging for bikes has not been the case for many years now.

Mike

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Re: Use of Vline services

Postby Cyclophiliac » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:52 am

Mike Ayling wrote:
Duck! wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:I would have used V-Line trains myself to visit the Victorian Alps a few times, because if there's one thing I absolutely love, it's riding road bikes up mountain roads. :D That's why I visited the European Alps and Pyrenees the last 2 years. But as with the OP, I've been put off by their policy on bicycles. First, they charge you extra for the bicycle, then they refuse to guarantee you can take it on the train! :roll: That's pretty poor business practice.

I was not charged extra for my bike.


Charging for bikes has not been the case for many years now.

Mike

How many? I can't recall exactly when I tried booking a V-Line ticket for myself and the bike, but it was back around 2011 or so, and I was quoted extra for the bike.

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