Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

g-boaf
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Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:16 am

Has anyone travelled with bikes (in bike boxes) on Deutsche Bahn? Will need to use the train from Munich to Austria.

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Thoglette
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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby Thoglette » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:34 pm

No, but I'm jealous. I've done bits of Munich to Vienna a few times, from old rattlers to ICE.

The DB and ÖBB websites are pretty good and should have details on maximum luggage sizes and rules. And you will need to comply with The Rules. ( The Austrians think they are relaxed compared to the Germans but that's all relative)

If you don't get answers (or they are in German), I can phone a friend.
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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby Thoglette » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:06 pm

I had a look in the usual places (FlyerTalk and Lonely Planet) without finding any Rules (except for their buses).

But it's a case of lug it yourself however some trains do seem to have bike specific locations.

A modified form of Rinko might be a sensible move. See here for a practical account
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
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g-boaf
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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:20 pm

Thoglette wrote:I had a look in the usual places (FlyerTalk and Lonely Planet) without finding any Rules (except for their buses).

But it's a case of lug it yourself however some trains do seem to have bike specific locations.

A modified form of Rinko might be a sensible move. See here for a practical account


I'll be using quite large case for the bike. I don't mind lugging it. Going first class on the train (S Bahn excepted of course). I'll double check with DB, my German is reasonable. Thanks for checking around. :)

I'm looking forward to getting over there. It is a lot of riding though, and some pretty huge elevation every day. You don't do that all the time. Can't wait. :)

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby battler2 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:08 pm

whilst i havent travelled with bike case in germany, i have in other countries to the west of germany, TGV, thalys and dutch trains. as well as italy on their 2 different high speed trains.

my experience varied, i was never kicked off the train but my worst exp. was in belgium. because there was no room for it really, and i put it near the door sort of out of the way. i was told to move it to the luggage shelf in another carriage (where it was more inconvenient to other passengers).

everywhere else was fine. but some trains have larger luggage shelves than others. one one italian train it fit nicely, the other it was sticking out, so fat passengers could barely get through the aisle. i couldnt care less really :)

because it's not assembled and in a case, it's technically not a bicycle anymore. just oversized luggage. so don't tell them that. when they hear the word bicycle they will probably put the bicycle restrictions on you.

but the safest bet (covering all bases), if you can, is to book a german train that supports bikes. usually with a bicycle logo on the site. but times for those are limited. this means unfolded, assembled bikes but it will mean there's room somewhere.

otherwise checking max. dimensions somewhere on the site might be comforting. if you're willing to risk it, just play the stupid tourist that didn't know. DON'T try and speak german, then there is less excuse. give the biggest Aussie accent you can muster (so they don't understand you).

and 1st class? there's not much difference between the two. just less people. maybe included wifi.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:44 am

For regional trains there is usually allocated carriages/space space for bikes. For ICE (intercity Express) usually you can't Without an extra ticket which is about 9 Euro + plus (free) package space reservation to avoid bothersome ticket inspectors.

For packed items, generally the rule is what you can carry so suitcases are ok, but for large items they are harder to stow above but in the middle of each ICE carriage there is extra space for larger bags.

Absolute must is a seating reservation, try and get places near where the (bike) space reservation is for convenience.

(German)
https://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/fahr ... uege.shtml

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby GregLR » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:12 am

Not sure if this helps, but below are photos of the outside & inside of a 16-space bike storage carriage on a DBahn inter city (IC) train; the reserved seating area is in the same carriage, behind where the 2nd photo is taken from:

Image

Image

These photos were taken during a Euro cycling tour last August/September. We took several German trains like this, as well as regional trains in Switzerland & the Netherlands with a couple of bike racks/hooks. For one of the DBahn IC trips, from Frankfurt to Basel (we flew into & out of Frankfurt), were able to buy tickets and book seats & bike spaces before we left Australia, on the english version of the DBahn website.

Greg

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:45 am

GregLR wrote:Not sure if this helps, but below are photos of the outside & inside of a 16-space bike storage carriage on a DBahn inter city (IC) train; the reserved seating area is in the same carriage, behind where the 2nd photo is taken from:

Image

Image

These photos were taken during a Euro cycling tour last August/September. We took several German trains like this, as well as regional trains in Switzerland & the Netherlands with a couple of bike racks/hooks. For one of the DBahn IC trips, from Frankfurt to Basel (we flew into & out of Frankfurt), were able to buy tickets and book seats & bike spaces before we left Australia, on the english version of the DBahn website.

Greg


Vielen dank. That is very helpful to see what the carriages are like. Our bikes will be disassembled at that point and in big wheeled bike cases.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby GregLR » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:54 pm

Glad to be of help.

You may have already seen this piece re travelling with bikes on DBahn InterCity services:

https://www.bahn.de/hilfe/view/pk/en/fahrrad.shtml

Be aware that DBahn website can't book tickets involving reservation of bike spaces & seats on a DBahn IC train that travels across an international border, even if it is a continuous journey to the destination. You can only book tickets that involve bike spaces on an international IC service at a DBahn railway station booking office.

I'll explain further in another post in a day or two, have run out of time now as I'm travelling.

Greg

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby scirocco » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:56 am

Most of the Munich - Vienna services are operated by Railjet trains with modernised interiors. There have much less bike space than the photo above. To some extent this doesn't matter if the bikes are in a case, so they count as baggage, not bikes, but you may find that the racks for regular baggage are too small or too full to take a bike case. So the space intended for built-up bikes might be the only place to leave the cases.

I haven't tried this in Germany, but in France I left my bike in a case in the bike rack space and no-one complained. (There were no built-up bikes using the space).

This website linked below shows the makeup of each train and you can click on the map icon under each carriage to see the seat map.

http://www.vagonweb.cz/razeni/vlak.php? ... =&rok=2017

This Youtube video shows the bike space:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-tjqLSVZd8

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby GregLR » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:59 pm

Further to my post last Wednesday (sorry for this long post): playing around with the DBahn internet booking mechanism will show you services on which bikes can be booked where the IC train crosses into another country (& connections in that country on which bikes are carried), but it won't let you complete the transaction (ie, pay for the tickets & secure the bike & seat reservations). I presume this is because of differing bike carriage arrangements, even if these don't affect the DBahn IC service concerned.

To illustrate: to get our bikes from Frankfurt to the Swiss Railways (SBB) Basel station (& make connections to Andermatt in the Swiss Alps) using the DBahn website booking mechanism, eventually (after lots of experimentation) we had to:

- buy tickets and make bike & seat reservations between Frankfurt and the station in the German sector of Basel (Basel Bad Hbf);

- buy separate tickets for the short journey between Basel Bad Hbf and Basel SBB - but without bike & seat reservations, because the booking tool didn’t allow this, as it involves crossing the border - there was no practical issue when we did the journey;

- buy train tickets and a bike day pass on the SBB website for the Swiss Railways connecting services to Andermatt.

This only worked for the unique example of Basel. But the effect is that using the DBahn internet booking tool you wouldn't (in our experience) be able to book tickets, bike spaces & seat reservations for a DBahn InterCity train journey, say, from Munich in Germany to Vienna in Austria. You’d have to do the booking face to face at a booking office after you arrive in Munich - we did this for a couple of other journeys that involved crossing international borders including the reverse example to get back to Frankfurt from Amsterdam via Hannover (which used DBahn IC trains with a bike storage carriage identical to the one in the photos I posted above).

Greg

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:58 am

Check what kind if train it is (IC or ICE)... if you have your tickets and reservations... and it gets a bit tricky, just board the train and the chances are that the conductor is helpful and will let it go as it is technically transportable by yourself and not in the form of a bike. Tickets can be purchased on the train from the conductor so if they think it counts as a bike, then it is only 9 Euros each.

I have seen so much wierd stuff in trains (yes, a Kayak) and in Winter lots of people have their skis and snowboards.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:29 am

We will book it ahead of time and get the tickets. However, they are disassembled and in bags. We are wary of the size of that and will make sure to get that sorted ahead of time.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:03 pm

Well, I'm sitting in Dubai Airport having just had a second breakfast (after Emirates stuffing us full of food).

Now waiting to transit into Munich. Packing everything was an exercise in minimal travel to keep the weight down. As it was, it went 5kg over, but Emirates waived those fees. Dubai Airport is A380s and B777s everywhere, the VIP terminal was visible when we came in. Pretty impressive.

Also quite tired due to getting interrupted during the flight. Plan to stay awake on this flight and then crash at the hotel in Innsbruck.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:22 am

Okay so the answer to the question of the bike ticket needed for a disassembled bike in a large bag is yes.

€10 per ticket on an EC train.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:47 pm

You should have told them it was something else :)

An important addition as I am back from a few trips which included various trains - where booking is required, it is about reserving an actual spot. So I have a seat (cleverly in the same wagon) for an IC (Inter City) and a specific spot for the bike. On the bike I had to attach the reservation so that the ticket inspector could see.

For the RB (Regional Bahn) and other local trains (S-Bahn, U-Bahn) there is no reservation but you have to use a carriage that allows bikes (usually at the ends... or for a long train connected in the middle, some carriages in the middle as well). Technically if there are too many other passengers, you have to wait (but no one does)... they just squeeze on.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby g-boaf » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:00 pm

AUbicycles wrote:You should have told them it was something else :)

An important addition as I am back from a few trips which included various trains - where booking is required, it is about reserving an actual spot. So I have a seat (cleverly in the same wagon) for an IC (Inter City) and a specific spot for the bike. On the bike I had to attach the reservation so that the ticket inspector could see.

For the RB (Regional Bahn) and other local trains (S-Bahn, U-Bahn) there is no reservation but you have to use a carriage that allows bikes (usually at the ends... or for a long train connected in the middle, some carriages in the middle as well). Technically if there are too many other passengers, you have to wait (but no one does)... they just squeeze on.


It was actually fairly easy on the EC train (a joint DB/ÖBB service), just pay the guard/attendant and then he'll take the bike bags up to the baggage car and locks them inside. And you just go and see him before you arrive at your station and he'll open the side door and hand the bags down to you on the platform instead of you having to lug them down with the rest of your luggage.

The attendant was pretty helpful, and the bordrestaurant served quite nice food. I would even say sitting in the armchairs in the restaurant car was nicer than the first class compartments we had booked.

It must also be said that the DB staff in Munich airport were super professional and helpful. In fact, our transit through Germany was very smooth and trouble free. Just very easy.

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Re: Bikes on Deutsche Bahn?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 pm

g-boaf wrote:It must also be said that the DB staff in Munich airport were super professional and helpful. In fact, our transit through Germany was very smooth and trouble free. Just very easy.


I agree with this - on the longer distance train services the DB staff are great.

For DB trains, my recent travel on the IC was that you look after the bike complete and put it in the allocated rack. On one leg it there was space for about 25 bikes. On another leg, the train was different and each compartment had dedicated spot for one bike. For the Regional Trains which are two levels or local S-Bahn trains, it is simply space in the carriage for bikes - often with foldable seats.

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