Tips for bikes on train

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Tips for bikes on train

Postby provoked » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:53 am

Hi All,

Long time no post. Recently started cycling to the station and then from Flinders to work and was wondering if anyone has any tips/trick for placing the bike in the carriage (i.e. Seat near the door, seats near the back of the car etc etc). I've tried a couple ways, most of which are not very comfortable and end up holding the handle bars the whole trip. I know I can't go in the front carriage, however that's the only guidance I've ever been able to find.

Cheers!
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by BNA » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:20 pm

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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:20 pm

You want to be in the cab end of any of the rear three M cars. That's car 3,4 or 6 on any 6 car spark.

As to storage, IME, it's best to work around the population of the car, sometimes that means you and the bike will have to stand.

If the train isn't too crowded, you han hook either dropbars or front wheel into the handrail either side of the doorway.

Golden rule for me is don't be a dick. Be polite, say your pleases, thank yous and excuse mes and most people will let you in OK.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby kb » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:42 am

If you're on a fairly well provisioned line like Lilydale / Belgrave, it can be worth trading 10 minutes for a stopping all stations train. They can be practically empty.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby provoked » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:17 am

Mulger bill wrote:If the train isn't too crowded, you han hook either dropbars or front wheel into the handrail either side of the doorway.


Long time no talk Mulger! Tried this this morning - sat in the back of the carriage with my flat bar grip sitting in the rail - worked a treat! And agree with the rest of your comments.

kb wrote:If you're on a fairly well provisioned line like Lilydale / Belgrave, it can be worth trading 10 minutes for a stopping all stations train. They can be practically empty.


Unfortunately - no, South Morang Line. I've had to shift my work hours to make things easier. On the train at 6am to get to work and back on the train by 4.30pm - 4.45pm to get home. As I get used to facilities/getting ready, should be able to get to Flinders for the home trip even earlier hopefully. Things aren't too bad at that time, but it doesn't leave me with a lot of contingency if I'm running late...
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby TTar » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:44 am

This thread has the potential to become one of those valuable resource-rich mega-threads that goes on for years, contains sound advice for taking bikes on trains in every city on earth, clocks up scores of pages and hosts a flame war or two; to that end let me say those Melbourne trains really suck and Sydney trains are vastly superior in every way. :twisted:

For one thing, our trains are double decker which is futuristic and glamorous compared to tedious old fashioned Melb trains which look like they'd rather be trams.

They're also much better for travelling with your bike, even though they're not designed for it. My preferred method is to "lean" the bike against the central handrails in the vestibule;


Image

It's best to avoid the side neatest the stairs as there's (oddly) a little less distance between the handrails and stairs than the distance to the cabin on the other side. So, with the bike on the near side in the photo, I thread the helmet straps though the front wheel and around the down tube and the handrail and all's good. Prams and the frail sometimes experience difficulty navigating around the bike, but usually aren't too fussed.

There's no restrictions on which carriage you can use, but obviously it's best to avoid the crowds and that means up front or toward the back.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby provoked » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:13 am

TTar wrote:This thread has the potential to become one of those valuable resource-rich mega-threads that goes on for years, contains sound advice for taking bikes on trains in every city on earth, clocks up scores of pages and hosts a flame war or two;


You could be right - I was surprised I couldn't find anything detailed on the subject on the forum - only a few comments to avoid the front carriage as it's earmarked for disabled entry.

TTar wrote:I thread the helmet straps though the front wheel and around the down tube and the handrail and all's good.


Perfect example! Never thought of that one - will try tonight!
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby provoked » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:48 pm

Couldn't get the helmet trick to work Ttar! Kept rolling off. I reckon if I tie my brake lever with something I'll be saved from a lot of hassle as the problems mainly come with the bike rolling away...
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby TTar » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:41 pm

provoked wrote:Couldn't get the helmet trick to work Ttar! Kept rolling off. I reckon if I tie my brake lever with something I'll be saved from a lot of hassle as the problems mainly come with the bike rolling away...



Oh dear, I didn't really explain myself very well.

The bike stands with both wheels on the floor. These are Sydney trains remember, I googled pix of Melb train interiors and the don't seem to have the handrails in middle of the vestibule.

I just clip the helmet straps on the bike as if I'm locking it with a cable lock to a lamppost.

The grey MTB in the pic is what I mean. Thankfully there's usually not so many bikes on board.


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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:30 pm

provoked wrote:Couldn't get the helmet trick to work Ttar! Kept rolling off. I reckon if I tie my brake lever with something I'll be saved from a lot of hassle as the problems mainly come with the bike rolling away...

Take one shagged MTB tube and cut a 20mm wide section. It will sit neatly on your RH grip and when stretched over the brake lever makes an excellent parking brake. :wink:
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby KGB » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:59 am

provoked wrote:Couldn't get the helmet trick to work Ttar! Kept rolling off. I reckon if I tie my brake lever with something I'll be saved from a lot of hassle as the problems mainly come with the bike rolling away...


Depending on how your brakes are set up, you can try winding the barrel adjusted all the way out until the brakes clamp on the rim.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby m@ » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:45 am

Mulger bill wrote:If the train isn't too crowded, you han hook either dropbars or front wheel into the handrail either side of the doorway.

This is the best option from what I've observed, provided there's space to manouvre.

Incidentally, g'day!
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby tubby74 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:59 am

TTar wrote:There's no restrictions on which carriage you can use, but obviously it's best to avoid the crowds and that means up front or toward the back.


you can't be in the space behind the drivers cabin, at least that's what drivers have told me on interurban services. Also worth noting that with an opal card you no longer need to buy your bike a child's ticket during peak hours
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby TraceyG » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:56 pm

Sounds as though one of the small advantages of Vline trains in regional Victoria is that they are a little more bike-friendly than Metro. Just look for the bicycle symbol at the carriage door and you will find that end of that carriage has a space where you can place your bike out of everyone else's way. Plus there is a belt-like strip of material with velcro fastening that you can use to secure your bike in place.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby TTar » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:52 pm

tubby74 wrote:
TTar wrote:There's no restrictions on which carriage you can use, but obviously it's best to avoid the crowds and that means up front or toward the back.


you can't be in the space behind the drivers cabin, at least that's what drivers have told me on interurban services. Also worth noting that with an opal card you no longer need to buy your bike a child's ticket during peak hours



Had the driver on a metro train jump out of his cabin one time and tell me I couldn't put the bike in the front vestibule of the front carriage. No idea why, but I didn't know it was routine on the interurbans -- thanks for telling us, it's good to know.

Speaking of the intercity trains, on Sundays you can buy a "family day" (or something) ticket for $2.50 that allows unrestricted travel (multiple stops if you chose) all day on the entire network. So you could ride from Newcastle to Bathurst to Goulburn to Wollongong and back to Newcastle, about 1,400kms by my rough calculation, for $2.50! It might be the world's cheapest form of travel per kilometre.

You'd be hard pressed to do it all in 24hrs, but the tickets remain valid until 4am the next day, so if you started at midnight...

There's a challenge for some dope! :P I think I might go check Cityrail's timetable.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby zebee » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:13 am

TTar wrote:
tubby74 wrote:
TTar wrote:

Speaking of the intercity trains, on Sundays you can buy a "family day" (or something) ticket for $2.50 that allows unrestricted travel (multiple stops if you chose) all day on the entire network. So you could ride from Newcastle to Bathurst to Goulburn to Wollongong and back to Newcastle, about 1,400kms by my rough calculation, for $2.50! It might be the world's cheapest form of travel per kilometre.

You'd be hard pressed to do it all in 24hrs, but the tickets remain valid until 4am the next day, so if you started at midnight...

There's a challenge for some dope! :P I think I might go check Cityrail's timetable.


you can check http://transportsydney.wordpress.com/20 ... -02102013/ for tips...

I have had drivers on the Newcastle Express ask me to move the Brompton (admittedly unfolded) to the next car. I think because in that particular train config the first car didn't have bike slots and they wanted the bike well out of the way. Since the timetable changes (and the move to 4 cars from 6) the Newcastle train isn't worth it for me. Bad timing for changes and crammed full. Used to be a guy taking a fullsized ebike and there just wasn't the room. Barely the room for my tiny folded package.

I think if bikes on trains get popular then it's going to be difficult to fit them on in Sydney. Already can be on a lot of peak and close to peak services. I suspect the single deck trains on the new North West Rail Link won't have any room for full sized bikes as they won't have the same vestibule setup.

I find the Brom perfect for multi mode commuting. For one thing I don't care when buses replace trains, I just fold the Brompton and take it on the bus. Do that with your roadie!
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:27 pm

zebee wrote:I think if bikes on trains get popular then it's going to be difficult to fit them on in Sydney.


When talking volumes of bikes on trains, as well as space the time it takes to get on and off is important to train operators. Adding 1 minute to a stop (as it easily would with several bikes in a fairly full carriage) so adding time to a couple of thousand passengers at every stop is not something that transport authorities are keen about. Purpose built bike arriages are probably the only way to get bikes in numbers on and off quickly.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby rjk » Fri May 02, 2014 8:49 am

the front carriages in melbourne are reserved for the disabled, so that drivers can help loading the people in.
They get the ramps out for the wheels chairs and the people tell the drivers at what station they want to disembark.

I use the last carriage on the melb trains as that has the largest space for bikes, also 2 bits of velcro, one to wrap around the brake locking it on and one to wrap around the top tube and what you want to secure it to
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby guyc » Fri May 02, 2014 10:03 am

Yep velcro elastic straps are always really useful on trains, means you can often sit down and relax.

Easy to find them on Ebay.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby DJIntegr8 » Mon May 05, 2014 10:04 am

Toe straps! Every cyclist should have these lying around.

I use toe straps on the Comeng and Xtrapolis trains, roll the pedal back against the post and secure the seat tube/seat post with the strap. The Siemens trains have a bit more space at the ends, and I normally hook my drop bars into the flip-up seats and roll the pedal into the seat base.

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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Bentnose » Tue May 06, 2014 9:08 pm

I always get on the 3rd or 4th carriage at the cab end, you can quite often get a seat on the small single seats next to the doors. I just put my foot on the pedal and the seat rests on the vertical pole.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Lurkin » Sun May 25, 2014 8:26 pm

Try to avoid catching the train when the AFLs on....
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Zcootz » Tue May 27, 2014 10:45 pm

TraceyG wrote:Sounds as though one of the small advantages of Vline trains in regional Victoria is that they are a little more bike-friendly than Metro. Just look for the bicycle symbol at the carriage door and you will find that end of that carriage has a space where you can place your bike out of everyone else's way.

Do you know if that's a Vic wide thing ? I thought I had to take apart my bike and box it up on Vline?
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Zcootz » Tue May 27, 2014 11:01 pm

Just found the answer to my question on another thread. Oooops :)
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby Jangari » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:51 pm

Australian train systems haven't figured it out yet. I was in Portland recently, and they have built-in bike storage hooks that pop out of the ceiling for the front wheel, and a broove in the wall for the rear wheel to sit in. Very secure. They go in the same space that's for wheelchairs or luggage. So one would be expected to move their bike if a wheelchair'd passenger got on. Found an image:

Image

This is on their 'train', which is roughly equivalent to a Melbourne tram.
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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby zebee » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:43 am

They have bike hooks on the Newcastle train but few use them because they are painful to put your bike on if you have a heavyish bike or luggage and/or aren't a tall young man who can lift an awkward thing into a tight space. That looks a bit easier to manage than the ones I've seen here but still requires you to be able to lift your bike that high.

I can't use them because I have a 'bent which doesn't lend itself to that and even if I was using a diamond frame bike my dodgy right shoulder won't take me lifting something that heavy above shoulder height.
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