Tips for bikes on train

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:48 pm

zebee wrote: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.


The ideal in a busy city with distances to travel and the vagaries of weather is multimode transport options that available during peak times as well as the rest. Ride to the station, catch the train, ride away. Or pick up the train on the way home if the weather closes in.

In Switzerland I saw half-length carriages with the bikes on one side on butcher-hook arrangements. This is allows for many bikes and they can be got on and got off extremely quickly and so lends itself to multi-mode transport even during peak hours.

However it does require walk through access from adjacent carriages (and, possibly, extending platforms a bit). Therefore not available retro-fitting to a lot of existing infrastructure. Perths existing stock would not allow access to the carriage except by exiting the passenger carriage, running the platform, getting in, unhooking the bike and then taking it out through the doors. All of which defeats the major advantage - the capacity to move people onto and off trains in quick time at all hours. Full length carriages with both seating and, say, an end section for bikes plus door could work I guess.

Perths Mandurah line looks to have been designed with extending platforms without disrupting services in mind. Maybe the same goes for the northern line.
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by BNA » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:40 am

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Re: Tips for bikes on train

Postby zebee » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:40 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
zebee wrote: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.


The ideal in a busy city with distances to travel and the vagaries of weather is multimode transport options that available during peak times as well as the rest. Ride to the station, catch the train, ride away. Or pick up the train on the way home if the weather closes in.



Or do what they do in London... Folders!

Lots of people take their Bromptons on the train (which is what I do) but they also have Brompton Docks where you can get off the train and hire a folder.

Yes they also ahve the Boris Bike scheme in London which is another alternative.

Brompton Docks require you to put the bike back where you got it from, but as it's a folder it takes less space in the dock and you can take it into buildings or shops so don't need to dock it.

I think a lot of fullsize bikes on trains is hard. So either you have 2 station bikes - one to ride to the station and one to ride away - for your regular commute, or you have bike hire at stations (which as the Boris Bike scheme finds means you have to have a truck to even out the numbers at different docks) or you use folders and take them with you.

My Brom and I with luggage take up about the same as someone with a daypack on their back standing in a train (that is with it folded with the luggage back clipped to the bike rather than on my shoulder and me straddling the folded bike) but we do take longer to get out of the train if it is packed and I didn't get right by the door. Most of my packed train rides I'm getting out at the same place most people are so its not too bad.

Honestly... if you are going to do multimodal in peak you really can't use a fullsize bike. Even if the train has hooks only a few can use them and the on/off time is huge. EIther have two cheap station bikes that can live out in the weather and are too grotty to get stolen (and have no QRs anywhere...) or buy a Brompton. Not a cheap alternative I admit but a good ride and optimised for the job of commuting with the quick fold and the excellent luggage system.
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