Bicycle in Transit in Europe

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Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby Brenchen » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:10 pm

Hi guys,

I am currently in France, and looking to go to London for a few days via train. For the ones that have been on this trip or something similar, knows that usually you need to first transit from one train station to another in Paris first, which goes through a series of subway lines.

Once you get on the station and get on the train towards the UK, then you get out at Liverpool (this was what I was told) and you change a train again before reaching London.

The the questions I have are; with all these transiting, including going through customs, am I allowed to carry my bike fully assembled (because I will be riding it) through these parts, also does London Underground allow me to carry a bike as well?

Thanks in advanced.

Brendan
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by BNA » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:01 pm

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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Paris métro.... Pretty much no. RER usually yes.
Eurostar... You can't take an assembled bike, you can book a bike though, 20 or 30 euros each way and it goes to a separate drop off point... Not sure if it has to be partially disassembled though.
London tubes...depends, not in rush hour, not on certain lines so depends where and when you are going.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby Brenchen » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:04 pm

Geez, sounds all too complicated. This idea started because i had no bus or public transport to take me to the station from home, so I thought I ride. If I ride, I must have my bike on me the entire time...

Proly spend a bit more and just take a taxi...
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby Sprocket » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:05 pm

As far as I recall you get on the Paris-London train at Gare du Nord and you get off St-Pancras International in London - no need to change trains once on the Eurostar. I haven't taken a bike across but I do remember it was a quite a pain getting standard luggage through the metro to Gare du Nord. I haven't seen a bike on the metro or the underground so I think it would have to be bagged for at least this part?? Someone else might have to help you out here.

Looks like you would need to bag it for the Eurostar part anyway, unless you want to cough up £60 for the return trip. You can find most of the information you need about the international part of your trip here: Eurostar
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby Sprocket » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:06 pm

Beat me to it toolonglegs!
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby il padrone » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:20 pm

You could try searching the forums at CTC for info, or even register and ask the question. I'd guess the Poms know all about how to deal with this.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:52 pm

If you are going to ride to the station from home... then ride between stations in Paris ( it won't be far at all )... and in London do the same :D .
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby scirocco » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:53 pm

Look for TGVs that go to Lille, not Paris, because they bypass Paris (via CDG airport) and avoid the problem of having to transfer from station to station within Paris. At Lille you can transfer quite easily onto the Eurostar to the UK from within the same station.

There are high speed trains to Lille along lots of routes, including from Marseilles/Nice/Avignon/Lyon, from Toulouse, from Bordeaux, from Nantes/Rennes and from Strasbourg. But there may only be one or two trains per day so plan ahead.

In the UK you most definitely do not get out at Liverpool although I bet the Scousers wish you could. You arrive at St Pancras in London. Customs will not care one way or the other if the bike is fully assembled or in a box.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:00 pm

Unless your bike is in a box / bag you are unlikely to get it on a TGV.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby scirocco » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:11 pm

True, the double decker TGVs can't take fully built up bikes, but many of the single-decker ones have a second class section at the front of the first class that will take several bikes on hooks. You have to book and pay in advance, though, and sod's law will mean that the route you want will have a double-decker.

If in a box it needs to be less than 120cm x 90 cm as well. Eurostar will take your fully built up bike for 30 quid or free in a bag/box.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby Sprocket » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:34 am

Information about bikes on the TGVs can be found here. Does appear things have changed on the TGVs. There was a time when if your bike wasn't in a "housse" you wouldn't get it on board. Now you have three options:
1. Take it on board, dismantled and in a bike bag (housse). Place in luggage area at ends of carriages. Free.
2. Reserve a place for it on one of the specific TGVs that takes bikes. Various options how to determine if your train takes bikes. Probably just easiest to ask at the station. Cost 10 euro. Doesn't need to be dismantled.
3. Send it unaccompanied luggage to your destination. Cost 80 euro.

I guess another option would be to see if you can accompany the same thing (ie getting to Lille) on the regional trains. Depends how far you are travelling from Brenchen.
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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby GregLR » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:32 am

toolonglegs wrote: London tubes...depends, not in rush hour, not on certain lines so depends where and when you are going.

I know it's rather late to come to this thread, but for the record these links provide information on which London Underground lines it's allowable to take bikes and when (as toolonglegs said, off-peak) - usually where the station platforms and tunnels are at or close to the surface, rather than deep underground:
http://www.squarewheels.org.uk/bike/LUbikes
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ ... be-map.pdf

This link provides info on taking bikes on other public transport in London as well as the Tube, including the London Overground rail network:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11701.aspx

I thought I'd post this info because I came by it last year when my partner & I travelled with our loaded touring bikes on the Underground and Overground. We spent time in London before & after our British 'end to end' tour.

Back in 2003 I also took my loaded tourer on the Paris Metro, when some sections of the RER were closed because of major upgrade work. I was travelling from Charles De Gaulle airport to Versailles by the RER through central Paris but had to change onto several Metro lines to continue the journey due to the RER closures. It was a real pain hauling the bike up and down stairs, and along narrow crowded pedestrian tunnels, when I had to change lines. Actually, this is also a feature when taking a loaded bike on the London Underground as well. As someone else commented, it may be easier to ride to get to where you are going.

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Re: Bicycle in Transit in Europe

Postby elStado » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:07 pm

Yeah I had a few issues with taking my touring bike on the trains in Germany and France as only certain trains allowed bikes. What could have been a 5 hour trip on the TGV took me 18 hours on the regional trains.
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