Train advice, king Alfred way

Questions and answers about routes.

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Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by franswaar » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:08 am

Hi hoping to ride the king Alfred way second week of July , will be traveling from Leicestershire and will be taking the train . I have no experience taking a bike on the train , so do you have to book the bike extra or just turn up with your bike at the station, doesn’t seem much information when trying to book train tickets on line, any advice would be much appreciated

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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by nagasaki45 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:03 am

It depends on the train company. You usually cannot take a (non-folding) bike on a train on peak hours at all. Off-peak it's always free, but some companies require booking and some don't. Check what trains you take and google for the bikes-on-train policy, it's usually quite clear. In my experience with companies that might be relevant for your trip*: LNER and Avanti require booking. Great Western Railway might require booking depending on route (quick trains from London to Reading/Swindon require booking, slower trains to Goring for example don't). Southwestern and Southern don't require booking. Generally, the cheaper crappier services don't require booking so I prefer them with the bike.

*) You can tell I'm from London and these assume you'll change in London. You might have better options.

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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by franswaar » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:31 am

Thanks that’s really helpful, will try and travel off peak as it’s a lot cheaper, hoping to start in Winchester which is two train changes so will have to do my homework regarding which operators they are

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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by Dave Barter » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:19 pm

Don’t do this ... but .,. I’ve blagged onto many GWR trains. They never ever check in my experience and just want to get the train off the platform. This is not a guarantee but never be scared to confidently pile into the bike carriage/space with a bike. Attach an old train ticket to it, I’ve never seen them check.

The only time this hasn’t worked for me was in Wick where they were only allowing a set number of bikes on the train and stuck to it.
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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by javatime » Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:17 am

Just a word of caution on GWR trains from my regular experience is that not all routes run the older stock with a separate van for bikes - and the train managers are very hot on allowing bikes on the new Hitachi trains that don't have a separate van.
I think it is best to book when you can, and hope that this is providing some statistics for the train companies on the need for bike provision.

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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by Mariner » Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:44 am

Depending on conditions you might be advised to clean your bike for the return trip.
A Southern Rail guard was less than pleased about the state of mine coming back from SDW and said
he wouldn't have let me on if he had seen me at the station (?).
I had tried to clean it but all I had was a jay cloth which just smears the mud about.
Chalk mud is worse than Devon clay.
I now carry a small brush with a handle if trains are involved just in case.

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Re: Train advice, king Alfred way

Post by woodsmith » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:07 pm

LNER train info here, ... #cid_891_0_

If your train will be one of the newer Hitachi ( Azuma) trains. The bikes hang in a wardrobe sized space either side of the coridor part way up the train. Beware if your tyres are plus sized or have aero rims as they will not fit on the hooks.

"If you've already booked your ticket and need to add a bike space or if you're travelling with a bike with tyres measuring over 7.4cm or rims deeper than 50mm, you will need to contact our customer support by using the live chat in the bottom right hand corner of your screen between the hours of 08:00-22:00."

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