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The Great Railway Conspiracy – 2013 edition!

A Seminal book on Dr Beeching and his aftermath  Fully rewritten and updated to include details of the latest rail re-openings Clear lessons from the success of reinvigorated and reopened branch lines Top 30 Potential Rail Reopenings identified, listed and analysed Central message – Britain’s railways are thriving as never before, despite 50 years of […]

UK Bike/Rail Restrictions

This page lists UK bike restrictions on rail and preserved rail. Folding bikes travel free and without restriction on all train services unless stated. See Bike/Rail Travel Guide. If you have any official or unofficial information on cycle carriage, please share it with us by e-mail. Bikes can once again be booked on line, visit East […]

UK Bike/Rail Travel Guide

This page covers UK bike restrictions on trains, preserved rail, rail-link ferries & buses. Can you insist on travelling with your bike on the train? No. Bicycles are banned on some specific services, but according to the ‘National Conditions of Carriage’ by which all train operating companies are bound, the operator can also refuse an item […]

Bike / Europe Introduction

Judith and Neil Forsyth are Britons, retired and living in the Rhine Valley. They are keen cyclists and write cycling guides under the Bergstrasse Bike Books and Guide Gecko imprint. They have also written one guide for Cicerone on cycling in Switzerland. Introduction Although many of us have a dream of cycle touring where we […]

Bike / Europe – Crossing Over

You have a choice of going under or over the Channel or across the North Sea Under – Eurostar RailEurope Booking Form How do I book a bicycle space? – Bicycle spaces need to be booked at the same time as you book your seat. To make your booking, phone the Rail Europe call centre […]

Bike / Europe – Sweden

The railways in Sweden have a network of 13,000 km of track. The major operator is the state-owned SJ, but there are other operators such as Veolia, Tågkompaniet, Norrtåg and Inlandsbanan. Left to itself, the major Swedish rail operator SJ is not very cyclist friendly, although matters have improved greatly recently. The SJ will run […]

Bike / Europe – Spain

Spain has an excellent high speed train network which does not officially take bicycles. However bicycles may be transported on local and regional trains and long distance buses. The general opinion on English language cyclists’ forums is that accompanied bike transport on Spanish trains is very difficult, if not impossible. This is an opinion which […]

Bike / Europe – Portugal

The railways in Portugal offer frequent regular links between the major cities. Portugese Railways (CP) operates 2603 km of broad gauge services and appear to be more cyclist-friendly than Spanish Railways. Most trains take bicycles including the high speed trains, although in the latter case the bikes need to be bagged. There is an excellent […]

Bike / Europe – The Netherlands

There is good spread of railways in the Netherlands with frequent regular links between the major cities. Outside of the rush hours all domestic trains take bicycles. The structure of railway operation in the Netherlands is very similar to that in Germany. There is a major train operator: Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) with a number of […]

Bike / Europe – Norway

Norway is a sparsely populated, long, thin country. There are excellent rail connections between the capital Oslo and the major cities in the country and in the neighbouring country (Sweden): Kristiansands, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, Bodö, Stockholm (S) and Göteborg (S). Narvik in the north is on a railway line, but the only way to travel […]

Bike / Europe – Luxembourg

Well guarded bike rack in Luxembourg The Luxembourg rail system (Chemin de Fer Luxembourgeois – CFL) has 275 kilometres of track, of which 140 km is double track and 135 km single track. The railway network links into Belgium, France and Germany. Some of the cross-border services are run by CFL, others by SNCF, NMBS/SNCB […]

Bike / Europe – Italy

Italy has 24,179 kilometres (15,024 miles) of track. Services are operated by Trenitalia, a state owned company. There are few private railways. The country has good high speed train services, but only for those unencumbered by naked bicycles:  cyclists can only use local, regional and a few international services.  Bikes are only allowed on some […]

Bike / Europe – Germany

The basic message is that long distance travel with a bicycle by train in Germany is possible, but choice is limited and you need to book early to travel in summer. On the other hand, regional services up to about 125 miles with accompanied bicycles are superb. The German Railways website is www.bahn.co.uk. Currently the […]

Bike / Europe – France

The basic message is that long distance travel with a bicycle by train in France is possible, despite what you might have heard about high speed trains like the TGV, but choice is limited and you need to book early, especially in summer. Regional services that can take accompanied bicycles are sparse but good. The […]

Bike / Europe – Finland

We will not write much about Finnish railways, although the organisation is very cyclist-friendly. Finland lies well to the north and east in Europe. It is at least a three day journey from Britain by train and ship to get there, so travelling to the country on the ground is only of interest to the […]

Bike / Europe – Denmark

Two-thousand six-hundred kilometres of railways link the major towns and cities in Denmark. The major operator is De Danske Statsbaner (DSB) and there are a number of smaller private operators of which the biggest is Arriva. Danish railways are cyclist-friendly, with special spaces for bicycles on trains. Denmark is up there with the Netherlands when […]

Bike / Europe – Belgium

Belgian Railways offers the full range of trains from high speed international trains to slow moving local trains. Prices are low. The company is very cyclist friendly, even tandem friendly and the majority of trains take bicycles. Belgian Railways Website . Belgian Railways are known as NCMBS (Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen) in Flemish or […]

Bike / Europe – Austria

The Austrian standard gauge network is about 5700 km in length. Map The OeBB – Österreichische Bundesbahn, Austrian Federal Railways, runs some 255 mainline passenger trains and goodness knows how many regional trains daily. It is bicyclist-friendly, and should soon be more so in the case of the ‘railjet’ high speed trains too (see below). […]

Tickets

Latest Offers For online ticket purchases, we recommend East Coast. East Coast has one of the better online ticket sales points, with clear information, the option to book a bicycle space, and no booking fees. The company (state owned by the way) has now added a loyalty scheme, giving you points that can be redeemed against […]

Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan

Reliable information on Japanese transport is hard to come by, which makes Dr Christopher Hood’s book on the country’s high speed rail network particularly welcome. This is more a sociological study than a book for transport enthusiasts, but the subject is so fascinating and the wealth of detail so gripping that Shinkansen should appeal to […]