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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 though these trains not officially take bicycles. 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 a 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 […]

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 state-owned […]

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). […]

Bike / Europe – Switzerland

Swiss public transport is the best in the world. It starts with travel information. There is only one website offering travel information for any means of surface transport: www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm. The keyword is integration. The system delivers public transport, but the individual components can be bus, railway, and ship and state, privately or regionally owned. It […]