Bikes on trains

I want to catch the train to Tarago and ride to Collector tomorrow (and in the future). NSW train website sounds like taking your bike on the train is an absolute pain in the arse (needs to be boxed etc).

Has anyone tried taking their bike on a short trip? I’m hoping they’re lenient and let you take it on the carriage with you if you’re only going 2 or 3 stops up the line. I’m planning my day around this and don’t really want to show up tomorrow and have them say no.



I rang them a while ago because I wanted to go just to Bungendore, and they said it needed to be boxed. Total pain in the arse, but also completely typical of NSW attitude to cycling.

So frustrating. I’ll try and sweet talk someone tomorrow. Good thing I don’t live too far away from the station.

'tis gonna work I’m sure

Just tell them you know the mayor.

you’re Mayor of Canberra, not NSW Minister for Transport

NSW minister of mayoral transportation

I wonder if a bike was in a Rinko Bag like Japan they would allow it? I have 2 if you want to borrow one and try?

I thought going in person and talking to someone real life rather than on the phone would be easier, but nope. Showed up 30 mins before departure, he flat out said no even though the train wasn’t half full. Gotta be there an hour before, pre book (can’t do it on the Internet), and pack your bike. They do have boxes though, I asked him what you’re supposed to do with the box when you get to an unmanned station and he reckons just leave it there…

S, I don’t reckon, they’re real stiff and want boxes cause they’re also a stiff, manageable thing to chuck in a corner.

I had the same thing coming back from benella to melb trying to get on what was the Sydney train with my bike.

Conductor/ticket man was a smuglord about it “you got three problems, it’s not boxed, you haven’t booked the bike in advance and you don’t have a booked ticket”

Train pulled up, two half full baggage cars.

They are shooting themselves in the foot really.

It’s nuts, especially since the service is so underutilised here.

Ah Mouchard that sucks. I’m riding early arvo, you want to join?

Is this an opportunity to write some letters?

The train rules depend on whether it is a normal rail network train or Countrylink (or whatever it is called now?)

Normal trains here are fine for bikes in the carriage, but the countrylink/long distance trains are a complete pain in the arse, considering how much room there is and how few people get it. Would totally be down to write a letter.

Totally write some letters. It’s a farce that all those conditions are placed on travelling with a bike while the service is underutilised.
The conductors or whatever (and the policies behind their actions) are essentially ensuring the continued reduction in services and therefore their ongoing employment, all to save a tiny bit of hassle in dealing with unboxed bikes, and because of dumb boxes that have to be ticked.

Amtrak used to be like this, but it changed recently after a concerted campaign. Apparently it’s been a bit tricky to get the train staff on board, but it’s working out really well now. Might be worth looking up that story.

It really could be as simple as the older V-Set/Cenny Coast trains that have a single bike hook in a nook in the entry vestibule in all carriages, or a bank of 5 in the front or rear carriage, I doubt demand would be extraordinary, but would really open up a simple and easy way of say, going for a weekend cycling in Canberra from Sydney, which I have abandoned multiple times due to the effort of needing to box a bike on the train or a greyhound bus.

I had to box mine using the amtrak in 2012 and it cost me considerably more than it took to take it on the plane (ie. free).

Glad it’s changed!

Yeah me too. Apparently you can usually wheel on and off now

So, I was bored so wrote to Andrew Constance as a first contact:

[i]Dr Mr. Andrew Constance,

I am writing in order to request a change to the current methodology in which to travel with a bicycle on Regional train routes (formerly Countrylink trains). Myself, and many other cyclists, are often frustrated and confused by the process and cost of travelling with a bike, which is often a convenient, sustainable and affordable method to holiday by bike in rural destinations.

The current system is costly and time consuming, as a bike has to be disassembled, boxed and then pre-booked (which cannot be done online) and stowed in the luggage compartment. This is inconvenient and prohibitively expensive (it is often cheaper to fly with a bike as your luggage, or rent a car), and removes the convenience of travelling by bicycle to the station and leaving in the same manner.

If this could be amended, it could promote cycling in rural areas (such as cycle touring and camping) which would benefit local communities, sustainable transport (with lower emissions than single vehicle or aeroplane flights) and overall health benefits of cycling in general.

There are numerous low impact ways of making this change, such as allowing bicycles in the vestibule entires of trains (such as on inner city trains), or making small dedicated racks in the front or rear carriage, as is common on trains in The Netherlands, or even some suburban trains such as the Central Coast V-Set trains.

It seems that these regional trains are vastly underutilised and could be a simple and affordable way of marginally increasing the usage of this form of transport. In fact, I would happily pay the additional tariff for my bike (such as the cost of a children’s ticket, as per the old system on suburban trains) if it could mean I could travel with a fully assembled, ready to ride bicycle at my destination.

Any assistance or comment on this matter would be greatly appreciated.[/i]