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Travelling on Trains in Europe with a Bicycle





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Unfortunately in Europe you can't travel on every train if you want to take your bicycle along with you. Sometimes finding such a train can be a real pain. For information about which trains you can travel on *with* your bicycle, there is a very good site. (See the link below) Although the site is maintained by Deutsche Bahn, the German railway system, you can make inquiries about train schedules for cities *anywhere* in Europe.

We've used this site to gather information before trips on several occasions. We've always found the information to be 100% accurate. Normally it will be your responsibility to load and unload your own bike on and off a baggage car that's designated for the purpose. Also you do *not* have to dismantle the bicycle in anyway in order to use this facility. So far my experience in taking bicycles on trains is limited to France, but on such trains in that country there is *no* extra supplement to be paid.


NOTE:
(When you click on either of the 2 links below you'll bring up another instance of your browser. I've set it up this way so you can follow the instructions on this page without having to over-use your "forward" and "back" buttons on your browser tool bar. If you find this annoying you can always copy either link and paste it into your browser.)


http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en

The above URL takes you to the English language
"Connections - Query Page"
of the German Railway System.

When the page loads enter the "From" and "To" fields and
the time and date you want to travel.

Check the "carriage of bicycles required" window.

Click on the "Search connection" button.
A new page will load with all the trains that allow you to travel *with* bicycle.
 
To confirm click on "Station/Stop information on the left hand side.



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The French railway system (SNCF) also has a useful site. Because this site has no search modifiers that can find a bicycle friendly train for you, it's a kind of hit and miss operation. You have to list a whole bunch of trains and then find out for yourself if they take a bicycle. (See the instructions below) While this makes the site slightly less useful for the cyclist who wants to travel with a bicycle, it's still a good place to cross reference information found at another source.



SNCF time table & reservations page


Enter the "Departure Station" and "Destination Station"
(Use the example "Paris" to "Lyon")

In the "Outward Journey" section enter a date and a time.
(For time use the example 12hr)
and click on the "Proceed" button at the bottom of the page.

A new page will load and you'll notice 5 choices.
Find Trip #3 that leaves at 12:34 and click on the "See Details" button.

When the new page loads you'll notice a tiny picture of a bicycle listed
under Onboard services. This train allows for bicycles.




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Totton Heffelfinger
Toronto Ontario Canada