Occasionally I need to make a journey on short notice. I also use the bicycle at both ends for local transport. Is the rule about boxing them very strictly enforced? XPT travel is usually at night, Xplorer could be on a granny express or evening service depending on the route.
Is there any scope to create freestanding bike storage areas (similar to the Southern Highlands train or V Line Velocity), in order to boost tourism to regional economies (given train occupancies are below 100% and bicycle passengers mostly are likely to pay full fares rather than be on benefits or pensions).
Link below to tourism impacts of bicycle on train issue:
Personally, I think they could offer roll-on roll-off bike access now if they wanted to in spaces reserved for wheelchairs (with a reservation system to ensure wheelchair users get priority - cyclists are used to everyone else expecting to get priority over them).
Just roll em in the door and lean them against the wall in car D of the Xplorer or the relevant spot in the buffet car of the XPT.
It'd be easier on everyone. I would certainly use such a service a lot if it were available, so I could do a day ride to places with unstaffed stations like Bungendore, Gunning and the like (can't bring your own box when you're cycling obviously)Is the rule about boxing them very strictly enforced?
Not that I've tried to push it, but yes, pretty strictly enforced.
I've even had a bike that was boxed refused because the box was (allegedly) too big.
Station attendants won't check an unboxed bike. And even if they did, TA's wouldn't load one, and would prevent you loading on into the passenger cabin.
That said, CL do (in theory) provide boxes at staffed stations, and many have a supply of boxes to use. Provided you do a minimalist job in packing, it can be done in 10-15minutes with a small 15mm pedal wrench and a set of Allen keys.
But beware, CL TAs and station staff make airline baggage handlers look like ballerinas.
Definitely *not* appropriate handling of a boxed bike ...