Bicycles on XPT or Xplorer

 
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
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:

http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2013/09/no-trainsno-bikesno-money.html

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  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I've no idea how strictly it is enforced but judging by the "jobsworth" way in which every other rule is enforced on the railways I'd suggest it's a case of "no box= no travel".

I find Australian railways officious and sometimes petty in this respect having retained practices which were abandoned as outdated over 100 years ago by some other countries.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

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:

http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2013/09/no-trainsno-bikesno-money.html
RatholeTunnel
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 ...
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Twenty years ago dudes used to sneak motorcycles onto the XPT, such was the leniency and enthusiasm.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Most passengers on the serivices are on free travel or very heavily subsidised fares & on benefits & pensions.

Most with bikes are not the case.

I say remove some seats in 1 xplorer car per set & 2 XPT cars per set to provide freestanding, unreserved storage for bikes in a fully assembled condition. We who bike ride often contribute enormously to the community through our better health saving costs in the system, plus most of us pay full fares or are overseas visitors.

We spend a lot in regional economies too.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Most passengers on the serivices are on free travel or very heavily subsidised fares & on benefits & pensions.

Most with bikes are not the case.

I say remove some seats in 1 xplorer car per set & 2 XPT cars per set to provide freestanding, unreserved storage for bikes in a fully assembled condition. We who bike ride often contribute enormously to the community through our better health saving costs in the system, plus most of us pay full fares or are overseas visitors.

We spend a lot in regional economies too.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Most passengers on the serivices are on free travel or very heavily subsidised fares & on benefits & pensions.

Most with bikes are not the case.

I say remove some seats in 1 xplorer car per set & 2 XPT cars per set to provide freestanding, unreserved storage for bikes in a fully assembled condition. We who bike ride often contribute enormously to the community through our better health saving costs in the system, plus most of us pay full fares or are overseas visitors.

We spend a lot in regional economies too.
RatholeTunnel
Whats the market for it ?
A lot of these ideas sound good , but unless real numbers of additional passengers can be determined , its just wishful thinking.
I live in the ACT where all the busses have bike racks on the front which allow bicycles to be carried for free.
90% of the time they are empty.
Good idea , but hardly anyone uses them.
How about this .
How much extra , on top of the full first class fare , would you be prepared to pay to take a bicycle on the XPT or Xplorer.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
I'd pay the same "extra" on my fare as passengers conveying prams, travel for a,.mobility scooters etc. Even the airlines exempt scooters, wheelchairs & infant paraphernalia from weighing up baggage limits.

I should pay extra when fatties have to pay for 2 seats if their condition/size requires it.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Yes, I have found XPT and Xplorer travel to be very obstructive about bicycles. Cyclists are often full fare payers and could also be willing to pay fairly well to bring a bicycle. Station staff often try to be helpful but are bound by rules to make things as difficult as possible.  ( a few take a fiendish delight in the obstructionist regulations)

Space problems could be solved by alterations to existing coaches or even attaching vans. New coaching stock is needed with appropriate space. (something for the XPT replacement thread)

This is an issue that should be worth taking up with politicians.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

How much extra , on top of the full first class fare , would you be prepared to pay to take a bicycle on the XPT or Xplorer.
MD
$12.50, plus whatever damage is done to the bike in transit.  That is the current fee.  And I pay it regularly.  For which NSW TrainLink provides the box, and (mis)-handling from the platform into the luggage hold .

But I do this nowhere near nowhere as often as if a roll-on roll off service were available.  The hassle of dealing with boxing and the luggage checking procedures - as well as the risk of bike damage - are just too great a disincentive.  But perhaps the bigger disincentive is the lack of availability of boxes at many stations.

And finally, perhaps an even bigger issue are the size of the boxes.  My 6yo son's bike doesn't quite fit in a NSW Train Link box with non-trivial disassembly.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
From what I have studied about bicycle carriage about 100 years ago, Railway systems seemed to encourage the carriage of bicycles. Profitable rates were charged of course, unlike in today's money losing railways. Therein lies the problem I suspect.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
V line charge nothing extra with trains, and are sometimes flexible for the bus if its got plenty space below.

Railways are a public service, they should be focused on flexibility and convenience for the customer.
  octagonalman Beginner

Whats the market for it ?
A lot of these ideas sound good , but unless real numbers of additional passengers can be determined , its just wishful thinking.
I live in the ACT where all the busses have bike racks on the front which allow bicycles to be carried for free.
90% of the time they are empty.
Good idea , but hardly anyone uses them.
How about this .
How much extra , on top of the full first class fare , would you be prepared to pay to take a bicycle on the XPT or Xplorer.
MD
Regarding the ACT buses, the bike racks on actually reasonable bus routes such as the blue or red rapids are often full and people are waiting with their bike for the next available rack-equipped bus. Just as having a reasonable, high-frequency and direct route can help determine how many people will be sitting inside the bus, it can determine rack usage.

Back to this topic however, has anyone made a journey from NSW train to NSW coach with a packed-up bike?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Regarding the ACT buses, the bike racks on actually reasonable bus routes such as the blue or red rapids are often full and people are waiting with their bike for the next available rack-equipped bus.
octagonalman
Too true: not many cyclists can't outride a typical ACTION bus.  Even CountryLink isn't that slow!

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