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Old 24.05.2012, 15:39
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Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

Back some time ago I took my bike and went to Lugano. I checked the sbb website and reservations for bicycles were not necessary on the train I was taking at that time of year.

When I got to Zurich HB there were only 1 or 2 other people with bikes, but as it got closer to the time the train was due to come in, many other cyclists turned up. When the train pulled in I was not that close to the wagon with the bicycle spaces, and it ended up that all the bicycle spaces were taken by the time I got there (there was only space for 4 bikes on the whole train). I got on the train anyway and put my bike inbetween some compartments.

When the ticket inspector came he complained that I had my bike in a non official space and told me I should have waited for the next train. I used my logic and managed to persuade him that it was not reasonable. How did I suceed you may wonder.

I told him that I was one of the first to arrive at Zurich HB but that since sbb have no proper queuing system other people pushed in before me. Even if I had waited for the next train the same thing may have happened, so I may have ended up waiting all day long to get on a train.

The simple conclusion is that if ssb want people to wait for the next train if all the current bicycle spaces are occupied, they should put in some kind of queueing system so it is clear who should be on the train with their bike next. Without this the whole system is illogical and they cannot complain when people do as I did.

Do you agree or disagree?
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Old 24.05.2012, 16:24
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

Did you know that on SBB platforms there are blue posters? These indicate the train make up, and show where the bicycle racks are positioned on the train. Next time you could be nearer the correct door, and get on first. Is it possible to reserve bicycle places? I never knew that.
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Old 24.05.2012, 16:36
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

Sometimes they have the make up of the train but not always. I always look out for them when they are available. Even if I was fairly near to where the compartment would be, someone else a few metres closer who arrived after me can always hop on first. Queueing would be a fairer system when spaces are very limited.

In the summer you actually have to reserve your bicycle place on a lot of trains. There is usually a notice displayed next to the bike rack. There is an extra charge of 10CHF if you do not reserve when you are meant to have reserved, on top of the bike ticket that you need regardless. So in summer not making a reservation can end up costing you more than 20CHF for your bike journey in total. 10CHF for not making the reservation plus the 10 or more francs for a bike ticket.
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Old 24.05.2012, 16:41
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-service...-the-trip.html
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bikes-trains-limited-bicycle-spaces-sbbbike.png   bikes-trains-limited-bicycle-spaces-bikeontrains.jpg  
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Old 24.05.2012, 17:24
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

I've been told that if you take a wheel off and wrap the front triangle in a jacket it is no longer counted as a bike!
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Old 24.05.2012, 17:34
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

That might be pushing it a bit, as it is meant to be in a box or a bike bag. If the inspector is friendly maybe he will let you off.
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Old 24.05.2012, 18:14
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

As already mentioned, there are some trains where, over the busy summer period, you have to reserve a place for the bike. I also book if I just think the train I am going to use may be crowded.

A few times I hvae ended up getting on when the official bike hooks have been taken. In those cases, I have had no problem with standing with my bike for the journey - sometimes shifting it side to side at stops, to allow other passengers to get around it. I have never had a ticketcollector object to this.
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Old 24.05.2012, 20:41
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

I'm with biff on this - few times I've had to take the bike home on the train for some reason, and never had the conductor complaining. This is the rush hour train from Zurich to zug too.
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Old 14.10.2021, 12:23
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

Took my bike to Lugano the other day on a train that required reservations for bikes.

Bike pass: SFr. 14
Bike space reservation: SFr. 2 for each way. You'll see your designated carriage and number on your ticket.

All booked on my SBB app but beware you'll have a separate ticket for each booking.

In Goldau, I asked a young man to help me lift my bike into the designated carriage. We got it in but realized there were only four spaces and all taken. The conductor arrived and asked what the problem was. It turned out the poor guy who had helped me had used one of the hooks for his own bike without reserving. He was kicked off the train and told to take the regional one, which takes an hour longer but does not require reservations.

If the young man hadn't been there, I would not have been able to take the train due to lack of space. There were eight allotments between two carriages and they were full.

Moral of the story: if it says reservations required, then reserve!

PS: On the way back, two stowaways hid in the bike compartment. It seems to be the place to be if you don't have a ticket.
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Last edited by olygirl; 14.10.2021 at 12:40. Reason: clarity
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Old Yesterday, 17:41
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

So, back on the train again to Lugano. On the IC trains, storage is easy since there are no hooks to hang the bikes from. For both journeys, my bike has been stored in the first class carriages but my ticket is for second class. On the way down, it was impossible to go into second class due to a lack of no connecting door. On the way back, I didn’t bother to wander through the carriage. I wonder if the conductor will understand my predicament of not wanting to sit too far away from my bike. We’ll see.
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Old Yesterday, 17:57
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Re: Bikes and trains with limited bicycle spaces

Well, the conductor came and said I should be sitting in second class but he didn’t fine me. All’s well that ends well.
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