Tandems on Trains

Latest information on the carriage of Tandems on trains in the U.K.

The various U.K.Train Operating Companies (TOCs) have differing policies on the carriage of Tandems.

This table provides the information compiled by our Rail Liaison Office.

ScotRail have lifted the ban on split separable tandems and from April 2024 welcome them on all services. See details from the links below. They also allow access for other types of tandem on several types of trains on certain useful routes. Because this new policy is based on specific types of rolling stock the new situation demands full engagement by potential passengers to understand which services and rolling stock types are tandem permissive. Scotrail provide excellent specific guidance as linked below.

LNER allows tandem carriage subject to a reasonable size limit (see below). Hitachi-built Class 800 and 801 trains (called Azuma by this company) are used for most service although some older 225 sets have been retained by the company for significant routes including London <=> Leeds and London <=> York.  LNER Azuma routes include London <=> Edinburgh with a once a day service London <=> Inverness.

For general information and advice on taking your tandem on the train look at the advice page.

If you spot any errors or have any new information then please email the Rail Liaison Officer

Link for stations and routes served by each TOC

Train Operating Company
with link to cycle policy page
 Cycle Policy from company web sites and leaflets. Salient quotations shown in italic font Notes
(more information links require member login)
 Avanti West Coast

Cycles we accept onto Avanti West Coast trains:

Tandem bikes - only on our Pendolino services (two bike spaces need to be booked for each tandem)

Checked 11/04/24
c2c Tandems and tricycles are not permitted. Checked 22/05/24
Caledonian Sleeper We are not able to carry bike boxes, tandems,... Sorry! Checked 22/05/24
Chiltern Railways Regular bicycles are carried (except tandems) on any Chiltern Railways… Checked 22/05/24
CrossCountry As space is limited, we are unable to convey tandems, tricycles, bike trailers, motorbikes, scooters, mopeds or motorised bikes on any of our trains. Checked 22/05/24
East Coast - see LNER   Updated 08/02/19
East Midland Railway

No specific mention of tandems. 

Checked 5/04/23
Eurostar The service for boxed bikes has been reinstated for selected trains between London and Paris but there is still no carriage of complete bikes. Updated 5/04/23
Grand Central No specific mention of tandems. Checked 24/04/23 
Great Northern No specific mention of tandems. Only folding bikes on peak services Checked 24/04/23
Great Western Railway (GWR)

Updated policy leaflet has no details of different types of train and simply says:

Tandems cannot be carried on any of our services.

The four car Castle Class HSTs have been used for tandem carriage in recent years but these are being rapidly withdrawn from service.

Checked 22/05/24
(abelio) Greater Anglia Tandems may be carried on the following routes and services (except where any relevant time restrictions apply) :
Norwich - Ipswich - Colchester - London intercity trains

Ipswich, Clacton, Colchester, Braintree, Chelmsford and Southend to London services plus the branch lines to Harwich Town, Walton-on-the-Naze and Southminster.

Norwich - Cambridge, Ipswich - Peterborough and Ipswich - Cambridge trains (except for the first and last trains of the day between Ipswich - Cambridge and vice versa and the 06.23 Bury St. Edmunds - Ipswich)

Unfortunately, tandems cannot be carried on any other services

Checked 11/04/24

The link below related to the former franchise holder and much of the rolling stock has been replaced. Some of the advice is still useful

more information

Heathrow Connect now TfL Rail   Updated 06/04/19
Heathrow Express No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions on cycles. Checked 13/04/22
Hull Trains Hull Trains call their new Hitachi-built Class 802 trains Paragon. FAQ: We are unable to carry tandem bicycles or other oversized cycles, Checked 22/05/24
Island Line see South Western Trains   Updated 25/02/18

London North Eastern Railway


See the section Larger Bikes and the related FAQ both on  page linked here.

General policy applicable to older trains: Tandems are accepted if they conform to the following specifications and have two reservations: 100cm in height x 60cm in width x 260cm

For Azuma trains (Hitachi built class 800 and 801): Tandems up to 2.5m in length with both wheels removed can also be stored onboard. They must have two bike reservations.

Checked 24/04/23
London Northwestern Railway We are unable to accept tandems, tricycles, Updated 16/05/23
London Overground and TfL trains No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions for non folding bikes. Useful map Updated 13/04/22
London Underground (Tube) and DLR No specific mention of tandems. Some parts of network allow non folding cycles with some time restrictions. See page linked in first column. Useful map Updated 13/04/22
Merseyrail Motorised cycles, tandems,...can't be taken on board a train. Checked 24/04/23
Northern Tandems, tricyles and trailers cannot currently be carried on board our trains, due to be space constraints Checked 24/04/23

ScotRail general 

for separable/split policy follow link above then > What types of cycle can be carried > Separable/split tandems

ScotRail Highland Explorer

Due to the size of tandems and cargo cycles these can only be carried on a limited number of our services on routes where we can guarantee which type of train will operate on all services. ScotRail operates ten different types of train across the network in Scotland and our safety assessments only allow tandems and larger cycles to be carried on three of our types of train.

Please plan your journey before wishing to board any of our trains with a tandem or larger cycle, like a cargo cycle. Our guide to travelling with a bike on trains will let you know if you able to join our services and check that your cycle is within the permissible maximum length shown.

Split separable tandems can be carried on all ScotRail services. Separate the bike before boarding. Two cycle reservations are needed for the Inter7city HST services.

Highland Explorer carriages only (route Glascow <=> Oban)

Yes, there are a limited number of spaces onboard the ScotRail Highland Explorer carriage that can accommodate tandems.

Tandem must be reserved by 18:00 the day before travelling by calling our Customer Relations team on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) Monday – Sunday between 7am – 10pm. If you are calling at the weekend please choose option 3 for our Customer Relations team who will make the reservation for you.

You must remember to specify when booking that you are travelling with a tandem.

Larger cycles are any two wheeled cycle longer than 182cm and up to the maximum permissible length of 255cm.

Updated 11/04/24
Southeastern We don’t allow tandems, tricycles, handbikes, motorcycles or cycles with trailers on our trains. Checked 24/04/23
Southern Railway No specific mention of tandems. Peak services restrictions in places. See map linked under "Limits on regular cycles" paragraph. Link updated 23/06/23
South Western Railway

Details of cycle capacity for each train class but all say:

They can't carry tandem bicycles or trailers.

Checked 22/05/24
Stanstead Express You can bring a folding bike on board, as long as it is fully folded. Unfortunately, we can’t take any other bikes on any of our services. Checked 22/05/24
TfLRail No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions for non folding bikes. Useful map Updated 13/04/22
Transport for Wales (TfW Rail) .... tandem bicycles aren't allowed on any services. Checked 24/04/23
TransPennine Express Cycle policy leaflet says: Non-standard bikes, including tandems, ..cannot be carried on any TransPennine Express.. Checked 22/05/24
Virgin Trains (West Coast) See Avanti West Coast   Updated 09/02/20
West Midland Trains We are unable to accept tandems, ... on any of our trains or stations Checked 22/05/24