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.

News: ScotRail have new  Highland Explorer carriages on the route Glascow <=> Oban, launched with considerable fanfare and a big welcome from cyclists. They posted a  maximum cycle length of 220cm but after a new assessment in early August this has been changed to a much more useful 255cm maximum.  Overall very positive moves from this company.

Avanti West Coast have confirmed that the Pendolino trains can carry two tandems (two reservations per tandem), as they could during the Virgin West Coast franchise. Avanti West Coast website updated with new FAQ March 2021.

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.  LNER 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

Website Updated March 2021 to add new FAQ including:

Each Voyager and Pendolino can carry up to 4 bikes.
Currently our Voyager trains cannot accept tandem bikes but each Pendolino train has enough room for two tandem bikes (please book two bike spaces for each tandem when booking your bike reservation).

Updated 13/03/21
Tandems and tricycles are not permitted.
Checked 02/02/21
Please note, we cannot accommodate tandem bikes.
Added 09/03/21
Regular bicycles are carried (except tandems) on any Chiltern Railways…
Checked 02/02/21
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 02/02/21
East Coast - see LNER   Updated 08/02/19
No specific mention of tandems. 
Updated 09/03/21
Luggage and cycles service suspended due to Covid 19. Folding bikes packed to be 85cm maximum dimension can still be carried if bagged.
Updated 20/02/21
 
No specific mention of tandems.
Updated 10/02/21
Great Northern No specific mention of tandems. Only folding bikes on peak services Link checked 09/03/21
Great Western Railway (GWR)
Quoting policy leaflet (linked here as pdf):
Tandems can only be carried on HST services and must have a reservation.
 Four carriage HSTs are in service on some routes in the south west the longest being Cardiff Central <=> Penzance but mostly shorter shuttles.

Updated 26/07/21

The four car Castle Class HSTs have been used for tandem carriage but it now turns out that there is a conflict between information in the leaflet Cycling by Train and the Passenger's Charter. Work to resolve this is ongoing. Please email the Rail Liaison Officer for more advice.

(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 13/08/21

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
No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions on cycles.
Checked 09/03/21
Hull Trains call their new Hitachi-built Class 802 trains Paragon. FAQ: We are unable to carry tandem bicycles or other oversized cycles,
Updated 10/02/21
Island Line see South Western Trains
 
Updated 25/02/18

London North Eastern Railway

 

LNER

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.

Updated 08/09/21/21
No specific mention of tandems. Peak service restrictions.
Checked 09/03/21
 
Link updated to TfL 06/04/19
 
Link updated to TfL 06/04/19
Tandems and tricycles are not permitted.
Checked 09/03/21
Please note: a 'bike' refers to an unpowered two-wheel cycle - it excludes tandems, tricycles, power-assisted cycles and trailers. Checked 9/03/21
 

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

Can I take a tandem or larger cycle on board?

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.

All other routes and rolling stock:

we are unable to accommodate tandems... on our trains.

Updated 10/08/21
We don’t allow tandems, tricycles, handbikes, motorcycles or cycles with trailers on our trains.
Checked 09/03/21
No specific mention of tandems. Peak services restrictions in places. See map linked under "Limits on regular cycles" paragraph.
Updated 09/03/21
mention of tandems on website. Peak time restrictions.
Checked 09/03/21
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.
Updated 14/02/21
TfLRail No mention of tandems. Peak time restrictions for non-folding bikes. Link updated 02/02/21
.... tandem bicycles aren't allowed on any services.
Checked 02/02/21
Thameslink Railway No specific mention of tandems. Only folding bikes on peak services Checked 09/03/21

 

Cycle policy leaflet says: Tandems, tricycles, handbikes*, recumbent cycles, motorcycles and bicycle trailers cannot be carried on any TransPennine Express train as the trains do not have the space to accommodate these.
Policy unchanged, link updated 02/02/21
Virgin Trains (West Coast) See Avanti West Coast
 
Updated 09/02/20
No specific mention of tandems. Peak service restrictions - some relaxed during Covid 19 Pandemic.
Updated 09/03/21