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 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).

Checked 11/04/22
Tandems and tricycles are not permitted.
Checked 12/04/22
 we are not able to carry bike boxes, tandems,... Sorry! Updated 13/04/22
Regular bicycles are carried (except tandems) on any Chiltern Railways…
Checked 12/04/22
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 12/04/22
East Coast - see LNER   Updated 08/02/19
No specific mention of tandems. 
Checked 10/04/22
Until further notice, our usual bike on board service is suspended on all routes, and we will be unable to accept any bookings for fully assembled bikes or boxed bikes. If you'd like to take these types of bikes with you, we recommend that you contact a courier service to take them to your destination. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Updated 13/04/22
Cycling UK article from January 2022 suggests the service should be restored by the summer. Check the link given in the left column.
 
No specific mention of tandems.
Checked 13/04/22
Great Northern No specific mention of tandems. Only folding bikes on peak services Checked 13/04/22
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.

Checked 13/04/22

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 13/04/22

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 13/04/22
Hull Trains call their new Hitachi-built Class 802 trains Paragon. FAQ: We are unable to carry tandem bicycles or other oversized cycles,
Checked 13/04/22
Island Line see South Western Trains
 
Updated 25/02/18

London North Eastern Railway

 

LNER

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.

Updated13/04/22
No specific mention of tandems. Peak service restrictions.
Checked 13/04/22
London Overground and TfL trains
No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions for non folding bikes. Useful map
Updated 13/04/22
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
Motorised cycles, tandems,...can't be taken on board a train.
Updated 13/04/22
Tandems, tricyles and trailers cannot currently be carried on board our trains, due to be space constraints. Updated 13/04/22
 

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

If you are travelling with a tandem or a larger cycle (any two wheeled cycle longer than 182cm), you will need to call our Customer Relations team, who are open Monday – Sunday from 7am -10pm on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) by 6pm the day before travel to reserve a bike space. Please note, these spaces are limited and only available on our new ScotRail Highland Explorer carriages.

Before making your reservation, please ensure that you have checked that your cycle complies with our maximum permissible dimensions:

    Maximum permissible length 255cm.
    Maximum permissible width of cycle body 75cm.
    Maximum permissible width of front wheel with tyre inflated 14cm. Should your tyre measure wider, it can be deflated, so long as the rim width is no greater than the measurement, to allow the wheel to fit safely in the storage rack.

Tandem are not carried on trains other than Highland Explorer

Updated 13/04/22
We don’t allow tandems, tricycles, handbikes, motorcycles or cycles with trailers on our trains.
Checked 13/04/22
No specific mention of tandems. Peak services restrictions in places. See map linked under "Limits on regular cycles" paragraph.
Checked 13/04/22
No mention of tandems on website. Peak time restrictions.
Checked 13/04/22
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 13/04/22
TfLRail
No specific mention of tandems. Time restrictions for non folding bikes. Useful map
Updated 13/04/22
.... tandem bicycles aren't allowed on any services.
Checked 13/04/22
Thameslink Railway No specific mention of tandems. Only folding bikes on peak services Checked 13/04/22

 

Cycle policy leaflet says: Non-standard bikes, including tandems, ..cannot be carried on any TransPennine Express..
Updated 13/04/22
Virgin Trains (West Coast) See Avanti West Coast
 
Updated 09/02/20
We are unable to accept tandems, ... on any of our trains or stations
Updated 14/04/22