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Tandem on Train, Crewe to Blackpool

Posted By: Matthias Bunte
Date: 18 May 2008

Dear All,

My friends want to travel the 70 mls or so from Crewe to Blackpool by train, taking the Tandem with them and cycle back. I found a posting from Peter Simpson from 3 years ago, which I copy below.

Since I am confused how to best go about it I would be grateful for any advice and updates. I found on the http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html some info that apparently now it's www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk that is going into this direction.

My friends have a Thorn Tandem and would be able to remove the front and, if needed, the rear wheel/mudguard as well, should this make boarding easier.

Thanks in advance.
Matthias Bunte

The official policy of Virgin Trains is that 'Tandems will be carried on Pendolino trains, but tandems will not be carried on Voyagers.'
Pendolinos, which operate on the Euston West Coat Route, have ample space to accommodate two tandems in each of the two cycle compartments, fully assembled and with both wheels on the floor.
The cycle space on Voyagers is more restricted. Bikes are intended to be suspended from hooks in the roof. A tandem can fit in the available space if the front wheel (and possibly the back wheel) are removed. It is for this reason that Virgin have imposed the ban.
In practise if the tandem will fit fully within the yellow lines (which it will if the wheels are removed); if you have reserved space (reserve two cycle spaces); and if your tandem doesn't cause any hazard, inconvenience or delay (wheels can be removed on the train) then train managers are usually happy to accept tandems. David and I have travelled with our tandem on Voyagers many times without problems.
The ban on tandems on Pendolinos a couple of years ago was due to the fact that a shortage of Pendolinos meant that it may have been necessarry to substitute Voyagers at short notice. This is no longer the case.

Peter Simpson

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