Push To Get Bicycles On Regional Trains

Local cyclists are urged to write to State MPs to allow bicycles to be carried easily on regional trains.

 

120 YEARS ago, Victorians could wheel their bicycles onto a train in Melbourne and get off at a country station for a bicycle tour.

However, according to Tim Coen, who has set up the ‘Bikes on NSW Trainlink’ Facebook page, restrictive NSW train rules prevent this happening in NSW.

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He says that bicycles taken on regional trains in NSW have to be boxed and boxes can be no heavier than 20kgs.

This precludes most E-bikes, which usually weigh more than 20kgs, and means that cyclists must dismantle and box their bikes, then reassemble them at their destination and then dispose of the box.

Mr Coen says that cycling to the train station and rolling your bicycle onto the train then simply rolling it off at the other end will encourage much greater use of regional trains among all cyclists and attract more visitors.

His Facebook page is urging people to write to relevant ministers and their local State Members of Parliament to include roll-on bike spaces on regional trains which are currently being designed.

He estimates that the design of the new carriages should allow space for about twelve unboxed bicycles and e-bikes that are rolled on and rolled off.

Even more space for bikes would encourage Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) and cycle clubs to go touring as a group, which, Mr Coen says, has a range of obvious advantages.

Marion Beer, Secretary of the Coffs Harbour BUGs, agrees, and urges local cyclists to look at the Facebook page.

“It would be great for local cyclists to be able to wheel their bikes on and off trains, and it should open up our area to more bicycle tourism,” she said.

A tour operator posted a response from Transport NSW in which the spokesperson wrote, “The policy and procedure for the storage and carriage of bicycles and cargo will be reviewed before the new regional fleet is introduced in 2023.

“As part of this review process, concept testing is being carried out regarding the feasibility and viability of taking and storing bicycles on-board without boxing.

“I am pleased to advise that the new intercity trains, the Mariyung Fleet, which is currently in its final stages of testing, will have dedicated bicycle spaces.”

 

By Andrew VIVIAN

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