We are (3) touring cyclists flying into Bordeaux and needing to travel by train to Pontorson with loaded bicycles. The US booking agents for Rail Europe do not fully understand the French system which allows fully assembled bikes aboard some trains. We could appreciate it if someone who lives in France and understands the issue would research availability of such trains on August 11. Routing is likely through Nantes and Rennes on regional trains with a reservation for the bikes as well.
Thank you in advance
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No trouble putting bikes on all trains in France except the TGV. In the older trains, you stick the bike in the front wagon, normally reserved for the controller; in the newer ones there are coaches with bike space provided - you hang the bikes verically from the wheel in these, which means that you have to take all paniers off. Also, there is no extra cost, like in some countries. Combining cycling and train traveller is a great experience in France! The only trouble you might encounter is that most of the smaller stations do not have lifts, so you have to cart the bike and all the baggage down some steps; then cart them back up again.
This is good news. I have been thinking about riding down to Marseilles from Germany this month. I was worried if I would be allowed to take my bike on the train for the return journey as I do not have enough time to do a full loop 100% by bicycle. In Germany it is much the same, you can take the bike on all trains if there is space (except the ICE which is similar as the TGV service).
I'm not sure what the TGV is but I want to get me and my bike from London to Chartres. I can't seem to get a straight answer. Do I need to bag my bike in London or can I roll it on? I'm pretty unclear about all of this. Any information would be useful
This is a general reply to some of the previous in thread:
1st, TGV = the v fast, expensive class.
It's been 10 yrs since I was there, but for regional trains, some allowed for bikes definitely;
others were at the discretion of the train-controller, so it could not be known in advance.
As for from london, you've not said if it's Eurostar, which I'm not sure about.
I think there was/is a buggy that carried upto a certain number.
Otherwise, a normal train ccould be combined with cheap ferry eg/Dover in Uk at least an 'advance' ticket can be bought cheaply upto the day-b4-travel,
and ferry is cheaper bought online, even at the terminal in their port-office.