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With over 47% of people aged over 5 having access to a bicycle, pedal power is rapidly growing in popularity. Wanting to experience the UK without damaging the environment is one reason for this growth, but other cyclists cite the increasing cost of petrol, exercise, and looking after their mental health. 

Many stations have bike storage facilities, allowing you to cycle to the station and leave your bike securely locked until you return from your train journey. So whether you use the train to commute, for day-to-day travel or to explore the country, including a bike on your journey makes perfect sense.   

Are bikes allowed on trains?

Northern encourages the use of bikes and provides limited spaces, free of charge, on our trains for cycle storage. Keen to promote cycle-rail users, we have worked closely with CyclingUK to develop our Cycle Promise

How to book your bike space on trains

At present, our cycle spaces operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so there is no need to book in advance. Currently, our trains can only carry a maximum of two bikes per train, but we are exploring how to increase each train’s capacity for bikes, thereby making cycle-train usage a more viable option.  

What are the bike policies of major train companies?

Most major train companies have policies in place for the transportation of bikes.

LNER have a booking policy in place for bike users and will carry bikes for free. However, spaces are limited and only one bike per passenger is permitted. Folding bikes, providing they are folded before boarding, can fit in the passenger luggage space, eliminating the need to book, and while electric bikes are allowed, they cannot be charged on the train.  

Grand Central Rail trains have space for three bikes, one of which is first-come, first-served, the other two can be reserved. Bikes travel for free, and folding bikes can be carried in the hand luggage space, negating the need to book in advance. 

Chiltern Railways will carry folding bikes at all times, provided they don’t cause obstructions. However, regular bikes are subject to space being available, and cannot be carried during their busiest peak weekday services. 

Transport for Wales have limited free spaces on their services, and are looking to increase this. They request that cycle spaces are reserved on some routes, and on routes that don’t require reservations, the spaces are first-come, first-served. 

How much does it cost to take a bike on the train?

It is free to take your bike on a Northern train, and you don’t need to book in advance, although we do operate on a first-come, first-served basis.


Yes, Northern welcome cycle-rail users, and we’re working with CyclingUK to develop a Cycle Promise for bike users.

While some major rail companies have limitations as to when you can take your bike on a train, Northern permit bikes on our trains at any time. However, with only limited spaces - at present, we do operate a first-come, first-served policy.

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