Bicycle Network: Where to Ride
3 V/Line trains – regional services in Victoria
Taking your bike on V/Line trains.
No bikes on Ballarat, Bendigo buses
30 June 2011. Bikes will not be carried on the buses which are replacing V/Line trains on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines for the next two weeks.
At part of the regional rail link project buses will replace trains on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines and on the Sydenham railway line between Albion and Footscray during the July school holidays (Saturday 2 July to Sunday 17 July).
V/Line does not permit bikes on timetabled V/Line coaches, including rail replacement coaches, and while folding bikes are allowed it is advised that you don’t travel with a folding bike where possible due to the limited space that will be available on replacement buses.
The two week closure is to allow for construction works on the Regional Rail Link and Sunbury Electrification projects. Metro and V/Line will also undertake essential maintenance during this time.
Trains will be replaced by regular buses between Albion and Footscray stations and V/Line coaches on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines.
Folding bikes must not exceed 82cm long x 69cm high x 39cm wide or have wheel rims of more than 51cm in diameter. They must be packed in a bag when travelling on V/Line coaches and cannot be stored in overhead luggage, parcel racks or in walkways.
Timetables for the replacement services are available from MetLink and VicLink.
Bikes on trains at last
16 June 2011. V/Line services to Albury are returning this month with an added bonusâ€”a special van will be attached to the train with the capacity to carry 30 bikes.
This will be a boon to those travelling to the rail trails in the north east of the State.
Bicycle tourism is becoming a feature of the region, but has been constrained due to the inability to transport bikes by train.
The Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said V/Line will publish detailed revised Albury line timetables in the near future.
Mr Mulder said that the first V/Line trains to recommence would be the 6.35am from Albury to Southern Cross and the 12 noon from Southern Cross to Albury, starting on June 26.
"Each V/Line Albury line train should have five passenger carriages and 370 seats," Mr Mulder said.
"V/Line expects to resume running the morning train from Southern Cross to Wangaratta and the early afternoon train from Wangaratta to Southern Cross in August 2011.
These trains will have temporary coach connections to or from Albury due to Australian Rail Track Corporation rerailing works that continue until the end of September 2011.
"V/Line should complete the return of its trains on the Albury line by November 2011, with the evening train from Southern Cross to Albury and the late afternoon train from Albury/Wodonga to carry passengers every day."
Mr Mulder stressed that until the second and third daily return V/Line trains returned, V/Line passengers could continue to use local V/Line trains from Southern Cross to Seymour and coach connections beyond to Benalla, Wangaratta, Albury/Wodonga and a host of other northeast towns.
Mr Mulder said that seat bookings were compulsory and could be made at any V/Line staffed station or by calling 13 61 96.
"Tickets may also be purchased online at www.vline.com.au and can then be posted with sufficient notice or picked up at a staffed station..
"Passengers need to be aware that with V/Line trains using the standard gauge line from 26 June 2011, some platform arrangements at intermediate stations will change, particularly at Broadmeadows and intermediate stations between Seymour and Wodonga.
V/Line will publicise the changed platform arrangements at stations, through the media and on the www.vline.com.au Internet site.
"Cycling tourism brings visitors and dollars to communities such as Wangaratta, Benalla and Bright,' he said.
Getting to the "World's" by bike
2 September 2010. The riders hoping to get to the 2010 UCI Road World Championships in Geelong next month on their bike will find it easier said than done, with bikes being banned from the Geelong trains for the duration of the event.
V/line has announced that to alleviate crowding at Southern Cross and Geelong stations, bikes will not be allowed onto Geelong line trains on Saturday 2 October and Sunday 3 October.
For those planning to take their bike V/line has suggested checking out the Catch a Coach (from Southern Cross Station) or Park and Ride (from various Geelong locations) options being arranged by the event organisers.
The special coach service on Sunday 3 October will depart from Southern Cross Station at regular intervals. Passengers must pre-book the Catch a Coach Service and the number of bikes that can be taken on the Catch a Coach service is limited.
Full details are available here.
Bikes on V/Line trains
4 March 2010. Currently passengers may carry bikes on all V/Line trains, subject to space availability.
There is storage space for bikes on all locomotive-hauled services, but on the Sprinter and VLocity trains, this space is limited. So if you want to carry your bike on the Traralgon–Bairnsdale, Seymour–Albury (when this service resumes), Bendigo–Swan Hill or Geelong–Warrnambool lines, we suggest you look for a service that has a First Class carriage because these carriages have more space for luggage. First Class carriages are indicated by a star on V/Line timetables.
Locomotive-hauled services run at least two times a day on all V/Line train lines except the Ballarat line.
V/Line bends to bike demand
9 September 2009. The battle to get more bike tourists on country trains has scored an important victory with news that trains on the Melbourne–Wodonga connection will carry additional bike storage from next year.
An additional carriage will be added to each train, acting as both back-up power supply and a de facto bike rack, according the the Albury Border Mail.
A Department of Transport spokeswoman told the newspaper the additional carriage was recognition of the North East's bike-riding tourism trade.
"As part of the provision of upgraded and refurbished train sets for the North East Rail Revitalisation Project, V/Line will be introducing an additional carriage on each train set," she said.
"The additional carriage will provide back-up power supplies to improve reliability of the train and, equally as important, additional storage space will also be available for the carriage of bicycles in recognition of the growing popularity of cycle-based tourism in North East Victoria.
"V/Line and Department of Transport acknowledge that cycle-based tourism in North East Victoria requires capacity for the carriage of bicycles on these services."
Currently tourism in Victoria's north-east is suffering because bikes are restricted on the interim train and bus service operating on the line from Melbourne while the standard gauge duplication is under construction.
The member for Murray Valley Ken Jasper has welcomed the news, telling the Border Mail that cycling was a growing part of the North East tourism trade.
"Under the present situation the only way to get them on the train was to take them apart and put it in a box. People need to be able to get off the train and onto a bike."
No change to V/Line rules
21 May 2008. The Opposition Transport spokesman Terry Mulder issued a press release today titled "Kosky hits country train users with anti-bike rules," has been called "factually wrong" by the Government.
"There has been no change to the rules governing bikes on trains. Country travelers may still take their bikes without the need to pack in boxes or modify them."
The Government claims that Mr Mulder based his press release on the Travel Tips section of the V/Line website. There is advice in V/Line's Travel Tips about adapting and packing bikes in cardboard to protect the bike in transit. (Boxing bikes for travel is not compulsory but it is recommended.)
Minister announces that bikes are allowed on all V/Line services
15 February 2008. The Minister today announced that bikes are allowed on all V/Line services. Passengers will be advised where the bikes are best carried and riding and non-riding passengers will be informed of the code of conduct. Some services have a large baggage area and others such as the new VLocity trains do not. Passengers will be able to find from the timetable which services have more space.
Riders who often travel with their bike on crowded VLocity trains might find it more convenient to use a folding bike.
General update on bikes and public transport
31 January 2008 A summary of our meeting with the Minister. Link to page.
V/Line is changing its rules for carrying bikes in 2008
January 2008 V/Line have announced a reprieve on the banning of bicycles on peak hour trains until 1 February 2008. Cyclists are asked to write to V/Line and to Minister for Public Transport, Lynne Kosky, asking for bicycles to be allowed on peak hour trains. Please keep it polite and positive.
December 2007 We have not seen a copy of V/Line's final rules but we believe that it will not permit passengers to carry bikes on V/Line trains in the peak direction to major commuter destinations. (A peak service is one that terminates during the peak times 7–9am and 4–6pm.) Counter-peak travel with a bicycle–for example from the CBD to a regional centre in the morning–will be permitted. This rule will, we expect, be similar to the metro train rule. That is Geelong (V/Line) and Frankston (Connex) will have the same rules.
Bikes will be permitted on long distance V/Line trains which all arrive and depart in off-peak times. So, for example, the three train services between Warnambool and Melbourne will accept passngers with bikes because these services are all off-peak.
We have talked to Public Transport Division staff in the Department of Infrastructure about these changes. The rules are being changed because the trains are full or filling rapidly. It will take a while before we all–riders and train staff–have digested and understood the new rules, so we all need to be patient.
We explored with the Division ways that bikes could continue to use V/Line peak service trains into the CBD. The Division made the point that it needs a clear and unambiguous rule for the staff and customers to follow. It is true that some V/Line trains have facilities to carry baggage, but unfortunately not all do. It is also true that some riders wanting to board a V/Line CBD peak service may not intend to travel all the way into the CBD, but this is difficult for staff to determine.
The new rules have clearly reduced service to some bike riders. Our survey will help us understand how many riders have been taking the bikes on the train or would like to.
We have weighed up the issues from all points of view and have agreed to support the changes. We will try and improve this situation. For example we will try to see if the guards can be given discretion to allow a bike on the train when there is space. Train travellers who need a bike in town during the day are encouraged to keep one at work.
We think–and are checking through the survey–that more riders are interested in riding to the station than taking their bike on the train. This means our first priority for train-travelling riders is to get bike routes to stations and secure parking.
We are working with the Public Transport Division to:
- have bike cages installed at regional train stations. We have South Geelong Station in mind as a regional pilot.
Riders who wish to carry the matter further are encouraged to:
- Collect and submit passenger number data. It may be that your line is not over crowded in the peak.
- Contact the V/Line feedback service listed on the right
- Complete our survey attached on the right.
No booking system for bikes
January 2005 Under the current system, there is no way for V/Line staff to know how many people will arrive at the station with bicycles (unless they are travelling in a group and made a group booking).
If a ticketing system for bikes was implemented the numbers of bicycles on trains would be known in advance, rather than a first come, first served basis.
For example on Easter Monday 2005, thirteen people arrived with bicycles at Wangaratta station for their return trip to Melbourne. Whilst they were given assurances by station staff that bicycles could be carried, five bicycles had to be transported on a later service four hours later.
Whilst V/Line knows how many people they are carrying, they do not know how many bikes they are carrying. Implementing a ticketing system would enable V/Line to know when bookings exceed two bikes so that they can add a D-Van to the train. Current policy is that a D-Van will be placed on the train if a group booking is made, but this is no use if a number of individuals turn up at the station with bikes.
This would also enable V/line to gather more data such as how many requests for carrying bicycles are received, how many bicycles are actually being carried and how many have been refused or held over?
Disparity in charges for bikes
June 2005 On Great Southern Railway services pensioners can travel on the Overlander train from Melbourne to Adelaide at a discounted rate. However it costs an exta $80 for their bikes.
Many airlines and all Melbourne metro trains will allow you to carry your bike at no extra cost.
A Bicycle Network Member wrote to Peter Batchelor's office in June 2005 highlighting the cost of carrying bikes on the Overlander train and compared it to that of other modes of transport.
Peter Batchelor's office agreed to forward the Member's recommendations to the operators of Great Southern Railway (GSR).