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Old 06-18-06, 07:18 PM   #1
rollotheclown
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bikes on trains in Europe, little help?

ok so here's the plan so far: flying into Munich, train to Donaueschingen and taking about two weeks to bike along the Donau Radweg and into Budapest. I looked up on the Eurail site that there is a train from Budapest to Munich (for our return flight). That train is listed as a "EC" train, anybody know if its easy-ok- to bring bikes along on that class of train?

and what kind of experience have folks had with flying bikes on Lufthansa? extra charges? do they provide bike boxes? etc.

anything else that jumps out at ya that I should be planning in or not miss out on?

many thanks
Rollo
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Old 06-18-06, 08:41 PM   #2
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If the EC trains are the first class trains, I'd say no. You'd have to box the bike or somehow get it into some kind of bag. But I've only taken those trains in Italy and Switzerland... in Greece, it was a no for the bike too, so I ended up on a second class train that time too.

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Old 06-18-06, 09:10 PM   #3
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Well the good news is that the train is probably run by DB (german train co) at least part of the way which has english-speaking operators. I'd call them.
I'd call the airline too. I'll bet they do but you need to provide notice.
Given that they are very close to United I'd imagine they have similar international policies. On UAL international flights, bikes are considered standard luggage and are counted against your allowance.
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Old 06-19-06, 08:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollotheclown
and what kind of experience have folks had with flying bikes on Lufthansa? extra charges? do they provide bike boxes? etc.
I flew Lufthansa to Zurich three years ago. There was no charge for my bike. I had a bike box, so I didn't inquire as to their availability.
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Old 06-19-06, 09:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollotheclown
ok so here's the plan so far: flying into Munich, train to Donaueschingen and taking about two weeks to bike along the Donau Radweg and into Budapest. I looked up on the Eurail site that there is a train from Budapest to Munich (for our return flight). That train is listed as a "EC" train, anybody know if its easy-ok- to bring bikes along on that class of train?

and what kind of experience have folks had with flying bikes on Lufthansa? extra charges? do they provide bike boxes? etc.

anything else that jumps out at ya that I should be planning in or not miss out on?

many thanks
Rollo
Check the DB (Deutsche Bahn) website for rules about bikes on trains. Each railway in Europe has it's own rules about bikes, although the tendency is for long distance/high speed trains to require that bikes be boxed if they are allowed at all.

I flew Lufthansa from DIA to Florence, Italy and back last month. The bike counted as one of my two pieces of checked luggage, so no charge. If you bring two pieces of checked luggage and a bike, then the bike is excess and they charge you 100 Euros. I had to reserve a spot for the bike on Lufthansa's toll free line, no charge but it's nice to know before you leave that there will be room for your bike. The reservation is mandatory. When I flew last month I just brought the bike up to the check in stand with the handlebars sideways and the pedals off. No box, no plastic wrapper, the bike got there fine. I used one rear pannier as my carry on and put every thing else into a duffle bag. Lufthansa made me deflate the tires before I could put the bike on the plane, so I ended up pumping up a pair of 26 x 1.75" tires with a hand pump when I got to Florence. Good thing I didn't bring a mini-pump! I sent a polite e-mail to Lufthansa telling them I didn't agree with that policy.

Call Lufthansa for the exact current rules about bicycles, don't just believe what someone told you on the Internet.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:20 PM   #6
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Most EC trains allow bikes to be rolled on. About 90% of them. Tell me exactly what day and time your train is and I'll let you know for sure.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:25 PM   #7
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By the way, there is a night train from Budapest to Munich. Get to sleep in a bed, don't make any transfers, and it has a bike compartment to roll-on and roll-off bikes.

Last edited by becnal; 06-21-06 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:29 PM   #8
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Hmmmm, if you are planning on getting the train at 1 pm which gets to Munich at 8:30 pm, I believe that one doesn't. But again, let me know exactly which train you want, and I can give you a definitive answer.

PS, I believe Coffee Brown was referring to ICE trains. Those don't let you roll bikes on.
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Old 06-21-06, 10:42 AM   #9
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I flew Lufthansa last year from Oslo to Frankfurt. No charge for the bike, they put plastic over the wheels and put it on the plane. No deflated tires, I couldn't loosen the stem, but I did remove the pedals.

A lot depends on the ground staff at the particular airport you are flying from.
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