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UK/ NZ Citizen Living in Canada - Want to Bike/ Train

  • 13 January 2024
  • 9 replies
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I’m a NZ & UK dual citizen currently living in Canada. I did Interrail back in 2013 when I lived in London, and from what I remember I couldn’t use it for train journeys WITHIN the UK, but I flew to Denmark and went via Switzerland to Spain anyway so it didn’t matter.

This time I’m planning to fly in/out of London and want to do mostly slow travel to get around - bike/ train/ ferry. I want to take a couple trains within the UK/ Ireland probably and then over to mainland Europe + across to probably Eastern Germany/ Denmark/ Sweden.

 

Does the restriction of travel in your “home nation” still apply? Would it be best for me to get Interrail using my UK passport + sister’s address, or Eurail using my NZ passport + Canadian address?

Also, if anyone has done interrail/eurail with a bike please give me tips. The Chatbot said to check the linked schedule for bike options and then linked me to a Deutschbahn page. It also said I need to “buy a separate ticket” for my bike but I don’t remember ever reserving space for my bike when I used to take it with me on UK trains (not with Interrail).

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Best answer by thibcabe 13 January 2024, 02:53

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Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Interrail now has a 2 days limitation in your home country. You better use Eurail with your NZ passport yeah : same prices and no such limitation.

Have a look at these helpful pages :

https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-a-eurail-pass.htm

https://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm

Rules for ravelling with a bike vary a lot depending on the company and whether it's a long-distance or regional train. Eurostar might be your biggest issue. Central and Eastern Europe are easier than France or Spain.

Questions welcome :)

@rvdborgt the thing is I’ll have my bike with me which adds a lot. Also trying to avoid air travel if I can because slow travel is less negative on the environment. If you mean flying back to Canada from elsewhere, I am considering it. I haven’t booked flights yet as it’s still a ways out, but with the additional cost & effort of getting back to the UK a one-way flight from say Norway back to Canada might not be the worst idea

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

A bike on Eurostar from/to London is not free of charge and is limited to certain trains:

https://help.eurostar.com/faq/be-en/question/Can-I-take-my-bike-on-Eurostar

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Yeah, Eurostar isn’t very bike friendly. You might want to look at Option B in that Seat61 link - via the Harwich-Hoek van Holland ferry. 

London to Harwich is included with Eurail pass. Bikes go free, no reservation needed on the recommended morning or evening train from London (among others).

There’s a slight discount on the ferry for Eurail passholders. It will be cheaper than Eurostar passholder fare + bike fare. And easier- you won’t have to dismantle and bag the bike!

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

If the sole reason to get back to London is to get a plane, then also look into flying out of somewhere else. That avoids having to backtrack, which will costs time and money and also needs a free pass holder seat on Eurostar into London. An open-jaw flight isn't necessarily much more expensive than a return flight.

Thanks @thibcabe I looked into Eurostar already and seems like if I do London - Brussels I can wheel on a bike at no extra cost and then I’m already further East into Europe in one train journey so win win. Seems like Belgium in general is very bike friendly on their train system. My concern is more with the Nordics but if needs be I have friends in Denmark & Germany I could leave my bike with and train around from there.

@rvdborgt thanks, my mistake. Good to note. £45 is pretty steep considering a standard fare to Brussels is £54 booking 5 months out...

One thing to note, I forgot to mention is part of my plan is train London - Manchester then cycle through Lake District to get the ferry Cairnryan - Belfast and see a friend in Ireland… and I’ve just now discovered there is a ferry from Dublin - France, which could avoid the Eurostar altogether, although it does put me more West in Europe

Totally I want to avoid disassembling my bike as much as possible. I’ve taken that ferry before (I biked London - Hamburg in 2016) so I *kind* of want to see some new stuff… but will see. The overnight from Dublin - France has no bike fee and their cabin fee is only €24

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