Many cyclists will have participated in organised rides in country and regional areas of Victoria, or have just wanted to travel with their bicycles on personal or family excursions. Such cyclists will be no strangers to the travails of transporting their bicycles.
Longer haul jourrneys with locomotive and goods van (used to be called the guard’s van) tend to be more accommodating, but the modern ‘Sprinter’ and similar trains serving regional cities such as Geelong and Bendigo, can be a nightmare for travelling cyclists. There is very limited space for bikes and if a number of cyclists happen to want to catch a train, there is no guarantee they will all get on. Worse if they are returning home, they may be unable to board with their bike.
Well, two MeBUG members, Lawrie and Breta Cohen have been doing something about this problem. They have, with some other cycling colleagues taken this issue up with VLine. They have been meeting and advocating since early 2019 and are making progress.
New trains will now accommodate three bikes per car, i.e. nine per three car set and 18 per six car set. The current focus is now on instituting a booking system so that cyclists can have certainty that if they have a booking, their bikes will be carried.
Lawrie has provided a number of documents that detail the negotiations over the last two years.