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Blue Mountains Train

Exxodus's picture

By Exxodus - Posted on 19 February 2012

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to find riders who went up to the Blue Mountains today and where waiting at Glenbrook station at 6:50am. There was a lot of you there, perhaps even 50 of us?

I wanted to encourage you all to call City Rail and make a complaint against the Conductor of that train. I've checked and there is no rule limiting the number of bikes to a carriage to two. Only rules about not riding on the platform or in the train, blocking the doors and corridors etc. So to all of you who go out of bed early and where then denied access to the train, please call and complain. Its the only way we can get this kind of thing from happening again.

Number to call is 131500.

We had to ride up and down Oaks instead of doing Andersons + Oaks so that was very annoying. Got out of bed at 5am . . . . .

Anyhow CALL!

Chuck's picture

Heard the same story from some other riders on The Oaks today and it's not the first time I have heard this story either. I remember something about it being a safety issue with to many bikes blocking the doorway. There does seem to be some inconsistencies and it would be worth clarifying with City Rail.

Up and back is a better ride anyway. Smiling

Ray R's picture

Methinks that complaining to City Rail will have little effect. They know there is a problem - and choose to ignore it.

Try writing to politicians such as Roza Sage (member for Blue Mountains) - and mention this lack of service is effecting local tourism/employment.

Flynny's picture

You should have been there the year they sponsored the Woodford to Glennbrook classic and the driver refused to leave the station 'til all the bikes got off because of the safety concerns over bikes in the carriages. This was before the organisers supplied the shuttle trucks and there must have been about 700 of us on the early train and more later.

To be fair if there is too many bike blocking the exists and something went wrong it his arse going to goal for failing to recognise and address the safety concern.

Special carriages with shuttle trailer style bike rakes have been suggested for weekend peak times but it's all too hard.

Tristania's picture

If you PAY for a ticket, you're paying to be allowed on the train until it's physically impossible to fit anyone else on. If this happens to me, I'll definately complain.

Anyhow, when getting the train in peak conditions, I always board at the station before so I'm on before the main crowd arrives, and recommend anyone who has this issue to do the same.

Christoffa's picture

I would support the complaint of the Guards behaviour it was unacceptable I was one of the 2 riders that got on at Springwood much to his dismay Smiling
There will be a report in the system for the train not running to schedule so highlighting this was due to him and not any other reason will not help his cause, I have been on the same time train where other guards have made it a point to ensure everyone gets on Glenbrook and off at Woodford but in most cases they just deal with fact that the train is now a 4 car set not an 8 ther will be crowding.

We need to approach city rail with an attitude of we understand there is crowding at times and all cyclist ensure that other passengers are not inconvenienced by our bikes and equipment.

Muninjitsu's picture

I believe you need to buy a half ticket for your bike?

Lach's picture

was that a set up for a uni-cycle joke??? Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Only during peak hour. Does not apply on weekends or public holidays.

shano's picture

Bikes and other wheels

Mountain bike riding Bikes are permitted on trains free of charge, except if any part of the journey is made between 6.00am and 9.00am or 3.30pm and 7.30pm on weekdays.

Customers travelling during those times must purchase a child ticket for the bike as well as their own ticket. This includes whole, dismantled or partially dismantled bicycles.

Folding bikes are permitted on trains free of charge at any time, provided the bike is folded and carried in a bag before boarding. The bike (in its bag) must not exceed these dimensions: 82cm length x 69cm height x 39cm width with a maximum wheel rim diameter of 51cm. Free travel does not apply to CityRail bus services, including trackwork or NightRide buses.

Please ensure your bike does not block doors and passageways. Riding bikes, skateboards, scooters or skates on stations and trains is not permitted. Motorised scooters or bikes with petrol motors are not permitted.

Muninjitsu's picture

LOL @LACH. Wasnt intended to be.
Saturday should be an interesting morning, we may end up riding both ways yet!

cambo's picture

I was tempted to change Oaks up and back to Anderson's oaks double this Saturday. After reading this I think I will stick to the orginal plan and dodge the BMORC's coming down on their hacks

Brian's picture

With the rain Sydney is getting I think it will be busy out there again this weekend.

herzog's picture

Might be worth a letter to Mike Baird.

The obvious solution is to actually meet the customer demand on that route and provide a bike carriage. They have these in Europe - a specially marked bike carriage with about half the number of seats, and the rest is racks or open space.

Lach's picture

Where there's a will I'm sure there's a way, but these trains run from Central to Lithgow and the need for mtb transport is only for a small sector.

I think there's a siding at Wenty, but there's nothing at Glenbrook any more. Either ALL the Blue Mntns trains would need to cater for mtb transport for the whole run (both ways) every weekend, or some shunting and timetabling flex would need to be (re) introduced at say Penrith and Wenty to pick up / drop off a bike carriage. Then there's the issue of whether a longer train will fit in any parking or passing sidings etc etc.

Maybe someone who actually knows about trains could provide some advice???

herzog's picture

Given that these trains are generally less than half full (at best), they could easily have one designated carriage for cyclists with the seating removed.

Even half a carriage would probably do. As mentioned they have this setup in Europe.

See the following image for an example:

moggio's picture

I think the time when that sort of bike carriage would become necessary is if the Blue Mountains became more of a mountain bike destination with more and better bike orientated resources...we are working on this idea, but it will take many years. There is the opportunity for trails up here to happen with a council that would support the notion, however still working on that too.

ChopStiR's picture

From memory the country trains that run on the northern line have a much larger spacing in the door areas. They should use these carriages for the weekend travel in the mountains.

Muninjitsu's picture

Tim they are the old red rattlers. Some of older gents will remember them well.

The Brown Hornet's picture

Older gents!

I remember catching them, and I'm not that old.

Muninjitsu's picture

I didn't say OLD, just older....40 odd is not old, there are a few whipper snappers around here.

Username2's picture

Perhaps the use of Tangara's would be the best surgestion? They've got excellent bike space and require no modifications. I know they run to springwood but I've never seen one further than that, maybe there's an infrastructure reason why??

Lach's picture

They don't have toilets is why they don't go any further. Central to Springwood is a major stretch if you've got nowhere to go......

Username2's picture

Perhaps a Tangara service from penrith to Katoomba (both have sidings) on weekends at certain times would be a viable surgestion?

hawkeye's picture
Tim they are the old red rattlers. Some of older gents will remember them well.

Hey! I resemble that remark! Sticking out tongue

Exxodus's picture


Just to let you all know about a call I received from the area manager at RAILCORP in charge of the blue mountains line. He called me with regards to a complaint I made after a whole bunch of riders where rudely refused passage from Glenbrook Station [this email]. However he told me that he had only received two complaints and that had he received more he may have been able to get further than he did with his superiors. So I guess I would like to encourage you all to take five mins to make a complaint if it happens again. It is the only way that they can know officially of what's going on, and the only he will get more clout to negotiate a better deal for us.

To be honest I was surprised by the call but nevertheless quite pleased by the result.

He told me about a plan the RAILCORP pretends to put into action that might see this kind of thing stop completely. RAILCORP is apparently holding a training session for 50 staff this weekend and they will be instructed specifically on the problem of riders on the line during the weekend. They are going to take out some add space [apparently] in various magazines to make an announcement about the new rules for riders, but I also mentioned this forum to him and suggested that RAILCORP place the announcement here as well. Hopefully they will do so in a few weeks time.

Comment on the Tangara suggestion. He did mention that the Tangara trains are too wide for the stations on the blue mountains line, and so he is stuck with trying to get us onto the older trains.


ChopStiR's picture

Is there an email address we cen send feedback to?

One problem is the running of only 4 carriages, if they added an extra 2 with half the seats removed would solve the problem Laughing out loud

herzog's picture

Seems the yanks are doing in LA exactly what is suggested for the blue Mountains Train.

One (very clearly marked) carriage per train is having seats removed for bike transport.

Exxodus's picture

Sorry guys,

Forgot to post this last time;

If anyone wants to make a comment/complaint/suggestion to RAILCORP then please email

Tony Hinchon
General Manager
Service Delivery Group / Customer Service Sector 3



ChopStiR's picture

Thanks, I have now sent off an email to Tony

G'day Tony,

My name is Tim Rowe and I am a member of the Advocacy and Social group, Blue Mountains Off Road Cyclists (BMORC)

The morning weekend Blue Mountains trains are being crammed with Mountain bikers traveling from Glenbrook to Woodford and some even onto Wentworth Falls. Riding their pedal powered bikes back through the Blue Mountains National Park via the Oaks and Andersons Fire trails. These rides are a big tourist attraction to the point that we get fellow Mountain Bikers looking for advice pre-travel.

I last did this ride myself on Saturday 25th of February 2012 and it is amazing how many bikes are trying to fit on the 4 carriages! I made a pre-emptive strike and caught the train from Lapstone. 5 others had the same Idea. When I boarded the train there where 2 other bikes already inside the doors, they had gone one step further and got on at Emu Plains. We pulled into Glenbrook and usually all you would see from the train is feet, but in this case all we could see was wheels. Thankfully the left side doors are not used between Glenbrook and Woodford due to the platforms all being islands. As each rider got on they would lean their bikes against the door and move in trying to keep the passage way clear. after about 7 bikes being leant against the door, there was no more room to keep the passage way clear so the next 2 riders brought there bikes into the middle of the carriage. 2 more tried to fit but it become difficult, so they stay in the door area with there bikes. Thankfully being the weekend, regular commuters were minimal and while the Mountain Bikers try their best to not be an inconvenience its sometimes unavoidable.

Now the above is the story of one train and one door. There were 7 other doors with similar stories and another train or 2 that also had similar stories.

Mountain Biking and the Oaks tourist attraction is growing and something needs to be done about the trains soon, if left alone it will only get worse and become a major problem. I don't want to see the Mountain bikers become banned or have a limit put in place like I have heard one guard has already tried. I also don't want to see Mountain Bikers as an Inconvenience to the general commuters.

One good idea comes from Los Angeles where they have converted a carriage by removing the lower deck seats to allow room for bikes. They have also painted the exterior to make it easily known which carriage it is.
One of these carriages on each of the Mountain trains for the weekend only would not be a bourdon to commuters and would significantly reduce the impact of the Mountain bikers.

I understand this may not be feasible and ask that a solution please be found.

Thanks in advance,
Tim Rowe

Exxodus's picture

From RAILCORP - Not necessarily just about Blue Mountains access but thought it made sense to put it here

I draw your attention to the link below for the Transport Master Plan.

Transport for NSW is now accepting submissions to help in determining the best way to deliver transport services and infrastructure over the next 20 years. The submissions process is part of a wide consultation program which includes forums with key stakeholders in 10 regions and greater Sydney, regular strategy meetings with advisory groups, one on one consultation, an online survey and social media.

Submissions are due by 27 April 2012.

Kind regards,

Tony Hinchon
A/General Manager
Service Delivery Group / Customer Service Sector 3

ChopStiR's picture

I received a response from Tony today as well. He mentioned he has forward my email around internally and also told me about the submission.

If everyone who uses the train to ride the oaks and/or Andersons made a submission about bike space for the weekend blue mountains line it would be greatly appreciated.

Outdoors's picture

Found this one too :

Mountain bike riding Bikes are permitted on trains free of charge, except if any part of the journey is made between 6.00am and 9.00am or 3.30pm and 7.30pm on weekdays.

So if it was outside the above time frames lodge a complaint!

Isildur's picture

Nice dig Eye-wink That was noted in Shano's post from February Eye-wink

That said, has there been any development on this issue Tim? I gather it's still the same old same old when it comes to the train on a Sat or Sunday morning?

ChopStiR's picture

I haven't heard anymore. I will try and track down the contact details of the bloke I spoke with and see if there is anymore information.

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