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I have booked a ticket for the connection Bologna -> Munich on August 12th, 2023, 11:52. This involves the EC84 train and the rail replacement bus BusSV300 from Brennero to Innsbruck.

I would like to take a bicycle (standard gravel bike) with me, packed in a Buds-Sports TRAINbag Original, which is 120 x 85 x 25 cm in size (both wheels removed). The bag is pretty bulky and not easy to carry.

According to ÖBB information, taking bicycles on the rail-replacement buses is impossible. Is it still possible to take the bicycle inside the bag? I would guess that the bag would have to be stored in the cargo hold, which would mean it would have to lay sideways. This would mean that the weight of the bike would rest on one wheel, both of which are stored on the sides, which would probably damage the lower wheel, as the bag has no hard structures and little padding.

Would it be possible to store the bag standing up in the bus to prevent this? Driver and other passengers would probably not be happy about this.

A hard-shelled bicycle transport case would probably work, but those are expensive and can't be folded. Riding the bicycle from Brennero to Innsbruck (downhill all the way) would afford me nice views but is a little too adventurous for this trip!

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    Looking at the timetables I see a special service for bicycle transport only which runs in parallel to the passenger busses. Contact ÖBB for details.
    – asdfex
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 17:58

2 Answers 2

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I have recently been in a similar situation, carrying a bagged bike in a TGV and Alta Velocidad.

when I have been lucky, so to say, I have managed to leave the bike in the corridor, with the passengers being understanding and not complaining while they had to roam around it, since the corridor had enough space.

In the unlucky cases the baggage holder rack was large enough to fit the bag, and I had no excuse but putting the bike there. And mind that the rack was made with tubulars, not a flat surface like you would have on a bus cargo hold.

The good news is that, if you don't put additional loads on the bag, as in putting other luggage on it, you should be safe. Just put some bubble wrap where wheels and frame can come in contact for precaution against accidental scratches.

Coming to your question:

Is it still possible to take the bicycle inside the bag?

Technically it is possible, but you need to know if it is allowed by the operations. For this you should contact the bus company, to have clearance in advance that you are allowed to do so. Specify that it's not a bike, rather a voluminous bag.

This would mean that the weight of the bike would rest on one wheel, both of which are stored on the sides, which would probably damage the lower wheel, as the bag has no hard structures and little padding.

Better put the frame laying on the ground, and the wheels above it. The frame is sturdier than the sprockets when it comes to side loads.

Would it be possible to store the bag standing up in the bus to prevent this?

I would say a hard no here. Considering the average space that you have between seats in a bus, your bag would block the passage and be a safety hazard, should rapid abandon of the bus be necessary. And in case of a sudden brake of the bus, it would be flung along the corridor, with unpleasant consequences on whoever would happen to be on its trajectory.

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  • How is this story about your (illegal) transport of a bicycle in a train in another country relevant here? There are good reasons to ban transports of goods in this manner for safety reasons.
    – asdfex
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 18:22
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    @asdfex nowhere was illegal. All the TGV and Alta Velocidad conductors, on each leg, confirmed it was ok to place the bags as I did. And the story serves to explain that laying a bagged bike flat on a surface doesn't necessarily destroy it.
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 18:25
  • Leaving luggage in the corridors is not permitted in any European train I know of. These must be kept free in order to serve as emergency escape routes.
    – asdfex
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 19:07
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There's no statement in the linked information by ÖBB that the transport of bicycles is impossible. If you check the timetables given on that page, you'll see that there is a special bicycle transport scheduled at times very similar to the regular trail replacement busses.

I suggest to contact ÖBB to clarify this and to check that your ticket for bicycle transport will guarantee you a spot on these transports.

If I read your question correctly, you planned to take the bike as regular luggage? This won't be possible even in the regular train as it's way larger than the permissible size of 90 cm.

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    Mit Fahrrädern ist die Benutzung der Schienenersatzverkehrsbusse nicht möglich = with bikes is not possible to use the bus
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 18:29
  • This is the section about regional trains, not about the long distance services. @L.Dutch
    – asdfex
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 19:05

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