Asking a question in the similar/parallel league with this one here, I plan to carry my own portable either Propane or White Gas stove when I do a part of the E2 trail.

There are official instructions about what I can carry in a train in India, as the website says, according to Paragraph 2, I am not legally allowed to carry one such stove with me. I know it does sound stupid if you're a mountaineer and planning to travel. I have seen incidences and met people who were carrying similar sort of products. That said, its very rare that a passenger's luggage is checked by Railway Authorities, and he/she is subjected to a penalty, so I have to admit I kinda tend to carry such stuff when I can't avoid carrying it, ensuring that I pack it very neat, safe, and mainly unloaded (canister separated).

Are there such rules (I presume there are, have to be) in UK, that I need to look after? Where can I get a solid data about them?

I am limiting the question to carrying the stuff in local transports like Buses and Trains. We can deliberately skip talking about flights.

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    Just bear in mind that the trains which go through the Channel Tunnel (the Eurostar passenger service and Eurotunnel for vehicles) are a lot stricter. I can post authoritative links but have guessed they are out of scope of your question. Oct 22, 2014 at 21:20
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    I'm going to make a comment that will include profiling. I don't intend it as disrespectful, but in fact mean to be helpful. If you are a Nationality (or do/can appear to be so) that has been known to be mistakenly profiled as having members of terrorist organizations, please keep in mind that you would more likely to be thus profiled than me (I'm a white Anglo). If you are, there might be a much greater chance for your stuff to be searched, and if you were found carrying an explosive, no matter your expressed reason for doing so, I can foresee great difficulties talking your way out of lockup
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 24, 2014 at 15:48
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    Unfortunately @CGCampbell is correct, e.g. "Stop and search used 'disproportionately' on black and Asian people" (BBC News), "Police up to 28 times more likely to stop and search black people – study" (The Guardian). I wouldn't be so worried about "getting out of lockup", if you're carrying a camping gas canister with other camping kit, because you're going camping - and you can prove it. But you are more likely to be stopped & searched (sorry - a source of shame for us).
    – A E
    Oct 26, 2014 at 20:16

1 Answer 1

  1. Restrictions Any Train Company may refuse to accept an item of luggage, an article, an animal or a cycle, even though it meets the requirements set out in Condition 47 and 48 and Appendix B, if, in the opinion of its staff:
    (a) it may cause injury, inconvenience or a nuisance or it may cause damage to property;
    (b) there is not enough room for it;
    (c) the loading or unloading may cause delay to trains; or
    (d) it is not carried or packaged in a suitable manner
  1. Potentially dangerous items
    (1) Except with written permission from an Operator or an authorised person, no person shall bring with him or allow to remain on the railway any item which, in the opinion of an authorised person, may threaten, annoy, soil or damage any person or any property.

So you're fine taking a small camping-gas canister on a train, so long as it's not dangerous (e.g. it might be dangerous if it's leaking gas).

By the way, UK railway officials don't in any case have a right to search you or your property. If that needed to be done, and you didn't give them consent to do it, then they would need to call a police officer (might be the transport police, but they're proper police officers, not railway employees). The only situation in which I can envision that happening would be if you're mistaken for a terrorist suspect.

13.1.2 You may bring with you: ...
• any other item, provided it is not dangerous or likely to injure anyone.

13.1.3 You must not bring with you anything that:
• is more than 2 metres long
• you are unable to carry yourself (including up/down fixed stairways)
• is a hazardous or inflammable substance
• is likely to cause injury or offence to other customers or to our staff
• is likely to cause damage to buses, Underground trains or stations.

Although a gas canister could be considered a 'hazardous or inflammable substance', in my opinion you're probably OK, so long as it isn't leaky or damaged.

  1. Potentially dangerous items
    (1) Except with written permission from the Operator or an authorised person, no person shall bring with him, attempt to bring with him or allow to remain on the railway any potentially dangerous item.
    (2) A potentially dangerous item is an item which, in the reasonable opinion of an authorised person, may or may be used to threaten, annoy, soil or damage any person or any property. For the avoidance of doubt, a potentially dangerous item may include, but is not limited to:
    (i) a loaded weapon of any kind;
    (ii) any flammable, explosive or corrosive substance; and
    (iii) any item which is or may become dangerous.

Again gas could be considered a 'flammable substance', but in my opinion you're probably OK as long as the canister is in good condition.

By the way, it's super-rare for any of these bylaws or Conditions of Carriage to even be mentioned in normal life, e.g. it doesn't occur to anyone to refer to them when a passenger tries to get their horse on a bus. Most people don't know they exist, I think.

In general: Any item can be illegal if there's reason to think that you are planning to use it as a weapon or to commit a crime.

Short answer: For a small undamaged canister as part of a set of camping equipment when you're going on a camping holiday, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

If you want to double-check with the British Transport Police then you can contact them here or on [email protected]

Thank you to @Stephen Kennedy for mentioning the Channel Tunnel in comments.

Essentially you need to have the same expectations for Eurostar and the Channel Tunnel as you would for travelling by aircraft. When you book your ticket you are giving their staff permission to search you and your luggage. Expect your luggage to be x-rayed, searched and/or sniffer-dogged, and expect the conditions of carriage to be rigorously enforced in respect of anything flammable.

It would not be sensible to carry camping gas or fuel in any form on these services.

Appendix 1
The table below sets out articles which may not be taken on board Eurostar trains (carriage prohibited)
Note that this list is not exhaustive; passengers will not be allowed to keep articles with them on the journey if the item is inherently dangerous, is likely to cause property damage, or if there is reason to suspect the article may be used to commit an act of violence or threat.


  • Inflammable substances (eg lighter fuel, methylated spirits) except in minimal quantities.

  • Butane gas.

(Appendix 1)

  • Le Shuttle Conditions of Carriage (Le Shuttle is the vehicle train - carriage of dangerous materials is more complicated, presumably because some of the lorries carry cargoes which fall into this category).

Non-native English speakers may find it useful to note that 'inflammable' means the same thing as 'flammable': both words mean things which have a tendency to catch fire.

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