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How to transport your e-bike trough europe

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WS Member Michuael's picture
How to transport your e-bike trough europe


My father wants to join me on my 2 month long bike adventure through europe. His Problem is, that he can't take his E-Bike from Zurich (CH) to Antwerpen (BE) because it's no longer allowed to transport a bicycle on a train.

Is there any other option for him to join me in Antwerpen 2 Weeks after I made my way to Antwerpen by bicycle?

Maybe there's some Bike-Transportation-expert in this community! :)

Thank you for any help!


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WS Member WS Member's picture
Who said that?

Hi Mark,

not sure what regulations may have changed in CH, but in D, B, NL and LUX there is nothing as easy as to take your bike along on the train.

Deutsche Bahn has just introduced bike-transportation on the ICE trains. All it takes there is reservation.

on regional trains, you won't even do that. maybe a little fee has to be paid, but in Bavaria, for example, the bike is always free of charge.

Maybe your father wants to double-check?



Unregistered anon_user's picture

I have one but i never travel with it just for day use 

Is is so complicated with a normal bike and even much more with an ebike for exemple the filxbus takes bike but not ebike same for plane 

with deutch bahn web site 

you can do zurich aachen with only change train in koln

then aachen breda in NL with 3 changes and then cycle 51km to Antwerpen

it is quite a very long travel 

maybe take a car is a better idea or you have to meet him in aachen 


Unregistered anon_user's picture
Is is so complicated with a normal bike and even much more with

...."Is is so complicated with a normal bike and even much more with...

We certainly do not agree!

We travel in all kind of countries in Europe every year and, although there are certain limitations and differences per country, taking a bike/ e-bike by train is quite comfortable, cheap and easy. We regularly do this when it suits us.

 Just visit the mainstation of a regular city and you can hop on the train. Of course NOT every hour and NOT every train, but often the same day. Depends on the hour of the day you check in. Sometimes you'll have to make reservations. Is that a problem? For a hotel you also have to make reservations in summer.  We even bought two bike-tickets  in a small German station where only a ticket machine  (!) was available summer 2017! 

Yes, you'll have to change trains here and there and wait for 30/45 min. Is that complicated? Also without a bike you will have to change trains. Friendly train travellers always help us  throwing the bags in and out, and, if a traindoor has small stairs, help us lift the bikes.

 Up to now we are always satisfied. It gives us  the opportunity to see the countryside in a different way (and speed). And, if you don't know how it works, just use google, or make a phone call to the train-offices and you know how.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
bike in train easy ???

did you try in france ? 

narbonne to strasbourg it is about 20h of train with 4 to 6 changes with bike (as the direct night train stop in 2014) 

the new est TGV to alsace doenst not take bike so it is more than 8h and 4 changes to do paris starsbourg ( only 2h in direct TGV without bike ) 

it is quite impossible to take bike in train between paris and amsterdam (20h and 7 changes )

lot of rural train disapear and it is now bus with of course no bike rack 

night train with bike compartiments disapear also 

no more bike places in,TGV lyria between france and swisserland and in TGV to CDG airport ! 

in the new atlantic TGV  train there is ONLY 2 bikes places per train !!!  yes you have read 2 for the whole train 

it is in french but maybe with google translate



so sorry I don't think it is very easy to take bike in train 



Unregistered anon_user's picture
Did you try France?

Up to now we did not use trains in France and maybe the possibillities there are less than in other countries. I can't judge about the contents of your link. I read just some examples.Hard to say if these are just extreme examples, or do they represent  the situations in ALL  the French trains?

However: like you I've found a link (too bad it's in Dutch) where is explained how the French trains work with bikes and the policy.

This Dutch text sounds less dramatic than your personal view, as you describe, on the French railways. 

Maybe there is also a difference between how you personally experience the effort to travel by train with bikes compared to our perception. For some cyclists is (let's say) a trip of 200 km, that takes an entire day with 5 times changing trains, a hell of a job, but for others (= we !) accept it for what it is, enjoy the luxury of plenty of time at the stations, consider this day as a relaxed day and realize that the train rides the distance we actually should have cycled our selves. A matter of how people look at this kind of surprises, adventures, questions, delays and challenges. Is this a train-day full of irritation, or are you able to see the comfort and fun of it? Is the glass half full, or half empty?


Unregistered anon_user's picture
Up to now we did not use trains in France

"Up to now we did not use trains in France "  that is THE POINT try it first


I cannot find WHEN this article was writen but this "In regionale treinen (TER) en de meeste intercitytreinen (Intercités) kunnen fietsen gratis mee"

It is not true 

IC you have to pay and space are limited and try to find a space in summer time , you also cannot take IC eco (no space ) 


right now in 2018 with the NEW TGV it is a nightmare  the new one (double deck) has NO space for bike 

and some new one has only TWO space ( how you imagnie buy a ticket just in the station at the machine as there no more poeple in the smal one !)

bike association and cyclist make petition to change this 

you can translate with google


and as it is so simple to take bike in train help mickael to find a ride between zurich and antwerepen


WS Member WS Member's picture
Bicycles on trains in the Netherlands

Intercity trains in NL have very limited space for bikes. In peak periods like summer often no space left when you want to board.
For rules see .

In Portugal, where I live, the Intercity and Alfa Pendular high-speed trains do allow bikes. Transportation of them is only possible, if you take both wheels out and cover everything up. Share the space with luggage. Forget it during holidays. Better take the long distance buses.
In the Algarve however, the regional trains running from west = Lagos all the way to Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the border with Spain, have a compartment for bicycles. Up to 6, sometimes even more. No cost. How about that, the Netherlands :(

Unregistered anon_user's picture

The article is written 23 June 2016 by Kees Swart and Op Pad is a Dutch, famous outdoor magzine (cycling, walking, skiing, mountain climbing, etc.)

Of course, every year, national train scedules and conditions may vary. I can't check all these changing conditions from here, nor do we have access to the advanced, updated train scedule systems like the service counters at stations offer AND have there the professionals who can choose the best out of it... 

We just have good experiences with bikes in trains in Europe when we needed them. (Slovakia, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Czeck Rep.,Denmark, Hungary.) If a train has no direct connection with the place we would like to go, we easily make a detour and use an extra day. It's vacation! Freedom! Take your time! Enjoy the surprises (and the gifts) of the day and adapt to what is offered. Why be angry? Does it help?

Zürich - Antwerp?   Zürich is 20 km from the German border. Hop over the border and enjoy the excellent German train system for bike travellers. Spacy bike wagons, bikes hung with the front wheel.Places close to your bike. And...if a train connection with a bike through Luxemburg and Belgium seems to be a hassle, than you just ride over The Netherlands.

Antwerp is right over our border and we have excellent bike/train conditions. YES,...that's a detour! So what?... Enjoy the luxury of German and Dutch trains, the landscape, you just have to look outside, or close your eyes, listen to the humm of the wheels and relax.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Dutch trains

@ Peter de Visser: "Excellent bike/train conditions"? "The luxury of Dutch trains"? Are you joking? Even Dutch rail company NS informs that space is very limited. In a country where almost everybody uses a bike.

The excellent Dutch Op Pad outdoor magazine doesnot exist any longer in print. Website only.

Unregistered anon_user's picture

We regularly take our bikes with us on the train, to enjoy weekends somewhere else in Holland. At the platform we focus on the bike logo and if there are already bikes, we just take them into the train somewhere else at the spots where is room to get in and out. We were never disappointed and never corrected by the checking conductor. 

Is "limited space" a problem? Apparently not for us. No idea why your and our impressions/experiences with Dutch trains seem so different. Are we more lucky? Are we more experienced to find the right spots in the train? A mystery...

Yes,...we still find hopping on the train with a (loaded or not loaded) bike "a luxury".  Looking at the discussion here above this word is a very personal and subjective expression.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
not a problem

limited space and make a detour is not a probleme for you  maybe because you are retired ? 

but if your are worker and need to be on monday morning at woirk ou have school children how can you manage ??? 

you have  to take train during holidays , summer WE , and bank holiday 

when you have only one week vacations can you spend 2 days in train ? 


In GB it seems to be difficult too


another point 

look at the picture on this website

it is my city 

look how it is easy to go into the train and take the "passerelle "over the train railway 

imagine this when your train plateforn is kwown at the last moment with bike , panniers et even kids 



WS Member WS Member's picture
"Not a problem" (for Peter de Visser)

@ Marie Bardet: un grand BRAVO pour ton message concernant l'optimisme de Peter de Visser, et la gare de Toulouse. For the benefit of other readers (and maybe Peter de Visser too) I will continue in English.

His experiences with bikes in Dutch trains, probably outside peak periods, are personal. Readers are very much interested how it works in general. Again, limited space. Bicycles in other areas of the train? I have travelled many times with a bike in Dutch trains, but was never allowed to do so in those areas. NS, the rail company, is everything but bike friendly. Foreign cyclists are surprised, even not amused, that NS trains have such a limited space. Fortunately there are a few regional operators like Syntus that have room for more bicycles.

I wish Peter de Visser (73, retired teacher) + partner many swift journeys. Other (touring) cyclists could be less fortunate.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
working, having kids and being pensioned

Michiel and Marie, you both thanks for your comments.

I also raised a family, worked my entire life and I am still (!) working while being "pensioned". When I was younger I also was more limited in choosing my vacations, like you are now. Understandable. That's the result of a busy life.

If trains with certain limitations in transporting bikes do not fit in your available short vacation time, than this has clear consequenses in your choices. We all have to build our vacations around our personal possibillities and the (train) situations of the country you live in.  I never could change the world around me, so I adapted our (limited) plans to that world to enjoy these shorter  vacations for 100%.

Michiel, indeed, I agree with you, my experiences with trains are personal AND positive. Still can't figure out why mine are so much more positive than yours. Pure luck? The way my partner and I choose and plan our trips?

Marie, it's sad to read that you are fed up with the situations in France and don't feel comfortable with it. We can't choose at our birth which country to live in.

Yes, Michiel and Marie, next to my daily work,  I enjoy very much my pension, take more time to travel, take it more easy. Your time probably will come after being pensioned. Everybody gets his/her turn. Sooner or later. 


WS Member WS Member's picture
To come back to Michael's

To come back to Michael's question, "neutral" info about Belgian trains:

- no bike allowed on Thalys, except if fold to fit in a bike bag (

- bike allowed on IC and other regional trains, with a specific train ticket ( However, number of bikes per train is limited (number varries depending on train's type, unpredictible), and no reservation is possible, so you can only see when at the platform, asking the train responsible. Off peak (less people, as bikes are often in place of people) and off weekends (less people with bikes) is for sure easier, and for a single traveller too.

Past experience in France (in 2011) was good, easy for regional trains, but never used TGV or national lines (official info on


Good luck and a lot of fun to you and your father !

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