Getting to Holland by rail

Are you coming to Holland by train? Do realise that taking your bicycle on an international train will require some careful planning. Many operators have restrictions as to the type of bicycles they will take. Tandems, recumbents and tricycles are going to be extra difficult. Reserving a place for your bicycle online can also be an issue. National trains are sometimes a better option as the regulations for taking bikes are usually less strict.
Eurostar at Waterloo, London. Photo © [urlb=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eurostar_3012_Waterloo.jpg]Wikimedia[/urlb]

Eurostar at Waterloo, London. Photo © Wikimedia

Taking your bicycle on the train

You can only take your bicycle on international trains that have special bike areas. Each train operator has its own regulations. Check with your train operator for the latest update on its policies. Also find out how to reserve a place for your bicycle. Doing this online isn’t always an option.

Although you can’t take your bicycle on all national trains, the regulations are usually a lot less strict. Most national rail companies give you the necessary information about taking your bicycle in English on their websites.


By train from the UK

Train operator Options for taking your bike
Eurostar
  • Bicycles in a bag of under 85cm at its largest point can be taken as luggage.
  • Bicycles in a bag of over 85cm must be sent through the registered baggage service.
Check the policies on the Eurostar website
Thalys
  • Bicycles in a 120x90 cm bag (with the front wheel dismantled) can be taken as luggage. You are required to deposit your bike in the luggage spaces.
  • Folding bicycles can be taken free of charge, but must be placed in the luggage spaces.

Check the policies on the Thalys website

TGV
  • Reserve a place for your bicycle in the special bike area on your train if you don't want to take it apart (you can’t do this online). This service is not available on all trains, check the TGV timetables.
  • Bicycles in a 120x90 cm bag (with the front wheel dismantled) can be taken as luggage. You are required to deposit your bike in the luggage spaces.
  • Send your bike through the registered baggage service.

Check the policies on the TGV website (only in French)
Download map with bike-accessible TGV lines.


By train from Belgium and France

Train operator Taking your bike
Thalys
  • Bicycles in a 120x90 cm bag (with the front wheel dismantled) can be taken as luggage. You are required to deposit your bike in the luggage spaces.
  • Folding bicycles can be taken free of charge, but must be placed in the luggage spaces.

Check the policies on the Thalys website

TGV
  • Reserve a place for your bicycle in the special bike area on your train if you don't want to take it apart (you can’t do this online). This service is not available on all trains, check the TGV timetables.
  • Bicycles in a 120x90 cm bag (with the front wheel dismantled) can be taken as luggage. You are required to deposit your bike in the luggage spaces.
  • Send your bike through the registered baggage service.

Check the policies on the TGV website (only in French)
Download map with bike-accessible TGV lines.

Belgian Rail (NMBS/SNCB)
  • You can take your bicycle on any train with no timetable restrictions. You need to buy a special bike ticket which is only valid up to the Belgian border.
  • Folding bikes can be taken on all trains free of charge.

Check the policies on the NMBS/SNCB website

French Rail (SNCF)
  • Bicycles in a carrying bag (with the front wheel dismantled) can be taken as hand luggage.
  • Reserve a place for your bicycle in the special bike area on your train if you don't want to take it apart. This service is not available on all trains so check the TGV timetables. Check fees and reservation requirements when you buy your ticket.

Check the policies on the SNCF website

Dutch Rail (IC Direct)

  • From mid-2017 you can take your bicycle on any train outside rush hour.
  • Folding bikes can be taken on all trains free of charge as long as they are folded and fit in the luggage compartments.

Check the policies on the Dutch Rail website (In Dutch)


By train from Germany

Train operator Taking your bike
ICE International
  • Folding bikes contained in a 120x90 cm bag can be taken free of charge.

Check the policies on the DB Bahn website (only in German)

IC Berlin
  • Reserve a place for your bicycle in the special bike area on your train (you can’t do this online). You don't have to take your bike apart. Check fees and reservation requirements when you buy your ticket.
  • Folding bikes contained in a 120x90 cm bag can be taken free of charge.

Check the policies on the DB Bahn website (only in German)

CityNightLine
  • Reserve a place for your bicycle in the special bike area on your train (you can’t do this online). You don't have to take your bike apart. Check fees and reservation requirements when you buy your ticket.

Check the policies on the DB Bahn website (only in German)

German Rail (DB Bahn)
  • You can take your bicycle on any train with no timetable restrictions. You need to buy a special bike ticket which is only valid up to the German border.

Check the policies on the DB Bahn website (only in German)


Taking your bicycle on the train in Holland

You can take your bicycle on Dutch trains outside rush hour. You will need to purchase a special bike ticket. Folding bikes - as long as they are folded - are considered luggage and can be taken free of charge any time of the day. Read more on: Getting around by rail.