Regions urge TrainLink to go multimodal
Boxing bikes is just bad for the bush! You’ve saved up and bought an e-bike and you’re set to go on your first eco-tour of Bathurst and the New England Tablelands. Or the Elvis Parkes Festival. The pubs and B&Bs are booked and the locals, respectfully avoiding the term ‘wallets on wheels’, can’t wait to share their hospitality. And to make it a proper eco tour (and low cost) you bookTrainLink. But that’s where the fun ends and the swearing begins. Because, in order to board, bikes must be boxed. And forget your beautiful e-bike, because it exceeds 20kg.
This anachronistic rule affects all NSW TrainLink services. In metropolitan areas however, you can simply roll your bike on and off the train.
Roll-on Bikes regional supporters at Platform 2, Central Station Sydney (Photo: Bicycle NSW)
Regional bicycle groups call for fairness for bikes on country trains
Dismantling, boxing and weighing bikes just to board TrainLink is a major deterrent to regional tourism. Consequently, this burgeoning area of cycle tourism continues to prefer Victoria, NZ and Europe over NSW because the outdated TrainLink policy doesn’t support Roll-On Bikes on All NSW Trains. Not only is bike-boxing a disincentive to visitors, but it entrenches regional transport poverty. This is why boxing bikes is bad for the bush.
Greater travel distances and less active transport infrastructure in regional NSW encourage car dependency
In addition lack of connected infrastructure adds to the cost of living pressures and poor health outcomes- a national study found that residents in regional areas are up to three times more likely to suffer from obesity-related health issues than residents of the North Shore of Sydney. This is why the NSW Government’s Future and Active Transport strategies emphasise becoming multimodal, or the ability to shift from walking to cycling to public transport.
Country train rules need to change to match metro travel
Bicycle NSW CEO Peter McLean said ‘Every politician we speak to agrees that boxing bikes is an unfair rule that disadvantages regional NSW. If you’re in a city or regional Victoria, just roll your bike onto the train. If TrainLink allows roll on bikes on all its NSW regional lines, cycle tourism and particularly e-bike tourism will be a windfall for regional economies.’
NSW TrainLink is leaving cycle customers behind due to the bike boxing rule.
Cycle Safe Bathurst member Wendy Hastings said; “Wallerawang, Tarana, Bathurst, Blayney, Millthorpe and Orange are all centres that could be day trip destinations for cyclists within the region if they didn’t need to box their bikes.”
No XPT: These Bathurst cyclists could be using the XPT for trips to small local regional stations.
(Photo courtesy: Roll-on Bikes)
Central West Cycle Trail Committee
According to David Allworth, Central West Cycle Trail Committee ‘The rules for taking a bike on regional trains are a big impediment. Carriages can be easily and cheaply modified to adapt. Even during peak periods, there’s abundant room- the luggage bays could be modified or unbooked wheelchair spaces booked.’
Cycle Touring New England Tablelands author Heather Nonhebel said, ‘It's impossible to ride to, then box a bike at the unstaffed Kootingal station which is a great cycling destination from Armidale.’
Kentucky Store, Kentucky. Kentucky is on the rail line between Tamworth and Armidale.
(Photo courtesy: Roll-on Bikes)
Central West Tours, Cowra (Photo courtesy: Central West Tours)
Replace outdated bureaucracy with common sense
‘With NSW Regional Development releasing its Adventure Cycle Tourism policy, it’s common sense to remove this rule and make regional travel fairer and more attractive. We are asking all candidates in the forthcoming election to support rural towns and regional economies by allowing bikes to easily get to the bush by train.’ Peter McLean.
Boxing bikes is bad for the bush. Support connectivity in Regional NSW and join our campaign for roll on bikes on trains.