Putting Bikes on Trains in Taiwan: How To Get Around By Rail


#81

Can somebody confirm? I’m going to Taidong in a few weeks.

a) I go to this site:
http://twtraffic.tra.gov.tw/twrail/English/e_index.aspx
b) pick my train by manipulating the drop-down menus and making sure it states "Bicycle bag available"
c) show up with my bike in a bag and everything is cool.

Is that right? Thanks to anyone who can help.


#82

If you are taking any kind of express train down to Taidong, there’s a very very low chance you won’t be allowed on the train with your bike bagged. Most, if not all, express trains have a “oversized” luggage compartment in the first or last compartment of the train.

Their are trains that allow your bike on board un-bagged. Those tickets must be booked in a few days or maybe a week in advance. I suggest going in person to ask and book these kinds of tickets.

I honestly can’t confirm what “Bike bag available” means. I don’t ever recall anyone getting a free bike bag from train stations to bag their bike. Otherwise, no one would be buying bike bags!


#83

When I do the search in Chinese, only the icon appears and an explanation of the icon at the top of the search results is as follows: 可攜帶「置於攜車袋之自行車」(放置12車)

But you seem to be saying that most trains should be okay (on the day I’m traveling, only two trains have the icon). This is so confusing! I’ll go ask today at Songshan.

By the way, I’m searching here:
http://twtraffic.tra.gov.tw/twrail/index.aspx


#84

Yes, please double check. I’m just sharing from experience!

I booked a ticket on an express train to Hualien and it did NOT have the bike icon next in the time table, however, there was still the first/last compartment available to put our bike bags in.


#85

:smiley:

There are always ways around.

::ADMIN EDIT::

FYI above pictures is for the High Speed Rail (HSR), NOT the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).


#86

I’m getting mixed messages. Yesterday when I went to the information desk and they started by saying that as long as it’s bagged and does not exceed 150cm in length, then it’s treated as luggage. Then they looked at my departure date, the icon, etc., and changed their position.

Today when I went to the information booth, the (different) lady insisted that as long as it’s bagged, no problem. I also went to the lady at the gate and she assured me that I wouldn’t be stopped at the gate if the bike is bagged.

I’m starting to think that the whole icon thing is a confusing matter and has to do (as the lady today told me) big groups of cyclists.

Does anybody have a number I can call to get a definitive answer? Can anybody provide more instances of personal experiences?

Thanks.


#87

Mind you, I’ve never done this, but I’ve seen pictures of bikes on the trains. I think some trains have special compartments for where the bagged bikes (or even unbagged bikes) go. Even for the trains that don’t have those compartments, I believe you could still put your bagged bike somewhere on the train. The only question is how much babysitting you need to do for your bike. If you’re just bringing your bike on a train that has no special compartment, then you’ll have to find a space for it and possibly keep a closer eye on it. I think that’s what jesus80 did above. Good luck in Taidong!


#88

Okay, I called the TRA at 2-2381-5226. I was transferred to a guy who seemed to know all the rules without having to look them up.

He told me that as long as it’s bagged and meets the size criteria, then taking a bike on a train is okay. Length x width x height cannot exceed 220 cm. Length cannot exceed 150cm seemed to be the most important dimension. So if you take the front and rear wheels off, it should be okay.

He didn’t know why only two trains on the day I want to depart had that icon associated with it. So that’s it, folks!


#89

Yes…so let’s break it down. You will have zero to no issues traveling on express trains on the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) if you follow these simple rules:

  • Bike must be bagged (it must be covered with something that’s not transparent)
  • Bagged bike must not exceed a total 220cm (LxW) Length of the bike from front to end must not exceed 150cm and the weight cannot exceed 40kg. (http://www.setn.com/News.aspx?NewsID=140839)
  • Bagged bike must be placed in the “luggage” compartment normally located on the last or first train compartment

REPEAT REPEAT. THIS IS FOR EXPRESS TRAINS on the TAIWAN RAILWAY

Local trains is a completely different story.


#90

Hi there. I am planning to do the counter clockwise round the island cycle ride in about 2 weeks time starting from Taipei. Taking the advice from this forum, most of the ride should be pretty safe but the section between Chongde (near Taroko gorge) and Suao (near Yilan) should be taken by train instead. Now my questions are, how easy will it be for me to board a train with my non-foldable road bike in Chongde on a given morning to head to Suao? Will I need to bag it? As a non-chinese speaker, will I have trouble buying the ticket/identifying the right train that allows bikes? Thanks, any help would be appreciated.


#91

I was able to take my bike with me on the Local train at Chongde, a tiny station with maybe two workers. I did have a Chinese speaker with me but the railway worker showed us which car to get in. I think it was a half price ticket just for the bicycle. Not sure about Suao, I think some stations you cannot have a built bike at all. Best to check the icons on the website. Sorry I cannot be of more help, maybe somebody else can.


#92

Some of us like to flex the foreigner card and just act dumb in situations like these. To be honest, it just depends on who you meet at the counter and who you meet on the train.

Yes, there’s specific trains you get on that doesn’t require you to bag or take off a wheel, but you can get on without either of the above mentioned. Express trains might be a bit harder, but local trains you can just hop on and hope for the best.


#93

Wow. The TL;DR of this seems to be that on the TRA…

folded, bagged bikes…you’re in.
non-folding, bagged bikes…maybe.
non-folding, non-bagged bikes…roll the bones.

FWIW, what do they have against any part of the bike being exposed? Sounds rather specific.

The info on that Taiwan in Cycles seems to be outdated, or at least contradictory to parts of the TRA website, and other sites that show people with non-folding, road ready, unbagged bikes latched to poles in the cars.

I thought the Taipei MRT allowed bikes to be rolled on in certain stops and cars (first and last cars, I believe).

The TRA station where I live has a 10cm strip on the side of the staircase to roll your bike up and down. The lady behind the counter showed me a list of what times I would be allowed to take my bike on the train. Of course, I am guessing this means an unbagged non-folding bike can go on the train. Usually, only local trains stop here. No luggage facilities that I am aware of.

That said, any look up of trains will not pop up with the bike icon on the schedule.

It would be great if it was just simplified to “all unbagged bikes allowed except during certain times and only in certain cars.”


#94

Today I almost lost the train back to Taipei. I was forced to have some hotspring time and the alarm was wrongly set. The guard didn’t let us pass until we had bagged the bikes… we did it (badly) in a couple of minutes, making lots of mistakes. I kept telling the guy XIE XIEEE XIE XIEEE HIJO DE PUTA.


#95

Dafuq is hijo de puta?


#96

Flexing that foreigner card?


#97

:joy:


#98

It was very maddening. I guess I can partially understand the guy, because it would be difficult to bag the bikes in the train (in that particular train). But they could have let us done it in the train platform.


#99

It’s my understanding that bagged bikes on express trains is the way to go. And all you have to do as far as location is concerned is just get the bike out of the way (behind the last seats or in those bigger areas they have at the front of some cars).

As for local trains, I haven’t tried that myself but I’ve seen others doing it without anyone saying anything. My guess is that it would be a gamble, depending on who’s working that day, etc.


#100

Just to make it clear, I didn’t have any problem accessing with the bike to the train. Other times I’ve done Jiaoxi-Taipei with the bike it was the slow ass train and I didn’t even bag it (but I had to pay 2 or 1.5 tickets I think). This time it was a faster (regional?) train and they allowed bikes if bagged. The problem is that the guy wouldn’t let us bag the bikes in the platform (which would have given me some peace of mind), and I really thought we were going to miss the train. Fortunately we didn’t and I can say we didn’t waste a single second in Jiaoxi…