Travelling by Train
There are times when you have to go faster than you can by bike - this is why the train was invented, but it also comes in handy when it's windy, raining or snowing etc or the bike is damaged. All in all a vital tool for the cyclist. Would be even better were it not for the axe-wielding Dr Beeching (don't get me started)...
If you're not travelling light it's good to know how easy it will be to get on or off the station with a laden bike - level access, sloped footbridges, lifts and escalators all come in handy, but what and where do such facilities exist and where will you find it difficult with that laden bike? Sometimes the level access to platforms can take you quite a long way from the obvious route to the station - very important to know if you're running late for the train. Of course you can come seriously unstuck if you're relying on a lift that's out of order...
Where I have a page for a place that has a station this information is contained on that page, but there are a lot of other stations that merit such information and are listed on this page.
Tip: each station has a three letter unique identifying code which can come in very handy in accessing this information, and looking up other stuff on many rail related websites - it can be very handy to know these codes for stations that you use frequently. eg Edinburgh (EDB); Glasgow Queen Street (GLQ); Glasgow Central (GLC); Paisley Gilmour Street (PYG). Some are more obvious than others, you can probably guess the code for Ayr...
There is a link from the three letter code to the full station details on the National Rail site - similar web address rules as above eg:
All you have to do to find another station is edit the three code characters. I've listed several on this page with notes about access.
The plans showing the detailed layout of every station have been removed from the details page and has now been migrated to a section called "Stations made easy - Route planning around the station including maps and platforms", after an absence of a few weeks this feature has been restored.(eg http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/SME/html/NRE_EDB/plan.html)
Live train times are also available from this site
but I find the Northern Rail site much easier to use - eg:
despite the name it does cover all stations (click in the From or To columns to see individual train details). It's also useful to know what type of train you are likely to get on a particular route - and what the capacity for bikes is; where on the train to find it. This has not yet been addressed on this site, but is something I hope to add.
In Scotland, ScotRail provide a rescue service for cyclists - if you already have a ticket and you can't complete the cycle portion of your journey due to an accident, vandalism or an irreparable breakdown to your bike. See the website for full details.
Selected English Stations
Bradford Forster Square (BDQ) Live train times
Lift from "School Road" entrance only available 06:15 - 20:00 Monday to Saturday, 09:00 - 21:00 Sunday. Level access from Car Park (on St Blaise Way) and footpaths from City Centre and Manor Row. (Entrance is called School Road on station plan, but School Road is just a pedestrianised area off Manor Row - you won't find it on most maps).
Carlisle (CAR) Live train times
Level access from Collier Lane with ramped footbridge to platforms 1 to 3.
Darlington (DAR) Live train times
Level access to all platforms from Parkgate. Access via ramped subway from Park Lane Car Park
Durham (DHM) Live train times
Ramps and lifts to both platforms.
Keighley (KEI) Live train times
Ramped access direct from forecourt to both platforms. Access through ticket hall to footbridge involves short set of steps. Footbridge also connects to Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Level access from car park to platform 1 not shown on station plan.
Lancaster (LAN) Live train times
Level access from Station Road and car park to platforms 1 to 3. Divided footbridge one part with lifts the other has steps - footbridge has level access to Meeting House Lane entrance.
Leeds (LDS) Live train times
Level access to platforms 1 to 8, lifts and escalators to footbridge to other platforms.
London King Cross (KGX) Live train times
Level access to all platforms The one way system that operated when the station was rebuilt was soon abandoned - additional access to platforms 0 to 8 via lifts and escalators from footbridge - escalators are only downwards, but lifts can now be called from the platform. The lift from the bridge and upper concourse back down to the main concourse is signposted but still takes a bit of finding.
Newcastle (NCL) Live train times
Level access from concourse to platforms 1, 2 and 9 to 12. Lift to subway to Platforms 3 and 4; footbridge with ramps and steps to platforms 3 to 8.
Peterborough (PBO) Live train times
Level access to platform 1, other platforms accessed via footbridges - one with steps and newly installed lifts, the other at the northern end of the station has ramps.
Preston (PRE) Live train times
Ticket Hall on Fishergate leads to ramp to Platforms 3 and 4. Ramp from car parks on Butler Street give access to platform 7. Other platforms connected by footbridge (steps) and two subways, one with lift only access, the other has ramps to platforms 3 to 7, but steps to platforms 1 and 2.
Settle (SET) Live train times
Level access to platform 1; footbridge (steps) to platform 2 (northbound). Station plan shows barrow crossing - not sure you'd be allowed to use it.
Shipley (SHY) Live train times
Complex triangular station with multiple entrances. Main entrance is from lengthy Station Approach off Briggate (A657) with level access to platforms 2, 3 and 5; level access to platform 1 from Stead Street (also stepped access from Station Approach). Subway with steep ramps from Station Road gives access to platforms 3, 4 and 5, and 2 across the car park. Footbridges from platform 2 to 1 & 3 to 4 have lifts as well as stepped access. Station plan is confusing - particularly as the line on platform 5 does not cross the other lines but connects to them.
Skipton (SKI) Live train times
Level access through ticket hall to platforms 1 and 2, ramped subway to platforms 3 and 4.
York (YRK) Live train times
Level access to platforms 1 to 4 from Station Road and through short stay car park or station building. Two subways with steps and lifts to all other platforms. Footbridge to all platforms as well as National Rail Museum entrance has only stepped access.
Page Updated 30/06/16
Selected Scottish Stations
Aberdeen (ABD) Live train times
Platform 7 is reached via a bridge with a small lift from the main concourse - can be a problem if you need to change trains quickly. There is also level access to the bridge from a car park on College Street (which cuts out one lift). Other platforms directly accessed from main concourse. Can be easier to change at Inverurie (see below) or Dyce if connection extends there.
Arbroath (ARB) Live train times
Lift to both platforms. Platform 1 (southbound) also accessible on the level from the car park.
Annan (ANN) Live train times
Level access through car park to platform 1 (southbound); ramp from Footpath off Elm Road to southern end of platform 2. Stepped footbridge between platforms.
Ardgay (ARD) Live train times
Level access to platform 2 only - footbridge to Platform 1.
Dalmuir (DMR) Live train times
Level access from Park Road (off Duntocher Road) to platforms 2 and 3. Ramped access to platform 1 from The Crescent (off Dumbarton Road). Footbridge to platforms 4 and 5 with lifts and steps.
Dumfries (DMF) Live train times
Level access to both platforms - Platform 1 from Station Road off Lover's Walk, Platform 2 across road bridge, St Mary's Street, and down path. Stepped footbridge between platforms.
Dundee (DEE) Live train times
Lift from street to all platforms.
Edinburgh Waverley (EDB) Live train times
Enter/Exit station via cycle route on Authorised vehicle access from Waverley Bridge. Bridge with lifts to all platforms that are not accessible directly from main concourse. Calton Road entrance - can be a big time saver from that direction - now has lifts (no direct access to platform 1). Market Street entrance also has step free access, and there is also step free access via the main station car park. Waverley Steps entrance from Princes Street has been rebuilt with lifts and escalators. Station plan is mostly up to date.
Elgin (ELG) Live train times
Level access to both platforms (for Platform 2 use New Elgin Road bridge heading for Rothes (A941), right at roundabout into Edgar Road, then 1st right adjacent to Asda car park).
Exhibition Centre, Glasgow (EXG) Live train times
Lift access to platforms
Glasgow Central (GLC) Live train times
Level access to all high level platforms from Gordon Street and Hope Street entrances. Lift (and escalators) from main concourse and Argyle Street (North Side) entrance to Link Corridor, then a separate lift to low level platforms 16/17.
Glasgow Queen Street (GLQ) Live train times
Being rebuilt (summer 2016)
Level access to high level platforms from North Hanover Street and Dundas S)reet entrances.There is also a narrow ramp at the George Street entrance. Lifts from Platform 7 to low level platforms 8 & 9.
Haymarket (HYM) Live train times
Station has been rebuilt with a large new concourse with lifts and escalators to all platforms.
Inverurie (INR) Live train times
Level access through ticket hall (when open) or around sides of building otherwise to Platform 1. Stepped footbridge to Platform 2, but it can also be accessed via path to road over the railway (B9170).
Kildonan (KIL) Live train times
Low platform with portable steps (flickr) to train! Revolving gate to prevent access by sheep!! You'll need to lift the bike over this gate.
Mallaig (MLG) Live train times
Level access through or bypassing station building - 300 yards from Mallaig Harbour
Montrose (MTS) Live train times
Level access to Platform 1. Access to platform 2 (Northbound) is via a stepped footbridge or the newly installed lifts.
Paisley Gilmour Street (PYG) Live train times
Lifts to all platforms. The right hand entrance in Old Sneddon Street is often closed for ticket inspection purposes - there is a ticket machine there, but you'll have to go right round to County Square if you need the ticket office.
Paisley St James (PYJ) Live train times
Stepped access only.
Perth (PTH) Live train times
Access by ramps from passageway between platforms, and main footbridge has ramps as well as steps. Also note access via car park 2 to platforms 4 to 7 from Glasgow Road (A93) - very useful for access to the north and west of the city. There is now a bridge at the Southern end of the platforms with lift access (curious design when accessed from Platform 2, as there is a step down to the lift, which can be avoided with a small detour, but seems like bad planning).
Pitlochry (PIT) Live train times
Ramps to Car park and through station building from Platform 1. Ramp to Armoury Road from Platform 2 - half mile trip from main station entrance.
Stirling (STG) Live train times
Level access to Platform 2 (there is no platform 1). Lift to bridge for platforms 3 to 8, but no lift access to platforms 9 & 10.
Tain (TAI) Live train times
Both platforms are accessible from car parks and are connected by a footbridge. For level access to Platform 1, cross the railway on Chapel Road, and turn left.