Video: New train in Japan has space for 99 cyclists AND their bikes

Not coming soon to a UK rail operator near you

Let's face it, travelling by train with your bike in the UK can be a chore - not to mention an exercise in logistics - at the best of times.

If it's not peak-time restrictions, there's the issue of limits to the number of bikes allowed on particular services to contend with.

Then there's the worry that delays or cancellations mean that the train you want to catch is too packed too get your bike on in the first place.

Luckily, when that happened to us, we were right next to the bike racks at King's Cross so were able to leave it and catch the train ... though that did mean an unplanned return trip the following day to retrieve it.

So it's understandable that railway-using cyclists here may cast a jealous eye towards Japan, where this month has seen the unveiling of a train that has space for 99 cyclists and their bikes.

And as the video above shows, it really is quite impressive.

The six-car Boso Bicycle Base train, which has been converted from carriages from a commuter service, will start running next month, reports the Japan Times.

Operated by East Japan Railway Co., it will run at weekends between Ryogoku station in Tokyo and a number of towns on the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, a popular spot for cyclists based in the Japanese capital.

A spokesman for the railway company said: “We hope many people will enjoy bicycle trips around the peninsula.”

As with certain services in the UK, however, reservations are compulsory and must be made five days in advance.

Also, the company's cycle-friendly policies don't extend to its other services, where only folding bikes, or ones that have been disassembled and put in a bag, are allowed,

Return fares will reportedly start at ¥6,500, equivalent to around £43.

 

 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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