Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

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Granto
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Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by Granto » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:17 am

Hi Fokes,
i`ve just purchased a 2010 1200 GS Adv and will be traveling to the Alps from Scotland this summer . We intend to put the bikes on the Autotrain in Paris and over night them to Nice . Both bikes have hard case panniers and top boxes and the Sncf web site makes it clear that the max height is 1.55m but does not mention if panniers are allowed and if they are what the max width would be . If anyone has any info it would be greatly appreciated .

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SHarper
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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by SHarper » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:40 am

I’d say that the height is quite rigid, I wouldn’t worry about the width.
When we used the auto train, it’d be about 10 years ago, it was quite an experience. When you load your bikes onto the autotrain, you ride them down the carriages, you can’t sit upright, there isn’t enough headroom. Once your bike is secured, you have to make your own way across Paris to another station, where you board a different, faster train than the one your bike is on. There are six bunks in the cabin (upgrades may be available), you don’t get to pick and choose who you're sharing with (unless there are six of you) and its very cramped. There’s no buffet car on the train so pick up some sarnies/supplies before you get on. You get booted off the train at a remote little station somewhere near St Raphael, mark this in your satnav, ‘cos its hard to find for your return. There’s a small continental breakfast ready for you on the platform, where you wait for your bike to turn up, you then have to ride your bike off of the transporter, again with your head on the tank for height purposes.
I’ll find some pictures for you, but it won’t be until I can access my home computer next week.
I’m not sure that I’d do it again, or if things have changed since we did it, but it was an experience.

dibbs
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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by dibbs » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:57 am

SHarper wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:40 am
I’d say that the height is quite rigid, I wouldn’t worry about the width.
When we used the auto train, it’d be about 10 years ago, it was quite an experience. When you load your bikes onto the autotrain, you ride them down the carriages, you can’t sit upright, there isn’t enough headroom. Once your bike is secured, you have to make your own way across Paris to another station, where you board a different, faster train than the one your bike is on. There are six bunks in the cabin (upgrades may be available), you don’t get to pick and choose who you're sharing with (unless there are six of you) and its very cramped. There’s no buffet car on the train so pick up some sarnies/supplies before you get on. You get booted off the train at a remote little station somewhere near St Raphael, mark this in your satnav, ‘cos its hard to find for your return. There’s a small continental breakfast ready for you on the platform, where you wait for your bike to turn up, you then have to ride your bike off of the transporter, again with your head on the tank for height purposes.
I’ll find some pictures for you, but it won’t be until I can access my home computer next week.
I’m not sure that I’d do it again, or if things have changed since we did it, but it was an experience.
This is exactly the advice you need!!! well done, and thanks for sharing. I think i would prefer to ride down after reading that lol... you have a GS man enjoy the journey :D

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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by RichP » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:58 am

Hi We used the autotrain last September to get from Innsbruck to Dusseldorf. Saved us a lot of boring road miles as we weren't on bikes that were best suited to motorways. As you can see on the photo it's a bit tight when loading the bikes but panniers shouldn't be a problem - there were a few bikes with them fitted on our train. We accommodation on the train is a bit basic but we had a good nights sleep - we paid extra to limit the number of people to four, it would be very "cosy" with six!
Would I use use it again? Definitely if I was on the EXC, probably not if I was on my road bike.
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Spike941
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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by Spike941 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:29 pm

What’s the rough return cost of both bike and rider?

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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by RichP » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:28 pm

Spike941 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:29 pm
What’s the rough return cost of both bike and rider?
We only used it one way. £600 for four of us and the bikes. Saved us about 450 miles of motorways and ran overnight so we could get another days riding on the TET :D

Granto
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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by Granto » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:40 pm

Thanks for the info guys :D :D :D

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Re: Newbie , Autotrain Luggage

Post by Brenhden » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:23 am

I didn't know about the Paris to Nice route.

So you could leave your house in in the morning and ride to Paris, drop your bike off before 17:45, go to a hotel and have a beer on the Champs Elysees. Next morning catch a train to Nice and arrive at 13:06 and be on the Riviera with your bike 36 hours after you set off? That is pretty cool. Not cheap, but last time I rode down there It took a few days (on my DR350) and I was knackered when I got there.

That would be a lovely ride home.
And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

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