Bikes on trains

Please ensure you reserve a cycle space before you travel on routes where cycle reservations are available - particularly during the summer months when services are busy and cycle spaces are limited.

Go for a long jaunt through the countryside, or speed up your journey home.

You’ll find designated cycle spaces on all of our trains. The majority of services operate non reservable cycle spaces on a first come first served basis, so you should bear this in mind when travelling at peak times.

The following routes however, do operate compulsory reservations for cycle spaces and you must reserve a cycle space before attempting to travel. As these routes are long distance, they are often very busy and it may therefore not be possible to accommodate your cycle if you have not reserved a space.

  • Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen
  • Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness
  • Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and Mallaig
  • Aberdeen and Inverness
  • Inverness, Wick, Thurso and Kyle of Lochalsh

Here's everything you need to know about travelling with a bike on our trains...

Reservations can only be made for up to 4 cycles at any one time. If you require more than 4 please make separate bookings or call our telesales team on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) Monday – Sunday between 7am – 10pm.

You can make a reservation for up to 4 cycles on the phone, online, or in person:

You can make cycle reservations via the website, but not the ScotRail app. If you are out travelling, you can visit our website using your smart phone or tablet, or call our telesales team on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) Monday – Sunday between 7am – 10pm.

Here is a step-by-step guide to booking your cycle reservation online...

  • First, you'll need to search for your desired journey online. Once you've selected the journey you are looking for, including the date and time of travel, and the ticket type (Single or Return), you'll see a screen like the below.
  • When you hover over the cycle symbol, it will show you how many spaces are still available on the service. If this service suits your needs, select either Standard or 1st Class ticket (whichever ticket type you intend to purchase), then press the blue 'Continue' button.
  • Screengrab 1
  • You will now see 'Travel options', where you'll receive confirmation of a seat reservation, and you can select to 'Reserve a space' in the 'Cycle space reservation' section.
  • Screen grab 2
  • Then, select the blue 'Continue' button again to complete your booking.
  • You will be advised to collect your rail ticket and cycle coupon from a ticket vending machine (TVM). Please ensure you have these with you when you travel. You can attach your cycle coupon to your cycle if you wish, however attaching it is not is not a mandatory requirement when travelling with ScotRail.

If there are multiple passengers travelling, please follow the same steps as booking for a single passenger (above). When you get to the 'Travel options' page, you can select the number of cycle spaces required, up to and including 4 cycles, dependent on availability.

Screen grab 3

If you are booking for 9 passengers or more, please contact us to make a group booking by calling our telesales team on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) Monday – Sunday between 7am – 10pm.

If you are travelling on our Highland Explorer service, click here for details of how to make a cycle reservation. It is important to note that reservations for tandems and larger cycles on this service require you to call our team on 0344 811 0141 (Option 2) Monday – Sunday between 7am – 6pm (no online booking is available for tandems or larger cycles and the reservation cannot be made at staffed stations)

You can bring a fully folded bicycle on our trains without a reservation as long as the wheels are no more than 20 inches in diameter.

Due to the size of tandems and cargo cycles these can only be carried on a limited number of our services on routes where we can guarantee which type of train will operate on all services. ScotRail operates ten different types of train across the network in Scotland and our safety assessments only allow tandems and larger cycles to be carried on three of our types of train.

Please plan your journey before wishing to board any of our trains with a tandem or larger cycle, like a cargo cycle. Our guide to travelling with a bike on trains will let you know if you able to join our services and check that your cycle is within the permissible maximum length shown.

Please note that for safety reasons split tandems or 3 wheel cargo cycles or trailers cannot be carried on any ScotRail service.

Due to on-train space restrictions and for customer and staff safety, we are unable to accommodate these on any ScotRail service.

Electric cycles (e-bikes) can be carried on all ScotRail services. Where cycle storage is provided that involves hanging the bike up by the wheel on our hooked cycle storage, we recommend where possible that customers remove their e-bike battery. This will reduce the bike's weight and make it easier for you when lifting your bike onto the hook.

Please note, to avoid damaging the on-train electrical circuits, ScotRail cannot allow e-bikes to be charged via the plug sockets on our trains. There is however a dedicated e-bike charging socket onboard the ScotRail Highland Explorer.

We want everyone who travels on the ScotRail network to be able to do so with confidence in a safe and friendly environment.

Like many other train operators, we have taken the decision to place a temporary ban all lithium-ion powered micro devices on all ScotRail trains and in all ScotRail stations with effect from Thursday, 1 June 2023.

This includes:

  • e-scooters.
  • e-unicycles.
  • e-hoverboards.
  • e-skateboards.

Our temporary ban will be reviewed in twelve months’ time once more data becomes available on the safe operation and transport of these devices, or once any formal legislation comes into effect.

This policy does not apply to personal mobility devices, powered wheelchairs and power assisted bicycles or e-bikes, which are regulated by UK legislation and British Standards.

Unregulated lithium-ion battery micro devices do not adhere to any technical safety standards, and because these devices are not governed by any UK legislation or standards, there is an increased risk in fire caused by the devices, which we’ve seen a spike in across the UK and across the rail network.

When a micro device battery is damaged by impact, overcharged, overheated, or designed with a manufacturing defect, the battery cells can quickly become unstable and rapidly release vast amounts of stored energy, which generates excessive heat and can quickly spread to other cells in the battery pack resulting in fire, or even explosion.

Paragraph 23.5 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel stipulates e-scooters as an item only permitted by the discretion of individual railway companies and as such gives ScotRail the right to refuse to carry them.

The Railway Byelaws contain several provisions which may be used to enforce this requirement if necessary.

There is no storage space for micro devices at stations. We would recommend you travel to and from the station using another mode of transport, or return to the station without your micro device where we would then work to get you on an alternative service.

Micro devices are not permitted on ScotRail trains and in ScotRail stations. We would ask you to return to the station without your micro device, or direct you to travel using an alternative form of transport.

You can travel with a non-electric scooter as long as they do not have any fixed or removable battery power source.

Petrol powered scooters and mopeds are not permitted due to health and safety around petrol on board trains.

No. There are no storage spaces for micro devices such as e-scooters, e-unicycles, e-skateboards and e-hoverboards at any ScotRail stations. We would recommend you travel to and from the station using another mode of transport.

You are allowed to travel with an e-bike as they must comply with a greater number of safety regulations.

No. Electric mobility aids can travel on the ScotRail network. There’s more information on our accessible transport policy here - Accessible travel | ScotRail.

This is a temporary ban. The policy will be reviewed in twelve months’ time once more data becomes available on the safe operation and transport of these devices, or when any formal legislation comes into effect.

We allow scooters to be carried on our services. They must be folded and stored in the luggage areas provided. If your scooter cannot be folded then you must remain standing and holding your scooter at all times.

Inter7City high speed train

Our Inter7City fleet operate on the routes linking Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are fitted with cycle storage spaces for up to 6 cycles - 4 horizontal roll on roll off cycle spaces and 2 vertical storage spaces. The 2 vertical storage spaces require you to be able to lift your cycle and secure it. All cycle spaces are located in Coach C.

All cycle spaces on our Inter7City services must be reserved in advance with your seat reservation.

Please book your bicycle space in advance. Book online when you buy your train ticket

If you are reserving a cycle space

Before attempting to travel please ensure that your cycle complies with our maximum possible dimensions:

  • Maximum permissible length 180cm
  • Maximum permissible width of handlebar 65cm. Handlebars may need to be ‘turned’ to align with front wheel to ensure access through vestibule doors
  • Maximum permissible width of front wheel with tyre inflated 10cm. Should your tyre measure wider, it can be deflated, so long as the rim width is no greater than the measurement.
  • Please follow the easy to use securing strap instructions by the cycle spaces

Vertical hanging spaces

  • it’s necessary to be able to lift your bicycle and hang it by the rear wheel, using the hooks provided. Due to health and safety advice our staff are unable to assist with this, so please bear this in mind when considering booking a space. If you are making a short trip (for example Glasgow to Stirling) you may prefer to travel on board one of our eXpress trains with roll-on-roll-off bicycle storage.
  • The bicycle must be strapped to ensure it is secure. We provide straps with a metal buckle. You may wish to bring your own strap should you not wish to use those provided.
  • The nature of the space available on the train can make it challenging to get two bicycles in the storage cupboard, dependant on the size and style of bicycles. The hooks provided work with most bicycles, however those with deep rims, or chunky/plus size tyres, for example those greater than 7.62cm may not fit in the ceiling mounted hook. Large bikes and those with long wheelbases may not fit in the space that hangs from the wall. The owners of both bicycles may need to work together to ensure that both bicycles fit into the storage area safely.
ScotRail Highland Explorer on the West Highland Line

The UK's first active travel carriage has arrived! Working in partnership with Transport Scotland, we’re launching our new ScotRail Highland Explorer carriages along Scotland’s famously scenic west coast.

These carriages have been especially designed to support active travel, by providing people with the space and storage needed to comfortably take their bikes, skis, or other sporting gear with them on their journey.

Each carriage has a total of 20 individual bike racks, as well as designated seating for 24 people.

Find out more about our Highland Explorer

Some peak trains are longer than the platform on the Glasgow to Edinburgh (via Falkirk High), Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Ayr, Ardrossan and Largs routes. Make sure your bike is in the right place so you get off the train in time.

In the event of cancellation or disruption, your cycle (unless it can be fully folded) is not permitted onboard rail replacement services. You will need to await the next ScotRail service. Should you be travelling on the last service of the day then please speak with our onboard train staff or use the customer help points at our stations and our staff will make arrangements for you.

Want to know more about travelling with bikes on trains?

Watch video guides here...