Bikes on trains

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 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...

You can make a reservation on the phone, online, or in person:

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.

These are only allowed to be carried on our Highland Explorer service. Click here to find out more and to check the maximum permissible size of cycle allowed onboard. Please note that unfortunately split tandems cannot be carried if they are split in any carriage of the Highland Explorer service. The split tandem must be carried whole.

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 ask customers to avoid carrying e-scooters on board our trains, given they are illegal to use on public roads and pavements. If a customer does need to travel with an e-scooter, it must be folded for the entirety of their journey and stored in the luggage areas provided. We do not allow e-scooters to be charged on any ScotRail train and do not carry e-scooters that cannot be folded.

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 2 vertical storage bicycle spaces that require you to be able to lift your bicycle in and secure it. The spaces are located in Coach C and are clearly identified by a large bicycle logo.

Inter7City bicycle logo

Whilst the current facilities for bicycle storage are designed to the relevant standards we recognise that the storage area is a narrow space and could be challenging to use by some customers and for some bicycles.

During the period May to August 2022, ScotRail is continuing to make further investments in the Inter7City service by installing an additional four cycle spaces in coach C. Installation begins in May 2022 and the first coach comes into service 20 May, with installation complete by August but there will be no impact on the day to day running of the trains.

When the roll-out is complete in August, customers will need to book in advance if they wish to travel with their bike on an Inter7City service. Customers who are travelling with a bike before the completion in August will be able to book one of the two current reservable spaces, but the other four spaces will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

We would like to thank our customers and stakeholders who have fed back to us on using the cycle storage on-board. We will be continuing to monitor the situation for future improvements.

In the meantime, we remind customers with a bicycle who are planning to travel with us to follow the guidance below:

On-train cycle space

  • Please book your bicycle space in advance. Book online when you buy your train ticket
  • 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 new 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 3 inches 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.

Are there any size restrictions for bikes in the new horizontal spaces

Yes. 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.

ScotRail Highland Explorer service 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...