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Multimodal mobility: taking your bike on the train

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Taking your bike on the train is possible, but at what cost? Are there any other combined transportation options?

Mix it up

For travellers who wish to take their regular (non-folding) bike on the train, Belgium’s national railway company SNCB offers two price options:

  • The carte vélo (bike card) costs € 5 for a single journey. It is valid for a bike or tandem, plus a child trailer if applicable.
  • The libre-parcours d’un jour (1-day freedom pass) costs €8, but allows you to take your bike on the train all day and across the whole country. It is valid for a bike or a tandem, plus a child trailer if applicable.

The libre-parcours is worthwhile as soon as you make two or more single journeys in a day. Both cards are valid a year after their purchase. Make sure to note the date and your destination before boarding the train, otherwise you are liable to a fine! They can be bought at the station ticket office, from a ticket machine or on the SNCB website.

Top tips

  • The number of bikes allowed on board varies greatly from train to train. If you are travelling in group with a bunch of bikes, be sure to notify train personnel before attempting to board the train. You can do this when buying your tickets, or through the SNCB customer service.
  • The SNCB strongly discourages taking your bike on the train during peak hours.
  • Bikes are normally not transported in normal carriages but in special wagons. Instead of attempting to board anywhere, board the wagon equipped to carry bicycles.
  • Unsure which wagon to board? Approach the train’s inspector, who will gladly assist.
  • You cannot load or unload your bike at the Bruxelles-Central, Bruxelles-Chapelle or Bruxelles-Congrès stations.

Fold it up

It quickly becomes obvious that a folding bike is more practical to take on the train than a regular city bike. Just like hand luggage or a pushchair, there is no supplement for transporting this kind of bike.

Neighbouring countries

The Netherlands (NS)

€6 per day outside peak hours (weekdays from 6.30 to 9.00 and from 16.30 to 18.00). More information here.

France (SNCF) 

Find all the relevant information here.

Luxembourg (CFL)

Bikes are transported free. More details here.

Germany (DB)

Find all the relevant information here. (Click on "Terms and conditions of the offer".)

Switzerland (CFF-SBB)

Find all the relevant information here.

United Kingdom

Generally, bikes are carried free, even on inter-city trains. Find all the relevant information here.

High-speed international lines

Thalys high-speed trains accept bikes on board at no extra cost (providing the bike is contained in a case measuring no larger than 120 x 90 cm, front wheel dismantled), and folding bikes, which are classed as luggage.

The ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation) has produced a comparative analysis of the services offered to cyclists by the long-distance railway networks in Europe (details here).

Through developing personalised solutions that facilitate and encourage people to transition to cycling, the non-profit organisation Pro Velo contributes to a higher quality of life.