Eurostar re-opens cycle carriage service

Eurostar re-opens cycle carriage service

At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Eurostar was forced to close its oversized luggage service. As well as allowing passengers to transport large bulky items, this was also the main way to transporting cycles on the train service. This service has now returned between London and Paris, and joins the Eurotunnel service operating out of Folkestone for cycle-rail travellers wishing to reach the European continent

After nearly three years of no cycle carriage due to the impact of the pandemic, and the inherent difficulties of managing an international service over four borders with different entry policies relating to the coronavirus and border requirement changes following Brexit, Eurostar’s oversized luggage carriage service has now reopened.

A limited service for journeys between London and Paris began on 25 January for passengers who travel with their own pre-boxed bikes, with four bike boxes/bags allowed per train where oversized luggage carriage is available (see table below).

Cycling UK is in frequent discussion with Eurostar about its cycle carriage arrangements. In discussions in early February between the charity and the train operating company, Cycling UK were told of Eurostar’s hope to reopen cycle and oversized luggage carriage to Brussels by the summer.

Other destinations such as Amsterdam currently face space restrictions that do not permit the service until Eurostar moves to a larger terminal in 2025.

Departure station

Time available for cycle carriage


All trains from 07:55 to 15:31


All trains from 11:13 to 18:13

Border restrictions following Brexit have added to the complications for the international train service which have prevented the carriage of non-boxed bikes. Currently fully assembled bikes cannot be carried on Eurostar for security reasons, however the train operator is looking to find a solution which will allow their carriage again.

Cycling UK has good reason to believe Eurostar is doing all it can to return to its pre-pandemic level of service which allowed for the carriage of assembled bikes to all main termini. We will look to update this page, our members and the cycling community as changes are made to the service. The charity hope to report more positive news as it does not see the current level of service as adequate as a long-term solution for cycle tourists.

Other alternatives exist if you want to travel through the "chunnel". The Eurotunnel cycle carriage service from Folkestone has reopened and will carry rider plus cycle for £35 each way. Their service will also carry tandems and charges per saddle regardless of numbers of riders, and trailers too may incur a cost depending on their size.

Eurotunnel’s service operates once a day and requires reportedly a minimum of 10 days for booking, and will not accept on the day travel. 

The other main ways using public transport to reach the European continent with your bike are likely to be by ferry or flying. Certain long distance bus services, such as Blablacar Bus and the Bike Express may also carry cycles.

For those looking to travel with their bikes on Eurostar, your bicycle needs to be registered as oversized luggage, and booking is a two-tier process. You must book either your train ticket first, and call or email separately to see if there is space on the train you want to take, or vice versa.

Contrary to the pre-coronavirus service, customers must now travel on the same services as their bike, and they must collect it on arrival directly on the platform.  If there is no space on your chosen train for your bike, it is possible that it can travel on an earlier train and be available for collection upon your arrival. 

Eurostar has confirmed that it is also looking to develop an online booking tool for bike carriage and will make all efforts to consult the cycling community, including Cycling UK, over this. Due to the launch of the new Eurostar website in October 2023, the development of this functionality will not come until next year.

Cycling UK hopes the new system will streamline the whole process, making reserving space for your bike as simple as booking your ticket, but does not expect it to be introduced imminently.

One way to ensure travel with your bicycle on Eurostar is possible is to take it on board as carry on luggage. If it is a fold-up, like a Brompton, or it can be broken down (through the use of S and S couplings, for example) you may take it on board for no extra cost so long as your bike fits into a case that is no more than 85cm long.

Eurostar in the past provided boxes and the tools to break down your bike at its stations in London, Paris and Brussels. The boxes are no longer provided, however you can still use the tools provided at the stations.

It’s still not cheap to take a non-folding bike with you on Eurostar. The pricing structure is designed to encourage people not just to book their seats early but also their bike places. The benefit is that you should have an increased chance of having your bike travel with you on the same train – something which is less likely the closer you book your ticket and bike place to when you want to travel. 

Prices are as per the below the table, but are likely to be higher for fully assembled bikes when they return


Pre-booked (+48hrs)

Less than 48hrs + walk-in

Sport equipment (incl bikes)

£45 (50 euro)

£60 (70 euro)

Excess luggage (30kg max)

£35 (40 euro)

£55 (60 euro)

Returning from Amsterdam to London, and connecting in Brussels, you’re advised to allow 90 minutes for the train changeover if travelling with your bike – and also to make sure your bike is bagged when travelling on the Thalys train to Brussels. For more information check the Eurostar website.

If you’re a Cycling UK member and want to access your discount for travelling with Eurostar (when oversized luggage is permitted once again), head to the member benefits page and don't forget your travel insurance. Members of Cycling UK receive 15% off Yellow Jersey’s travel insurance which has been designed specifically for cyclists. It will provide you with all of the usual benefits you would expect from travel insurance but crucially will cover your medical expenses should you need it. 

Couriering your cycle

If you're still keen to travel by train to your final destination, one (expensive) alternative to Eurostar is couriering your cycle. First Luggage (which operates in conjunction with Eurostar) or other couriers are available.

Although expensive, it does have the advantage that your cycle can be transported direct from your front door to your destination. This is particularly valuable for those travelling through Paris, as it saves the hassle of potentially having to assemble your bike and disassemble it again to make the cross-town journey from Gare du Nord to whatever rail terminal your onward journey may continue from.

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert