The best way for me to tour the Rhine River would be to ride the train part way and ride my folding bike part way. So the question I have is, “Can You Bring a Folding Bike on a Train?” I have done some research and here is what I have found out about taking folding bikes and regular bikes on trains in Europe, the USA, and Japan.
Can You Bring a Folding Bike on a Train? Yes, from what I see in Europe most will allow it to be brought on free of charge as long as its in a bike bag no more than 47 inches high and 35.5 inches wide. For the United Kingdom folding bikes are carried free of charge and without restriction as long as they are folded and can be stored as luggage. In the United States on Amtrak folding bikes under the dimensions of 34 inches x 15 inches x 48 inches are permitted on all trains in lieu of a piece of carry-on luggage. In Japan the folding bike needs to be folded in a case or bag prior to going on the train.
If your folded bike is in a bag it can be carried as normal luggage without any extra charge.
Europe Metro – Moscow
Folding bikes are the only bikes allowed on the metro in Moscow.
EU Metro – Berlin
There is no mention of folding bikes on the official site; however, I would assume that it would be considered as luggage if put in a bag or case before boarding the train. Carrying luggage is free of charge.
EU Metro – Madrid
On the Madrid underground, folded bicycles will be considered as hand luggage, which is governed by its own regulations apart from the rules for the other bicycles. Passengers taking a(n) (unfolded) bicycle with them will be able to carry it on the escalators, rolling walkways and in lifts, providing that they do not cause inconvenience to others.
EU Metro – Rome
Folding bicycles can travel freely every day of the week for the whole duration of the service in Rome.
EU Metro – Paris
Paris does not allow bikes on public transport for the most part; however, if you fold up the bike and put it into a bag or case it could be treated as luggage. You can carry any luggage as long as it does not interfere with other travelers and that you do not impede traffic on the station platforms or in the tram.
EU Metro – Brussels
You can take your bike on all types of metro trains and all low-floor trams. Folding bikes are regarded as regular luggage, and can also be taken on board during rush hours. If available you can use a lift to enter and exit the station. Otherwise use the moving staircases.
Generally speaking folding bikes should be folded and put in a bag or case. They are then treated as luggage and are free of charge. As there are more than 20 train operators in the UK I recommend checking with the individual operator prior to travelling for any restrictions.
UK Metro – London
A folding bike can be used on all Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains, at any time. Folded bikes are accepted on London Overground trains at all times. Folded bikes can be taken on TfL Rail trains at all times. Please speak to a staff member for more information. Trams only takes folded bicycles – no container is required.
On Amtrak folding bikes less than 34 inches x 15 inches x 48 inches (860 x 380 x 1120 mm) will be allowed on board all trains in lieu of a piece of baggage. Specific passenger cars can accommodate folding bikes as carry-on baggage, otherwise they must be checked.
Only true folding bikes (bikes specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly) are acceptable. In most cases, these bikes have frame latches allowing the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bikes of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bikes, and may not be stored as folding bikes aboard trains.
You must fold up your folding bike before boarding the train, store the bike only in luggage storage areas at the end of the car (or, in Superliners, on the lower level), and you may not store bikes in overhead racks.
US Metro – New York City
Folding bicycles are permitted aboard local and limited buses at all times. Please fold your bike before boarding and don’t block the aisle or doors. Folding bikes are not allowed on express buses.
US Metro – Chicago
Folding bikes are allowed on CTA vehicles at all times. This is not true for non-folding bikes. Check the CTA website for details.
US Metro – Los Angeles
Folded bikes are allowed on the train at any time. This is not true for non-folding bikes. Check the Metro Rail website for details.
US Metro – San Francisco
Only folding bikes are allowed on Muni Metro, Light Rail Vehicles, and historic vehicles. No bikes are allowed on cable cars.
US Metro – Dallas
DART Rail website does not cover folding bikes specifically; however going by the bike rules if you cannot put the bike on your lap it needs to go in the area designated for disabled customers, provided it is not occupied. If necessary, you may need to move your bike to allow access for persons using wheelchairs and strollers.
Can you take bikes on trains in Japan?
In Japan the folding bike needs to be folded in a case or bag prior to going on the train and it is free. Trains in Japan stop at specific points on the train platform. I recommend being either at the first or last car on the train as it will have less people than the middle. There are no bike areas so you will need to keep it with you.
Can You Bring a Folding Bike on a Train? Yes, it is placed in a bag or case and treated as luggage. It is free of charge in most cases. The storage location depends on the train, so be sure to look at the location for luggage or bike storage on the train or trains you will be using. Folding bikes on trains are much more convenient on trains than non-folding bikes.
When visiting Japan, how do I qualify for the discounted Japan Rail Pass?
JAPAN RAIL PASS, a joint offering of the six companies comprising the Japan Railways Group (JR Group), is the most economical means of travelling throughout Japan by rail. In order to receive or use JAPAN RAIL PASS, your passport must bear the “Temporary Visitor” stamp or sticker, which is good for 15 or 90 days. Be sure to use a manned automated gate or ask a clerk to apply the stamp to your passport when entering Japan.