Unicycle on French trains / SNCF

What are the rules for taking unicycles on French trains (TGV, RER)? Does it cost, do I have to disassemble the uni, …? Any experience?

Thanks for your input.

(This thread is about French trains only. If you should have information on Swiss trains, feel free to comment here: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1639764#post1639764 )

the only rule that applies is common sense: do not do something that will be a nuisance to other passengers.
I have brought a whole Coker on a TGV strapped it to the luggage rack … and nobody complained.
night trains are more complicated since place is limited: you can pay for a bicycle but frankly it is useless… just manage to put is in some place that will not block other pasengers.
if you read french I think there is a thread for that on the french forum (and probably some other french user will point it to you).

For french trains the rule is simple:

you can carry your unicycle like any other bicycle with an extra fee on all the trains but the Lunea (night trains) and Thalys.

But, and here is the trick, if your unicycle is in a bag, it is a piece of luggage like any other and it is accepted in all trains without extra fees (you just have to make sure it is stored properly).

Of course you can try and be successful in carrying it unpacked but the rules above are controllers-proof.

In my case, I ended up buying a very large trashcan bag to put my 26 uni in so it was a piece of luggage :stuck_out_tongue:

I carried my 24" a couple of times on the train, not even in a bag. And I had my Brompton bicycle too each time. I just removed the pedals to be able to fit in better in the luggage space at the entrance of the carriage.

as a matter of fact i have carried a unicycle on Lunea, Thalys, Eurostar and Lyria and no problem … did the rules change?
I have booked a bicyle rack on a Lunea … but why bother if your uni is small enough.
(I often see people with big bicycle packs on TGV and doubt they ever paid something special)
For Eurostar there is a trick: there is one car (I don’t remember if number is 6 or 8) where you have a special place to store something as big as a bike (used it often when I worked in England)

+1 for Thalys, I took it a couple of times with the Brompton and a unicycle in tow.

Eurostar can be more tricky. For instance, foldable bikes have to be covered - unlike the other trains where they can board “naked”.

Thanks for your advice about “bagging” up the uni!

I did so and had no problems riding on the TGV. BTW, I forgot to add a paper slip with my name / address, which should be on any luggage on French trains, esp. since I placed it in the luggage compartment and out of my sight… but nobody cared (as usual), so I don’t think the train controller ever bothered to have a closer look at the innocuous-looking trash bagged* uni on his train.

  • To “bag” my 24" uni, I pulled the seatpost and packed seat & post into my bag. I prevented the wheel & pedals from moving with a lock (a rope could’ve done the same, but I was already carrying the lock with me) and strapped my bike helmet over one pedal. Then I put the uni into a heavy-duty trash bag, which I tied together around the top of the fork (with a rope dangling out, which I used to carry the object). Actually the pedal without helmet soon wormed its way out of the trash bag. So I traveled with a big gray trash bag with one unicycle pedal sticking out, though it was mostly hidden behind or underneath the rest of the uni because the natural way of placing the unicycle would be onto the side that the helmet wasn’t strapped to. I doubt the controller ever knew he had a uni on his train…