Skis on the East Coast mainline and UK trains generally

06 Oct 2023

DominicByrne

Unlike on the continent, taking ski bags on UK trains seems a much more uncertain business. I wondered about other Eagle Ski Club experiences. My reason for asking is, in theory when you look at their baggage policies, the dimensions of ski bags mean they are not permitted by the train companies. It always makes me rather nervous about taking my ski bag on the train, to Scotland, to the Eurostar or to an airport.  I turned up once at my local station on the East Coast mainline to get a train to the Highlands and was told I had to pay a £10 fee to put it in the cycle area in the goods space behind the diesel engine. I had thought ahead and booked a free cycle space and told the official that I had decided to go skiing instead of cycling and so should be able to use the already-reserved space but he was having none of it. I have never been charged, though, on the return journey from the Highlands.  That was a few years ago and the old diesels are largely phased out so I have no idea what the arrangement on the new Azumas will be like. Again as a precaution I have booked a cycle space. What tales have members got of taking ski bags on UK trains?

06 Oct 2023

StephenWright

Hi Dominic -
I've used the East Coast mainline quite a lot with a skibag, back and forth to St Pancras rather than heading north. I've never had a problem raised. Skibags are very common on Eurostar, including very large ones! The only issue I've had with them has been with iceaxes (which we hope won't be a problem in the future).

I always take a couple of pieces of cord, so I can fasten the bag vertically to the luggage rack.

07 Oct 2023

SueRowlands

I took my skis on Avanti West Coast down to London three times last season.  No problems. I usually try to get them in the overhead rack but - if this is full - they can usually be wedged upright between seats.

22 Jan 2024

Steve Lenartowicz

No problems yesterday with skis traveling from Windermere  via Lancaster and Leeds to Kings Cross.

19 Jun 2024

dphelan

Just some clarification from Paul Karas our Scot Sec on the carriage of Skis on ScotRail services.

From ScotRail Customer services:

You can carry up to three pieces of personal luggage for free. That's two large items – a suitcase or rucksack, for example – plus one item of hand luggage. All luggage carried mustn't be more than a metre long in any dimension.
 
There's a charge of half the adult fare for your ticket per extra item – up to a maximum of £5 single, £10 return. There are no discounts for Railcard or Season Ticket holders.
 
This applies for each additional item of luggage, dog, cat or other small animal over the free allowance, and each article exceeding one metre in any dimension.
 
Further information is available here

As you can see, there is not a ban on the carriage of Skis however there may be an extra charge. Your Skis should be able to be accommodated in the overhead luggage racks

In summary, this suggests that Skis are OK for an extra fee and that they expect them to go in the overhead racks. Of course, this doesn't necessarily apply to the LNER or sleeper services.