Yay! Trains and Bikes (England)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

And I quote…

“The General Motors streetcar conspiracy refers to convictions of General Motors (GM) and other companies for monopolizing the sale of buses and supplies to National City Lines (NCL) and its subsidiaries, and to allegations that this was part of a deliberate plot to purchase and dismantle streetcar systems in many cities in the United States as an attempt to monopolize surface transportation”[1]

In another post, I’ll follow some court cases in the 20th century where General Motors and other companies conspired (or are alleged to have conspired) to shut down streetcars and trains in order to sell buses and automobiles. For today, it’s enough to celebrate the trains and light rail that allow bikes onboard.

Yesterday, my friends and I planned to catch the train for about 20 miles to Brockenhurst, which is part of the New Forest (~1066 AD). From there, we’d ride our bikes through the woods to a town named Beaulieu (rhymes with Julie). We’d continue on to Buckler’s Hard, where shipbuilding once took place with its easy access to the English Channel.

Map including Brockenhurst, Beaulieu, and Bucklers Hard
Map including Brockenhurst, Beaulieu, and Bucklers Hard

Catching the train in the neighborhood where I’m visiting (Bournemouth), we set out to a part of the “New Forest” (named in 1086). The tickets were RT from Pokesdown to Brockenhurst, for under $10/person.

When the train arrived, we quickly (these trains do not wait around, for they are always trying to catch up with the Swiss ones)—we quickly found the car with the bike racks:

One car said “2 bikes” but by the time we were all loaded, there were 6 bikes, with no complaints from anyone, although I worried a bit when a woman from first class almost tripped over one.

We happily settled into the ride. The speed, the onboard restroom, and the quiet impressed me about these trains.

Soon we were riding.

And too soon the shadows grew long, signaling time to head back to the train station.

All in all, it was a grand day of trains, bikes, clotted cream, and donkeys.


[1] “General Motors streetcar conspiracy,” Wikipedia, visited 10/10/2018.