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Herefordshire couple kicked off GWR train because of their converted e-bike

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Rebecca Morley's picture

Rebecca Morley

Rebecca has been in cycling journalism since 2018. She started out at trade title BikeBiz and still contributes features to its monthly magazine, and was also named one of Cycling UK's 100 Women in Cycling 2019.


8 months 2 weeks ago

@onyerbike - related context - have a Google of "car bursts into flames uk". Maybe cars should be banned from railway property, levels crossings, etc? 

As for the picture of the, er, bike - not even sure where you sit on that contraption - it is indeed worth 1000 words.

8 months 2 weeks ago

Jesus, fair play to the train manager. I think I'd have got off the train if it was allowed on!!!

I'd say these kits should be banned but it doesn't matter, they come in direct from China or wherever and there is no easy way to stop them and police wont do anything for bikes they see on the street, no mater how fast they go without people actually pedalling...

Alex Bowden's picture
8 months 2 weeks ago

We just got the image off GWR so I've added it.

8 months 2 weeks ago

@David. V V Unlikely.  The Swytch is a neat conversion and if you took the pack off beforehand no-one would even know.

The state of the bike in the story had to be seen to be believed.  It looked like a death trap *before* it was converted, afterwards it looked like it would explode if you looked at it wrong.

8 months 2 weeks ago

As I said when this story came up on's live blog a few days ago:

I don't blame the train manager. 

Mr Palmer's comments are completely non-sensical. If you bodge together an e-bike with whatever cheap components you can lay your hands on (paying no regards to the regulations) then of course it is not going to be any safer than any other e-device. And to suggest that "the highly regulated e-bike industry has no such problems" is completely fallacious - a few minutes on Google (or even just ebiketips) reveals numerous fires, including fatal ones, caused by e-bikes. The fact that regulations exist for e-bikes means absolutely nothing if those regulations aren't being followed.

Yes, buy an off-the-shelf e-bike from a reputable company that has passed all the tests and you should be perfectly safe. But bodge something together yourself or buy something cheap and you are - literally - playing with fire.  

8 months 2 weeks ago

Odd that you would choose a Type 57 to illustrate this story, according to Wiki, they don't run on the Cotswold line. Wiki shows a class 180 just outside Honey Bourne, the station in question, and a shot of a turbo DMU.

The wiring on the bike looked shocking, not a good indication of the quality of the conversion.


8 months 2 weeks ago

On other articles about this there was a photo of the bike in question, and it looked like the worst kind of home-cooked Frankenbike.  No surprise that the train company didn't want it on their train.

8 months 2 weeks ago

It would be worth the train cos. clarifying what e-bikes are allowed. Perhaps not modified ones?
With London Fire Bridgade attending e-bike and e-scooters every other day, on average, it's a serious problem, and a fire on a train could be particularly serious (the way these things go up - it doesn't bear thinking about on a packed train).

8 months 2 weeks ago

So my Swytch bike is at risk of being turfed off  if I ever take it by train? What if I offer to sit with the battery in my lap?

8 months 2 weeks ago

Neither do I. I assume this is the same "bike" photographed earlier this week. It was horrendous.

8 months 2 weeks ago

I don't blame the train manager. If it is some kind of conversion kit then all bets are off as to what they are dealing with - it's not true to say that only e-scooters are at issue. I also think train companies are right to refuse escooters, since legally they have no place in public.