In order to head West, trains from Sheffield have first to head south through Dore, then through the Totley tunnel and the Hope Valley. They then continue to Manchester, terminating either at Manchester Airport or going through to Liverpool.
The stopping train to Manchester via the Hope Valley is very useful for cyclists who are heading to and from the Peak District.
Cycle Carriage info: based on typical daytime service. Times and platforms may vary, contact National Rail for updates.
xx:11 Manchester Airport Trans-Pennnine Express. 2 bikes per train, reservable. As well as the official bike space in the centre of the train there is a flexible luggage/seating space on the other side of First Class which can be worth heading for if the train’s busy, which it often is as an Airport service, often carrying a lot of heavy luggage. (Note Oct 2014: TPEX are increasingly using 2 Class 170 2-car units joined up for these services, giving an extra carriage. This means there are 4 spaces per train – 2 in each unit – for bikes although it is not clear whether 4 spaces are reservable – if you have any info on this please let us know.) The bike spaces are in the centre of each unit – look for the flexible space next to the disabled toilet, there should be a bike symbol by the door as well. TPEX put reservation cards on the tip-up seats when a bike has been reserved, which can help when negotiating with the people sitting in them.
xx:14 Manchester Piccadilly via New Mills Central and the Hope Valley. Your lifeline to the Peak District National Park and the wide-open spaces. Access NCN6 at Hope, or the Pennine Cycleway at New Mills. Northern stopping train, 2 Bikes per train non-reservable but can be flexible at off-peak times. You can also board this train at Dore. Avoid the peak-hour trains if you have a bike, but off-peak trains are usually OK. Busy on Summer Saturday and Sundays. Normally leaves from Platform 2c but sometimes from 7 or 8 – in both cases these are a bit of a trek from the concourse so leave yourself enough time to get over the bridge – and remember the early cyclist gets the bike space! The 19:14 service also becomes the Folk Train once a month which can be very busy.
xx:40 Liverpool Lime Street. East Midlands Trains. Mostly a four-car train with 2 bike spaces in the middle of each two-car unit. Reservations are advised on these services.