With effect from 05 January 2015, a new rule has gone into effect — passengers will no longer be able to carry bicycles onboard Chinese railway trains. This applies to both “full” bikes and folded bikes.
It will also be against the rules to carry anything which is detrimental to public health, obstructs free passage inside trains or at stations, or likely to damage trains. Also, pets will generally no longer be accepted for carriage by passengers.
These bans were first applied on a few trains around Greater Beijing, after accidents raised some concern. The rules are now valid nationwide (but are good only on the mainland).
If you will need to transport bulky items, remember that there is always China Railways Goods Services to turn to. Simply follow signs labelled “中铁快运” (China Railways Express Logistics) to place an order.
If you were thinking of doing a trip of China by bike, Tracking China suggests you arrange your journey in such a way that you pick up and travel by bikes in different cities, and get around the country by train without your bike. Or, you could always ask China Railways Express Logistics to get your bike around the country for you.
Ask at your railway station if special rules apply for bikes on trains to or from Hong Kong or an overseas destination (eg Russia, Vietnam, etc).