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Discussion Starter #1
I have to confess a picture posted in another thread showing a guy riding a modified bicycle on the railroad tracks rekindled my interest in this concept. When I was a kid we lived near the railroad tracks and I periodically would see an old guy riding one of these. We used to go over to the tracks and talk to him. He lived about 50 miles away and rode his rail bike into town when he needed something. I wanted to build one of these in the worst way when I was a kid. Since most of the railroad track in this country was still in use by trains, my Dad said no, and so it didn't happen. But, the idea still has some appeal to me. I'll post a picture or two of what a rail bike is along with some links for any of y'all that might find building one of these interesting. I always thought it would be a great way to get back into places where no one goes to hunt, and it would make getting your game back out of the woods a whole lot easier than dragging it or packing it out on your back!









Railriders Wheels Page

Bentley RAILBIKE - railbikes & railbiking


Railway velocipede | MAKE


http://makezine.com/2008/06/02/rail-runner-make-a-cart-t/
 

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Unless the tracks are abandoned be prepared to pay some hefty fines, and don't be surprised by 70 MPH freight trains.
 

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Not for me. I am afraid of trains.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unless the tracks are abandoned be prepared to pay some hefty fines, and don't be surprised by 70 MPH freight trains.

Yeah, I don't think riding one of these on an active rail is a good idea, but there are thousands of miles of abandoned track all over the US and a quick search of the net will help you find them.
 

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Interesting.
 

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Interesting... Well since im not terribly concerned about trains or fines...
where I live theres nothing but long railway tracks in every direction. Ive thought about building a small motorized version of one of these. Perhaps like the 4 wheel picture. A self powered one had not occurred to me. I was thinking about this because the tracks that run from town to town here through the mountains are always immaculately maintained even in the worst winter conditions. A good quick scenic way to get around. The only thing keeping me from it is... Theres no place I really want to go lol.
 

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I love trains. Just as long as the rail is rusty I might give it a try.

The town I grew up in was very reliant on rail freight. Actually that is one of the things that has kept the down going for the past 30+ years! You could literally get blocked in the heart of the town if all the crossings had trains on them! In the last 10 years or they finally built over passes for the rail crossings.
 

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As I recall, one of the upper mid-west states had only two motor vehicles registered back some 100 plus years ago. Wouldn't you know it, they collided at an intersection in a small town that had never seen automobiles before. So I can easily imagine a couple of homemade pedaled contraptions like these on a section of abandoned track that hadn't seen traffic in several decades, meeting nose-to-nose in the middle of nowhere and arguing over whose is lighter and should be manhandled off the tracks so the other can get past.

PS: I like that yellow four-wheeled device!
 

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I bet NS would have a fit!
 

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Many branch line and short line tracks have maybe 2-3 trains a week as all the train traffic using them, to bring as few as three to 10 cars a trip into an area on the mainline. These are usually not very well maintained and run at speeds usually not exceeding 30 mph if that much. I know Lubbock used to have branch lines running to Seagraves, Crosbyton, Lamesa and Levelland. Private companies bought the Levelland and Seagraves lines when the A.T. & S.F. shut them down and still operate those. Track and cross ties were removed on the Crosbyton and Lamesa lines and the RY Co. right of way sold to farmers with contiguous farms at a low price.

When I worked for the A.T. & S.F., my team (two people) had a small motorcar we could load onto the top of the bed of a pick-up for use where right of way roads were not there or impassable. Ours was a one cylinder to reduce weight when loading it, but it would still do close to 40 mph and we burned drip gas. You will notice the handles on either side of of the radiator, which would slide out to give leverage when setting the car on the rails or taking it off, at what was called a "set off' area or at a road crossing. We had a crank on the side for starting the engine, and to have reverse, you changed the spark and ran the engine backwards. This was 1970-71 for me. The longest motorcar run I ever made was from Winslow to Flagstaff and back to Winslow during a union strike and I was patrolling the track looking for damage or problems, which was normally the duty of the track supervisor.

motorcar.jpg engine.jpg

There is a national organization that rides and restores these.

 

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i like it! of course i have always liked the idea of going off the beaten trail. I want to kayak small creeks all the way to the main rivers around here. Like a mini Lewis & Clark adventure! .... Now where can i find myself a nice looking Sacajawea! Lol

Creek
 
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Oh the trouble we could have got in with a rail rider when I was a kid. All the tracks around us were used several times a day, don't think I would have tried to use one, then again we did some pretty stupid things.
 

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well, a quick google search shows that i dont have any abandoned tracks near me... or if they are, they are buried and a moto bike would be better than the rail rider... no Stand By Me recreations by me and my friends! lol
 

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Remember 4' 8 1/2"
 

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The railroads in this next of the woods are not bashful about filing trespassing charges either.
They even have their own police forces on radio call away.
 
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