This is why I say "Don't Rip the Rails Out"

General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

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This is why I say "Don't Rip the Rails Out"

Postby hotbike » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:30 pm

Here's a good specimen of a pedal bike that runs on rails:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sp8254/3960874847/sizes/o/

I never saw on quite like this, until today.

Although I like bicycling, I really don't want to see rails torn out and sold for scrap. I believe, if you are enthusiastic about pedaling your way down an abandoned rail corridor , then build a bike with Flanged Wheels!

I don't think rail trails are any good for serious bicycling, once they are paved. The asphalt attracts to may dog-walkers, and old people who walk lackadaisically slow .

Apparently, the vehicle has rubber tires, which can be removed for rail-running:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2677/409 ... 2fa8_b.jpg

I believe these images are from this site:

http://handcar-regatta.com/

I don't think any more public money should be spent on Rail Trails. Let the bicyclists equip their bikes with flanged wheels. Of course , I hope no one takes one for a spin on active tracks.
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Re: This is why I say "Don't Rip the Rails Out"

Postby Eliphaz » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:44 pm

that's a fine piece of engineering. the spoke work on those wheels is most impressive.

The chief advantage a paved rail trail offers over a steel rail one is the ability, however cautiously , to pass the slow pokes. :wink:
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Re: This is why I say "Don't Rip the Rails Out"

Postby RedLantern » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:07 pm

I would really like to see rail-biking take off, the one major hurdle though is that as soon as the sport becomes popular, some idiot will try to ride an active freight line (or the NEC, or a subway/trolley line) and he'll be run over. Once this happens, it will be all over the news and several states will pass legislation against owning a rail bike.

Unfortunately, this is how the world works.

I can just see it now, someone sees a pair of rusty rails somewhere, decides that rust automatically means "no chance of a train whatsoever", puts in their headphones, and starts tooling down the track. As soon as they get run over, they (or their surviving family members) will sue the railroad for not putting up signs saying that trains use that track.

It's a wonderful idea in theory, and I've been wanting to modify a bike to do that for a long time. It's something that could really take off, but as I stated before, some idiot's gonna try and ride the Red Line, get run over, then some "please think of the children" politician will end up killing the sport by passing laws against it in all forms.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.
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Re: This is why I say "Don't Rip the Rails Out"

Postby hotbike » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:14 am

RedLantern wrote:I would really like to see rail-biking take off, the one major hurdle though is that as soon as the sport becomes popular, some idiot will try to ride an active freight line (or the NEC, or a subway/trolley line) and he'll be run over. Once this happens, it will be all over the news and several states will pass legislation against owning a rail bike.

Unfortunately, this is how the world works.

I can just see it now, someone sees a pair of rusty rails somewhere, decides that rust automatically means "no chance of a train whatsoever", puts in their headphones, and starts tooling down the track. As soon as they get run over, they (or their surviving family members) will sue the railroad for not putting up signs saying that trains use that track.

It's a wonderful idea in theory, and I've been wanting to modify a bike to do that for a long time. It's something that could really take off, but as I stated before, some idiot's gonna try and ride the Red Line, get run over, then some "please think of the children" politician will end up killing the sport by passing laws against it in all forms.


Ahh, yes, I think your prediction is all too likely to come true. Maybe we should keep quiet about rail bikes. After all, the cyclist has no way of knowing whether a rail line is active or not, unless he talks to one of those "train nuts", I mean railfans. (note my sarcasm).

But still, I wish these folks fair riding. And I think they have an advantage over other bicycles , that they can't get flat tires.
I hope railfans are keeping track of which rail lines are abandoned (no pun intended), and if we see some mechanically inclined bicycler near a main line, we can steer him in the right direction, of finding some abandoned track to ride his contraption on.

Let's hope these railbikes don't get banned, they look like a lot of fun.
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