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Riding the rails, on a bike. An old way to commute

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Riding the rails, on a bike. An old way to commute

Old 07-24-12, 03:13 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I've seen trucks fitted to run on the rails to repair them in the last 10-20 years.
I see them all the time. Lotta train tracks around here, though.

When a shortline around here went dormant for a couple of years I seriously considered getting a rail bike. Some of the street crossings would be tricky, though, unless the grade crossing signals' sensors were sensitive enough to pick up the bike and still in operation.

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Old 07-24-12, 03:26 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Sorry , cold shower time

Track right of way is a property issue, though, in the US..
Property of railroad corporations. trespassing applies.
Guessing that was a railway worker. Just like the trucks you see today that have adaptations for riding on rails.
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Old 07-24-12, 03:52 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by FenderTL5 View Post
I don't know if it makes a difference on trespassing, but the photo is pre-WWII era.
Train schedules were much more exact and predictable then, so I don't think he had to be as brave as one would be today.
He is probably a RR employee checking the rails.
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Old 07-24-12, 03:59 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I thought they used something like this:

Watch out for quick sand! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiUdtxe2YnU

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Old 07-24-12, 04:06 PM
  #30  
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Hahaha! I love that movie!

I was just looking at the OP pic again and that one looks tricky to ride. No flanged wheels on the bike side and steering looks fixed. Perhaps steering is fixed quarter of a degree or so towards the left rail so that the front tire is slightly steering itself onto the rail?
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Old 07-24-12, 04:24 PM
  #31  
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While it wouldn't be as adventurous as some of the ideas in this thread, Bike and Ride sounds safer.
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Old 07-24-12, 06:26 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Seems like I read somewhere that the kind posted in the OP were used by railroadmen to get to a spot on the track they needed to work on or check out, no? I've seen trucks fitted to run on the rails to repair them in the last 10-20 years.
Apparently at least some rail bikes existed for use by workers. Here is a picture of one that a local blogger took at our railway museum.
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Old 07-25-12, 03:03 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Seems like I read somewhere that the kind posted in the OP were used by railroadmen to get to a spot on the track they needed to work on or check out, no? I've seen trucks fitted to run on the rails to repair them in the last 10-20 years.
I believe I saw an early rail inspection vehicle that was a bicycle with an outrigger.

Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I thought they used something like this:

The handcar is the most famous, but they used all sorts of things, like this velocipede:


Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
You can actually hear the rails "singing". It sounds a little like someone playing a saw, but by the time it is loud enough, you're toast.
My wife and I were in Del Mar a few years ago, walking on the cliffs near the rails. My wife was on the ties when I heard the rails start to make some noise, singing and popping, and I grabbed her and pulled her away just in time. She didn't even notice the sound.
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Old 07-25-12, 03:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by TuckamoreDew View Post
Apparently at least some rail bikes existed for use by workers. Here is a picture of one that a local blogger took at our railway museum.
That design makes more sense to me since the wheels on the bike have flanges too. It looked like the bike in the first post had regular old rubber wheels.
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Old 07-25-12, 04:07 PM
  #35  
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There's a few sites around the internet for rail biking. I think most people do it on abandoned rail tracks.

http://www.railbike.com/

http://www.railriders.net/
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Old 07-25-12, 04:08 PM
  #36  
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There used to be a book at the local library called "Rail Bike". It covered a bit of the history of these types of bikes, as well as where you can ride them today (The pics of riders crossing washouts on the abandoned Dease Lake Extension, isn't something I'd try). The section I liked, was how to build your own. A sort of "Hi-Rail" for bikes. The author was inspired from a movie, where, in the opening scenes, a rider pedals a rail-bike along tracks in Australia.
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Old 07-25-12, 09:54 PM
  #37  
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More elaborate ones were called a Draisine.

Pics here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Drai...iw=997&bih=495

Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXBH-...eature=related

And here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_NDD...eature=related
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Old 07-26-12, 09:42 AM
  #38  
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wow found this youtube surfing, not bike-related, but pretty interesting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...JAczgfmHk&NR=1
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Old 07-26-12, 09:59 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
wow found this youtube surfing, not bike-related, but pretty interesting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...JAczgfmHk&NR=1
There's a bike in that video.
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Old 07-27-12, 10:57 AM
  #40  
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On lunch so I'm a little short on time but there are a ton of abandoned railroad tracks throughout the U.S. I saw a project (it might have been a kickstarter?) a few months back made by this guy who made fabrications to older framers where they could ride the rails. It was pretty similar to the bike in that photo. Maybe someday we will have a sort of path system/trail system interconnected throughout the US that is bike friendly.
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