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    • CommentAuthorstinky pete
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012 edited
    Tomorrow I’m starting my tinkering on building myself a rail-bike. A rail-bike is a bicycle that has been modified to be able to ride on the rails of a railroad. The front wheel has a device attached to it so that the bike won’t steer off the rail while an outrigger is used to support the bike using the other rail.
    (Do an image search if you can’t picture this.)
    Anyways, anyone have experience with this or have any advice other than the obvious things like “don’t get hit by a train” or get caught trespassing and such?
    • CommentAuthorShaku
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012
    I guess i just don't understand why?
    • CommentAuthoruhler
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012
    I'm too afraid to go near railroads, i had a friend who got hit by a train, deathly afraid ever since.
    i get it: railroads go places cars don't, and they have easy grades. but where are you thinking of riding it? haven't they torn out most of the unused rails in your area?
    • CommentAuthorreza
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012
    Can you all really not seen the fun in this? I don't know your area but Atlanta has a fair amount of abandoned track that goes through some pretty interesting areas. I wouldn't worry much about trains, you can hear them a mile before you seen them and I would imagine the vibration on the track would be fairly apparent.
    There is virtually unused track from my town to the next and beyond for about another 7 miles or so where it ends for a total of about 12 miles one way. Since there is little chance that it will be converted into a multiuse trail, I figured I’d do the next best thing while satisfying my need to tinker.

    Well, I’ve got it all just about done, though I won’t know if my design will actually work till I try it. My biggest problem so far was that I must easily cross road crossings and travel through switches. This limits me to using only the top and inside one inch of each rail like the trains do, but I think I have figured out how to do this.

    I’ll try and post some pictures when I’m done.
    go balls out! a handcar style platform with a mounted wheel-less frame mounted for the drive sytem. You could go with some fixed length axels and polyurethne coated "dolly wheels" as the actual contact wheels.
    This could start a whole new industry, built the first one macGyver style, and always with a new improved protype in the wings, evolving into oversize aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber models, make sure all upgrades are incompatible with older models necessitating the purchase of an entire new system.
    WAIT!, this has already be done with road AND mountain bikes, nevermind.
    Looks like fun to build, but completely impractical in my area. Donkey Kong could have really used one of these.
    • CommentAuthorstinky pete
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2012 edited
    A few more tweaks and I think it'll work...
    Ive been looking at plans for one of these off an on for a bit on the interwebs .. there arent many unused rails around my parts . so my main concern would it would have to be light enough for a quick dismount to get out of the way of the train.
    • CommentAuthorstinky pete
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2012 edited
    Well, I’ll have you all know that I’m rather pleased with my first try at this. I figured I went about five miles out and back with only one major crash (had to look for my wallet and everything) with less than ten lesser derailments, but I think this was largely caused by the unmaintained rail line. Things such as uneven track, dirt and vegetation along the inside edges of the rails combined with friction and the occasional binding due to my design were all contributing factors. Certainly with enough time and money to through at it I’m sure this would work really well.

    All in all I think it works surprisingly well. See pics here:
    • CommentAuthorTxCyclist
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2012
    Are rails open to everyone?

    Seems like fun as long as I don't get a citation.
    Posted By: TxCyclistAre rails open to everyone?

    Seems like fun as long as I don't get a citation.

    I don’t have permission; therefore it is likely viewed as trespassing.
    • CommentAuthorTxCyclist
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2012
    Well I wish you luck then.

    The city I live in is crisscrossed by rail road tracks.

    Might be something worth looking into.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2012
    Thats cool, so it's a completely non destructive mod?
    Posted By: veggieThats cool, so it's a completely non destructive mod?

    If nondestructive mod means that I can simply unbolt the stem clamp and remove the attachments at the quick releases and use the bike as it was before, then yes.
    • CommentAuthorstinky pete
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012 edited
    The Panasonic frame is dead.
    Derailed today and the rail guide out front caught a rail tie solidly resulting in an instant stop at around 16 MPH. Result? Me over the bars but OK. Bike? Bent frame at the top tube behind the steer tube and in front of the seat tube, down tube bent at the steer tube and in front of the bottom bracket. The front tire now rests beside the water bottle. There doesn’t seem to be any other damage though.

    Stay tuned for #2…

    PS. I guess it was a destructive mod after all…
    Like Wile E. Coyote-
    Back to the drawing board!
    • CommentAuthorShaku
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
    Any after the crash pics?

    Also, maybe have the guides fully straddle the rails? would prevent derailment no?

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