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 Post subject: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:55 pm
Posts: 81
Seems that rail bikes are popping up all over the place. I am involved with an organization that desires to add these to the operation.

I am told there are three manufacturers.

Rail Explorers. Bikes are actually manufactured in South Korea. Found the manufacturer but they will not return emails. I am told theirs is proprietary.

Rail Riders out of Leadville, CO.

Is there a third anyone is aware of? Google searches have not helped; yet.

Thanks,

Dale Grice


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 681
Location: Byers, Colorado
We had rail bicycles in Guatemala, 3 foot gauge, with 4 wheels, assigned to the telegraph linemen. These haven't been used in 25 years or so, and they must have been 50 years old back then. I believe they were made by the Buda company.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1923
Location: Southern California
Dale Grice wrote:
Seems that rail bikes are popping up all over the place. I am involved with an organization that desires to add these to the operation.
I would recommend that your organization contact existing sites on which Rail Explorers, etc. operate and find out what their experience has been with both the firms doing this and with the concept. Find out what the site's investment/involvement has been and what the return/income has been.

Also visit existing locations and participate with your eyes, ears and mind open.

Consider the options of ownership or being a location where Rail Explorers conducts its operation.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Henderson Nevada
I have spoken to Dale... I host Rail Explorers (REX) at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City. We have partnered with them for 4+ years, successfully.

The REX bike is steel frame, wielded, steel wheels, with a tray under the guest's feet. The chain sprokets and brakes are motorcycle based. These are built in South Korea. REX has an exclusive contract with the designer/builder for their use in North America and Australia/New Zealand. Their model is for them to operate the bikes, ) with their staff, their reservation system, their promotion program) not sell or lease them. In the US they currently have active operations in Southern Nevada, in Rhode Island, and the Catskills. They have two new locations opening. I will let them announce those.

The alternative, which is built by at least three other companies, as well as by individuals, is square aluminum tube frame, bolted, with a engineering plastic wheels with most seem to use bicycle sourced chains and sprockets. They have been operated by different companies in Oregon, on the CA coast, in Virginia City Nevada, and in Up State NY (and likely in other places.) The owner of one of these companies cites their very light weight as a safety feature.

I am happy to answer questions about our experience with REX. I have spoken to people with the Aluminum frame bike, and have ridden one... I haven't worked with any of those companies.

On our railroad, they are treated as "other on track vehicles" operated under form B protection to maintain distance, and REX staff is required to take our part 243 safety training.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:33 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 271
There are at least three makers of railbikes....
There's a company in China that has made some with steel wheels and various safety appliances, like floors, chain covers, etc...
I know a guy that has imported a few.
I'm pretty sure he will lease them, etc. to you... or perhaps partner like RailExplorers...
Railriders seems to be only building them, but he is kind of an odd guy and has been hard to deal with according to several people I've talked to...
PM me and I can put you in touch with my guy, if you're interested...


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Northern WV
Don't forget the Buffalo Creek Trail Railbikes in WV. They travel over a portion of the old Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad.

http://buffalocreektrail.com/buffalo-cr ... ation.html

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
I too have a friend who has imported a number of rail bikes made in China. They are substantially better built than the ones shown on the BC&G website. His have substantial gauge web flooring, all steel construction, disc brakes etc.

It works best where the entire trip is on a slight down grade and takes about 90 minutes to complete.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1999
Location: Strasburg, PA
co614 wrote:
It works best where the entire trip is on a slight down grade and takes about 90 minutes to complete.
Cumbres Pass to Chama would be a fun trip, at least until the brakes burned out. People along the track could note the Doppler effect as you went by...

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1456
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Kelly Anderson wrote:
Cumbres Pass to Chama would be a fun trip, at least until the brakes burned out. People along the track could note the Doppler effect as you went by...


You mean the screaming of the riders, Kelly?


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 309
Now offered out of Frostburg, MD on the WMSR trackage...

https://tracksandyaks.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5985
Location: southeastern USA
I see nothing about Yaks there.... do they use that Yaks to haul the bikes back up hill?

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1923
Location: Southern California
Dave wrote:
I see nothing about Yaks there.... do they use that Yaks to haul the bikes back up hill?

At Boulder City after the rail bikers get to the far end of their ride a short train is dispatched to provide transportation of the patrons and to tow the rail bikes back to the museum site. While waiting for the return train the patrons have refreshments available.

ADDED NOTE:
The grade is steep enough that the rail bikes are used in only the one direction.

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Last edited by Brian Norden on Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:02 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Bucks County, PA
When the Rail Explorers offered the trips for a summer along the Wilmington & Western Railroad in Delaware, they were round-trips from the NVF factory area in Yorklyn to the Mt. Cuba picnic grove and return. Everyone got off and enjoyed a break while each of the railbikes were turned (via a small turning mechanism) for the trip back. The return trip back had a slight upgrade climb but nothing terrible.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:15 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 817
While not truely related to preservation I am watching this "rail bike" thing with interest. As usual late to the party on the subject. But from the little bits and pcs I am hearing it may be a supplement to museums who are struggling? If this is what it takes to get non railfan or non history types to come to your RR it might be a good shot in the arm? I can see the appeal to many people and families as a really cool and out of the ordinary experience. So I am watching to see who opens up to the idea and who continues on the same old path with with old tried and true results?

I know my response is not answering or contributing to the OP's questions and hope I will be forgiven. But I am new to the railbike thing, but have heard positive results though second hand? Don't see it as my cup of tea but I find it rather exciting possibility from a business perspective for bringing people/tourists to your RR. Hope for more exchange on RYPN on this subject. A prospective manager once said "I'll promote midget mud wrestling if that will bring business to the museum". A bit extreme but amusing to me. Point being this could be a good thing and maybe not, but I find it an exciting way to bring a whole new segment of people to your museum or business. Hope this thread continues so I can learn from it. Regards, John.

PS if there have been other threads on rail bikes I must of missed them and hope I am not asking for a duplicate thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail bikes (slightly off topic???)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Northern WV
John Risley wrote:
PS if there have been other threads on rail bikes I must of missed them and hope I am not asking for a duplicate thread.


It's been a long time, but here is another thread.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=38540&hilit=rail+bikes

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