Vehicle: Bicycle: Wheel
Railroad Bicycle   (+3)  [vote for, against]
An efficient means of navigating railroad tracks

WARNING: For use on abandoned tracks or by railroad employees ONLY.
Having said that, this is a bicycle with wheels on axles wide enough to fit standard railroad tracks. the forks would have to be extra-long to ensure that the pedals clear the ties, and the handlebars would haveno real steering purpose.
The advantage of this over the old-fashioned handcar is that it requires only one person to easily travel. Small "trailer" cars could also be attached behind it.
Certainly the greatest obstacle would be friction - steel on steel, like trains have, does not forgive light loads like a bicycle, especially in icy conditions. Perhaps an uneven (file-like? Or maybe magnets...?) tire surface would be necessary.
-- roleohibachi, Jan 01 2006 [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 01 2006]

Rail Bikes Galore http://www.makezine...ore_rail_bikes.html
[tcarson, Jul 25 2006]

Such a good idea must have been baked. [link] If it's any consolation it gets at least one +, baked or not I want one.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 01 2006

The link is about what I meant, except I was considering traveling centered on the rails. Don't ask me why, though, the pictured system looks easier and more efficient. I concede this round to you, captain [2 fries]!
-- roleohibachi, Jan 01 2006

This is an awesome idea. Now what you really need is a bicycle railroad.
-- Cuit_au_Four, Jan 01 2006

There's no round to concede, I wish I had thought it up in the first place so that I would have been checking my own idea. I honestly think that I may build one of these or something similar before I die. Train tracks being relatively level, a guy should be able to bike just about anywhere in his or her own country without too much effort.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 01 2006

Well let me know if you ever do, I'd love to see it! Just don't go riding on active tracks... at least, not on my account.
-- roleohibachi, Jan 01 2006

You need an account to do this?
[ goes off to try all the possible permutations of [roleohibachi's] password ]
-- normzone, Jan 02 2006

Eh... <hoity-toity>THAT'S not funny!</hoit>... let it be said that they ain't kiddin' when t'was said: always log out when on a public machine.
-- roleohibachi, Jan 02 2006

there are groups of people who go out and build these things.

you have to be careful where you ride them because it's actually illegal to even walk on railroad tracks, and you can get fined.
-- tcarson, Jul 25 2006

We hired a few of these in Sweden and went away for the day down some old railway line. It was lovely indeed.
-- wagster, Jul 25 2006

random, halfbakery