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Pedal an Unusual (T)Rail: A Scenic Railbike Tour Over the Hudson River

By Frantiska Blazkova

You’ve certainly heard about bicycles where you can pedal while lying down. But how about a bike that allows you to be seated comfortably while you ride it on train tracks? Opened in July last year, the Revolution Rail Co., based out of the North Creek Railroad Station Complex in the state of New York, USA, offers a scenic route through the Hudson Valley – using 19th century, now disused train tracks.

The historic tracks, once the Adirondack Branch of the D&H Railroad, which brought summer visitors and in the 1930s’ winter ski trains from New York City and Schnectady, New York, are now lend to cycling enthusiasts. You rent a rail trolley-like contraption called railbike, which you power the same as you would to get a bicycle moving – by hitting the pedals! You can choose between a two- or a four-seater models which will cost you accordingly.

Most of the tracks run through the lush Adirondack forest, so you’re travelling through a cool and fragrant green canopy with the occasional wildlife sightings. The route highlights include crossing the Hudson River via trestle bridge on the way back, which means plenty occasions for that perfect selfie. Revolution Rail Co. co-founder Michael Dupee also remarks that the forest tunnel is bound to turn even more stunning come autumn, which will paint the leaves in dizzying hues ranging from golden to red.

Revolution Rail Co. state on their website that the adventure is available to any age and ability but advise future participants to realistically asses their overall fitness as the whole 6-mile loop trip takes about 2 hours on leisure pace. The rail route features only a slight uphill grade at certain point and a refreshing stop station halfway, where the railbikes are turned around for the way back while you have lunch.


All in all, while railbikes have been a thing for some time now and the idea is not revolutionary, repurposing old freight-traffic tracks, giving them a new lease on life while giving people a wonderful active sightseeing tour through stunning natural areas certainly is.