Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Grey Ghost, Spirit of '76
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone thought of utilizing abandoned rail corridors for bugging out during a SHTF scenario?
I've tried searching for this subject before starting this thread but could not find much on it.
The following link provides a map of each state with abandoned train track lines.

http://www.abandonedrails.com/


I believe these lines would serve as expedient evacuation routes. It may be a good idea to become familar with the ones in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
I have thought about using them, when I lived in the city. Seemed like it would be a good way to bug out, though the tracks I was looking at were still in use. I did explore down the line on my dirt bike, and it was driveable, at least with a 4x4. I don't know how a small car would go.
 

·
Livin on the Edge
Joined
·
363 Posts
Its not a bad idea. RR right of ways cover most of the US and mirror many interstates and highways. However, if you have to walk on the rails or ballast.......that is a major pain. But overall if roads are plugged.......its a good idea imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
Long, straight and open. This would make you a very easy target for those who would do you wrong. I am not a fan of this idea.

If you are on the move, you need to realize that you are going to be moving through hostile terrain at all times. You need to stay invisible as much as possible. Try to think of yourself as a rich prize hiding from hostiles. Not that different than a loaded wagon going through hostile Indian country. If spotted they were sure to fall under attack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Good points everyone, however and there is always a however in life, it seems they would be great for traveling at night. They are always straight and would be level. I am not one to plan heavily on having to travel a long distance, but it is something to consider is I had to. I have great trepidation on moving in day or night. I know I am a target in the day at every step and at least at night I have as much advantage as the next guy, ok assuming he doesn't have night vision. I will still miss my Skoal!
 

·
Most Thankful Guy here
Joined
·
38,965 Posts
As a way out of town when TSHTF and the major roadways are parking lots, travel by rail would be a viable alternative. As far as being a target, not in the beginning. Easier pickings would be those on the highways creeping along. Once out of town the rails would be easy travel provided no trains are sitting on them.
________________
"FIRE IN THE HOLE"
 

·
American fearmaker
Joined
·
14,249 Posts
Anything linear is a prospective ambush kill zone. Railroad tracks, power line tracks, roads, nature trails and bridges are all examples of places where a person could easily be ambushed. What you may want to consider is to move parallel to the road or whatever but keep about 50 to a hundred yards off to one side of it. So you use the road for a guide to get from Point A to Point B but yet you don't walk into the actual ambush zone.
 

·
Numquam Succumbe
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
They play hell on the ankles after a day of hiking. I can't imagine weeks on end. I suppose that it would be the least of your worries, though. Haha. :thumb:
 

·
Cry havoc..
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Great Information. Just copied it for my BOB's thumb drive, along with specific information for my area. Thanks

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,601 Posts
make sure you check it out in detail folks, lots of those right of ways "abandoned" have been sold to private property owners who farm or hunt them now, lots have grown to impossible weed and bramble tangles you couldn't get through in a day or a week. many have been re used by local communities in a "rail to trail" conservation linear park and are used by hundreds, maybe thousands of people every day. homework, homework and more homework before you decide this is for you... don't count on what you see on a website or on paper as being reliable. get out and walk it or scope it out yourself if you plan on using it!
 

·
Team 30-30 Mem. #190
Joined
·
327 Posts
Living in an area where the “industrialization” of the US originated, I believe we have plenty of old rail and water ways to travel by. Heck, most have been redeveloped under the “Rails to Trails” program, and that’s the problem. They’re too commonly known and well traveled. And in a “mass exodus” situation I’m sure they’re going to be just as crowded with “foot travel” as the roads will be with autos. Also, after the great crowds have moved through, they’re still going to be a common route and a preferred ambush site for criminals. I’d go with some heavy clothing and maybe follow the deer trails. If society falls apart, there will be very little reason to get from point A to point B within a specific amount of time. Just go slow and travel cautiously my friend.
 

·
Psalm 23:4
Joined
·
2,891 Posts
There is some value in RR tracks as a physical map. But I think rivers are a better choice. They serve the same purpose and on top of that they are a source of food and water. Either way traveling parallel at a safe distance is a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,282 Posts
Let me ask you this (and I'm not attempting to insult your intelligence or criticize your thread) but once the roads clog up, and people cant move with anything but their feet, how many people will be looking for incognito ways to get out of dodge, especially when people get desperate and start looking toward looting your resources?

If this is your SOP then I would caution this, yes you can transverse RR tracks easily, and they route you to all the right places, however it is human nature to take the path of least resistance. If your going to move along RR tracks stay off the tracks, and parallel the tracks to keep yourself from coming in contact with potential threats. Or, move on the tracks at night, again to keep from coming in contact with potential threats and silhouetting yourself on the move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,363 Posts
You do know that most RRtracks do not go through the best parts of any town or city. I can see how they would be useful in heavy wooded country. As with anything else get a map, compare it to your plan of travel. I would be wary to follow tracks if I didn't know were they went and went through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Never really gave this a thought until I read the book "LIGHTS OUT". If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it to any prepper/survivalist.

Never rule anything out for your plan to get to your BOL. You can never assume that your original plan will work. Look at all possible options.

Certianly knowing th locations of current and abandoned rail tracks should be part of your plan.

Know where all utility right of ways are located between you and your BOL.

Get detailed topographical maps for the areas between you and your BOL.

Know locations of nature trails are between you and your BOL.

Know where your water sources are along the way.

Know any natural obstacles such as seasonal streams, creeks and rivers that could block your forward progress.

Plan on at least double the amount of time to get to your BOL under ideal circumstanes.

Practice your map reading skills and your land navigation skills.

Practice your nighttime land navigation skills.

Look for potential Safehaven locations along your bugout route.

Consider caching stuff along your bug out route to resupply for extended journeys.

Consider giving your bug out route a dry run to identify shortfalls.

Pack a pair of heavyduty cutters in your BOB to cut barb wire fences.

Practice "functioning" on a trail with gear and equipment.

Improper footwear can create major problems with an overland bugout plan.
 

·
off-grid organic farmer
Joined
·
23,954 Posts
Anything will work as a good route if it will get you there.

Keep in mind that when you bug-out, if you plan to begin growing food crops you will likely need 3 to 5 years of lead time before SHTF to get your food production up enough to feed you.

A lot of people do not plan to bug-out until after SHTF, which will be about 5 years too late.
 

·
Prepared Firebird
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
If you have thought of this......so have the bad guys. RR tracks would be a terrific ambush site. There is usually shrubbery (and often trees) close to those tracks to provide good cover. You will never see the attack coming, until it is too late. Or, they could just do it the easy way......stay concealed and pick you off with one shot, since you will be silhouetted against the night sky.

Raiders and robbers are just not as stupid as people need them to be. They will be on the secondary roads and alternate ways out of town. The only way to travel, using those routes, would be in a group. And, even then, you would probably end up fighting on more than one occasion. One person, alone, would be easy pickings.

The only "safe" way to bug out......do it BEFORE the cities and roads become death traps after a major catastrophic event.
 

·
One of the Frozen Chosen
Joined
·
250 Posts
Neat idea, I kind of thought this might be a viable way to stay on course but only if walking nearby, if possible - rather than on. I was thinking of where I grew up in Oklahoma and the rails run through woods. We do have a working railroad up here -a good one- but I linked in just to see if there were any abandoned ones in this state.
Found one ~ it's 370 air miles from Anchorage and it's 11 miles long. Guess that's not an option for us Great Landers LOL. :) But that's okay, because it's a little easier to get away from the masses up here too ~~
 

·
Renaissance Man
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
make sure you check it out in detail folks, lots of those right of ways "abandoned" have been sold to private property owners who farm or hunt them now, lots have grown to impossible weed and bramble tangles you couldn't get through in a day or a week. many have been re used by local communities in a "rail to trail" conservation linear park and are used by hundreds, maybe thousands of people every day. homework, homework and more homework before you decide this is for you... don't count on what you see on a website or on paper as being reliable. get out and walk it or scope it out yourself if you plan on using it!
I looked on there for an old track I tried to find and hike 30 years ago. It was hard to follow then, I can't imagine it's gotten any easier. It also crossed 38 creeks in 42 miles. The bridges were long gone.

Definitely do your homework.

The site is very cool though, and has lots of interesting history.

Az
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top