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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just crossed some railway tracks today and there was a pickup truck on them. It was furnished with a set of those drop down metal wheels "rail gear" that ride right on the the tracks.



Was wondering if getting a set of these might be a good idea? Could expand your escape routes to be able to jump on and off of the tracks.

Just a thought.
 

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Bad Dog
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Just crossed some railway tracks today and there was a pickup truck on them. It was furnished with a set of those drop down metal wheels "rail gear" that ride right on the the tracks.



Was wondering if getting a set of these might be a good idea? Could expand your escape routes to be able to jump on and off of the tracks.

Just a thought.

Anyone got more info on these ??
I have tracks nearby.
 

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Leave Me Alone !
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The Railroad workers use them for checking the rail and doing maintenance. They special order the trucks, because the axle has to be narrower than a standard car or truck, to fit the rails. The wheel base cannot be as wide as a standard car or truck. The rail wheels drop down in front and rear, Lifting the front steering wheels off of the rails, but leaving the rear tires in contact with the rails to push the vehicle.

I have a friend who works for the railroad and does this stuff. He has one of the service trucks. Problem is, as long as any trains are active, you have a huge possibility of getting slammed by a train. You also have to have the right crossing to get off of the tracks without getting stuck. They have radio and computer contact with a control center, that makes sure that no trains are in route to that area, or are stopped or re-routed. Very complicated from what I understand.

My guess from the looks of my buddy's truck, is that it would be very expensive, and you would have to buy a vehicle specifically equipped for that use. The only other alternative, might be to find a used one, but I hear they do not sell these vehicles after they deadline them, for fear of people using the rails in an unauthorized manner. Another alternative might be to build some type of vehicle similar to the old manual "see-saw" crank rail carts, and power it by using some sort of engine and drive system.

Either way, using the rail right now, would result in an arrest by the Railroad Police for trespassing and unauthorized use of the rails. They FREQUENTLY patrol rails and yards nationwide and are full fledged police officers. They even write tickets for crossing in front of trains and arrest rail riders and such. However, after the TOTAL collapse of what we know as our world, I'm sure the rails would be pretty much open, except for whatever is sitting still and blocking the tracks.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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All it takes is rims with the right offset, to make the tire width fit the tracks. The rail gear kits usually come with them, or they're available through the places that offer the gear.

I can see something like this as handy in areas with abandoned rails that lead to places you might want to go. But the currently used rails tend to travel near large roadways and through major cities. Considering how hard it is to get off the rails, I think this would be a serious disadvantage.

Seems like it would be more of a way of herding yourself into throngs of refugees, with no way off the tracks to get away.
 

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Bike

I saw a guy on TV; an inventor I think, who rigged his bicycle to do something similar. Basically, the bicycle rode on one of the tracks and it was balanced with an arm that extended from the frame of his bike to the other track. The end of this arm had a wheel.

I suppose the same thing could be done with a motorcycle for someone with a little mechanical ingenuity (not me).

If there were an EMP you wouldn't have to worry about trains on the track. Otherwise an awareness of the trains had best be your top priority.
 

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Armed Border Collie
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I think this would be a great idea with a few reservations. One would be the obvious big train thing that might run you over. another would be that you are elevated all along the tracks as you travel on the right-of-ways and train trestles. Plus, you will be easily blocked as you attempt to cross roads and bridges.
 

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They special order the trucks, because the axle has to be narrower than a standard car or truck, to fit the rails. The wheel base cannot be as wide as a standard car or truck.
This is 100% false. These trucks come into my shop all the time and there is no modification to the axles what so ever. The wheels are duels in rear (with or with out the outer wheel) and a single duel type rim up front, as its all in the wheels off set, allowing the tires to match the tracks width. Big pow pow is right about the cost, it would not be worth it do install this setup. If you just want a way to use the tracks in a SHTF situation with a fully loaded truck, just buy 4 duley style rims and do not put tires on them. Once your SURE there will be no trains you can swap on the bare rims to keep you on the tracks, Ive seen it done before.
 

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2REP 4e Compagnie
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If trains are running you'll end up arrested or splat like a bug on a windshield. If they're not, you'll end up being blocked by a multitude of trains that are stopped. While most trains will pull to a siding when the crew's hours of service are up, that's not always the case, and if it's an EMP they will coast to a stop wherever they are.

During a major event railways are going to be one of the more controlled routes as that's the best way for supplies to make it cross country. Container cargo and even UPS trailers are on trains these days.

However, if there is an extreme event or EMP and the trains are all dead and you've got a diesel powered vehicle, the fuel tanks on the locomotives usually have about 2900-6500 gallons in them. Again, use caution as they are well patrolled in most areas.

I do like the suggestion for abandoned track areas though. Using those you might have a chance, though for the most part I'd rather just put up with riding alongside the tracks.
 

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Gone Galt
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{MacGyver intro in the background}

Lets give it a think, if you really wanted to - maybe you could rig something up.

I one seat job, very light, maybe a three wheel job, like a four-wheel stance with one wheel missing. Hook up a very small engine, maybe four-stroke. You could easily stop, drag it off the track, move, and get back on if you had to.

+ Bug out bag, but that's it.

The only benefit is if a track was going in a direction you wanted to go...or maybe to get out of an urban area quick...50-100 miles worth of fuel.

buggin' out in style :D: :thumb:
 

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Armed Border Collie
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{MacGyver intro in the background}

Lets give it a think, if you really wanted to - maybe you could rig something up.

I one seat job, very light, maybe a three wheel job, like a four-wheel stance with one wheel missing. Hook up a very small engine, maybe four-stroke. You could easily stop, drag it off the track, move, and get back on if you had to.

+ Bug out bag, but that's it.

The only benefit is if a track was going in a direction you wanted to go...or maybe to get out of an urban area quick...50-100 miles worth of fuel.

buggin' out in style :D: :thumb:
Start with a go cart with extended axles or a 49cc moped with a cross bar to the other side. Then add a huge gas tank. :D:
 

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I think the utility in this is for short runs where a highway is blocked or
non-existent. For example, to cross a river or gorge. Just stay on the rails long enough to cross the gorge then go back to roads.

And yes -- it's very risky if trains are running.
 

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To the surface!
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All it takes is rims with the right offset, to make the tire width fit the tracks. The rail gear kits usually come with them, or they're available through the places that offer the gear.
The difference in track between the front and rear of my truck and that of the rails of a standard railroad is well over a foot. Simple offset wheels won't do it. Also, running different offset by more than a couple of inches will severely increase the wear on your bearings and seriously affect how your vehicle handles.

Your would be better off just running the tires outside the rails - assuming your wheels and tires are large enough to allow you to get on and off the railbed. Otherwise you would do as well to drive alongside the rails on one side or the other - there is often room to do this. Or you can drive with one side of your wheels inside the rails and one outside. None of this is going to be very fast, but it is maybe faster than sitting in traffic if it gets you around that traffic.

Train tracks are something to consider, you should know them ahead of time.

As for getting the adapters to run along the tracks - as mentioned there are problems there, but another problem not mentioned is the weight of these mechanisms. Take a close look at them the next time you see one of these vehicles. I have. Not something you want to carry around all the time.
 
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