Explore Indiana’s Rails | The Nickel Plate Express Introduces Railbiking Adventures

The Nickel Plate Express Introduces Railbiking Adventures

There’s a new and unique way to experience the beauty of Indiana’s historic Nickel Plate line. Embark on a one-of-a-kind adventure on the Nickel Plate Express Railbike—an innovative mode of transportation that promises an unforgettable journey along the railroad tracks of the Nickel Plate line.

The Nickel Plate Express Railbike represents a groundbreaking addition to Indiana’s recreational offerings. As the first of its kind in the state and one of the few available in the entire Midwest, these specially designed Rail Gliders are set to revolutionize outdoor exploration. Manufactured in Pennsylvania, these family-friendly vehicles resemble “dune buggies” and are built to withstand the rigors of the railroad tracks.

Emily Reynolds, Executive Director of Nickel Plate Express, expressed excitement about the railbike program, stating, “During warmer months, we wanted to offer a one-of-a-kind experience in Indiana. This program seemed like the perfect complement to our regular rail excursions.” The railbike adventures promise a unique way to connect with Indiana’s history and natural beauty.

A Railway Adventure for All Ages

The Nickel Plate Express Railbike can accommodate up to four passengers, with the option to add two additional seats for very young children. Whether traveling north or south from Forest Park, riders can embark on scheduled tours ranging from 45 minutes to two hours, providing flexibility for different preferences and schedules.

The offerings include two distinct experiences: the Forest Park Rail Adventure and the White River Family Cruise. The Forest Park Rail Adventure is a two-hour journey departing north on the rail line, offering riders the opportunity to explore the scenic landscapes along the route. The White River Family Cruise provides a 45-minute ride, with a 60-minute layover in downtown Noblesville for shopping or dining.

For those interested in pricing, single seats for the Forest Park Rail Adventure are priced at $45, while an entire quad bike rental costs $129. Similarly, single seats for the White River Family Cruise are priced at $30, with a whole quad bike rental available for $109. With affordable options for individuals and groups, the railbike adventures cater to a wide range of participants.

Adults up to 6’4″ in height,  and children of all ages are welcome to participate. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Harnesses are available for toddlers, and infants under the age of two may ride securely strapped to an adult in an infant carrier.

Despite the slight incline on northbound tracks, the railbikes have been rigorously tested to ensure they are manageable and enjoyable for riders of all levels. With trained staff members accompanying each excursion, riders can embark on their journey with confidence and peace of mind.

To plan your summer adventure on the Nickel Plate Express Railbike, reservations are recommended and can be made through NickelPlateExpress.com. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride along the historic Nickel Plate line or a family-friendly excursion through Indiana’s scenic landscapes, the railbike adventures promise an unforgettable experience for all who embark on this one-of-a-kind journey.

Rail Bike FAQs

What is a railbike?

Nickel Plate Express Railbikes are high-quality railbikes manufactured in Pennsylvania by Rail Gliders. The family-friendly, pedal-powered bikes are designed to safely run on top of the rails of the existing Nickel Plate railroad tracks where the Nickel Plate Express operates, departing from Forest Park. Railbikes seat up to four and are safe for all ages. The more people who can pedal, the easier it is to
maneuver, but the bikes are designed for ease of operation.

Who can ride railbikes?

Railbikes are versatile and easy to ride for people of all ages and abilities—everyone from small children to adults up to 6’4″. Rail Glider’s seats are adjustable, even while sitting in them. Children can ride railbikes with appropriate adult guidance. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the railcar, however. All riders must be secured safely in a seat of their own. Harnesses are available for toddlers. Infants under the age of two may ride strapped securely to an adult in an infant carrier.

How do railbike tours work?

Reservations are recommended. All tours depart together and are led by a trained tour guide. Railbikes can be rented as a group or by individual seats. Participants maintain a distance of about 500 feet between railbikes. The railbikes are designed to turn their seats, so once the designated northern- or southern-most point is reached, the seats are turned for the return trip. For excursions into downtown
Noblesville, railbikes rest at the rail terminus until the return trip when the seats are turned for the northbound trip. This means the experience is round trip and passengers return to their starting point. Tour lengths vary. See reservations for more information.

Who else will be on the tracks?

Nickel Plate Express Railbikes will be the only operators for the tour. As such, no train movement will occur at the same time when railbikes are in use. Daily coordination within the organization ensures all parties are aware of the schedule for both railbikes and train operations for maximum safety.

What is the weather policy?

Nickel Plate Express Railbikes operate in most weather conditions, including rain and on cooler or hotter days, as long as it is deemed safe. Railbike tours proceed in light to moderate rain but exclude heavy rain or threatening weather such as lightning. Staff reviews weather radar before each tour and has access to

Hamilton County Emergency Management alerts. Should continuous downpour or adverse weather conditions be expected, the railroad may opt to cancel or delay departure until conditions improve. Due to the unpredictable nature of thunderstorms, a decision to cancel a tour for this reason is typically made approximately 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Should the tour be canceled for
weather-related issues, participants will be offered a full refund.

Customers who choose to cancel due to weather are subject to a cancellation fee, so they should be mindful when booking that railbikes is an outdoor activity and may be exposed to the elements including light rain, wind, heat, and cool temperatures.

How are railbikes tickets purchased?

Reservations are strongly recommended. Space is limited and walk-in tickets are not guaranteed. Tickets can be purchased per seat or for all four seats on the railbike. There is a discount when purchasing the entire bike. If individual tickets are purchased, other passengers may be seated in that railbike.

What should I wear?

Passengers should review the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Since these tours take place outdoors and the railbikes are exposed to the elements, comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that is suitable for hiking or cycling is best. Closed-toed shoes are advised for convenience and safety.

Is there a place to put my things?

Each railbike is equipped with a small basket for bags and other items. Larger items should be stored in the vehicle you drove. Passengers should bring bottled water. There will be bottles of water to purchase at the railroad store if these are forgotten. Passengers may bring a snack to enjoy on the journey but please gather all trash or empty bottles and leave the railbike and the nearby environment litter free. If conditions are sunny, passengers should consider applying sunscreen before departure.

Learn more at Nickelplateexpress.com.

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