Tandem bike can boost tourism: Crookwell Heritage Railway

FULL STEAM: Chief mechanic John Bradney rides the rails while evaluating a tandem Rail Explorer. Photo: supplied.
FULL STEAM: Chief mechanic John Bradney rides the rails while evaluating a tandem Rail Explorer. Photo: supplied.

Members of the Crookwell Heritage Railway group are all set to transport a tandem bike as part of the NSW Rail Museum Models and Miniature Miniatures show this month.

CHR secretary Peter Simpson, who has been storing the rail bike in Canberra, said the bike was loaned by Rail Explorers USA.  

Rail Explorers have enabled over 60,000 patrons in four years to Ride the Rails in the USA, and are looking to present a similar opportunity in Crookwell as a first site.

Currently the only rail bike operations in Australia are by Railtrack Riders in Maydena, Tasmania.

“Pedalling a rail bike is the modern day equivalent to the hand operated trikes that existed before motorised trikes were introduced,” Mr Simpson said.

“They will give access to suitable segments of the rail corridor and heritage infrastructure to people who would otherwise not have the opportunity bother.The USA and Tasmanian experience indicates rail bikes are a significant.”

He said the CHR received “great support” for the bike at the Crookwell Potato Festival this year and via their Facebook page. 

“One lady added to the support by stating her son has cerebral palsy and cannot ride ‘normal’ bikes but would jump at this opportunity,” he said.

“The rail bike activity by the Crookwell Heritage Railway will be coordinated with our motorised trikes as an integral element of our operations.”

Attending the community session for the Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail at the beginning of the year, Mr Simpson said Riding the Rails within select segments of the rail corridor has the potential to significantly enhance the scope of tourism activities in the region. 

The CHR are using the bike to develop the operating protocols for approval by the National Rail Safety Regulator  now have the bike and are waiting for the approval of use by the National Rail Safety Regulator.

Models and Miniatures Miniatures at the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere will run from July 13 to 15.

The next CHR meeting is on July 21 at 10am in the Goods Shed.


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