Railbiking silk road?

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Railbiking silk road?

Post by bezdomny »

Hi, wanted to put a question to the forum if anyone knows about how heavily trafficked the railways are and if there are any abandoned railways that we could go railbiking on?

Railbikehttp://youtu.be/P_HHJL8BAww?list=UUkN1F ... m1M9s9vjHw
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Re: Railbiking silk road?

Post by steven »

Yes, I think Central Asia could be a very good place for railbiking. There is no rail traffic between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan since a few years. Railroads in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan see very few traffic anyway or have halted completely since better roads have become available.
So, prime railbiking railways imo, thinking of traffic and scenery are
•Osh – Andijan
•Dushanbe – anywhere
•Bishkek – Balykchy
I wouldn’t do it in Uzbekistan, authorities will be the most difficult there. In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, more malleable.
Afghanistan would also be a prime place, but it is far too dangerous to attempt in my opinion.
See the railway map https://caravanistan.com/wp-content/upl ... nistan.gif and the train pages of Taj and Kyrg for more info
Please let us know if you follow up on the idea, would love to see a video. Very interesting!
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Re: Railbiking silk road?

Post by trikolka »

I found this old post and these pictures
while looking for something else (possibility to travel by bike and carry the bike on a train in some regions).

I dont know if this "railbiking" project ever succeded, but if anybody is interested, be aware that the spacing between the 2 rails is different from the european standard (1435mm) in all former Soviet Union (1520mm).

Some railbiking cyclists built clever design so that they can adjust spacing and ride, carry their "rail-bike" easily, and some can even ride both on road or rails. Seems cool !
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Re: Railbiking silk road?

Post by Christian77 »

In Tajikistan the railway crossings and bridges often have a guard on duty who works for the railways. I have no idea what he'll think about it. I walk across rail bridges in the south of the country, and you have to ask nicely (unless you are a local he sees everyday). But recently they have gotten stricter because of "accidents" (read: suicides that families and authorities try to pass off as accidents). For example, they'll tell you to walk on the dirt road that goes parallel to the tracks, not on the actual tracks. And this is in an area that sees one train per day.

I really have no idea what will happen when the guard sees you biking down the tracks...
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Re: Railbiking silk road?

Post by Kalpazan »

I think not a single official will take the risk and let you ride on the rails, if they are in use (even once per day/week/month). Although, if you speak Russian and you are really nice to him you might have a chance. Other option is to have folding outriggers and just ride around those "checkpoints"...

Anyway, it is very interesting project and I'd love if you share your story after that. Good luck!
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Re: Railbiking silk road?

Post by Milad »

You should also, always keep in mind that there may be freight trains on any line, including those closed to passenger services (e.g. Osh - Andijan). So e.g. riding in a tunnel or on a bridge without having spoken to a guard before might be dangerous.
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