JOHNSBURG — The picturesque rail line north of North Creek will come alive this weekend as a new “rail bike” company begins operation.
Revolution Rail Co. will begin offering trips Saturday and Sunday as a “soft opening” before beginning seven-day-a-week operation in the coming weeks.
Robert Harte, one of the founders of the company, said early reactions from the first people to use the company’s two-person and four-person, pedal-powered “bikes” have been very positive.
Those who book trips meet at the company’s headquarters at the North Creek rail depot and take a five-minute van ride to the hamlet of North River, where the bikes are located for the trip. They pedal three miles north, where the bikes are turned around and return south.
“It’s a rail line, so the grade is never too much either way. It’s a fairly flat ride,” Harte said.
One of the highlights of the trip is the jaunt across the rail trestle that crosses the Hudson River.
“The trestle bridge is dynamic,” he said. “Everyone has been beaming when they come back.”
There is also a picnic area at the turnaround spot where rail bikers stop for refreshments before the return trip. Each trip takes about two hours.
Harte pointed out the rail line was used only for freight trains over the years, so few people have run up and down the tracks. Wildlife and whitewater rafters on the Hudson River are among the sights.
Revolution Rail is contracting with Saratoga & North Creek Railway to use the line it owns north of North Creek. The train company runs tourist trains between North Creek and Saratoga Springs, but tourist trains do not use the stretch of rails where the rail bikes will run.
Trips are booked by the bike. A two-person bike is $70, and the four-person version is $135.
A similar operation has run on a tourist line in Saranac Lake, but its website indicates it will not run this summer. The industry has been growing around the country and Northeast as tourist rail lines find an alternative use for tracks.
For more information or to book a trip, go to www.revrail.com or call 251-2345.