As most developed countries around the world continue to modernize their transportation infrastructure with passenger rail, countries in North America have been abandoning railroads for over a century now, assuming that just one more lane will finally solve their traffic problems. Essentially the only upside to the abandonment of railroads has been that it’s possible to build some unique vehicles to explore these tracks and the beautiful yet desolate areas they reach, and [Cam Engineering] is using an ebike to do that along the coast of central California.

Since his vehicle only has two wheels, he has designed a custom outrigger system consisting of a front guide that leads the front wheel and keeps the bike on the tracks, and a rear support arm which allows the bike to lean slightly against the outside rail. Both outriggers retract to convenient positions when using the vehicle as a bike instead of a rail cart, and it’s quite the impressive bike at that. Details are sparse on the bicycle itself but it seems to be a custom frame built around fairly large battery and possibly 2000W or more of power in a rear hub motor. Without the pedals and bicycle drivetrain it would almost certainly make a capable electric motorcycle from the way it performs in the video below.

There are some other interesting details about this project as well, like the use of the drone as a gimballed camera mount on his outrigger which allows for some interesting camera shots a GoPro might not have been able to do as easily. He also goes into a lot of detail about the history of the rail and the central California coast for any history buffs out there. For anyone thinking this build looks a little familiar, it’s actually another iteration of his previous non-electric rail bicycle we featured in the past.

Source: https://hackaday.com/2023/04/07/riding-the-rails-by-ebike/