A Saranac Lake, New York company has told multiple media outlets that they hope to bring their pedal powered vehicles, that ride on railroad tracks, to Newport and Aquidneck Island.

Rail Explorers, which currently operates a rail bike operation in Delaware and the Adirondacks, told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on October 6th that they will be ceasing operations in the Adirondacks at the end of October and “will open a division in Ulster County in the Catskill area next year and also hopes to have a division in Newport, Rhode Island”.  (Read MoreRail Explorers to end Adirondack operations)

Seven Days VT reported back in July that Rail Explorers is “exploring yet more options in Newport, R.I., which they hope to finalize by the end of August.” (Read More: Pedaling the Rail Trail in Saranac Lake )

“A rail explorer is a pedal powered vehicle that rides on railroad tracks. They have 4 steel wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, pedals for each seat, and are comfortable, fun and easy to ride. Although the rail explorers require pedalling, the magic of steel wheels on steel rails makes the experience very different from riding a regular bicycle. There is no need to carefully watch the road ahead, there is no need to steer and riding is hands-free – making it easy to take photographs and video as you roll along. Choose either the Tandem Rail Explorer (2 seats) or Quad Rail Explorer (4 seats) for your ride. Single rider ‘Jumpseats’ are also available,” is how Rail Explorers website explains a rail explorer.

Quad Explorer and Tandem Explorer | Photo via Rail Explorers USA

The only train tracks that could be used in Newport and Aquidneck Island currently run up the west side of Aquidneck Island, known as the “Newport Secondary Line”, which is owned by the state of Rhode Island.

Regarding operating on tracks that trains also use, Rail Explorers explains on their website that their “staff co-ordinate closely with the railroad managers to ensure that there are no other vehicles on the rails during our operations.”

The summer of 2015 represented the first time their rail explorers had been ridden in the United States, and “was the culmination of 3 years of hard work and preparation”.

In New York, Rail Explorers offers tandems, which can hold two passengers (for $75 per trip); and quads, which hold four riders (for $125 per trip).

All current Rail Explorers tours have a trained guide at the front and in the last rail explorer. Tours depart on a set schedule, but all riders are spread out, with up to 300 feet between riders in front and behind. The front and rear guides ensure that everyone arrives safely, but the distance between the bikes allows everyone to go at their own pace and enjoy the magic of riding the rails in solitude.

What’sUpNewp has reached out to Rail Explorers for comment, our e-mail and phone call has not yet been responded to.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.