Can anyone tell me which counties have employed rail bikes in their armed forces? I remember seeing pictures of soldiers riding the rails on bikes, but cannot recall any details of them.


Rail biking on abandoned rail tracks!

A railbike

A rail bike set to go!

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    Welcome to Bicycles @Ken. Interesting question. While I do think it's on-topic for this site, you could try History if you don't get traction here. But please don't cross-post!
    – andy256
    Jun 28, 2016 at 4:54
  • That looks very interesting - do you have one of these bikes with a rail kit? Nowdays I expect a MTB would simply ride over the sleepers and use the shocks to smooth the ride, so I strongly doubt any armed force uses this.
    – Criggie
    Jun 28, 2016 at 5:15
  • youtube.com/watch?v=ShbC5yVqOdI#t=186
    – alex
    Jun 28, 2016 at 7:48
  • @KenGraham Cross posting is when we post the same item in more than one place.
    – andy256
    Jun 28, 2016 at 23:27
  • Here's a place they still use them - flekkefjordbanen.no
    – Nic
    Jun 29, 2016 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


From the Military History Journal (Volume 4 No 1 - June 1977) there is an article entitled BICYCLES IN THE ANGLO-BOER WAR OF 1899-1902, by D.R. Maree, which seems to fit this question.

The War Cicycle.

The 'War Cycle' carried several men on the coupling-framework in addition to the eight riders, could be fitted with a Maxim gun, and was capable of a speed of over 48 kmh. Photo: Africana Museum

A special 'War Cycle' was built for use on railway lines, and a prototype of this 8-man bicycle can be seen at Fort Klapperkop Museum. It was introduced into South Africa by the Royal Australian Cycle Corps and had a detachable rim which was fitted to the pneumatic tires, enabling it to be used on rails. When the rim was removed the bicycle could be used on normal roads. These cycles were used for reconnaissance, for carrying despatches, checking the railway line for demolition charges, and also for removing the wounded from a skirmish taking place near a railway.

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