New railway bikes bring fun to City of Noblesville


Nickel Plate Express celebrated its new railbike rides during a May 30 VIP event.

Located in Forest Park, Nickel Plate Express is an educational nonprofit that provides a family-fun experience to preserve the railroad history within northern Hamilton County.

According to Nickel Plate Express, the railbikes are “specifically designed to sit on the rails of the tracks, and each bike seats up to four passengers.” The bikes are powered by foot, and the trail runs parallel to the train tracks that are still operational, creating a more authentic rider experience.

Two different tours are offered. The first, White River Family Cruise, is an hour-and-a-half ride that allows families and tourists to explore downtown Noblesville. The ride is 20 minutes to downtown and 20 minutes coming back and costs $30 for one person or $109 for four people.

The second tour, Forest Park Rail Adventure, is a two-hour, 8-mile round trip through the woods of northern Hamilton County. The cost is $45 for one person or $129 for four people.

Nickel Plate Express Executive Director Emily Reynolds, who led the project, said early feedback has been positive.

“We’ve had people come from five hours away just to drive these bikes,” Reynolds said. “It’s really exciting to be a leader in this industry for something that nobody else does (in the state).”

Reynolds presided over the May 30 VIP event, which included officials from Indiana communities such as Noblesville Deputy Mayor Matt Light and Tipton Mayor Kegan Schmicker.

The project began in 2017 and took six years to complete. Reynolds said the goal was to create an additional level of tourism by using the open train rails to showcase the city and what Indiana has to offer. She said one of the design challenges was putting the bikes on the rails.

“Each bike weighs 260 pounds, and moving eight separate bikes onto the track was quite difficult,” Reynolds said. “However, once that task was done, the reward paid off.”

Of those enjoying the new experience was Hamilton County Tourism President Brenda Myers, who said she has seen Reynold’s idea grow, especially in the past year.

“Words cannot express how much I appreciate Emily,” Myers said. “This is a brilliant idea. You’re in the perfect location, in the perfect park. What an amazing experience.”

Myers has volunteered to oversee the project. She said she is proud to see the work pay off.

According to Myers, railbikes have been a growing national trend for tourism, with states such as Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and now Indiana offering them.

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