Railbikes at the Nickel Plate Express: A Unique Family-Friendly Adventure in Noblesville (Review)

We love all things trains here at Indy’s Child, so we were thrilled to hear about the Nickel Plate Express’ new railbikes. We got a special preview before their official opening, and we brought two kids along to test them out!

Arrival and Preparation

We arrived at the Nickel Plate Express in Noblesville, Indiana, and checked in at Hobbs Station. After signing a waiver, we headed toward the tracks. The friendly staff gave us a safety briefing and an overview of the railbikes.

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Rail Bikes at the Nickle Plate Express

The Railbike

Each bike accommodates four riders: two in the front and two in the back. Our group of two moms and two kids (ages 3 and 5) had a mom and kid on each side to balance the pedaling. The staff helped us adjust the seats and buckle everyone in.

The kids opted to sit cross-legged, which was perfectly fine. Even though the five-year-old could probably pedal, it ensured no accidental foot-pedal collisions.

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Nickel Plate Express Railbikes

Our Rail Biking Journey

We were off on our rail biking adventure! Pedaling was surprisingly easy. Initially, I was concerned about only two of us pedaling, but it was effortless.

Our journey took us from Hobbs Station to downtown Noblesville and back. The downhill stretch towards downtown allowed us to coast and enjoy the unique railroad view. We passed through wooded areas and over two bridges, including over the White River, which was a highlight. The trip took about 15-20 minutes each way on the railbikes.

Nickel Plate Express railbikes
Nickel Plate Express railbikes
Nickel Plate Express railbikes
Nickel Plate Express railbikes

Downtown Noblesville Stop

Upon reaching downtown Noblesville, we disembarked so the staff could turn the bikes around. This involved simply flipping the seats, not removing the entire bike from the tracks.

We took the opportunity to visit Alexander’s on the Square, a charming old-fashioned ice cream parlor that fits perfectly with downtown Noblesville’s atmosphere. Typically, you’d have about 45 minutes to explore downtown, with its many shops and restaurants.

ice cream
alexanders ice cream noblesville
alexanders ice cream noblesville

Return Journey

After our ice cream treat, we headed back to the bikes, buckled up, and started our return to Hobbs Station. The slight incline required a bit more effort, but with two moms pedaling, it was still manageable.

During the return trip, we switched seats to let everyone experience the front-row view.

riding railbikes in nobelsville nickle plate

Final Thoughts

Arriving back at Hobbs Station, we were ready to sign up for the 8-mile tour! Our quick trip was enjoyable and helped us gauge how the kids would handle the railbikes. They were so engaged with the scenery and the unique experience that they could easily manage the two-hour, 8-mile trip.

We were pleasantly surprised by how easy the bikes were to pedal. I believe even one adult could comfortably pedal the bike.

Overall, this was an incredibly cool and unique experience. We’re thrilled this opportunity is now available in Noblesville. We give it a 10/10 and highly recommend everyone try it out!

For more information and to book your railbike adventure, visit nickelplateexpress.com/railbike-rides.

Railbikes nickle plate express

What is a Railbike?

Railbikes are pedal-powered vehicles that travel along railroad tracks. The Nickel Plate Express uses high-quality railbikes from Rail Gliders in Pennsylvania. These family-friendly bikes are designed to fit on the rails and can seat up to four passengers, offering a new perspective on the rail line for all ages.

Railbikes nickle plate express

What Tours Does Nickle Plate Express offer?

Nickel Plate Express offers two distinct rail biking adventures:

  • Forest Park Rail Adventure: Embark on a scenic 8-mile journey through the woodlands and farmland of Northern Hamilton County. This longer tour is perfect for nature enthusiasts seeking a more immersive experience.
  • White River Family Cruise (what we did): This shorter, family-friendly adventure takes you on a delightful 15-20 minute (each way) ride to downtown Noblesville, including a picturesque crossing over the White River. It’s a great option for families with young children or those looking for a quicker excursion.

Find more information about tour options here.

Railbikes nickle plate express

Where is Nickle Plate Express located?

Nickel Plate Express is located in Noblesville, Indiana. You can find the boarding area at 825 Forest Park Drive, within Forest Park in Noblesville, just north of the three-way stop where Hobbs Station at Forest Park Depot is situated. This location serves as the primary departure and return point for all train rides offered by the Nickel Plate Express.

Wendy Hasser
Wendy Hasser
Wendy has been the digital publisher of Indy's Child Magazine since 2011. She loves exploring Indy with with her husband, two kids, and a big group of nieces and nephews.

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