Rail bikes de la Molignée (Wallonia - Belgium)

This was the very main reason why we planned Namur in Summer while we already visited Dinant in Winter. I've seen pictures of this in the Namur Tourism brochure and I was sold! I had to go there but all the greenery I saw the pictures wouldn't have been there when I visited Dinant. So finally, we waited for summer and there we were!

Whole of Belgium was extremely well connected by trains! However in course of time, some of the lines got defunct, esp. after everyone started owning cars. So today, some of those lines are being used for tourism, as Railbikes!


The Railbikes are bikes which can be pedalled by 2 people, plus can seat 2 more people. There are 3 starting points and the whole biking can be 6, 8 or 14 km long with Falaën as midpoint. We took the 8km route (Warnant to Falaën & back) since we had limited time plus we had Atyudarini with us, in my back in babycarrier. She got freaked out with the sound and coz it was an absolutely new, weird experience. However half-way through, she felt better and by the end she was already asleep!!!

Its an incredibly amazing experience of biking across bridges and through tunnels. The greenery all around was just pleasing! I can definitely say, the whole terrain would be all the more magical in Autumn! There is a small biking road that runs along the rail line and we met quite a few bikers, right from senior citizens to kids riding here!

The other direction Falaën to Maredsous Gare & back (6km) is shorter but a bit of upward slope and needs more effort pedaling, which I would have loved to do, but with Atyudarini, it may not have been very pleasant. If you have an entire day, ofcourse do the whole loop of both these trails together  (Warnant to Maredsours Gare & back -14km). Kids can be a part of railbiking by either fixing the carseat in the passenger area or by using babywearing. A bit older kids can sit by themselves in the passenger area and kids about 6 yrs are considered adults. Totally 4 adults can drive 1 railbike.


P.S: Click here to know what I wore in Namur

Timings & Entry Tickets:
First trip & last trip at 10 AM and 4 PM in winters & 6:30 otherwise 
Price for 1 leg of the journey: €18 / railbike (upto 4 persons)
Price for both routes together: €36 / railbike (upto 4 persons)
Can be booked online via draisines.online

Since there is only 1 rail line, the onwards & return journey starting times are fixed, so that, you know, 2 bikes don't stand opposite to each other, half way through!!!
Here are the starting timings:
Falaën  - 11:00-11:30, 13:00-13:30, 15:00-15:30, 17:00-17:30 
Warnant - 10:00-10:30, 12:00-12:30, 14:00-14:30, 16:00-16:30

One leg of the journey onwards & return takes 1:30 to 2:00 hrs. 
Both legs together takes about 3:30hrs

To Stay:
Hotels at all price points are available in Namur & Dinant.
Check out my reviews of Hotel Les Tanneurs in Namur and La Merveilleuse in Dinant.

To Get There:
Falaën - 82 Rue de le Gare 5522 Falaën
Warnant - 116 Rue de la Molignée, 5537 Warnant
On Google Maps - Warnant, Falaën

Public transport: There are only 3 buses everyday (except Sunday) from Dinant. It is a bit of a challenge to get here by bus with the fixed departure timings of the rail-bikes! However it is possible with precise planning. If you depend of public transport, you'll have to visit here on a weekday or Saturday. 

TEC Bus no: 35; Departure from Dinant Gare (Dinant Railway Station). Takes 15-25 mins.

Weekdays: 
Take the first bus at 1:07PM and you can reach Warnant around 1:45PM (incl walk from bus-stop to railbike site). 
Book the 2:00-2:30 departure from Warnant
If you do Falaën  & back only - Return by 2nd bus at 4:40PM. If you miss this, the last bus is at 7:07PM
If you do Maredsous & back - Return by 2nd bus at 7:07PM. 

Saturdays: 
Take the first bus at 10:54AM and you can reach Warnant around 11:30PM (incl walk from bus-stop to railbike site). 
Book the 12:00-12:30 departure from Warnant. 
If you do Falaën & back only (& quickly) - Return by 2nd bus at 1:46PM. 
If you do Maredsous & back (or a slow Falaën & back) - Return by last bus at 3:46PM. 

P.S: I was invited by Wallonia Tourism to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

19 comments:

  1. This sounds so awesome. Rail biking is a totally new concept to me and I would have never known about it had I not read your article. Seems like so much fun biking across bridges and through tunnels. A surreal feeling of driving your own train actually. My family would love to rail bike in Belgium.

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  2. Railbikes never heard off but it would be such a cool idea to explore a place on dysfunctional railway tracks. Sometimes I see railway people travel through these bikes to repair faulty railway tracks but I did not know that it can be used for tourism purpose also. You took a 8km Warnant to Falaën route and then return too and this sounds a very fitness activitiy in such lush green beautiful surroundings. Thanks for sharing something unique thing to do in Namur.

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  3. Every time I read a post that you share about places in Belgium it makes me think how great this place is and so undersold. People just visit some of the more popular and promoted places and leave these little gems. Having young kids myself I could not think of a better way than pedaling the Rail Bikes and enjoying the bright day. Now i get it why you say this was the main reason why you planned Namur in Summer. Thanks for sharing a unique story once gain.

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  4. The rail bikes look like a great alternative to regular bikes for sightseeing. I've never seen a rail bike before, but I'm sure I'd feel very comfortable taking my hands off to take a picture when I pedal. I'm sure this was a very pleasant experience for your entire family. I should try them myself when I go to Belgium.

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  5. Oh my gosh! That looks SO fun!! We just rented a 5 seater bike at the beach, and it was torturous. Lol! This looks like WAY more fun than that. What a great thing to do!

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  6. That looks so much fun! I have never seen a rail bike like that it remains me of a sort of a rail bike that we have in Finland. It is called "resina" and you pump it with your arms. Too bad there aren't many places you can actually try it, but in old days it used be very popular.

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  7. Great that you chose to visit Namur in summer. The greenery looks amazing. Biking has always been my favourite sport and then riding to such amazing views must be exciting. Thanks for this awesome guide to Namur. Will help when I plan my trip someday.

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  8. Rail bikes! Now that is something I haven't ever done or imagined one could do but it looks like an amazing experience. Your baby seems to be cozy and comfortable behind you. I haven't been to Belgium yet but when I do, I'd like to put this activity on my list, its so unique!

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  9. This looks incredible fun! I've not heard of rail biking before, it looks like an amazing thing to do, especially going through tunnels - how exciting especially for kids! Belgium isn't somewhere I've been before but the more I read, the more I want to go.

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  10. What an interesting vehicle :D I have never tried it but looks like so much fun! I like bicycles but I am not sure I would like to go on the rail way is fun as you cannot turn :D

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  11. Wow!! I have never knew about it. How fascinating it is?? I would love to try one someday and it seems like really cool and bio friendly way to reuse some old leftover railway tracks that has been abandoned or unused for years. I wonder if there any of these bikes elsewhere than Belgium??

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  12. ENVY ENVY ENVY, I so want to do this. It is so much fun and so different too. Loved your video. Thanks for your tips...am hoping to be able to use them. You sure are living a dream!

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  13. This looks like a great way to get the full experience of the area! And it's so great the little one could so easily come along for the ride! Great family adventures!

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  14. Oh really. I saw a Russian guy, who made bicycle resina by himself and went traveling Siberia along the rail. I thought it is a unique thing of a kind.

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  15. How I have never come across this before,I'll never know. This thing looks AWESOME. Thanks for continuing to write about less written about places, it's always appreciated!

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  16. What a fun find, Bhushavali! The scenery really looks stunning and the weather on the day you went looks wonderful. It's a really creative way to keep the railways in use even if there isn't a need for the trains anymore. That's too bad that riding the bike caused a sound that could be unnerving for young kids at first, but at least it wasn't too loud to keep your daughter from falling asleep! I also agree that this would be truly amazing in autumn.

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  17. Totally an unique idea of this rail bike. It is fun as well with enjoying scenic beauty while riding.

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  18. Rail Bike is really an unique concept in Belgium and if one is solitude seeker then this should be a must done thing by which one can extract the pure essence of green Namur.

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  19. Rail bikes are definitely a good idea and I have never seen one but wish they had more around especially to use the old tracks. The views are so scenic and it does add adventure to a trip from what I can see. If I am in that part of the world I know what I will be doing

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