VERSAILLES, Ky., (July 26, 2023) – The beauty of the Commonwealth’s horse farms, limestone cliffs, and river views are on full display during a tour with the nation’s premier railbike company, Rail Explorers. The Bluegrass Kentucky Division offers riders a unique experience along the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad in Versailles, Ky., through the Horse Capital of the World and heart of Bourbon Country to impeccably cut cliffs above the Kentucky River with a view of the Wild Turkey Distillery, as well as Young’s High Bridge, built in 1889. Public tours begin July 28.
“Central Kentucky offers a scenic splendor and rich history we are proud to showcase,” said Mary Joy Lu, Rail Explorers CEO. “We are thrilled to call Woodford County our new home, partnering with the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum to offer a truly unique railroad experience. Where else can you pedal your way through two thoroughbred farms, watching mares and foals in the fields, then see gorgeous views of cliffs, water, and a bourbon distillery? It’s magical!”
The 10-mile round-trip tour offers the Quad Railbike (up to four riders) and Tandem Railbike (up to two riders) option. After a 5-mile ride west from the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad Museum, riders will spend about 30 minutes enjoying the Kentucky River view from about 100 ft. up, while guides use hydraulic lifts to turn around the railbikes, before pedaling back along the gentle curving track to the starting point. In all, guests may expect about a two-hour experience.
“Kentucky’s natural beauty and tourism opportunities draw visitors from near and far, and Rail Explorers is an innovative way to enjoy scenic views while exploring an area full of history,” said Lindy Casebier, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet. “As the first-of-its-kind attraction in the Commonwealth, Rail Explorers is an excellent addition to the tourism community, not only in Woodford County but for the entire state.”
Rail Explorers Bluegrass Kentucky Division is the company’s first Southeast location. It builds on four sister locations: Boone, Iowa; The Catskills and Cooperstown, NY; and, Rhode Island. The company began operations in 2015 and since has hosted more than 500,000 riders.
The founders of the railbike industry in America, Rail Explorers’ custom-built railbikes are pedal-powered, have hydraulic disc brakes, and feature a custom-built electric motor – the REX Propulsion System. The technology leads the world in safety, design, and ease-of-operation. The combination creates a truly effortless ride for guests of all ages and abilities – including those who are visually or hearing impaired, or differently abled. Rail Explorers’ commitment to inclusion prompted the custom electric-pedal assistance system to overcome the difficulty of pedaling uphill, as well as an all-steel-frame construction that is strong enough to have no weight limit.
“Woodford County’s tourism train is rolling, and we are excited to welcome Rail Explorers to our community,” said Woodford County Judge-Executive James Kay. “Rail Explorers enhances our rail tourism experiences locating at our awesome Bluegrass Railroad Museum to offer a world-class experience with the scenic views of our picturesque Bluegrass from the Woodford County Park to the beautiful Kentucky River.”
Rail Explorers Bluegrass Kentucky Division will create at least 17 jobs, including two full-time management positions and 15 – 20 seasonal tour guides.
“This new opportunity to showcase the beauty of Woodford County in a most unique way is a great addition to Versailles,” said Mayor Brian Traugott, Versailles. “This is the type of new business that can serve local residents, as well as draw tourists to our community.”
The Versailles location is about 15 miles from both Lexington and Frankfort, off Highway 62 at 175 Beasley Road, Versailles, Ky. 40383. Tickets for a 2-person Tandem Rail Explorer are $90 ($45 per person) and a 4-person Quad Rail Explorer is $160 ($40 per person). Tours are open to the public.
Tours are pet friendly. Pets ride for free, but are limited to 40 lbs. or less, one pet per bike. Previous pets have included dogs, cats, lizards, parrots, even ducks.
Limited seats are available and reservations are recommended. Visit RailExplorers.net or call 877-833-8588 to learn more and reserve tickets.
Private, group and educational tours are also available.
About Rail Explorers
The inspiration for Rail Explorers came from a scene in a Korean soap opera. In 2012, company co-founder Mary Joy Lu was watching one of her favorite K-Dramas and became intrigued when she saw a strange contraption being pedaled along the railroad tracks. Mary Joy was so excited by this extraordinary looking railbike that within 10 days she was on a plane to South Korea to meet with the designer and manufacturer of the vehicles. Mary Joy, husband and co-founder Alex Catchpoole, and other Rail Explorers employees travelled back to Korea in 2015 to learn more about the unique business. Rail Explorers brought a fleet of explorers to the U.S. and began operations in the Adirondacks in 2015. This was the first time these railbikes had been outside of South Korea.
Rail Explorers is committed to social and environmentally responsible operations and management. The railbikes produce zero emissions and tours have little to no impact on the environment and eco-systems through which they travel. Visit RailExplorers.net for more information.
About the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum
The Bluegrass Railroad Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting an interactive experience of historic railroading in Kentucky. It maintains a museum of historic railroad artifacts and operates an antique tour train from Versailles, Ky. Visit BluegrassRailroad.com for more information.
Ashley Brauer, for Rail Explorers
Zak Owens, for Rail Explorers