Everyone that has read Jack London’s book The Road in younger days will for sure understand why some of us still have a fascination for goods trains. Every time I happen to drive or bicycle parallel to a goods train I smile big like a happy child and get set back to Jack London’s adventurous stories for a little moment.
Imagine my happiness when I discovered that there is a draisine railway in moderate driving distance from the cabin I as often as possible spend time at. So, recently me and puppy drove up the serpentine mountain road over to the next valley and hoped for some available drop in hours to finally try a draisine.
The rental guy at Veggli Vertshus was very helpful. I brought my own bicycle helmet and headlight for tunnels, and we decided to fasten a big green bread basket to the passenger area with a pillow in for my dog to sit on. He also instructed me about necessary things like how to handle a railroad switch, how to brake, to lift up the draisine for turning etc. Then finally – we where set to go!
I would lie if I said we had a “flying start” into Jack London’s adventurous hobo world. My dog Jenta did not agree to sit on that suspicious bread basket, and I was shit scared she would get her paws or tail squeezed by the heavy iron wheel. But with a little bit of “patience” and many bits of candy, she finally understood she had to sit down when we moved.. and we could finally roll veeery slooowly out of the first train station…
It really is as lovely as it looks like.. so awesome with that familiar and rhythmic sound from the wheels hitting the rail joints. We followed the river Numedalslågen along beautiful landscapes, old buildings, equipment, signs and a dam.
On a Sunday trip in nice weather you will probable not be alone on the rail tracks. We met a nice group of people that used their draisines to get around for mushroom hunting, cool. And we usually helped each other lifting off a draisine when a meeting or passing occurred.
So, I would love to rail all the way to Rødberg end station, but I think it would be too long for my dog to handle that this first time. Instead we turned at Fossebrekke and headed back for Veggli station again.
I could also have let my dog run aside the draisine, it is a nice idea where the ground is “paw friendly”, but I discovered a poisonous vipera berus besides the rail on our trip, so no way this day, but it will probable be a solution for colder days. On our way back over the Veggli mountain road we instead went for a evening hike so my Jenta got some good exercise too.