The post below is an entry into the ModernSurvivalOnline Preparedness Guest Post Writing Contest.



The great debate on the survival sites and reoccurring themes in most survival novels, of which I have read many, address the questions of what is the best weapon or knife, and whether to bug-in or bug-out.  How much food should I store, what if I live in an apartment, or should I move to the Redoubt?  The answers to most of these questions generally come down to how old you are, can you leave your job and move to a new area, or in my case “Can I afford it”?

For me I have decided that I am too old to bug-out or move, so this is where I will make my stand.  I would also guess that some have made preparations to stay with family or at least a remote location away from urban sprawl.  If bugging out is your choice you will be leaving your primary place of residence, abandoning most everything you value to be looted and possibly have nothing to come back to.  This decision is easier to make if the lives of your loved ones are in serious jeopardy.  As they say in comedy, timing is everything, knowing when to leave is crucial.  These are all legitimate concerns not to mention having time to pack, your vehicle gassed up and ready to roll.

Using the survival book themes as an example, the heroes always find a way to get gas, avoid the parking lots on the Interstate by taking secondary roads, and blasting their way through the road blocks with unbelievable fire power.  Somehow I do not think this is realistic.  If you have more than a few miles to your bug-out location you may find it impossible to get there alive.

This is where the ultimate bug-out vehicle can save the day.  I can hear it now, this is so old news, I have heard it all, and how am I going to bug-out to my retreat when the roads are clogged with all the other panicked people trying to get out of Dodge.

Norm of This Old House likes the expression; “You can do most anything with a little imagination and an unlimited checkbook”.  Unfortunately I do not fall into this category, but some of you out there with your bunkers, thousands of dollars in guns, and NVG’s do, you are the ones to whom I am speaking.

So, what is the Ultimate Bug-Out Vehicle?


What you are looking at is a Railroad Maintenance Vehicle or Hyrail truck.  These used vehicles can be found for sale online.  One of these sites is .

Railroad Mantainance Vehicle[3]

 The many advantages of owning a Hyrail vehicle are almost too numerous to mention, the least of which is being able to avoid the local roads and interstate highways.  I would expect these vehicles to be “well used” and would probably need considerable maintenance to bring them up to some dependable standard.  But, the ability to transition off the road onto a railroad right-of-way cannot be overly emphasized.  There is one major caveat, this vehicle would only be ideal in a grid down situation if trains were idled.  Understandably modern diesel locomotives generate their own power, but can only run as long as they have the fuel to drive the generators.  In an EMP/CME event their computer controls would be toast. 

Railroad maps are available, even back to the early 1900’s, with a simple Google search for your particular state, .  Railroad tracks pass through wilderness totally void of people and not otherwise accessible by road or path, and roadblocks sufficient to stop a train would be very unlikely.  Tricked out with a .50 BMG you would be unstoppable. 

One word of caution, if you see the light at the end of the tunnel, make sure it’s not a train!

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  1. That vehicle looses off road vehicle status. The axels are narrowed or offset, to bring the width of rr tracks, the ground clearance is not there anymore. In grid down scenario the traffic control goes down too. How much do u know about train traffic control.
    Good idea but I disagree.

  2. Vlad…disagree….it will keep the Rail Road right of way traffic down. BTW road clearance is fine and axles are not narrowed, there is a second set of steel wheels that lower onto the track from inside the truck wheels. Granted some computer controlled switches could be problematic. All in all RR right of way escape is a secret I have only passed on to my small group. Slow going but at least little or no congestion. Regards, D.

  3. The vehicle wheel are brought in by using special dished wheels to make sure they sit on the rails as they do the propuldion. The smaller wheels are guide wheels. Due to narrow rails the tires are special made some with 16-18 ply with a lof air pressure.

  4. I work on RR lines. There is a reason people are on the RR Right of way. They can not be be on the streets. I have 64 miles to cover between work and security. the RR row is only for a well healed group moving quickly.

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