I do a lot of practice flying at old railroad tracks. One reason is because we have a lot of them where I live. Another is because they offer a good opportunity to practice straight flying, linear pans, crabbing, curves, and gimbal work.
Another useful thing about practicing on railroad tracks is that the rails tend to throw off the drone's compass, making for occasional unpredictable erratic movements. That provides an opportunity to learn how to make quick corrections when the drone doesn't do exactly what I expected it to do.
Finally, I just like railroads and railroad history. Flying over active railroads isn't a great idea both for safety reasons and because they're critical infrastructure; but there are plenty of abandoned railroads whose tracks haven't been torn up yet.
These particular tracks were part of the Ulster and Delaware Raiload, which operated from 1875 to 1954, carrying both freight and passengers. They're currently unused, although there occasionally is talk of using them as part of a heritage railroad.
To the east, however, the tracks on this line have already been torn up and made into a rail trail; so I don't hold out much hope of passenger service returning to these rails.
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