by JMD, Survival Blog:
Using Google or Bing maps provides you with an initial idea of what the route and terrain for a journey home might look like, but it’s far from the end of your planning. While these maps provide information on roads and walking paths, they don’t include details on possible alternatives like railroad tracks and waterways.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the use of railroad tracks for travel in a post-SHTF world. On the plus side railways tend to be more isolated from built-up areas, so you may stand a better chance of avoiding people, and they tend avoid steep climbs and drops, which should make traveling somewhat easier. On the other hand, if you’ve ever tried walking a railroad track you know how difficult it can be to comfortably match your stride to the spacing of the ties, and if you need to run you’ll probably end up tripping. It’s also virtually impossible to ride a bike on railroad tracks without rattling your teeth out. Some railroad tracks have a right-of-way dirt road that parallels it that allows for maintenance access, so that may simplify using them for RTB travel.