Posted by: travelrat | October 16, 2013

Volk’s Electric Railway

Volks Electric Railway

Only a short distance from Brighton Pier lies a railway. To describe it verbally makes it sound like only a slight thing; an open-sided, single-car unit running for just over a mile along the seafront. But, have a look at the date over the entrance. 1883! In those days, an electric railway wasn’t just an amusing novelty but, to quote a sadly overused phrase, cutting edge technology.

Volk’s Electric Railway was the brainchild of Magnus Volk … who, despite his rather Germanic-sounding name was Brighton born and bred … and what we see today is the railway pretty much as it was when he constructed it.

Apart, of course, from its rather ‘lived in’ look, and the fact the driver no longer sports a high collar and a bushy moustache. They wouldn’t have looked right on her, anyway!

It’s a pity, though, that Volk’s other railway at Brighton didn’t last nearly as long. The track was laid on the sea-bed, and the ‘train’ ran on stilts, high above the waves. The whole thing looked like a seaside pierhead had decided to ‘go walkabout’. And, that would really have been a sight to see.

Volks Railway Brighton


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