Monday, February 12, 2007 at 8:25 pm
The Bennie Railplane
Early monorails took many forms that look quite unlike today’s monorail designs. One that got a fair bit of contemporary attention was George Bennie’s Railplane, which may well have been the inspiration for these folks — it was a streamlined fuselage with propellers at either end. Developed during the 1920s, it ran on a quarter-mile track in Milngavie, near Glasgow, in the 1930s; the ride was reportedly quite smooth, and seems comparable to modern maglevs.
Bennie went bankrupt in 1937 and the track was demolished in 1941, but there are several web sites that preserve the Railplane’s history and photos: The Bennie Railplane System by J. K. Gillon; The George Bennie Railplane/Monorail by Dewi Williams; A British Railplane, which reads like a reprint of a contemporary article, at Mike’s Railway History. The BBC’s Scotland on Film site has footage of the Bennie Railplane, but it’s in Real format.
Via Things Magazine.