Before the monorail, there was the “Railplane”, an innovative British invention — cross between a monorail and plane — from the 1930s that consisted of cars capable of reaching speeds in excess of 110mph, suspended on steel girders. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
The Railplane was suspended from a rail, and was powered by electric propellers on both ends. Beneath the train, suspended a dozen feet above the ground, were wheels which rested on another rail and helped stablilise the carriage. Two propellers – one at the front, one at the rear – moved the carriage forward, powered by either electricity of petrol engines. A braking system on the top rail would hold the train still at stations, and the propellers could also be reversed.
The train was hailed as a ‘wonderful product of British Brains’, and lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow were suggested. But, despite all the positivity, and Bennie’s tireless efforts for funding over the course of nearly a decade, no-one came forward and, in 1937, Bennie went bankrupt.