Volk's Electric Railway


Attributes:
Brighton & Hove
Railways


Title: Volk's Electric Railway
Description: Opened in 1883 and running the mile between Palace Pier and Brighton Marina, Volk’s Railway was the first in Britain to be powered by electricity. Built by Magnus Volk, an extension to Rottingdean was added in 1896 but abandoned soon afterwards. Having been refurbished a number of times, the original rolling stock is still in operation.

Address: 285 Madeira Drive, , Brighton, East Sussex
Post Code: BN2 1EN

Further Information:
Opened on 4 August 1883 and running the mile between Palace Pier and Brighton Marina, Volk's Railway was the first in Britain to be powered by electricity. Built by Magnus Volk, the son of a German immigrant clockmaker, he was also responsible for installing electric light in the Royal Pavilion and the first telephone link in Brighton.

Powered by a 50-volt generator, the line opened within eight weeks of work starting. The trains ran along two-foot (0.6 metres) gauge at a speed of 6 mph (9.7 km/h); the track was upgraded in 1884 to 2 foot 8 inch (0.81 metres) gauge, which allowed a maximum speed of 10mph (16.1 km/h).

An extension to Rottingdean was added in 1896 but abandoned soon afterwards, as it was continually covered by high tides. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest public railway still in operation, its intended life span was only 10 - 15 years. Having been refurbished a number of times; the original rolling stock is still in operation.