The George Bennie Railplane

In the early part of the 20th Century, the monorail concept was quite popular. The Wuppertal Suspension Railway had been running successfully in Germany since 1901. George Bennie, a Glasgow born son of an engineer developed the idea for the Bennie Railplane in 1921, with a working model – which still exists, and is on display in the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow.

By 1930 a full size, 130 metre long test track had been built at Milngavie, north of Glasgow. The concept had the railplane running as an express passenger service above conventional railways, which carried local and freight traffic below.

Despite considerable interest, no financial backing was secured, and, despite Bennie’s best efforts the idea floundered. Sadly he went bankrupt in 1937, and the test track was eventually demolished and the railplane scrapped in 1956. There is a Pathe Newsreel about it on Youtube 

There’s also some archive material at the Museum of Scotland website

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One thought on “The George Bennie Railplane

  1. […] Well, not literally… But this is about aircraft tech inspired train experiments. With the announcement of Chinese scientists adding wings to high speed trains to improve performance, here’s a quick look at the history of aircraft tech being used on railways.Starting briefly with the George Bennie Railplane, a test track was built north of Glasgow, which you can read about in my earlier blog post on the project. […]


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