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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 690699

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/690699

This construction was erected in the late 1920s over the track between Milngavie and Hillfoot Stations. Comprising an elevated track and a propellor-driven carriage suspended from a monorail, it was invented by George Bennie, and was intended to travel at up to 120mph.

An initial test run for passengers took place in 1930, but speeds no higher than 50mph could be achieved on the track available. It proved too advanced for the time, and financial backing was not forthcoming. George Bennie died a bankrupt, and his prototype remained in situ until the mid-1950's.

G Stansfield 2003.

Milngavie Station (NS57SE 39) and Hillfoot Station (NS57SE 40) are at NS 5545 7444 and NS 5511 7212 respectively.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 9 January 2006.

The location of the overhead gantry for the line was over an LNER siding leading to Burnbrae Dye Works, off the Milngavie branch railway. The noted speed of 50mph over a section of 130m in length was unlikely.

The railplane probably failed due to the fact that the transport authorities of the day were wary of adopting a system that was unproven along with a hostility to this type of transport by the four main railway companies, rather than lack of financial investment.

George Bennie, born in 1891, had no formal engineering training, the design of the Railplane being undertaken by a consultant engineer, Mr Hugh Fraser.

There is no documentary evidence in the Annual Returns of the Inter-Counties Ltd that Bennie invested his own money and there is no evidence that he died a bankrupt as he went on to establish two new companies after World War Two.

M Thwaite 2005; Information to RCAHMS via e-mail from Mr Malcolm Thwaite, 8 May 2006

(Location formerly entered in error as NS 5540 7346 to NS 5580 7346.)

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