Although the beautiful West Pier looks unlikely to rise from the depths again, there’s still some quirky attractions to be found around the south coast city of Brighton.
One of my favourites is the Volk’s Electric Railway, which runs parallel with the beach for around one and a quarter miles (2 km), with several pedestrian crossings (above) giving sunbathers access on to Brighton’s famous beach.
The electric railway was opened in 1883 by Magnus Volk and originally ran for just a quarter of a mile on a narrow two foot gauge.
Since then the line has been extended, re-gauged, shortened, closed and reopened, and now operates between Easter and September, with trains running every 15 minutes.
The railway has a gauge of 2 ft 8 1⁄2 in (825 mm), with trains powered by an electrified 110V DC third rail.
The railway in the sea
Sadly, Volk’s other venture – the wonderfully bonkers Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway no longer operates.
The unique coastline railway ran through the waves of the English Channel between 1896 and 1901, taking passengers for a ride on a bizarre Victorian stilted structure, which came complete with a captain.
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