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The Brighton “Daddy Long-Legs”, 1896-1901

“The Brighton “Daddy Long-Legs” ran through the shallow waters of
the English Channel between 1896 and 1901. The single car was a
pier-like building which stood on four legs. Propulsion was by electric
motor. It was officially named 
Pioneer, but many called it Daddy Long-Legs.
Due to regulations then in place, a qualified sea captain was on board
at all times, and the car was provided with lifeboats and other safety

“The railway was popular, but faced difficulties. The car was
slowed considerably at high tide, but the owner could never afford to
improve the motors.  The track, car and other structures were sold for
scrap, but some of the concrete sleepers can still be viewed at low

(more pictures here)


I’ve previously seen an article about this contraption, but this has a full set of photos.  One commenter summed it up best: “Only the Victorians would have been brave enough to build this.”

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    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg February 28, 2012

      Huzzah for impractical feats of engineering!

      • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska February 28, 2012

        Seems the epitome of the Victorian methodology, keep hammering out your first idea until it approaches something resembling success.

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