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

“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 measures.

“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 tide.”

- Wikipedia

Other sources: Public Domain Review and the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums

4 Responses

  1. tr

    Do I understand this right?
    People actually crossed the English Channel on that thing?

    • Avatar of Monocle

      Sadly (or rather, thankfully) the Daddy Long Legs simply ploughed along tracks that ran parallel to the shore. It would have needed pretty long legs to cross the English Channel!

      ReplyReport user

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