Curious Victorian Inventions: The Bicycle Railway

June 19, 2018

Curious Victorian Inventions: The Bicycle Railway

As you may know, it is truly the Victorians who kickstarted the world as we know it today. Through the industrial revolution, they became precursors of modern technology, developing not only innovative machines that were beautifully designed but also expanding their creative minds to producing some eccentric yet genius inventions

Today, we wanted to introduce you to one of these inventions. The bicycle railway…

With the reign of Queen Victoria in England came great innovations in the world of the railway, and these new and exciting transportation methods quickly influenced the rest of the world and led to equally existing and eccentric inventions across the pond.

By 1892, the American inventor Arthur Hotchkiss came up with quite a unique way to travel: The Bicycle Railway.

The concept was simple and combined the simplicity of the bicycle with the complexity of the locomotive. In other words, as the name suggests, it was a railway for cyclist.


Never learnt how to ride a bike or never had quite the balance for it? Not a problem! As you can seen from the image above, the bicycle was essentially 'inverted' and fixed onto a single rail constructed on a wooden fence, thus you didn't have to worry about falling off the bike.

The initial railroad ran from Smithville to Mount Holly, allowing passengers to not only commute easily between both cities but also to get some daily exercise at the same time. 

This inspired the Brits to do the same, however by the beginning of the 20th century the unusual way of transportation was rejected and all the tracks were demolished.

As crazy as it may seem, the Bicycle Railway could have been a great alternative to our modern underground, especially during rush hour!

And speaking of bicycles, are you aware of our No.88 Camden x KPP special cycling edition? If not click here and if you want to know more about the design of the cycling inspired watch, click here.


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