All photos 17.8.2018 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing
The Volk's Railway is an unusual line that runs along the seafront at Brighton for just over a mile. It has always been electrically worked and is the oldest surviving electric railway in the world. It is narrow gauge, using the unusual gauge of 2 feet 8½ inches.
There are single platform stations at each end, a depot and station ('Halfway') with passing loop in the middle and passing loops halfway between Halfway and the two terminals at Aquarium and Black Rock.
Aquarium, the station closest to Brighton city centre, has been rebuilt and is a modern and functional station. In contrast the station at Black Rock is a rather forbidding concrete structure.
The whole line has been recently refurbished after a long closure (14 months).
Although I was brought up just 20 miles from this line, and a regular visitor to Brighton, I had only travelled and photographed it once before, back in the 70s.
The line was very busy on the day we went, a Friday, and several passengers were stranded at Halfway as there simply wasn't room on the trains. If a regular occurence this really needs to be addressed!
There was an unusual event on our outward journey. As we passed a basketball court that borders the line the players asked if the driver could throw their ball back! This he duly did, but he'd come to a halt on a dead spot and the train wouldn't move. He eventually pushed the train, passengers and all, a few metres until we were live again! This is the first time I've ever had this happen! (It does of course show the lack of friction between steel wheels and rail, which gives railways a HUGE energy efficiency advantage).
All in all a fascinating slice of history in a city with many attractions. Highly recommended!