The George Bennie Airspeed Railway Collection

A collection documenting the administrative running of the George Bennie Airspeed Railway Limited company along with varied ephemera related to the construction of the mile long test run in Milngavie.

About George Bennie

The George Bennie Railplane System of Transport Poster, 1929

In the late 1920s, Scotsman George Bennie invented a rail transport system, similar to a monorail, which was also known as the George Bennie Railplane. George Bennie was born at Auldhousefield, Pollokshaws, on 29th August 1891. Following family tradition, he became an engineer, eventually serving in the Royal Air Force. By the time his first patent application was filed, he had moved to Normanhurst, Craigmore, on the Isle of Bute.

The economic depression of the early 1930s led to the Railplane project being shelved for a time and the advent of the Second World War meant that the project was to remain undeveloped. Bennie was unable to secure money to develop his scheme and, although passionate about his invention, was declared bankrupt in 1937. However, the line remained in situ until the 1950s.

Bennie never married, and died at Epsom in Surrey, aged 65, on 20th November 1957.

Find out more about George Bennie in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

About the Collection

This collection documents the administrative running of the George Bennie Airspeed Railway Limited Company from 1926 to 1951, along with varied ephemera relating to the construction of the mile-long test run between Milngavie and Hillfoot stations. The collection documents both the potential of the invention and its demise. It includes books, pamphlets, photocopied material, photographs, correspondence, news cuttings, minutes, and memoranda.

Finding Aid

Please contact Special Collections or 0141 287 2988 if you would like to access this collection.

Further Reading

The Bennie railplane by William B. Black, 2004

[George Bennie's railplane patents] 1930

The George Bennie railplane and Hugh Fraser airrail systems of transport by Malcolm Thwaite, 2004

1930 silent film from the National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive, "George Bennie Railplane System of Transport"

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