Records of the Railplane designed by George Bennie, 1891-1957, engineer and inventor

Scope and Content

  • Design and research records, c1930-1947;
  • Catalogues and notes on components, 1922-1935;
  • Photographs, c1930.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Bennie (1891-1957)  was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but spent much of his youth at Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland. The son of an engineer, he turned his own inventive skills towards the area of public transportation and by  1921  had developed his 'railplane', a high-level monorail system. In  1929-1930  he built a prototype at Burnbrae, near Glasgow. Design of the propeller-driven cars drew heavily on aircraft technology and they were built by  William Beardmore & Co Ltd , Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the manufacturers of the R34 airship.

Despite high levels of enthusiasm at the 1930 launch, Bennie was never able to get the financial backing to develop the idea further. The proposed Edinburgh to Glasgow line was never built, nor the one between Blackpool and Southport, and by  1937  he was bankrupt. The track at Burnbrae was eventually demolished for scrap in  1956  .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit: 1982 : ACCN 0497

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

A fully searchable digital catalogue of this collection is available via the RSLP Navigational Aids for the History of Science, Technology & the Environment web site at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by the Navigational Aids for the History of Science, Technology and the Environment project with funding from the RSLP

Prepared for submission to the JISC Archives Hub by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 28 March 2003

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 100 and 179 Records of William Beardmore & Co Ltd

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

The collection contains copies of 36 photographs, the originals of which are held by the Museum of Transport, Glasgow (GB 1075)