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1925: Volk in Cuckfield

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Mid Sussex Times, 11 August 1925

We know that Volk's railway still exists - but was the Volk company related to this advetisement?

Magnus Volk, the Brighton man who designed and built the Volks Railway on Brighton sea front, was a 19th century inventor and engineer. The son of a clockmaker, he set up the first telephone line in the city in 1879 and pioneered the early use of electricity. He brought electricity to his own house in Dyke Road and soon had the Royal Pavilion illuminated in the same way.

With these projects behind him, on 14 June 1883 Magnus Volk wrote to Brighton’s town clerk seeking permission to lay an electric railway near Madeira Road (now Drive). After some deliberation this permission was granted and on 4 August 1883, at midday, Magnus Volks’ electric railway was formally opened on Brighton sea front by Mayor Cox. This short demonstration line was very different to today's operation, being 2 ft gauge and only ¼ mile long. The car was powered by a 50v dc supply which was taken from a gas engine and dynamo located in the Royal Humane Society's Arch under the promenade.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Visit Cuckfield Museum, follow the link for details



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