You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

George Bennie Railplane (clip 2)

Experimental public transport system from the 1930s

  • Print All


Film of the construction and testing of George Bennie's experimental Railplane public transport system at it's test track in Milngavie. The monorail design was heavily influenced by the aircraft industry with the Railplane being built by Beardmore Engineering Co at Inchinnan who had previously built airships. The line was officially launched in 1930 and this film records the construction, launch ceremony and the first people to travel on the Railplane. This clips shows some of the first passengers as their board the Railplane and the Railplane in operation.

Questions & Activities


  • Would you have travelled on the Railplane? What do you think it would have been like?
  • Do you think the Railplane would have worked as a new form of transport in the 1930s? Why?
  • What else was happening in society at the time that might affect the Railplane becoming a new form of transport?
  • How do you think the Railplane would be propelled now? What technology might be used?
  • Who do you think paid for the Railplane to be developed?
  • Why do you think the idea of the Railplane was never developed commercially?


History / Modern Studies / Science and Technology: Research George Bennie on the internet and present your findings.

Science and Technology: Find out how the Railplane worked and research how propellers work?

Science and Technology: What are the most important advances in technology? Discuss in different groups.

ICT / Art and Design: Produce a Desk Top Publishing document eg. a leaflet to promote the Railplane? Take stills to illustrate your work.

Business Management: Research the Railplane and produce a pitch for George Bennie to take to the BBC television programme "Dragon'€™s Den". How might the Dragon'€™s react?

Drama / English: Produce a drama/script based on George Bennie'€™s pitch at Dragon'€™s Den.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-231-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1341
Date 1930
Genre Documentary, Technical
School Subject Science, Technologies, Art and Design, Expressive Arts, History, Modern Studies, English, Drama, ICT, Business Studies
Where Milngavie, Glasgow
Clip Length 2:09
Film Length 20:00