Posts Tagged ‘NYC rail history’

Would you take this train to Coney Island?

November 10, 2010

Inventor Eben Boynton hoped you would; he tried to improve current railroad trains and came up with this thin, monorail-riding train design.

Called the Boynton Bicycle Railroad (for the single rail on the bottom and then second rail on top), Boynton first demonstrated his steam-powered train on tracks at Coney Island in the 1890s, shuttling passengers on the abandoned Sea Beach and Brighton tracks.

The BBR got a lot of attention, and it did manage to exceed speeds of 60 miles an hour.

Still, Boynton was never able to attract investors to his project, which could have set a precedent so all trains and even subway cars ran on a top and bottom rail (and were four feet across).

Boynton is the namesake of tiny Boynton Place, between West 8th Street and Avenue X, the location of the BBR demo.