Sunday, May 02, 2021

The Boynton locomotive on the 1890s Coney Island was designed to pull double-height, narrow carriages only 4 feet wide, all on a single rail.

 The top rail was simply a guide, taking no weight. 

Boynton's idea was to adapt bicycle technology to railroading. 

Conventional trains required over a ton of equipment per passenger, and much of the energy that they expended was wasted due to factors such as wind resistance and side sway. 

But Boynton was convinced that a system incorporating a single rail on the ground, plus another on the top of the train for stability, would not only be more efficient, but could transport people at the then-unheard-of rate of over 60 miles per hour.

 Brimming with enthusiasm, he set up an experimental line approximately a mile long in the grasslands of Coney Island. His locomotive, which was dubbed "The Flying Billboard" by some critics, weighed a scant 4 tons, and pulled a series of double-decker passenger coaches only 4 feet wide. 


  1. Grew up in a railroad town and family but never have heard of this. Thanks for posting it!

    1. You're welcome! See, stuff like this is how you know you're looking at the right goofball's blog. No one else is going to come across stuff like this, realize it's pretty cool, and waste a couple hours making a post with patents, maps, photos, drawings, and information. Even stock certificates.

      ONWARD we go!

    2. love the blog,
      you gotta figure out a way to make money with it .
      you should have enough page views every day to make some good money from google ads or something.

    3. If I went with the monetization schemes, like Google Ads, this would get ugly real fast. No one would like the change, no one. SO, I've avoided that crap for all these years. Maybe someday when I quit adding content, and none of the regulars are going to stop by everyday to see new stuff, and it's just takling up space and getting google search results, maybe that's when I'll switch it to the "ad-sense" and other revenue generators. But I've heard they simply don't pay jack. So, there's no point to making this ugly for a dollar or two a year.

    4. I agree Jesse, and I can't tell you how much this blog is appreciated. Well, yes I can. I REALLY LOVE THIS BLOG!!!

      Now, About this very oddly configured train. When I was a kid, there were some books for children that had very strange illustrations in it. The artist name I do not remember, nor the name of the book, but I remember the drawings of the trains and cars and various other forms of motivation he or she drew. This train with its single big drove wheel looks like something that might have been in those books.

    5. Probably the artist Richard Scarry. I loved his stuff! there are a couple others, and I've posted them, but I can't remember them