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Sideshoots - associated subjects => Railway History and related topics => Topic started by: grahame on January 21, 2022, 10:07:51 pm

Title: OTD - 22nd January (1830) - Sail powered rail
Post by: grahame on January 21, 2022, 10:07:51 pm
From Douglas Self (

Sail on the South Carolina Railroad: 1830

"On the 22nd of January, 1830, a car which had been constructed to be propelled by a sail, was carried along at the rate of 20 miles an hour, the whole length of the rail


On the 16th of December 1831 the Dundee and Newtyle railway opened in the Strathmore valley in Scotland. Its main purpose was to get produce from the Strathmore valley to the city of Dundee. At this early date it was a completely isolated line.

"William McIntosh, a surgeon of Strathmore has left an interesting account of the horse-operated service that linked Coupar Angus and Ardler between 1837 and 1841. The solitary passenger vehicle had masts fitted at the corners and when the wind was right a tarpaulin was stretched between the poles. With this spread of canvas and a brisk wind the carriage could achieve a speed of 20mph. The horse trotted behind the carriage ready to take over if the wind dropped."

and from various other sources



or if you want something more modern?


Title: Re: OTD - 22nd January (1830) - Sail powered rail
Post by: bradshaw on January 21, 2022, 10:16:38 pm
Some interesting stuff here

Title: Re: OTD - 22nd January (1830) - Sail powered rail
Post by: broadgage on January 27, 2022, 05:47:55 am
In parts of Asia, wind assisted wheelbarrows and hand carts were used for light freight, especially up inclines in mountain passes with frequent favourable winds. Google "chinese wheelbarrow with sail" for details.

In the alternate history novel "Pavane" by Keith Roberts mention is made of wind assisted motor cars "butterfly cars" Wind assistance being helpful because the Church placed strict limits on the capacity of internal combustion engines.

Title: Re: OTD - 22nd January (1830) - Sail powered rail
Post by: CyclingSid on January 27, 2022, 07:21:51 am
and without the rails (
or (

also practiced by the Duchess of Cambridge, sort of thing they do at Scottish Universities

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