Volks Railway

A girl rides on the Volks Railway

The Volks Railway was the first public electric railway in the world. It was opened on 4 August 1883 by Magnus Volk. Find out more about the history of the railway.

The railway line along Brighton seafront is open to the public every year between Easter and September. Today the railway can carry up to eighty passengers along the beach for one and a quarter miles.

The Volk's Electric Railway Association (VERA) is a group of volunteers who support the railway. We hold volunteering days on Mondays, please contact the Volks Railway office for further information.

Train times and station information

The Volks Railway opens every year from Easter to the end of September.

The railway closed for the 2015 season on 27 September. Essential maintenance and track repairs take place during the winter closure.

The railway is scheduled to reopen in 2016 on Good Friday, 25 March. 

During the season trains will run every day, weather permitting. There are also occasionally planned closures due to major events on the seafront, for example the London to Brighton bike ride. These are because of the high numbers of people who use the 12 crossings over the railway tracks to the beach on these days. We add details of any closures to this web page.

The full train journey from Aquarium Station to Black Rock (Marina) Station usually takes about 12 minutes. Allow 30 minutes for a return journey.

The stations are all accessible by wheelchair. Wheelchairs must be folded to fit on the trains.

Public toilets with disabled facilities are at each station. There are also toilets in the children's playground at Paston Place, by Halfway Station.

Coach and car parking spaces are available near the Black Rock (Marina) Station along Madeira Drive.

Map showing the Volks Railway stations along the seafront

2016 Volks Railway tickets and fares

Buy your tickets at the railway station before departure.

2016 ticket prices are still to be confirmed. As a rough guide, in 2015 an adult single for the full journey was £2.80, and a return £3.30. A family return ticket for two adults and two children was £9.50.

If you want to travel in a group of 10 or more people then please book in advance with the Volks Railway office.

We provide special group and family rates.

  • Family Saver Ticket: 2 adults and 2 children (up to age 14) 
  • Reduction for members of VERA (Volks Electric Railway Association) on presentation of a valid membership card
  • Discounts for group bookings. There must be a minimum of 10 passengers in a group to be eligible for the reduced rates 
  • School visits are welcomed. An educational talk about Magnus Volk and his railway can be arranged for visiting school children – pre booking is essential and a small additional charge for each child applies. Please call the railway for more information on  01273 292718

Changes to service times & temporary closure information

As per Section I (Timetables and Train Services) of the Heritage Railway Association guidelines, the railway does occasionally close at very short notice due to unforeseeable circumstances and during severe weather. Whilst we do make every effort to avoid such closures and to advertise them as widely as possible, such difficulties are a part of running such a historic railway along a very busy seafront. If you are in doubt, please don't hesitate to contact the railway.

Changes to service times and temporary closures will be advertised at the Blackrock (Marina) and Aquarium stations, if and when they arise. Information about the current service can also be obtained by calling the railway office on 01273 292718.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old is the railway?
132 years old.

Where does it go to?
The railway only has three stops, the Aquarium Station, Paston Place (at Peter Pan's play ground half way along Madeira Drive) and Black Rock Station which is only five minutes walk from Brighton Marina.

The Electrical Contract Engineer carrying out some remedial work during February 2009 on the trains 6 and 10

Contact details

For more information, please telephone us on 01273 292718             

You can visit our volunteers' association, Volk's Electric Railway Association (VERA). We hold volunteering days on Mondays, please contact the office for further information.