Category Archives: The Switchback

The Switchback

The following is an extract from the book Amusement Park Rides by Martin Easdown
Shire Library ISBN 978-0747811541:

In 1900 a switchback was added to the Victoria Pleasure Gardens at Burgess Hill in West Sussex, and its position astride the lake left quite an impression on one visitor, F. Brown, who recalled:

“Long before reaching the Gardens, the distant strains of the roundabout organ would be carried to our ears on the prevailing wind. It was a cheerful sound, full of the pleasant expectations of things to come, and the anticipation was sharpened by the first view of the magnificent Switchback Railway that dominated the skyline. This astonishing construction of soaring arches mounted on high stilted legs completely spanned the lake, and at one point dipped so alarmingly that the track barely skimmed the water’s surface, so that the carriage, when it passed, threw up a cloud of spray drenching anyone in the near vicinity, and caused the girls on board to clutch their hats and scream with sheer excitement.”

Postcard view of the Switchback (c1912)