Many thanks to the Regency Society for the use of their pictures in this gallery. You can see the whole of the James Gray archive at 

Pioneer was almost 45 tons electric tram vehicle that may now seem like a half-remembered fragment of a dream. It was a curious invention with an elliptical deck 45ft long by 22ft wide supported on four braced tubular legs each 23ft long. It ran through the sea (on rails with an overhead electrified cable) in Brighton between 1896 until 1901. It was neither practical (couldn’t stand strong tides and ran at a speed similar to walking pace) or affordable for many as the one-way fee of 6D one way was quite a lot of money.

Click here to read more about the dimensions and duration of the Pioneer