SR Locomotives, History, Electrification, Carriages and Wagons
Covering the southern areas of Britain, the Southern Railway (SR) was formed as one of the ‘Big Four’ railway companies at the 1923 Grouping. It operated all the main lines from London in the south-east and competed with the Great Western Railway on routes to the south-west. The major pre-grouping constituent companies which formed the Southern were the: London & South Western Railway (LSWR), South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR), and London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSCR).
Under the overall direction of Sir Herbert Walker, the SR was noted for its pioneering role in modern mainline electrification with expansion of third rail electrified track during the 1920s and 1930s. Passenger operations, rather than freight, were far more important to the SR than other companies, particularly its London suburban services. Holiday traffic to the southern coastal areas was a major source of revenue with excursion traffic as well as regular titled prestige express services, such as the Atlantic Coast Express, Brighton Belle and Night Ferry. SR publicity was renowned for its adoption of contemporary artistic styles to promote electrification, suburban services and coastal destinations.
SR motive power was under the direction of its two chief mechanical engineers, R.E.L. Maunsell to 1937 and O.V.S. Bulleid thereafter until nationalisation. During the 1920s Maunsell produced the 4-6-0 Lord Nelson and 4-4-0 Schools steam locomotive classes and Bulleid developed the Pacific 4-6-2’s design with the Merchant Navy, West Country and Battle of Britain classes. DC electric multiple units (EMUs) operated the suburban services.
The company became a constituent part of the new British Railways (BR) on nationalisation of the railways in 1948.
We have a comprehensive selection of books covering all aspects of the SR and these can be reviewed in total or through the sub-categories on the left of this page. Click the book image for more details including the examples we have in stock.
© Transport Store 2016
ALLEN, G. Freeman
The Southern Since 1948
Southern Region described by Freeman Allen and accompanied by numerous photographs throughout. This volume includes the modernisation plan, the end of steam, electrification, the Beeching impact, Pullmans and channel services, and 1980s sectorisation.
ALLEN, P.C. & MACLEOD, A.B.
Rails in the Isle of Wight
History and operations of the railways on the Isle of Wight, supported with photographs throughout. Appendices provide detail on the rolling stock and liveries, signalling, gradients, the Ryde Pier Tramway and the steamer ferries.