Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,112 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Southern Railway

From Graces Guide
July 1923.
July 1923.
August 1923.
January 1924.
January 1924. Port of Southampton managed by Southern Railway.
July 1924.
July 1924. Port of Southampton managed by Southern Railway.
December 1924.
December 1924. Port of Southampton managed by Southern Railway.
1926. Express Passenger Engine "King Arthur" Class.
1927. Express goods engine.
1931. Three Cylinder Mixed Traffic Locomotive.
1931. Schools Class Express Locomotive.
1933.Southern Railway SteamerIsle of Sark.
1933.Re-Signalling of Brighton Station.
1933. Sentinel-Cammell railcar.
May 1934.
May 1935. GWR, LNER, LMS & SR.
1937. Motor coach built at Eastleigh. Exhibit at the Shildon Locomotion Museum.
1941. Merchant Navy Class locomotive.
1941. Designed by Chief Mechanical Engineer O. V. Bulleid.
1942. 0-6-0 freight locomotive, ,C1.
January 1944.
February 1944.
March 1944.
April 1944.
May 1944.
June 1944.
1945. West Country Pacific Locomotive.
Private Road Notice.

The Southern Railway was created by the Railways Act 1921 from a number of Constituent Companies and came in to force on the 1st January 1923. Southern Railways were geographically the smallest of the four railway systems created in the Grouping

Areas of Operation

Confined to the south of England, it did not own any track north of London. In the area south and south-east of London the Southern Railway had a virtual monopoly, while some of its lines to the south-west were in competition with the Great Western Railway.

Unlike the three other railway systems established by the Grouping Act the Southern Railway was predominantly a passenger railway. Despite its small size it carried more than a quarter of the UK's total passenger traffic as the area covered by the railway included many of the dense commuter lines around London, as well as serving some of the most densely populated parts of the country.

Constituent Companies

The following made up the Southern Railway as a result of the Railways Act 1921 and came into force on the 1st January 1923:

Total Mileage of the constituent companies was 2,115 miles

In addition there were the three Isle of Wight railways with a total of 55.75 miles; and railways leased or worked by the constituent companies. Altogether, the Southern Railway had 2,186 route miles.

1948 On Nationalization, the Southern Railway became the Southern Region of British Railways

Chief Mechanical Engineers

  • The first general manager of the Southern Railway was Sir Herbert Walker.


1923 Percy Crosland Tempest, Sir William Forbes, Sir Herbert Walker were appointed joint general managers of the Southern Railway on grouping. Alfred Weeks Szlumper was appointed chief engineer.

1923 After Forbes retired in June, Tempest continued as joint general manager until the end of the year when he also retired.

1924 Sir Herbert Walker became sole general manager

1924 It was reported that the electrification proposal for the Brighton line had been abandoned[1]

1926 June. Mr A. Cunnington was lighting engineer of the Southern Railway. In June 1926, at a meeting at the Illuminating Engineering Society, he suggested that some method of partially illuminating the interior of the tunnel would be useful to relive the contrast of pitch darkness through the tunnel and brilliantly lighted stations for the vision of drivers.[2]

1926 November. The Southern Railway Co maintains a ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight.[3]

1929 With the passing of the Railway Companies Road Transport Acts, it became clear that the bus companies could face stiff competition so the management of the National Omnibus and Transport Co led the way in negotiating with the main railway companies, forming 3 joint companies including the Southern National Omnibus Co with the Southern Railway[4].

An electrification system was adopted, that of the LSWR, using a 660V dc third rail network with electric multiple unit passenger trains. The LBSCR's A.C. system was "non-standard" and so had been discontinued by September 1929.[5] The SE&CR's scheme had never been implemented.

c.1929 Introduced new electrical standards for the whole network, using Metropolitan Vickers and British Thomson Houston control systems, traction motors and lineside equipment.

c.1935 Adopted English Electric Co traction equipment which remained the standard into the 1980s.

1937 Sir Herbert Walker retired; he was succeeded as general manager by his long-time assistant Gilbert Szlumper

WWII brought a further period of direct government control, and by its end a Labour government was in power and planning to nationalise the railways.

1948 The main companies became part of British Railways on January 1, 1948.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1924/03/21
  2. The Engineer 1926/06/18
  3. The Engineer 1926/11/19
  4. The Times, Apr 16, 1930
  5. [1] LBSCR electrification