Southern Railway

                 Steam hauled

   Maunsell Era Train Formations


             Amalgamation of several smaller railway companies, the largest of which were the London & South Western Railway (LSWR), the London, Brighton

             and South Coast Railway (LBSC), and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR), formed in 1923 the Southern Railway.

             The railway was noted for its astute use of public relations and a coherent management structure headed by Sir Herbert Walker.

             Between 1923 and 1937 Chief Mechanical Engineer Richard Maunsell designed new locomotives and rolling stock to replace much of that which was

             inherited at the grouping. For an extended compendium of SR, please visit  .



             Most of the railway's 2390 locomotives were inherited from its constituent companies, but from 1924 Maunsell began standardising fleet of locomotives for

             ease of maintenance ; The first locomotives constructed for the Southern Railway were to designs inherited from the pre-Grouping railway companies,

             such as the N15 (King Arthur)  class and  H15 class, though both were modified by Maunsell from the original design. These were intended as interim

             solutions to motive  power problems, since several designs in operation on the Southern Railway were obsolete. The 1920s was the era of standardisation,  

             with ease of  maintenance and repair key considerations in a successful locomotive design.

             In 1926, the first of new Southern Railway designed and built locomotives emerged from Eastleigh works, the Maunsell Lord Nelson class, reputedly the

             most powerful 4-6-0 in Britain at the time. However, the Depression of 1929 precluded further improvements in Southern Railway locomotive technology,

             apart from the V "Schools" class 4-4-0 and various electric designs.



        Waterloo Station – London                                                                   Lord Nelson Class 4-6-0  (1926)



             Coaching stock in the 30s

             In this page we  only analyze coaching sets arrangements and trains formations (steam hauled) satisfying  the continental modeller who desires to see

             simplified  the complex  and massive structure of marshalling and numbering  of locomotives and rolling stock of Britain’ s systems.

             The SR inherited from constituents  7200 coaches, mostly non corridor and wooden-bodied ;  about 1300 of these old coaches  will be transformed

             for the expanding new electric system of the Southern Section .  In 1930, since grouping were built 1085 new corridor coaches, at the end of 1937

             on the Southern metal were running 1320 new coaches divided in 135 sets and 820 “ loose”. Sets are (2 to 10) coach-formations  built at the same

             time  and operating alone or together with other sets, loose coaches, dining cars or Pullman cars.




             At 2,186 miles (3,518 km), the Southern Railway was the smallest of the "Big Four" railway companies, and unlike the others the majority of its

             revenue came from passenger working rather than freight. It created what was at that time the world's largest electrified railway system south of London .

             The majority of territory that the railway served surrounded the south west main lines between London, Southampton, Weymouth, Plymouth, Salisbury and  

             Exeter, which were in competition with the Great Western Railway (GWR), plus  the entire eastern counties of Sussex and Kent.

             From Exeter three  lines crossed Devon  serving  the coast resorts of Ilfracombe and Padstow (North Cornwall) and the port of Plymouth .

             A further extension of SR  were the lines of  the Isle of Wight .

             The system was divided into three sections : Western, Southern and Eastern .






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                              Train formations


               Traffic movements             



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