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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4 (July 1, 1936)

Suburban Electrification in Britain

Suburban Electrification in Britain.

Electrification of the Southern Railway main-lines between London and Brighton, and other south-coast resorts, is proving most helpful in the movement of the season's holiday business. The Southern Railway, it will be remembered, already operates the largest suburban electric system of any railway in the world, and one of page 26 page 27
Southern Railway all-Pullman “Southern Belle” London-Brighton Express.

Southern Railway all-Pullman “Southern Belle” London-Brighton Express.

the best-known of the electric expresses operated is the “Southern Belle” fast daily train between London and Brighton. Under its old title of the “Brighton Belle,” this rightly renowned service was actually one of the world's first “named” passenger trains.

Extensions of the Southern electrification are now proceeding with the utmost speed. The whole scheme is estimated to cost nearly £3,000,000, and involves the electrification of nearly 95 route-miles, corresponding to about 242 single track-miles. It is planned to complete the extensions by July, 1937. The new works cover the conversion to electricity of the London-Portsmouth main-line and branches. When completed, the throughout run from the metropolis to Portsmouth will cover 74 route-miles, and will be one of the longest stretches of electrified track in the country. Some 100 miles of high tension cable is being laid down, with about 10 ½ miles of low tension cable. Over 139,000 insulators and 150,000 copper bonds will be required. Forty-eight new four-coach motor units, nineteen of which will be provided with a kitchen-car, are being constructed in the railway shops to operate the new services. The stopping services will be operated by specially constructed new stock, consisting of thirty-eight two-coach units with lavatory accommodation, eight two-coach motor units, six three-coach motor units, and five two-coach trailer units. The total seating capacity of the new stock will be 17,804.