It is more than 90 years since the pioneering work on the construction of the world's largest suburban electric railway network commenced. Initially developed by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway and later by the London & South Western Railway, the Southern electric network was constructed along the principles of overhead by the former and third-rail by the latter. It was only with the appearance of the Southern Railway in 1923 that a single standard - the third-rail - was adopted and, from these beginnings, a network developed that saw electric services replace steam over virtually the whole of the SR's suburban network and, from the 1930s onwards, on the main lines to the South Coast. The process of electrification continued in the 1950s and 1960s, with the Kent Coast scheme and the route to Bournemouth; the process has continued subsequently with the Wessex scheme to Weymouth and the use of the third-raily by Eurostar services to France and Belgium. In 1957, Ian Allan Publishing produced the first edition of G.T. Moody's Southern Electric, which was a detailed history of the development and operation of the Southern's electric network.
Over the next 20 years, the book was to appear in a total of five editions, the last appearing in 1979, with each edition chronicling the changes to have affected the network over the period. In the 20 years since the last edition was published, there have been radical changes affecting the erstwhile Southern electric network, and it is appropriate at the start of a new century to re-examine the history of operations of the third-rail network that serves southern England. This new edition, compiled by John Glover, follows the principle established with the successful revamping of London's Underground in adopting a larger format than that used in the previous five editions which allows for better presentation of the many photographs and maps that supplement the authors' erudite and detailed text.
Hardback with dust jacket, 160 pages, black & white photographs
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