Southern Way Special Issue No. 12: A Third Rail Centenary .
Southern Way Special Issue No 12 is an extra edition for 2015 to celebrate a special anniversary. Compiled by recognised experts from the ‘Southern Electric Group’ The authors proceeds will be directed towards the continued preservation of 4COR set No 3142
October 2015 sees the centenary of the start of third-rail electric services from Waterloo, an electric system that would develop over the years so much so that with the obvious exception of the 1940’s there would continue to be expansion of the third-rail in every decade through to the 1960’s – and even afterwards there would continue to be some additions later. Electrification was a new venture for the London & South Western Railway, a necessary change in order to combat the growing competition from some of the already established London lines and its neighbour the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. What is so remarkable is that notwithstanding the difficulties of war, the new electrified lines were ready to start operation in the midst of conflict and would prove to be an immediate success. Here is the story of those early days, the stock of the time and even contemporary recollections of the reliability (or otherwise) of some of the first trains
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Updated: 1 July 2021