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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 1, 1932)

A Red-Letter Year

A Red-Letter Year.

The present will be a red-letter year in the history of one of Britain's leading railways—the Southern system. In September, this go-ahead railway hopes to open its throughout electrified tracks between Victoria Station, London, and the South Coast resorts of Brighton and Worthing. Although Brighton is situated far outside the London suburban zone, the improvement of travel facilities in recent years has had the effect of making Brighton practically a suburb of the metropolis, and every day large numbers of businessmen travel to and fro between the South Coast resort and the city in the fast steam trains of the Southern Railway.

Electrification will materially reduce the journey-time on the London-Brighton route. With electrification, also, there will be introduced new passenger carriages of an exceptionally comfortable type. The new stock will take the form of Pullman cars and these will all be of the latest design.

By way of a start, the Southern system, in association with the Pullman Company, is acquiring thirty-eight new Pullman cars, fifteen of which will go into the world-famed “Southern Belle” London-Brighton service. The “Southern Belle” Pullmans will comprise six first-class cars, each equipped with kitchen; three third-class parlour cars; and six third-class Pullmans with motor-brake compartment. The cars will be marshalled in units of five, two of the units being in daily service, and one unit being held in reserve for use in case of emergency. Between Victoria Station, London, and Brighton, the “Southern Belle” (operated electrically) will make six trips daily, as compared with the existing four trips under steam operation.

The remaining twenty-three new Pullmans will be of composite design (first and third-class, with kitchen). They will be employed in various daily fast services in and out of London. The first-class kitchen-cars will each seat twenty passengers; the composite cars twelve first and sixteen third-class passengers; the third-class motor brake, forty-eight passengers; and the third-class parlour cars, fifty-six passengers. The cars will be of all-steel construction, and special page 20 attention is being paid to lighting, heating and ventilation. They will be the longest Pullmans in service in Britain, measuring 67ft. 6in. from end to end. This year third-class Pullmans also are being introduced into the Southern services between London and Hastings, while utilisation of Pullman cars is being considered between London and Folkstone, and London and Margate.