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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 8 (November 1, 1937)

Electric Services in Britain

Electric Services in Britain.

While the Southern Railway provides us with no spectacular express runs, remarkable work is being accomplished on this line in the field of electrification. The recent commencement of regular electric services on the main-line to Portsmouth brought the total Southern electrified lines up to 539 miles. Of this, over 200 miles is main-line electrification, linking London with the south coast. Brighton and Worthing were the first resorts to be linked with the metropolis by electric trains, in 1933. The Eastbourne and Hastings connections date from 1935, and now the direct line between London and Portsmouth, via Guildford and Haslemere, has been converted from steam to electric traction.

Entirely new, rolling-stock has been provided for the new electrification. In all, 48 new 4-coach corridor motor units have been constructed in the railway shops at Eastleigh, as well as a number of 3-coach and 2-coach motor units. Portsmouth is served by a fast train every hour from Waterloo Station, London, together with two stopping trains every hour, and an additional hourly train during the business period. The new carriages forming the electric trains provide luxurious accommodation, the upholstery being in tasteful shades of blue, green and fawn. A special feature is an improved system of air-conditioning. The cooking is all-electric, electric refrigeration also being installed.