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The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) (known also as "the Brighton line", "the Brighton Railway" or simply the Brighton) was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1922. Its territory formed a rough triangle, with London at its apex, practically the whole coastline of Sussex as its base, and a large part of Surrey. It was bounded on its western side by the lines of the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR), which provided an alternative route to Portsmouth in Hampshire. On its eastern side the railway was bounded by the South Eastern Railway (SER) – later one component of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR) – which provided an alternative route to Bexhill, St Leonards-on-Sea, and Hastings. The LB&SCR supplied the most direct routes from London to the South Coast seaside resorts of Brighton, Eastbourne, Worthing, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, and to the ports of Newhaven and Shoreham-by-Sea. In addition, the company served the inland towns/cities of Chichester, Horsham, East Grinstead and Lewes, and jointly served Croydon, Tunbridge Wells, Dorking and Guildford. At the London end was a complicated suburban and outer-suburban network of lines, emanating from London Bridge and Victoria stations, as well as shared interests in two cross-London lines.

The company was formed by a merger of five pre-existing companies in 1846, and was in turn merged with the L&SWR, the SE&CR and several minor railway companies in southern England, as a result of the Railways Act 1921 grouping, to form the Southern Railway as from 1 January 1923.

Origins of the company

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) was formed by Act of Parliament on 27 July 1846, through the amalgamation of a number of pre-existing railway companies. These were:

(Only the first two of these were independent operating railways. The 'Brighton and Chichester' and the 'Brighton Lewes and Hastings' had both been purchased by the L&BR in 1845,[1] and the 'Croydon and Epsom,' was largely owned by the L&CR.)

The amalgamation was brought about, against the wishes of the Boards of Directors of the Companies, by shareholders in the L&CR and L&BR who were dissatisfied with the early returns from their investment.[2]

Thereafter the company was in existence for 76 years until 31 December 1922, when it was wound up as a result of the Railways Act 1921 and its lines and assets merged with those of the London and South Western Railway and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway to form a new company, the Southern Railway.

Original routes

At the time of its creation the LB&SCR had around 170 route miles (274 km) in existence or under construction, represented by three main routes and a number of branches.

The main line to Brighton from London Bridge was opened in 1841. Two sections of this line (between Corbett's Lane (New Cross) and London Bridge and between Croydon and Redhill) were shared with the South Eastern Railway. There were also two branch lines under construction at the time of the amalgamation: the first from Croydon to Epsom, and the second from Three Bridges to Horsham.

The West Sussex coast line originated with a branch line from Brighton to Shoreham which opened in 1840. This was extended to become a through route as far as Chichester by the time of the amalgamation, and a further extension to Havant and Portsmouth was also under construction.

The East Sussex coast line from Brighton to Lewes and St Leonards-on-Sea, together with running powers over the SER line to Hastings, was opened in 1846 one month before the amalgamation. There were also branches to Newhaven, Eastbourne and Hailsham. A connecting spur from the Brighton main line at Keymer Junction near Haywards Heath to the Brighton-Lewes line was under construction at the time of amalgamation.

A further short line from New Cross to Deptford Wharf, proposed by the L&CR, was approved in July 1846, shortly before the amalgamation. This was built and opened by the LB&SCR in July 1849. The use of this line for passenger traffic would have contravened the recently negotiated agreement with the SER whereby the LB&SCR would not operate lines to the east of its existing main line. The new branch was therefore restricted to freight only.[3] A short branch from this line to the nearby Surrey Commercial Docks in Rotherhithe opened in July 1855.[4]

London stations

The main London terminus of the new railway was the former L&CR station at London Bridge (which had been built by the London and Greenwich Railway (L&GR) in 1836, and exchanged for the original L&CR station in 1842). For the first few years of its existence, LB&SCR trains used the former L&GR lines from Corbett’s Lane into London, but by 1849 the viaducts had been widened sufficiently to allow the company its own dedicated tracks to approach the station.[5]

The company also inherited from the L&CR running powers to use a smaller passenger terminus at Bricklayers' Arms which was owned by the SER. Poorly sited for passenger traffic, it was closed in 1852 and converted into a goods station.

The railway owned two stations at Croydon, later renamed East Croydon (former L&BR) and West Croydon (former L&CR).

Atmospheric lines

The London and Croydon Railway had been partially operated by the atmospheric principle between Croydon and Forest Hill, as the first phase of a scheme to use this mode of operation between London and Epsom. However, following a number of technical problems, the board of the new railway abandoned atmospheric operation in May 1847. The abandonment of the plans for atmospheric working into London enabled the new company to build its own separate lines into London Bridge, and have its own independent station there, by 1849.

The subsequent seventy-six-year history of the company can best be studied in five distinct periods.

Relations with the South Eastern Railway, and the beginnings of expansion 1846–1855

The new company was formed at the same time as the bursting of the railway mania investment bubble and so it found raising capital for expansion extremely difficult during the first years of its operation, other than to complete those projects that were already in hand. The London and Brighton Railway had also experienced difficult relations with the South Eastern Railway at those locations where the companies shared facilities (notably at Redhill and Hastings and on the approaches to London Bridge). In October 1849 the SER acquired the newly completed Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway (RG&RR) line, which the LB&SCR regarded as a major incursion into its territory. However, the LB&SCR now had one important playing card not previously available to the London and Brighton Railway – control of the SER main line between New Cross and Croydon. In 1849 the LB&SCR appointed a new and capable chairman Samuel Laing who negotiated a formal agreement with the SER which would resolve their difficulties (for the time being) and would define the future territories of the two railways. Under this agreement the LB&SCR would have free access to London Bridge station, Bricklayers' Arms station and goods yard, and Hastings. The SER would have free use of the New Cross to Croydon line, and receive revenues from passengers at intermediate stations, but would not make or work competing lines to Brighton, Horsham, Chichester or Portsmouth.[6] Laing also approved a modest degree of expansion, most notably by the acquisition of a branch line from the main line at Three Bridges to the market town of East Grinstead in July 1855.

Crystal Palace Branch

Some of the directors of the LB&SCR were closely involved with the company which had purchased The Crystal Palace after the completion of The Great Exhibition in October 1851 and arranged for its removal to a site on Sydenham Hill (close to the London Brighton main line), where it became a major tourist attraction. The railway therefore encouraged the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway to build a branch line between its own station at Sydenham and the new site, which opened in June 1854. The new railway was afterwards extended in a wide arc round south London to Wandsworth in 1856 and Battersea Pier in 1858. Shortly after this line was completed, the LB&SCR leased the new route and incorpporated it into its system.

Rapid expansion 1856–1866

Laing retired at the end of 1855 to pursue a political career, and was replaced by merchant banker Leo Schuster, who instituted a policy of rapidly expanding new routes throughout south London, Sussex, and east Surrey. Some of these routes were financed and built by the company itself, while others were built by independent local companies, set up with the intention of connecting their town to the growing railway network, and with the intention of sale or lease to the LB&SCR. Schuster accelerated the speed of mileage increase after appointing Frederick Banister as the new Chief Engineer in 1860. As a result, a further 177 miles (285 km) were constructed or authorised between 1857 and 1865.[7]

New lines in South London

The West Croydon to Wimbledon Line was built as an independent line joining the LB&SCR and the L&SWR main lines, and opened in October 1855. For a few months the railway was operated under contract by its engineer George Parker Bidder but in 1856 it was leased to the LB&SCR and then purchased outright in 1858.

Between 1858 and 1860 the company joined with the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR), the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) to form the Victoria Station & Pimlico Railway Company, which constructed a new bridge over the River Thames at Battersea and an important new terminus in the west end of London at Victoria. This project was connected with the West London Extension Joint Railway, a joint railway financed by the LB&SCR, L&SWR, GWR, and the L&NWR, allowing freight transfers between the companies as well as some cross-London passenger trains. This line was opened in 1863, and the LB&SCR operated passenger trains between Clapham Junction and Kensington.

Following the acquisition of the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway, a new 'cut-off' main line between Windmill Bridge Junction (Norwood) and Balham was constructed during 1861 and 1862 which shortened the route from East Croydon to Victoria. At the same time, the LB&SCR was co-operating with the LC&DR to create the South London Line between London Bridge and Victoria. The LC&DR was used from Victoria to Brixton, followed by new construction by the LB&SCR through Denmark Hill, and Peckham to join their main line to London Bridge at South Bermondsey.

New lines in Sussex

During 1858, a branch line was built from Lewes to Uckfield, which was also extended to Groombridge and thus to Tunbridge Wells in 1868. In 1864 the Newhaven branch line was extended to Seaford. The East Grinstead line was extended in 1866 to reach Groombridge and Tunbridge Wells. A large area in East Sussex between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne remained without any railways, and the LB&SCR was anxious in case the SER should again venture into this territory. As a result in 1864 it sought powers to build a line between these two towns. It also obtained powers for the construction of the Ouse Valley Railway, a project to build a line from Balcombe railway station on the Brighton main line to Uckfield and Hailsham. An extension of this line to St Leonards was also approved in May 1865. However, having obtained these powers, comparatively little work on either line had been carried out by the end of 1866.

In West Sussex the Horsham branch was extended to Pulborough and Petworth in 1859. In 1863 a new line was built from near Pulborough to a junction with the West Sussex coast line near Ford railway station. Similarly, in 1861 a line was built from near Horsham to Shoreham, providing a direct link to Brighton. Branches were also built from the West Sussex coast line to the village of Littlehampton in 1863 (to connect to a newly established cross-channel ferry service), to Bognor Regis in 1864, and to Hayling Island in 1867.

New lines in Surrey

The Epsom and Leatherhead Railway was an independent line leading from the L&SW main line at Wimbledon through the Surrey towns of Epsom and Leatherhead towards Guildford. The LB&SCR entered into an agreement with this company to share its existing station at Epsom and to use the line as far as Leatherhead. The new line opened in August 1859 and in 1860 this portion of the line was transferred to the joint ownership of the LB&SCR and the L&SWR. The LB&SCR then amalgamated with the Banstead and Epsom Downs Railway, which was building a branch line from Sutton to Epsom Downs for the racecourse traffic. This line opened in May 1865.

The LB&SCR also wished to connect Horsham with significant towns in Surrey. Thus in 1865 it opened a line between West Horsham and the L&SWR line near Guildford, giving access to that town. It also constructed a line from Leatherhead to Dorking in March 1867, which was then continued to Horsham two months later. This line completed a final link to provide an alternative LB&SCR route from London to Brighton and the West Sussex coast.

The company also supported the independent Surrey and Sussex Junction Railway, which obtained powers in July 1865 to build a new line from Croydon to Tunbridge Wells via Oxted, to be worked by the LB&SCR. The involvement of LB&SCR directors in this scheme was interpreted by the SER as a breach of the 1849 agreement, and in retaliation the SER joined with the LC&DR and obtained Parliamentary approval to build a rival 'London, Lewes and Brighton Railway', which would undermine the profitable LB&SCR monopoly in that town.[8] In the event neither scheme was proceeded with.

Following the opening of the branch line from Lewes to Newhaven, the railway sought to develop a new shorter Continental route from London to Paris, via Dieppe, in competition to the South Eastern Railway routes from Dover to Calais and Folkestone to Boulogne. The railway built its own wharf and warehousing facilities on the east side of the river, and opened the Newhaven harbour railway station. The company also funded the dredging of the channel and other improvements to the harbour between 1850 and 1878, to enable it to be used by larger cross-channel ferries,[9] and in 1863 the LB&SCR and the Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest introduced the Newhaven-Dieppe passenger service.[10]

Growth of the London suburbs

Largely as a result of the existence of the new railway, the rural area between New Cross and Croydon rapidly became built up, and the population of Croydon increased 14-fold (from 16,700 to 233,000) during the years that the company was in existence. During the 1860s the LB&SCR therefore began to develop a new traffic among the growing number of middle-class commuters who were beginning to live in the south London suburbs and working in central London.

As part of its suburban expansion programme, the company built a line from Peckham Rye running roughly parallel to the main line, through East Dulwich, Tulse Hill, Streatham and Mitcham to Sutton and Epsom Downs, which opened in October 1868. From Sutton, a line was constructed jointly with the L&SWR to Wimbledon.

Deterioriation of relations with the SER

Relations between the LB&SCR and the SER and the interpretation of the 1848 agreement continued to be difficult for both parties throughout the 1850s and 1860s. They reached a low point in 1863 when the SER chairman and Secretary produced a report for shareholders outlining a long list of the difficulties between the two companies, and the reasons why they considered that the LB&SCR had broken the 1848 agreement.[11] The main areas of disagreement listed were at Hastings railway station, allowing the LC&DR to use its lines to London Victoria railway station, a proposed LB&SCR branch to Bromley, a proposed agreement by the LB&SCR to work the Caterham branch, the new LB&SCR line to Dorking, LB&SCR opposition to the SER attempts at building a line to the West End of London, the LB&SCR agreement to let the LC&DR use its freight facilities at Bricklayers' Arms, and the perennial problem of the shared main line between Redhill and Croydon.

1867 financial crisis and its impact

The collapse of the bankers Overend, Gurney and Company in 1866 and the subsequent financial crisis the following year, brought the railway to the brink of bankruptcy.[12] A special meeting of shareholders was adjourned, and the powers of the board of directors were suspended pending receipt of a report into the financial affairs of the company and its prospects.[13] The report made clear that the railway had over-extended itself with large capital projects sustained by profits from its passenger traffic, which suddenly declined as a result of the crisis. Several of the country lines were losing money — most notably between Horsham and Guildford, East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells, and Banstead and Epsom — and the railway was committed to building or acquiring others with equally poor prospects.[14] The report was extremely critical of the policies of Schuster and the company secretary, Frederick Slight, both of whom resigned. It did however point out that these lines had been built or acquired as a means for preventing competition from neighbouring railways. The committee recommended the abandonment of several projects, and that the railway should enter into a working co-operation negotiated with the South Eastern Railway.

The revised board of directors accepted many of these recommendations, and they managed to persuade Samuel Laing to return as chairman. It was through his business acumen and that of the new Secretary/general manager J.P. Knight, that the company gradually recovered its financial health during the early 1870s.[15]

As a result all work on the construction of new lines was suspended. Three important projects then under construction were abandoned: namely, the Ouse Valley Railway, its extension to St Leonards, and the Surrey and Sussex Junction Railway. A fourth project — the line between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne — was shelved until the financial situation improved.[16] For the next decade, building projects were limited to additional spurs or junctions in London and Brighton to enhance the operation of the existing network, or else small-scale ventures in conjunction with other railway companies. The latter included a short line from Streatham through Tooting to Wimbledon in 1868, and a connection from Portsmouth Town to Portsmouth Harbour in 1876, both jointly with the L&SWR.

The 'working co-operation' with the SER proposed in 1867 never took effect but remained under active consideration by both parties, and also later involved the LC&DR.[17] It was not until 1875 that the idea was eventually dropped, after the SER pulled out of negotiations due to the conditions imposed by Parliament on the proposed merger. The LB&SCR continued as an independent railway but the SER and LCDR did eventually succeed in forming a working relationship in 1899 with the formation of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

One new line to which the railway was committed, however, was the East London Railway, a consortium of six railway companies: the Great Eastern Railway (GER); the LB&SCR; the LC&DR; the SER; the Metropolitan Railway; and the Metropolitan District Railway. It sought to re-use the existing Thames Tunnel built by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel between 1825 and 1843. A new line was therefore built between the LB&SCR at New Cross and Wapping with a link to the GER main line, in March 1869. It was primarily intended for freight transfer between these railways, but the LB&SCR introduced a new passenger service between Liverpool Street Station and Croydon.

Later nineteenth century

By the mid 1870s the company had recovered its financial stability through a policy of encouraging the more intensive use of the existing lines, and reducing operating costs. In fact, between 1870 and 1889 the annual income of the railway rose from £1.3 million to £2.4 million, whilst its operating costs only rose from £65,000 to just over £1 million.[18] The railway was able to embark upon new railway building and improvements to infrastructure within its traditional area of operation. Some of these new lines passed through sparsely populated areas and merely provided shorter connections to towns which were already a part of the railway network, and so were unlikely ever to be profitable, but the railway found itself under pressure from local communities wanting a rail connection, and was frightened that they would otherwise be developed by their rivals.

The main reason for the financial recovery lay in the exploitation of its London suburban traffic. By the late 1880s the LB&SCR had developed the largest suburban network of any British railway with 68 route miles in the London suburbs in addition to its main lines, in three routes radiating between London Bridge and Victoria.[19] These were the Inner South London Line, the Outer South London Line and the Crystal Palace lines, and the railway was then earning more from season tickets than any other British railway.

New routes and station improvements

The scheme to link Eastbourne with Tunbridge Wells was revived in April 1879 with the opening of a new line to connect the existing Hailsham branch to Heathfield. The link was completed the following September with the opening of the line from Heathfield to Eridge, and later became known as the Cuckoo Line.

Likewise in 1877 authority was granted to the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway (L&EGR) for the construction of a line between these towns, roughly parallel to the 'Cuckoo Line'.[20] This line ran, and was sponsored by a number of local landowners, including the Earl of Sheffield, and also included a branch from Horsted Keynes to Haywards Heath on the Brighton main line. A year later an Act of 1878 enabled the LB&SCR to acquire and operate the new lines which opened in August 1882 and September 1883. The East Grinstead-Lewes line subsequently became known as the "Bluebell line" and following its closure in 1958, the section between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park was taken over by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society.

The LB&SCR system in West Sussex was largely completed by 1870 except for a link between Midhurst and Chichester, which had been delayed by the financial crisis of 1867; this was revived and opened in 1881. Minor improvements around Littlehampton were made, and a branch to Devil's Dyke opened in 1887. The latter was built by and owned by an independent company but operated by the LB&SCR. In Hampshire the railway leased the existing Hayling Island Branch Line from 1874.[21] This had been opened in 1865 and originally operated as an independent concern.[22] The LB&SCR and the L&SWR also jointly built a branch from Fratton to Southsea in Hampshire in 1887.

Although the proposed Surrey and Sussex Junction Railway had been abandoned in 1867, there remained a demand from the citizens of the rapidly growing town of Croydon for a rail link to the South East to towns such as East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells, and the East Sussex coast. Likewise, the SER was looking for an additional relief route in the same general direction for its Tonbridge and Hastings services. The two railways therefore collaborated with a proposal for a joint line between South Croydon, on the main Brighton line, and Oxted. Beyond Oxted, the LB&SCR would build its own lines to link with the "Bluebell line" at East Grinstead, and its existing line to Tunbridge Wells. The SER trains would join the former main line between Redhill and Tonbridge. Authority for the construction of these lines was granted in 1878 and they were opened for traffic in 1884.

Brighton railway station was entirely rebuilt and extended in 1882/3, with a new single roof, and Eastbourne was likewise rebuilt in 1886, to cope with the additional traffic generated.

Quarry line

With the growth of traffic during the 1880s and early 1890s, the LB&SCR began to be the subject of press criticism for poor timekeeping and slow trains,[23] although it was never subjected to the levels of press and public obloquy accorded to the SER. One of the main reasons for poor timekeeping was congestion at the SER station at Redhill (where the SER lines to Tonbridge and Guildford diverged) from the main line to Brighton. Parliamentary insistence meant this part of the line was owned by the South Eastern, which naturally gave its own trains precedence through the junctions at Redhill.[24] In an 1896 study of the LB&SCR passenger services, J. Pearson Pattinson described the eight-and-a-quarter miles of shared track between Redhill and Stoats Nest (Coulsdon) as being 'in a state of the utmost congestion, and detentions of the Brighton expresses, blocked by South Eastern stopping trains, are as constant as irritating.'[25]

Eventually, the LB&SCR decided to build a new line between Coulsdon North and Earlswood, bypassing Redhill, which became known as the Quarry Line. Plans were drawn up by Charles L. Morgan, the Chief Engineer of the company.[26] Authority for the new line was granted by the British Parliament in July 1896, and construction took place during 1898–9.[27] The new line involved substantial civil engineering work including new tunnels at Merstham and Redhill as well as cuttings and embankments and a covered way at Cane Hill Hospital. The new line opened on 8 November 1899 (1 April 1900 for passenger traffic).

Twentieth century

During the last twenty years of its existence, the LB&SCR opened no new lines, but rather invested in further improving its own existing main line and London terminals together with the electrification of its London suburban services.

Following the completion of the Quarry line the bottle-neck on the heavily used main line moved further south. Plans were drawn up for the quadrupling of the tracks throughout, but only the sixteen miles from Earlswood to Three Bridges were ever completed, between 1906 and 1909. A fifth track was laid between Norwood Junction and South Croydon railway station in 1907/8. Further extension beyond Three Bridges would have involved heavy engineering at the Balcombe tunnel, over the Ouse Valley Viaduct, and through the South downs. The required capital expenditure was rather diverted to extending the electrification programme.

Unlike other main-line railway companies, the LB&SCR never had exclusive use of a London terminus, but had to share both of its main London stations with one of its rivals. London Bridge railway station was shared with the SER and Victoria with the LCDR. The rapid increase in commuting from the London suburbs towards the end of the nineteenth century created an urgent need to expand the cramped and limited facilities at Victoria. During the first decade of the new century the line between Grosvenor Bridge and Victoria was widened and the station rebuilt on a much larger scale. A new turntable and locomotive servicing facilities also enabled the use of more powerful locomotives. During the same period the LB&SCR facilities at London Bridge were again enlarged, but since the station had been rebuilt so many times it remained a ‘’sprawling confusion'’.[28]

Motive power shortage

Between 1905 and 1912 the LB&SCR suffered an increasingly serious motive power shortage due to the inability of Brighton railway works to keep pace with the volume of repairs and new construction required. By 1910 30% of the locomotive stock was unusable due to delays and inefficiencies at Brighton works,[29] leading to the sickness and retirement of the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent D.E. Marsh. The problem was ultimately solved by the establishment of Lancing Carriage Works and the re-organisation of Brighton Works by Marsh's successor L.B. Billinton.

First World War

In common with other British railways, the LB&SCR was brought under government control during the First World War. Until then it had carried relatively little heavy freight for much of its existence, but this situation changed dramatically at the outbreak of war.[30] The railway was responsible for carrying the bulk of the stores and munitions delivered to the British troops on the continent, principally through its ports of Newhaven and (to a lesser degree) Littlehampton. This included nearly 7 million tons of freight, including 2.7 million tons of explosives. It necessitated an additional 53,376 freight trains over the four years of the war, as well as an additional 27,366 troop trains.[31]

This additional traffic required substantial improvements to the railway infrastructure, notably at Newhaven harbour, where electric lighting was installed, but also at Three Bridges, where a new freight marshalling yard was established, and at Gatwick and Haywards Heath, where passing sidings were constructed so that the frequent passenger trains would not be impeded by the slower-moving freight. Some munitions trains were routed to Newhaven via the Steyning Line to Brighton so as to avoid congesting that part of the Brighton main line which had only two tracks.

LB&SCR at Grouping

At the end of 1922, when the company ceased to have an independent existence, the railway had 457 miles of route running line. Of these, 100 miles were single track, 357 double track, 47 miles triple tracks, and 49 miles four or more tracks. Sidings had a total length of 355 miles.[32]

Train services

Throughout its existence, the LB&SCR was essentially a passenger-carrying concern, with goods and mineral traffic playing a limited role in its receipts. As originally envisaged, the railway was a trunk route, conveying passengers (and to a lesser extent freight) between London, Croydon and the towns on England's south coast, with relatively little traffic to and from stations in between. However, the railway's very existence began to generate new goods and passenger traffic at towns and villages on or near the main line, such as Reigate, Crawley and Haywards Heath. This also applied to Sussex and Surrey market towns such as Lewes, Horsham, East Grinstead and Dorking as soon as these were connected to the rail network. The development of Newhaven harbour was also a stimulus to the development of both categories of traffic.

Freight services

Freight represented a relatively small part of the railway’s finances during it first half century. Agricultural goods and general merchandise were carried, together with wine, foodstuffs and some manufactured goods imported from France. However, during the 1870s the pattern of freight services slowly began to change, leading to rapid growth in the 1890s, 'caused by the transport of raw materials and finished products of entirely new industries such as petroleum, cement, brick and tile manufacture, forestry and biscuit making.'[33] This resulted in the construction of 55 additional freight locomotives of the C2 class

There were no coal mines within the railway’s territory, and so the railway had to pay substantially more for its fuel supplies than most other companies.[34] The bulk of its coal was brought in 800 long tons (810 t) trains from Acton yard on the Great Western Railway to Three Bridges for re-distribution throughout the system, and the railway kept two of its freight locomotives at the GWR Westbourne Park Depot for this purpose.[35] In 1898 there was a scheme to develop Deptford Wharf for the landing of coal brought by sea.[36] The additional fuel costs were partially offset by the transportation of shingle for rail ballast from Pevensey.[37]

The main London goods depot was at 'Willow Walk', part of the Bricklayers Arms railway complex, where the railway established its own independent facilities in 1849.[38] These were enlarged in 1854 after the Brighton company entered into an agreement with the London Chatham and Dover Railway to handle its goods traffic at the Depot.[39] Further extensions were built in 1865 and 1902.[40] The railway constructed a marshalling yard to the south of Norwood Junction railway station during the 1870s, which was extended in the early 1880s.[41] Other goods facilities in London existed at Battersea and Deptford Wharf. There was also a separate goods station at Brighton, adjacent to the passenger station.

Passenger services

Season ticket revenues, particularly from those travelling from Brighton to London, were the backbone of the company's finances for most of the nineteenth century.[42] The morning rush hour business services were among "the heaviest express services in the world" in the 1880s, with loads of 360 tons.[43]

Express passenger services ran to the most important coastal destinations from both London Bridge and Victoria stations. Slower passenger services to London from these and other destinations would often divide at East Croydon to serve both London termini, and would also combine there for down trains. Thus East Croydon had an important nodal function in the system.[44] After 1867, following the opening of the direct line to Horsham, Sutton acted as a similarly important node for passenger trains between London and Portsmouth.

The speed and punctuality of many LB&SCR passenger services was the subject of widespread criticism in the technical and popular press during the 1890s.[45] This was in part due in part to the complexity of the system between London and Croydon (with a large number of signals and junctions), the sharing of stretches of line with the SER, and the relatively short routes which gave little opportunity to make up for lost time. The railway gradually began to rebuild its reputation during the twentieth century through improvements to its main line infrastructure and the electrification of its suburban services.

The LB&SCR appears to have invented the practice of "slipping" coaches from the rear of express trains, at intermediate junctions, for onward transmission to smaller stations. The earliest recorded example was at Haywards Heath in February 1858, where coaches for Hastings were slipped from a London-Brighton express.[46] Thereafter the practice was used by other railways. Before 1914, twenty-one coaches were slipped each day on the Brighton main line.[47] Coaches were slipped at Horley and Three Bridges for stations to East Grinstead, Forest Row or Horsham, or else at Haywards Heath for stations to Brighton or Eastbourne. The practice continued until the electrification of the main line in 1932.[48]

London suburban traffic

The railway greatly encouraged the use of its service by commuters into London by reducing the prices of season tickets and introducing special workmen's trains for manual workers in 1870.[49] This ultimately changed the character of the railway and had a profound influence upon its motive power policy and passenger train services. In the 1870s and 1880s it led to the building of new standard tank engine classes such as the Terrier and D1 classes under William Stroudley. R. J. Billinton replaced these with his D3, E3, E4, and E5 classes designed for the London suburban services, during the 1890s. When steam locomotives became unable to cope with the increased suburban traffic and competition from electric trams in the early twentieth century, it resulted in the electrification of the London suburban network.

Excursion and holiday traffic

Excursion trains from London to the South Coast or the Sussex countryside had been introduced by the London and Brighton Railway in 1844,[50] and were always a feature of the LB&SCR throughout its existence. However, after 1870 the company sought to develop this trade and market the south coast resorts, Hayling Island and the Isle of Wight as holiday destinations, by publishing a range of attractive posters. On the Isle of Wight the LB&SCR and the L&SWR jointly took over the ferry service from Portsmouth harbour and built new pier facilities at Ryde, together with a short railway line from the pier to the existing station at St John's Road in 1880.

The railway served a large number of important Horse racing tracks at Brighton, Epsom, Gatwick, Goodwood, Lewes, Lingfield and Plumpton. Race-day special trains were therefore an important additional source of revenue.[51]

Pullman-car trains

Individual Pullman cars were introduced to Britain on the Midland Railway in 1874, followed by the Great Northern Railway soon after, and the LB&SCR in 1875.[52] The LB&SCR, however pioneered the running of the all-Pullman train in England: the "Pullman Limited Express" on 5 December 1881. It consisted of four cars (built at the Pullman Car Company workshops in Derby): "Beatrice", "Louise", "Maud" and "Victoria"; which were the first electrically-lit coaches to run on a British railway. The train made two down and two up trips per day, and one each way on Sundays. The service was renamed the "Brighton Pullman Limited" in 1887 but first-class carriages were also attached to the train. A new train was built in 1888: three brand-new Pullmans were shipped over in parts from the Pullman Palace Car Company in America, and assembled by the LB&SCR at Brighton. The "Brighton Limited" was introduced on 2 October 1898. It ran only on Sundays, and not at all during the holiday months July–September. From the beginning the new train was timed to make the journey from Victoria in one hour: "London to Brighton in one hour" was the advertisement then used for the first time. On 21 December 1902 it made a record run of 54 minutes. It then hit the headlines again when, faced with the threat of a competing electric railway being built from London to Brighton, the "Limited" was run to Brighton in 48 mins 41 secs, and the return to London in 50 mins 21 secs, thus matching the schedule put forward by the promoters of the new electric line. The Southern Belle, introduced 8 November 1908, was described as "the most luxurious train in the World." By 1910 two trips each way were running every day; later three were run on Sundays. Third-class Pullman cars began running on Sunday 12 September 1915 from Victoria to Brighton and Eastbourne.

Rail motor services

During the first few years of the twentieth century the railway became concerned about losses incurred on several branch and short-distance passenger services, particularly during the winter months. The directors therefore asked its Chief Mechanical Engineer, Robert Billinton, to investigate the possible use of either steam or petrol railcars on the lightly used services. Billinton died before examples could be acquired, but in 1905 his successor Douglas Earle Marsh acquired two steam railcars from Beyer, Peacock and Company, and two petrol railcars from Dick, Kerr & Co.. These were compared with traditional small steam locomotives of the Stroudley A1 and D1 classes fitted for "motor train" or "push-pull" working.[53] Neither type of railcar was successful, being inadequate to cope with traffic fluctuations between winter and summer, but the "motor trains" could be adapted by the addition or removal of extra coaches. As a result, the experiment provided a new lease of life for the Stroudley tank classes, which continued to be used on branch lines for many years after their withdrawal from suburban services. The steam railcars were sold off after a few years, and the petrol railcars were used for departmental (non-revenue earning) purposes during the erection of the catenary for the overhead electrification of the London suburban lines.[54]

During the experiments relating to the use of railcars and motor trains, the railway constructed a number of additional unmanned halts between existing country stations, such as Lyons Crossing Halt, or Littlehaven Halt on the Arun Valley Line, in an attempt to increase passenger revenues.

Railway electrification

Proposals for a new London and Brighton Electric Railway made to the UK Parliament in 1900 failed to proceed, but did cause the LB&SCR to consider the electrification of its lines.[55][56] Because of the nature of its traffic with a very large number of commuter journeys over relatively short distances, the railway was an obvious candidate for electrification, and sought powers to adapt its suburban lines in 1903. Third and fourth rail direct current electrification systems had been chosen for the underground tube railways and the Metropolitan Railway and Metropolitan District Railway in London, the Mersey Railway in Liverpool and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Liverpool to Southport line. However the LB&SCR board foresaw the future electrification of its main line, and ultimately its routes to Portsmouth and Hastings, and therefore decided on a high-tension overhead supply system at 6600 volts AC.

Although the Midland Railway lines from Lancaster to Morecambe and Heysham had been the first to be converted using overhead lines, the LB&SCR lines eventually covered a far greater length of electrified track. This system was of German origin and the contractor for the electrical equipment was Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft of Berlin, while the main contractor was Robert W Blackwell & Co Ltd. Power supply was from the London Electric Supply Corporation (LESCo) at Deptford.[56][57]

The first section of LB&SCR to be electrified was the South London Line connecting London Bridge with Victoria via Denmark Hill, which was opened on 1 December 1909. The new service was marketed as 'The Elevated Electric' and was an immediate success.[58] Other routes followed: on 12 May 1911 Victoria–Crystal Palace via Balham and West Norwood were opened, followed on 3 March 1912 by the line from Peckham Rye to West Norwood. Repair shops for the growing electric fleet were established at Peckham Rye, and carriage sheds at Norwood Junction.

The continued success and profitability of its earliest projects caused the railway to decide to electrify all remaining London suburban lines in 1913. However, the outbreak of war the following year interrupted and ultimately delayed what was planned to have been considerable further mileage of electrified line. By 1921 most of the inner London suburban lines were electrified, and during 1922 lines to Coulsdon and Sutton, which were opened on 1 April 1925. During 1920 plans were drawn up to extend the 'Elevated Electric' on the main lines to Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Newhaven and Seaford, and also to Epsom and Oxted, but these were overtaken by the Grouping.[59]

The 'Elevated Electric' proved to be a technical and financial success,[60] but was to be short-lived, since the London and South Western Railway had adopted the third-rail system; and, after grouping, its mileage far exceeded that of the LB&SCR. In 1926 the Southern Railway announced that, as part of a huge electrification project, all overhead lines were to be converted to third rail operation, thus bringing all lines into a common system. The last overhead electric train ran on 22 September 1929.[56][61]

Accidents and signalling control

Semaphore signalling and signal boxes were both first introduced on the L&CR and had also been adopted by the L&BR prior to the amalgamation. Nevertheless there were a number of serious accidents in the early years of the LB&SCR some of which were due to failures in communication.[62] The company began to improve its safety record in the 1860s with the introduction of interlocking,[63] and the early introduction of Westinghouse air brakes. Given the large number of junctions and the intensive use of its system, the LB&SCR maintained a good safety record during the last half century of its existence.

The most notable accidents are as follows

Signalling and signal boxes

The LB&SCR originally used semaphore for home signals and 'double disc' for distant signals. However after 1872 semaphore signals were used for both purposes.

The company was using primitive interlocking between signals at some junctions by 1844.[64] However, in 1856, John Saxby, a carpenter working for the company, invented and patented a form of manual interlocking of the points and signals, which was first tried out at Bricklayers' Arms in that year.[65] The first fully interlocking frame was installed by Saxby at Keymer Junction near Haywards Heath in 1860, where he built a small workshop to undertake private work. He later left the company and in 1862 formed Saxby & Farmer signalling contractors. Thereafter the LB&SC patronised Saxby & Farmer for most of their signalling control until circa 1880.[64]

The company also inherited the world's first signal boxes sited at Bricklayer's Arms Junction and Brighton Junction (Norwood). After 1880 the LB&SCR gradually developed its own architecture for signal boxes, but used a mixture of home-produced and contractor-built frames.

In addition to both Saxby and Farmer (formerly a traffic manager with the LB&SCR), J.E. Annett, the inventor of Annett's key, 1875 (which functioned as a portable form of interlocking) was also a former LB&SCR employee.

Rolling stock

For the greater part of its existence the railway relied upon steam locomotives for motive power, and it owned no diesel or electric locomotives. The electrified lines were worked by electric multiple units for passenger traffic and by steam for freight. The railway did however experiment with the use of two petrol railcars in 1906 and 1907, but these proved to be underpowered and highly unreliable and so were soon taken out of traffic.[66]

The LB&SCR under Stroudley was one of the first railways in Britain to adopt the Westinghouse railway air brake on its rolling stock after 1877[67] in preference to the far less effective vacuum brakes employed by its neighbours.

Steam locomotives

The new railway inherited 51 steam locomotives from the Brighton, Croydon and Dover Joint Committee when it was wound up. During the seventy-five years of its existence the company either built or purchased a further 1,055 locomotives.[68] Of, these 620 were handed over to the Southern Railway on 1 January 1923.

The LB&SCR achieved early fame as the first railway to make use of the Jenny Lind 2-2-2 locomotive in 1847, designed by David Joy, the Chief Draughtsman of the E.B.Wilson and Company of Leeds, which was later widely used by other railways. The policy of John Chester Craven, Locomotive Superintendent from 1847 to 1869, was to design locomotives for each task or type of traffic hauled by the railway. Many of his designs were capable locomotives, but with 72 different classes in use at the time of William Stroudley's appointment in 1870, the policy was hopelessly uneconomic.

Stroudley had reduced this number to twelve main classes, many of which had interchangeable parts, by 1888.[69] He introduced a number of extremely successful and long-lived designs, notably the A1 class 0-6-0 and D1 class 0-4-2 tank engines and the B1 class 0-4-2 express passenger locomotives. His locomotives were all limited to six-wheels, and he never used bogies on his designs largely because of the limitations imposed by the LB&SCR turntables, notably at London Victoria.

The high price of coal supplies paid by the railway also encouraged Stroudley to experiment with condensing apparatus.[70][71] Stroudley’s successor R. J. Billinton continued the process of standardisation of locomotive parts until his death in 1904, thereby reducing maintenance costs. He also introduced 8-wheeled designs in the form of 4-4-0 express locomotives and a very successful series of 0-6-2 tank engines with radial axles. Thereafter D.E. Marsh continued the process of building larger locomotives with two classes of 4-4-2 express passenger locomotives, four classes of 4-4-2 tank engines, and two classes of 4-6-2 tank engines.

The last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the railway was L.B. Billinton who designed the K class 2-6-0 of 1913, and the L class 4-6-4 tanks of 1914. However, his career was cut short by the advent of the First World War and the subsequent grouping of British railways. According to D.L. Bradley, the railway handed over "a nicely balanced stock of locomotives well-suited to the demands of the Brighton section" to the Southern Railway at the time of the grouping in 1923.[72]

LB&SCR designs had little impact on the locomotive policy of the Southern Railway after 1923 because they were built to a more generous loading gauge and were fitted with Westinghouse air brakes unlike the two other main constituent companies. Although the designs used by the company were not perpetuated, the originals proved to be particularly long-lived. 62.8% of the company's locomotives which were inherited by the Southern Railway were still in use at the nationalisation of British Railways in 1948, compared with 57.9% for the L&SWR and 56.8% for the SE&CR.[73]

Electric traction

The electrified lines were operated by electric multiple units. These were originally three-car units, with a trailer sandwiched between motor cars. However, they were later converted into two-car units with one driving motor car and one driving trailer. New classes of multiple unit were developed for each new electrified line, known as the South London stock and the Crystal Palace) stock. A third type, the Coulsdon and Wallington stock was planned by the LB&SCR but introduced by the Southern Railway.

Coaching stock

The jobs of Locomotive Superintendent and Carriage and wagon superintendent were combined until the retirement of D.E. Marsh in 1911. As a result the LB&SCR was never at the forefront of carriage development in the United Kingdom for its ordinary coaching stock,[74] and as late as the mid 1860s was still building open-side 3rd-class carriages.[75] After taking up office in 1870 William Stroudley introduced four wheeled and later six wheeled designs which lasted for forty years, and shortly before his death in 1889 he also introduced a few bogie carriages for the main business trains.[76] Stroudley was also a pioneer in the introduction of dynamo-driven electric lighting[77] and communication cords.[75] The railway also introduced "breakfast cars" to its main business trains.

The appointment of Alfred Panter as Carriage and Wagon Works Manager under Robert Billinton in 1898 (and Carriage and Wagon Superintendent from 1912) led to the introduction of standard bogie carriages for mainline trains in 1905,[78] but the suburban services were operated by 6-wheeled "block trains" with solid wooden buffers and the carriages permanently tight coupled in sets of ten or twelve.[79] Many of these were still in use at 'Grouping' in 1923. Better vehicles did however appear early in the 20th century with the 'Balloon stock' and also the 'electric stock'.[80]

Sixteen carriages of LB&SCR origin have been preserved including one luxurious "Directors' saloon" of 1914: these are principally to be found on the Bluebell Railway and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.[81] In addition a number of grounded carriage bodies, used as holiday homes still survive.


Sixteen wagons formerly in LB&SCR ownership now survive, largely because the Southern Railway transferred them to the Isle of Wight, where they remained in use until the 1960s.[82]


After 1870 the LB&SCR was renowned among British railways for the attractiveness of its locomotives and coaching stock and condition of its country stations. "No company, even the North-Western itself turns out smarter looking trains than the Brighton main line expresses and even some of the suburban trains."[83]

Between 1846 and 1870 passenger locomotives were painted 'hunter green' with some engines being finished with black lining. Frames were painted red, and wheels were black. Buffer beams were painted the regulation 'signal red'. Goods locomotives were black with red and white lining, except those operating on routes taking them into Brighton or London Bridge railway station, in which cases they were painted in passenger livery. Some engines had boilers lagged with wooden strips. These were either highly polished mahogany with brass fixings or were painted in alternating stripes of dark green and vermillion. The main shade of green used gradually became darker. By the time William Stroudley became Locomotive Superintendent the colour had become a variant of the common Brunswick Green used by many other companies. Carriages were either painted sea green or were left as varnished wood (the latter mainly being applied to first class stock).

From 1870 to 1905 the livery used was Stroudley's 'Improved Engine Green', which was actually a golden ochre colour. The colour was very similar to that used by Stroudley's former employer, the Highland Railway. On passenger locomotives Improved Engine Green was finished with olive green borders lined with black, red and white. Frames and buffer beams were painted carmine red, lined with yellow and black. The wheels were Improved Engine Green with red lining. Cab roofs were painted white. Goods engines were painted all-over olive green with black borders, similar to the pre-1870 colours. If fitted with Westinghouse brakes the black borders were edged with red lines. Locomotives with names had the name applied in gold leaf to the tank side (on tank locomotives) or to a wheel splasher on tender locomotives. The letters were edged with a thin red line and given depth with black shading. This livery was one of the most ornate and distinctive ever used on British locomotives, and is still remembered with nostalgia. Carriages were all mahogany in colour, with white roofs and black chassis gear. Initially the actual wood of the body was varnished. Over the years it became harder to maintain a high-quality varnish finish and so at this point in the carriage's life it would be painted in a similar-coloured paint. Panel lining and other details were picked out with gold leaf.

During the period from 1905–1923 front-line express locomotives were painted a dark shade of umber. Lining was black with a gilt line either side. Cab roofs remained white. Frames were painted black, wheels were umber, and buffer beams returned to signal red. The company's initials were painted on the tender- or tank-sides (initially 'L.B.& S.C.R.', but after 1911 the ampersand was left out and the R removed) in gilt. Secondary passenger locomotives had the same livery, but instead of gilt lining chrome yellow paint was used. Goods engines were painted gloss black with double vermillion lining. Names and numbers were painted in white letters with red shading. Carriages were initially all olive green with white lining and detailing. From 1911 this was changed to plain umber with black lettering picked out with gold shading.

Ferry services and ships

Throughout its existence, the railway invested in cross-channel ferry services, initially from Shoreham to Dieppe. Following the opening of the line to Newhaven in 1847, the company improved Newhaven harbour, building its own wharf and dredging the channel. A Newhaven-Dieppe service was established in 1847, but discontinued soon afterwards.[84] In 1850 it established a Newhaven-Jersey ferry service, and in 1853 it re-instated the Dieppe service.[84]

An Act of 1862 gave the LBSCR power to own and operate its own steam vessels,[85] so it instructed then CHief Engineer Frederick Banister to greatly expand the port and its facilities. Resultantly, in 1863 the French Western Railway (Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest) agreed to operate the Newhaven-Dieppe passenger service jointly. This service was advertised as the "shortest and cheapest" route to Paris,[86] although it was never the quickest because of the much longer time taken at sea than the rival Dover to Calais route. (Newhaven harbour was taken over by the military authorities and the ferries requisitioned for the duration of the First World War.)

In 1863, the company transferred its Jersey service to Littlehampton and soon afterwards established another between Littlehampton and Honfleur.

By 1880 railway lines connected to both the Ryde Pier and the Portsmouth Harbour ferry terminals. It was therefore a natural progression for the railway companies to acquire the ferry routes themselves. To do this the LB&SCR and the L&SWR together formed the South Western and Brighton Railway Companies Steam Packet Service (SW&BRCSPS) which bought out the existing operators.[10]

In 1884 the Isle of Wight Marine Transit Company started a rail freight ferry link between the Hayling Island Branch Line at Langstone and the Bembridge branch line at St Helens quay. To provide the link the rail ferry PS Carrier, designed to carry railway trucks, was moved from Scotland. The project was unsuccessful and, despite being acquired in full by the LB&SCR in 1886, it ended in 1888.[87]

The railway operated a significant number of ships in its own right, jointly with Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest, and as a part of the SW&BRCSPS. See List of LB&SCR ships

Structures, buildings and civil engineering

The railway inherited a number of significant structures, buildings and other civil engineering features from its predecessor companies. These included:


The railway either inherited or built twenty termini, the most significant of which were at London Bridge, Victoria, Brighton, Portsmouth Harbour and Eastbourne. LB&SCR stations at major junctions on the system included Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Three Bridges, Horsham, and Lewes.

The use of David Mocatta's modular station designs for the Brighton main line, was not perpetuated by the LB&SCR. During the 1850s and 1860s most stations were constructed according to one or two stock designs prepared by the railway's Chief Engineers: R. Jacomb-Hood; Frederick Banister (1860–1895). Banister had a love of Italianate architecture, meaning that during the 1880s the railway produced elaborate decorated architecture of many of its country stations, notably on the Bluebell and Cuckoo Lines.[88] The architect was Banister's son-in-law, Thomas Myres.[89]

Workshops and motive power depots

The London and Brighton Railway established a repair workshop at Brighton in 1840. Between 1852 and 1957 more than 1,200 steam locomotives as well as prototype diesel electric and electric locomotives were constructed there, before the eventual closure of the facility in 1962. In addition it also maintained a small locomotive repair facilities at the New Cross and Battersea Park Depots in London.

By the first decade of the twentieth century Brighton works could no longer cope with the repair and building of both locomotives and rolling stock. In 1911 the railway therefore built a carriage and wagon works in the village of Lancing which operated until 1965. A marine engineering workshop was established in the mid 1870s at Newhaven, East Sussex.[90]

The railway had motive power depots at Battersea Park, Brighton, Bognor, Coulsdon, Croydon, Eastbourne, Epsom, Fratton (joint) Horsham, Littlehampton, Midhurst, New Cross, Newhaven, St Leonards, Three Bridges and Tunbridge Wells West.[91]

The headquarters and main offices of the railway were at Brighton railway station from 1846 until 1892, when they were transferred to the former Terminus Hotel at London Bridge railway station


The LB&SCR opened the Terminus Hotel at London Bridge Station and the Grosvenor Hotel at Victoria both in 1861. The first of these was not successful due to its site on the south bank and so was turned into offices for the railway in 1892. It was destroyed by bombing in 1941. The Grosvenor Hotel was rebuilt and enlarged in 1901.[92] The railway also acquired the Terminus Hotel next to Brighton station in 1877,[93] and operated the London and Paris Hotel at Newhaven.[94]

The LB&SCR as an investment

In 1890 the economist and editor of the Financial Times, William Ramage Lawson conducted a detailed analysis of the financial performance and prospects of the LB&SCR, comparing it with the performance of the other British railways. He concluded that the Brighton Deferred stock 'combined the highest return on investment, with the best prospect of future appreciation and the smallest risk of retrogression.'[95] Among the reasons given for this opinion were:

  • Well established route and freedom from competition
  • Varied and well distributed sources of traffic
  • Moderate working expenses due to high quality construction of the original route and good maintenance.
  • Energetic and prudent management

From 1870 until the end of its existence, there is little doubt that the LB&SCR was a well-run, enterprising and profitable railway for its shareholders.

Notable people

Chairmen of the board of directors

Members of the board of directors


  • Peter Clarke(1846–1848) – Manager
  • George Hawkins (1849–1850) – Goods Manager
  •  ? Pountain (1849–1850) – Non Goods Manager
  • George Hawkins (1849–1850) – Traffic Manager
  • J.P. Knight (1869-1870– Traffic Manager
  • J.P. Knight (1870–1886) general manager
  • Sir Allen Sarle (1886–1897) general manager
  • John Francis Sykes Gooday (1897–1899) general manager
  • William de Guise Forbes (1899–1922) general manager


  • T.J. Buckton (1846–1849)
  • Frederick Slight (1849–1867)
  • Sir Allen Sarle (1867–1898) from 1886–1898 also general manager
  • J.J. Brewer (1898–1922)

Chief Engineers

  • Robert Jacomb-Hood (1846–1860)
  • Frederick Banister (1860–1895)
  • C.L. Morgan (1895–1917)
  • J.B. Ball (1917–1920)
  • O.G.C. Drury (1920–1922)

Locomotive Superintendents

Carriage and Wagon Superintendent

  • Alfred Panter (1912–1922)

Industrial relations

For its time, the LB&SCR was regarded as a good employer. In 1851 it created a benevolent fund for members of its staff who had become incapacitated, and from 1854 operated a savings bank for employees. In 1867 there was a two-day strike action involving the drivers and firemen employed by the company over their working hours which was resolved by negotiation.[97] In 1872 a superannuation fund was established for higher grades of staff, which was extended to become a pension fund for all staff in 1899.[98]

See also



  • Acworth, W.M. "The London and Brighton Railway". Murray's Magazine 4 (19) (July 1888). London: John Murray.
  • Ahrons, Ernest L. (1953). Locomotive & train working in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Cambridge: Heffer. OCLC 11899921
  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 1-85260-049-7.
  • Baxter, Bertram; Baxter, David (1977). British Locomotive Catalogue, 1825–1923. Buxton: Moorland. ISBN 978-0-903485-50-0.
  • Bonavia, Michael R. (1987). The history of the Southern Railway. London: Unwin Hyman. ISBN 0-04-385107-X.
  • Bradley, Donald Laurence (1969). Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway: Part 1. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.
  • Bradley, D.L. (1972). Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway: Part 2. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.
  • Bradley, D.L. (1974). Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway: Part 3. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.
  • Burtt, Frank; Beckerlegge, W. (1948). Pullman and Perfection. London: Ian Allan. OCLC  316139331
  • Cooper, B. K. (1981). Rail Centres: Brighton. Nottingham: Booklaw. ISBN 1-901945-11-1.
  • Cooper, Peter (1990) LBSCR stock book Cheltenham: Runpast. ISBN 1-870754-13-1.
  • Dawson, Philip, (1921). Report by Sir Philip Dawsopn on proposed sustitution of electric for steam operation for suburban, local and mainline passenger and freight services. London Brighton and South Coast Railway.
  • Dendy Marshall, Chapman Frederick; Kidner, Roger Wakely. A history of the Southern Railway 2nd edition. London: Ian Allan 1963. Originally published 1936. OCLC 315039503
  • Eborall, C.W.; Smiles, S. (1863). Report of the general manager and Secretary on the relations of the South Eastern and Brighton companies, London: South Eastern Railway.
  • Eddolls, John (1983). The Brighton line. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8251-9.
  • Ellis, C. Hamilton (1960). The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway : a mechanical history of the London and Brighton, the London and Croydon, and the London, Brighton and South Coast Railways from 1839 to 1922. London: Ian Allan. OCLC 500637942
  • Fryer, C.E.J. (1997). A History of Slipping and Slip Carriages. Usk: Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-514-9
  • Gray, Adrian (1997). The London to Brighton Line 1841–1977. Blandford Forum: Oakwood Press. OCLC 4570078
  • Hawkins, Chris; Reeve, George (1979). An historical survey of Southern sheds. Oxford: Oxford Publishing. ISBN 0-86093-020-3.
  • Haworth, R.B. Miramar Ship Index. Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Heap, Christine; van Riemsdijk, John (1980). The Pre-Grouping Railways part 2. H.M.S.O. for the Science Museum. ISBN 0-11-290309-6.
  • Hoare, John (1974). Railway Architecture in Sussex. Sussex Industrial History, Sussex Industrial History Society, 6.
  • Jordan, S. (1998). Ferry Services of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. Usk: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-521-7.
  • Kidner, R.W. (1984). Southern suburban steam 1860–1967. The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-298-6.
  • Lawson, W.R. (1891). The Brighton Railway: its resources and prospects. London: "Financial Times" Office. OCLC 55652812
  • London Brighton and South Coast Railway Official Guide, (1912), LB&SCR.
  • The London Brighton and South Coast Railway Co. 1846–1922. (1923) London Brighton and South Coast Railway.
  • London Brighton & South Coast Railway (1867). Report of the Committee of Investigation, LB&SCR.
  • Marx, Klaus (2007). Lawson Billinton: a career cut short. Oakwood Press, ISBN 978-0-85361-661-0.
  • Marx, Klaus (2008). Robert Billinton: an engineer under pressure, Usk: The Oakwood Press, ISBN 978-0-85361-676-4.
  • Measom, George S. (1863). The official illustrated guide to the Brighton and south coast railways and all their branches. London: Collins. OCLC 55653470
  • Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Keith (1983) South Coast Railways p- Brighton to Worthing, Middleton Press.
  • Moody, George T. (1968). Southern Electric 1909–1968, London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0017-9
  • Pratt, Edwin A. (1921). British railways and the Great War. London: Selwyn & Blount. OCLC 1850596
  • 'Railway amalgamation', (1875) Saturday Review, 3 April pp. 430–1.
  • Richards, Henry Walter Huntingford (1923). 'Twelve years' operation of electric traction on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Session 1922–1923, London: Institution of Civil Engineers.
  • 'Reconstruction of the Grosvenor Hotel, (1901), British Architect 4 Jan, p. 17.
  • Searle, Muriel V. (1986). Down the line to Brighton. Baton Transport. OCLC 60079352
  • Sekon, G.A. (1895). History of the South Eastern Railway. Economic Printing and Publishing Co.
  • Swiggum, S.; Kohli, M. The Ships List. London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Company.
  • "Termination of the strike on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway". Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, 30 March 1867.
  • Turner, John Howard (1977), The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-0275-X
  • Turner, John Howard (1978), The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 2 Establishment and Growth, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-1198-8
  • Turner, John Howard (1979), The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-1389-1.
  • White, H.P. (1961). A regional history of the railways of Great Britain: II. Southern England. Phoenix House.

External links

  • LBSCR enthusiast site
    • LBSCR liveries
  • 1956
  • Tony Wakeford, 'Time travel: a journey through the timetables of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway 1860–1901'
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