Southern Railway (UK)

British “Big 4” railway company, active 1923–1947
For other uses see Southern Railway

The Southern Railway (SR), was one of the Big Four British railway companies from 1923 to 1948. It was established under the Railways Act 1921. The railway was formed by the amalgamation of smaller companies. The largest of these were the London and South Western Railway, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.[1]

Southern Railway
Coat-of-arms of the Southern Railway
1923Grouping; Southern Railway is created
1929Phase one of electrification scheme complete
1930Richard Maunsell's SR V "Schools" class introduced
1937Oliver Bulleid becomes Chief Mechanical Engineer
1941First SR Merchant Navy Class Pacific unveiled
Constituent companies
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
London & South Western Railway
South Eastern and Chatham Railway
See full List of constituent companies of the Southern Railway
Successor organisation
1948Southern Region of British Railways
Key locations
Headquarters Waterloo station, London
Major stationsWaterloo station
Charing Cross
Inherited route mileage
19232,186 miles (3,518 km)
Mileage shown as at end of year stated.
Source: Whitehouse, Patrick & Thomas, David St.John: SR 150, Introduction

The SR contained notable examples of civil engineering, linking London with the Channel ports, South West England and Kent. Construction of what was to become the Southern began in 1838 with the opening of the London and Southampton Railway, which was renamed the London and South Western Railway.



  1. Bonavia, 26