This booklet is unusual in two respects. First it was produced at the height of WW II (Thanks to the list of “Merchant Navy” class locomotives, the latest given is “Blue Star”, built July, 1942, the next “General Steam Navigation” not being out-shopped until December 1944, there being no mention of V1 or V2 attacks, or of D-day traffic, suggest a publication date c1943).
Secondly, half the booklet is devoted to electric traction, mainly EMUs, although the Southern did have one experimental electric locomotive at this time, CC1 built in 1941.
A useful feature of the booklet is the inclusion of tables showing the electrification dates of various routes, also dates for commissioning colour light signaling.
The Southern’s “star” locomotives were the “Merchant Navy” class mentioned earlier, for which O.V.S. Bulleid, the Southern Chief Mechanical Engineer was responsible.The Southern Railway had considered naming the locomotives after victories of the Second World War, to the extent that they mocked-up a nameplate “River Plate. In the event, when early successes for the British proved few and far between, the Union Castle Line Chairman suggested naming them after shipping companies which had called at Southampton Docks in peacetime.
As a wartime production the paper quality leaves a lot to be desired, but most of the illustrations have reproduced well.
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.