It is now almost a century since the first electrified suburban services were introduced by the London, Brighton & South Coast and London & South Western railways. From these small beginnings a vast network of electrified lines serving much of southern and southeastern England has emerged, providing commuters and travellers with essential links to ...
It is now almost a century since the first electrified suburban services were introduced by the London, Brighton & South Coast and London & South Western railways. From these small beginnings a vast network of electrified lines serving much of southern and southeastern England has emerged, providing commuters and travellers with essential links to and from the Metropolis and across the region. To operate these electrified services, vast numbers of EMUs have been constructed and, as both routes as passenger demands have increased, so the number of units in service has also increased. Modernisation of much of the network after nationalisation and the expansion of electrified services to the Kent Coast in the late 1950s saw the construction of the last batches of traditional slam-door rolling stock and, almost 40 years after the last of these traditional types were constructed, the end of 2005 will witness the final withdrawal of these once numerous units. In his second contribution to the new Ian Allan Publishing 'British Railway Pictorial' series, Kevin Robertson examines the history of these traditional slam-door EMUs through a selection of some 200 mono illustrations. Covering initially the designs inherited by British Railways from the Southern Railway and its antecedents, he explores the range of units constructed after Nationalisation in depth. Covering each of the various types - inner and outer suburban as well as long-distance - he records how the units were modified over the years and the liveries that they wore. Alongside the successful and long-lived classes, he also recalls those designs, such as Bulleid's pioneering but impractical design of double-deck unit, that were less long lasting. With the final examples of traditional slam-door stock due to be withdrawn at the end of 2005, there can be no better time to publish this examination of the units now consigned to history. Earlier books on the subject, such as Graham Waterer's Southern EMUs: A View from the Past, have proved to be highly successful; this new addition to a popular series is certain to be much sought after by all those interested in the history of Southern Region rolling stock.
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