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Northern extent of Southern Region 3rd rail in 1960s


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Despite numerous Google searches, I haven't been able to find the information as to how far north of London the 3rd rail of the Southern Region extended in the 1960s. Every webpage I visit seems to be a re-hash of the same information about the history of SR electrification and the various lines south of London. Various maps show the extent of the Southern Region but not which lines are 3rd rail electrified.

 

I've picked up that Reading appears to be served (now) by 3rd rail, but when did that actually happen?

 

I'm trying to determine a route through Southern territory from Newhaven* to join up with the West Coast Main Line, avoiding the congestion of London, in order to provide a fast route to the South coast from the North/Midlands in the 1960s. Trying to find out which lines were powered by 3rd rail during the 1960s is proving harder than I ever imagined!

 

If there is already a thread containing that information, I'd be grateful for a link as nothing pertinent has appeared using Google searches (I'll not even mention RMWebs internal search engine! Whoops! Just did!)

 

Many thanks for any information offered.

 

Steve S

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Posted (edited)

To answer your Reading question - the date Southern Railway electric services started to Reading from Waterloo was 1939. This information came from this article -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_Southern_railway_station#Electrification 

I am sure you will find people with a detailed knowledge of routes through London for passenger and goods traffic, but trying to avoid London and yet access the WCML must be impossible, without going north from Reading and that would involve changing trains.

Edited by phil_sutters
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Posted (edited)

The Clapham Junction, Olympia, Willesden line was used for services between Brighton and the North but trains still switch from overhead to third rail just south of Willesden, so that might be the limit.

 

The Southern part of Reading was essentially a separate station (albeit alongside) for many years and I think still was in the 60s. 

Edited by Hal Nail
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Posted (edited)

(The text on this post disappeared - reinstated now)

 

I meant to include this map with my first post - it shows the extent of the SR but not electrification!

 

IMG_2025.JPG

Edited by SteveyDee68
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Looking at latitudes I think the most northerly point of the SR electrification system in the 1960s was Holborn Viaduct station (which is farther north than Reading).  Ergo I submit that the correct answer is that SR electrification did not extend to the north of London at all in the 1960s.

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8 hours ago, Hal Nail said:

The Clapham Junction, Olympia, Willesden line was used for services between Brighton and the North but trains still switch from overhead to third rail just south of Willesden, so that might be the limit. .....

Addison Road was electrified on the FOUR rail system by the G.W.R./Metropolitan in 1906 and L.N.W.R. in 1914 but the latter ceased during WWII and the former cut back in the fifties - leaving no electrification to the north, just the Earls Court shuttle. The juice didn't arrive from south until 1993.

 

The Southern and the four-rail North London Lines met at Richmond, of course, but there was no motive power capable of running on both systems.

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1 minute ago, Wickham Green too said:

Addison Road was electrified on the FOUR rail system by the G.W.R./Metropolitan in 1906 and L.N.W.R. in 1914 but the latter ceased during WWII and the former cut back in the fifties - leaving no electrification to the north, just the Earls Court shuttle. The juice didn't arrive from south until 1993.

 

The Southern and the four-rail North London Lines met at Richmond, of course, but there was no motive power capable of running on both systems.

Yes I wasnt very clear in merging two trains of thought. This was the through route in answer to the OP question but trains were diesel hauled when I were a lad.

 

So depending on the uk tilt, the answer to the Northern most part of the SR 3rd rail excluding central London, might be somewhere on the Hounslow loop or North Kent!

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2 hours ago, DY444 said:

Looking at latitudes I think the most northerly point of the SR electrification system in the 1960s was Holborn Viaduct station (which is farther north than Reading).  Ergo I submit that the correct answer is that SR electrification did not extend to the north of London at all in the 1960s.

 

Erm...

 

33 minutes ago, Hal Nail said:

So depending on the uk tilt, the answer to the Northern most part of the SR 3rd rail excluding central London, might be somewhere on the Hounslow loop or North Kent!

 

You've lost me, sorry...

 

IMG_2026.JPG

Edited by SteveyDee68
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1 hour ago, SteveyDee68 said:

 

Erm...

 

You've lost me, sorry...

You said outside London originally and mentioned Reading! I was curious where the most Northerly point is outside the capital :)

 

Ignoring Holborn, from that map it is either somewhere near Brentford or, given the UK doesn't actually run as directly North South as maps always make it look, somewhere along the Thames estuary.

 

Good pub quiz trivia!

Edited by Hal Nail
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Holborn Viaduct seams to be the northern point until the former dc lines from Euston and the North London line where converted in the 70,s.

 

Keith

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By and large, Southern Railway electrification had completely converted the suburban area by WW2, the new Chessington Branch, originally intended to carry on to a junction at Leatherhead being the final achievement. The outer area was defined by Gillingham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Ore (Hastings) via Eastbourne, Portsmouth via the direct and the Mid-Sussex, Alton and Reading as noted above. 

 

The Euston - Watford Junction service was electrified in 1912, the Broad St - Richmond route in 1916, both on 4-rail systems. Neither had any connection whatever with Southern Railway electrification with 3-rails. 

 

It was the opening of the Channel Tunnel depot at North Pole that led to the electrification of the WLL in 1993. 

 

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The limits of the Southern Region 3rd Rail in / around London would be Reading (as noted earlier this was done pre WW2!) Kew Junctions (Hounslow Loop), Putney Bridge (the East Putney - Wimbledon section having been electrified by the LSWR!), Clapham Junction (the WWL didn't get 3rd rail until the Eurostar depot at North Pole was built) and Holborn Viaduct (it subsequently extending to Faringdon when Thameslink was created)

 

The 4 rail system operated by the Midland Region was used on the Euston to Watford line and the Richmond to Broad street, however this was converted to 3rd rail in the 1980s and 3rd rail extended to North Woolwich so as to facilitate the closure of Broad Street.

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So to answer the question of what was the fastest route for Newhaven to WCML in the 1960's  would be non-electric haulage between Clapham Junction, and Willesden after the beginning of 1966 when the juice was officially switched on from Euston northwards. :sungum:

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6 hours ago, Wickham Green too said:

Addison Road was electrified on the FOUR rail system by the G.W.R./Metropolitan in 1906 and L.N.W.R. in 1914 but the latter ceased during WWII and the former cut back in the fifties - leaving no electrification to the north, just the Earls Court shuttle. The juice didn't arrive from south until 1993.

 

The Southern and the four-rail North London Lines met at Richmond, of course, but there was no motive power capable of running on both systems.

Until the early 1970s when the NLL and Watford lines were converted to 3rd rail, and you could do things like this:

4-COR class 404 no. 3135 at Euston on 8/11/1970

 

Not to mention the regular use of 2-EPBs in the 1980s. 

 

In answer to the OP's question, there's some information on the routing of the real life services from the North to  Newhaven (the sleeper from Glasgow) here : https://www.derbysulzers.com/peakseverywhere.html. This used the West London line to Clapham junction. 

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15 hours ago, Hal Nail said:

The Southern part of Reading was essentially a separate station (albeit alongside) for many years and I think still was in the 60s. 

 

The South Eastern station was completely separate. Sometime in the 1860s there was a fire - rumour spread in the town that it was the Great Western station that was burning down, which led to great rejoicing. When it became known that it was the South Eastern station, joy turned to sorrow.

Edited by Compound2632
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http://cartometro.com/cartes/metro-london/?r=cmf

 

The Southern region didn't work freight by electric loco to 'North of London' destinations.

 

Your options are (east to west)

 

East London Line via the Thames Tunnel at Wapping (now the East London Line 'tube' )

 

Snow Hill Tunnel at Blackfriars (now Thameslink) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Hill_tunnel_(London)

 

West London Line Via Kensington Olympia

 

Via Kew Bridge triangle and Acton Wells

 

Via Staines and Reading

 

Redhill Dorking Guildford Reading (still not electrified in parts, and requiring a reversal from the Couth coast).

 

I'm sure others can explain better, but I'd expect an inter regional freight, to get to one of the big yards South of the river, somewhere like Feltham, Norwood Junction or New Cross perhaps, then get marshalled into a train for transfer to LMR/WR/ER, and tripped across the river to the receiving regions yard, then be reformed again, to run further North or West. Block trains over long distances would have been unusual at that time.

 

Jon

 

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3 hours ago, bike2steam said:

So to answer the question of what was the fastest route for Newhaven to WCML in the 1960's  would be non-electric haulage between Clapham Junction, and Willesden after the beginning of 1966 when the juice was officially switched on from Euston northwards. :sungum:

 

Electrification hasn't changed that answer one bit.

 

The fastest route was WCML - WLL - BML regardless of motive power (be it steam, diesel or electric).

 

After the WCML electrification was completed then trains would usually be electrically hauled as far as Mitre Bridge Junction (where a short stub of 25KV off the WCML was provided) and then swap to a diesel for the run onwards over the WLL and BML. This mode of operation was retained for what became cross country services to the Sussex and Kent coasts.

 

In later years however services were progressively diverted away via Banbury, Oxford and Reading with the swap between diesel and electric traction taking place at Birmingham which obviously extended journey times (and made more money for BR because travellers wanting to make a fast journey would have to pay for the more expensive 'via London' tickets).

 

By the time a direct WCML - BML service was restarted post privatisation by Connex the WLL had been electrified and dual voltage EMUs were used

Edited by phil-b259
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6 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

The 4 rail system operated by the Midland Region was used on the Euston to Watford line and the Richmond to Broad street, however this was converted to 3rd rail in the 1980s and 3rd rail extended to North Woolwich so as to facilitate the closure of Broad Street.

The conversion to 3 rail was in 1970

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Thank you for the replies - I see I need to do some serious staring at maps and further reading!

 

Understanding reality is step one of trying to determine a plausible "what if" scenario that joined SR 3rd rail to WCML OHLE to allow electric haulage of both freight and passenger long haul trains, avoiding London in the process. Rewriting history (a bit!) to provide a backstory where progressive minded government gave priority to improving the national railways rather than motorway building, for a reimagined Newhaven as a major port, and in the process giving me an excuse to 'backdate' a class 92* to transitional era as a dual-system electric loco.

 

Hat, coat ...

 

 

* Of course, I would lose various diesel classes as never being developed due to an earlier push for electric traction... imagine a world without 'sheds'!! :lol:

 

 

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1 hour ago, jonhall said:

Feltham, Norwood Junction or New Cross


Feltham, Norwood, and Hither Green were the main yards, and as you say there were trips between these and the other big nodal yards Willesden, Brent, Acton, and (to a lesser extent) Ferme Park and, I think, Stratford. This pattern existed from the 1910s to c1980.

 

New Cross was a receiving/forwarding point for goods via the ELL, but that was such a difficult route for goods (a wagon lift, or reversal in Liverpool Street passenger station) that these were never big flows.

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According to the Middleton Press book " The East London Line", there was a plan to build a tunnel from Shoreditch to emerge near Cambridge Heath Station. Unfortunately I haven`t been able to find where this line would have terminated, or if it was meant to go beyond Cambridge Heath. The tunnel can be seen on maps in the book as well as the usual other map sources. If anyone knows any thing about the route planned by the ELL, I`d love to hear your thoughts.

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35 minutes ago, nigb55009 said:

According to the Middleton Press book " The East London Line", there was a plan to build a tunnel from Shoreditch to emerge near Cambridge Heath Station. Unfortunately I haven`t been able to find where this line would have terminated, or if it was meant to go beyond Cambridge Heath. The tunnel can be seen on maps in the book as well as the usual other map sources. If anyone knows any thing about the route planned by the ELL, I`d love to hear your thoughts.

I think you might find the answer here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_London_line

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