A.S.L.E.& F. to inaugurate a Political Levy and to centralise 

the funds of the Society.

In 1903 the L.B.S.C.R. obtained power from Parliament to electrify several of its suburban 

lines. The L.B.S.C.R. decided to adopted what they called the “Elevated Electric” system 

with overhead wires supply the power at 6,600v A.C. Whilst the London South Western 

Railway  had chosen the third rail D.C. system to electrify their suburban routes.

  Triennial Conference of May 1903

It was agreed that Engine Cleaners and Electric Motormen were all allowed to join 

A.S.L.E.F. and the establishing of a Political Fund.



Royal Train conveying King Edward Vll arriving at Eastbourne on July 11 1903.





extracted and adapted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR


On 2nd October, 1898, the Sunday ‘Pullman Limited’ commenced operating and by the turn of the century name of the train was called ‘Brighton Limited’. At this period the L.B. & S.C.R. was anxious to clear itself of its long-standing reputation for dilatoriness, caused partly by traffic congestion on the main line north of Redhill, and some very fast runs were made with the lightly loaded Pullman Limited on Sundays, when the track was relatively clear. This train was timed to cover the 50 ¾ miles between Victoria and Brighton in each direction in exactly sixty minutes, and in the coming years the new engines could cut several minutes of the schedule. 

On the 21st December 1901, a speed ran with the down express to Brighton, with a Billinton B4 Class No. 70 'Holyrood,'  in 53 minutes and 49 seconds at an average speed of 57 ¼ m.p.h. while on Christmas Day of that year, another B4 Class, No. 68 'Malborough,' completed the same journey in 51 minutes 11 seconds with a maximum speed of 88 m.p.h. near Horley.

This, however, was but a foretaste of what these engines could really do when given their head. About this time there were proposals in the air for a rival electrified line to Brighton, coupled with the specious promise of fifty miles in fifty minutes, and the L.B. & S.C.R. decided to show that whatever electricity could do, steam could do better. 
On 26th July,1903, Brighton Driver John Thompsett, with his engine, B4 Class, No. 70 ‘Holyrood,’ a specially light version of the Pullman Limited was prepared, consisting of three eight-wheeled cars and a brake van, making up a total weight of about 130 tons, run the fastest ever return journey between London and Brighton. This engine had established a reputation for fast running and was chosen for the task, the train being ‘Limited,’ which for the occasion had accommodation curtailed to only three Pullmans and a van. The road was specially cleared from Victoria to Brighton, and Driver Thompsett given a free hand to make the best time possible, provided all the Company’s speed restrictions were adhered to, and no unnecessary risks taken. Brighton was reached in 48 minutes 41 seconds at an average speed of 62 ½ m.p.h a time, and a maximum speed of 90 miles an hour near Horley, and was never equaled in the subsequent history of the L.B. & S.C.R. 

In the evening the same engine and crew raced the train back to Victoria in 50 minutes 21 seconds, with an average of 60.8 miles an hour and a maximum of 85 miles an hour, and again a record for the Brighton line. Although worthy of the highest praise and forming first-rate advertising could not be indulged in daily without seriously disrupting all other services. There the L.B. & S.C.R. Directors and Robert Billinton, having shown the world what the Brighton could do, very wisely made no attempt to introduce 60 m.ph. services, although a blind eye was turned on those drivers who wish to reduce the schedules by three or four minutes. As in all other runs the second up journey, Driver John Thompsett did not know that he was being timed.  

Having shown their paces with these specially prepared runs, the L.B. & S.C.R. felt that such times were not beyond the scope of ordinary traffic conditions. On Sunday, June 30th, 1907, the new Marsh Atlantic No. 37 ran the Pullman Limited from Victoria to Brighton in 51 minutes 48 seconds. The train consisted of five eight-wheeled cars, two twelve-wheelers, and two six-wheeled vans. This was in comparison an even better performance than Holyrood's record run of  26th July, 1903, since it was made under ordinary traffic conditions, with several checks near Earlswood owing to road widening, and a train of nearly double the weight. By this time, however, the rival electric schemes had faded away and the L.B. & S.C.R. settled down to its normal sixty minute schedule.

1903 Brighton drivers designated Brighton Gladstone Class locomotives. which included 
Driver Taylor was in charge of No. 193 ‘Freemantle’
Driver Parker, was in charge of No. 184 ‘Carew D. Gilbert’ 
Driver Sharman was in charge of No.181 ‘Eastbourne’  
Driver Wright was in charge of No. 190 ‘Arthur Otway.’ 
Driver John Thompsett, was in charge of B4 Class, No. 70 ‘Holyrood,’

Charlie Peters was an inspector and a designated trial driver, and was responsible for preparing all the new heavily repaired  engines for the road. He also had to take these engines out on trial runs, usually to West Worthing or Littlehampton, as they came out of the shops.





 Bognor Regis second Loco Shed 1903 ~ 1960.

To the left of the picture shows the remains of 

the first loco shed 1864 ~ 1903

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