Bognor and Littlehampton closed and amalgamated to form 
the Bognor & Littlehampton Branch


Coulsdon Loco Shed, with the overhead wires and gantries in the terminal station  

The Coulsdon (North) Loco shed was closed in May 1929, by the Southern Railway as a result of third rail electrification. 

The nearby South Eastern loco sheds at Purley and it’s small sub sheds at Catterham and Tattenham Corner closed in 1928 a result as the arrival of third rail electrification to these locations.

It’s thought with the closure of these four loco sheds, that the Purley and (Stoat’s Nest) Coulsdon Branch of A.S.L.E.& F. closed. 

The Motormen of Coulsdon North along with the South Eastern Motormen of Caterham and Tattenham Corner become members of the Selhurst Branch of A.S.L.E.& F.   

The Selhurst Branch also incorporated the smaller Motorman’s depot such as West Croydon, Wallington and Crystal Palace. 






The Quarterly Meeting was held on March 10th, when Bro. Barton Wild attended. After branch business, the meeting was open to all Locomotivemen, and a good attendance had the pleasure of listening to an inspiring address by Bro. Wild, who took as his subject the “Aims and Objects of the Associated.” He took us through the early history of the society, showing how it had grown into a vast organization it is to-day; also how it had gradually improved the conditions of Locomotivemen, by National Agreements, Eight-hour day, etc. he appealed to all locomen to take an intelligent interest in the affairs of the Society, so that we can march forward in the near future 100 per cent. organized industrially and politically, and so ensure for locomotivemen more tolerable conditions of service and just remuneration for their labours. Questions were asked and satisfactorily answered. A vote of thanks to Bro. Wild for his very able address was carried unanimously. Officials and members are determined to do all possible to obtain that 100 per cent. in the near future.







SIR,- Our members will no doubt be interested in result of the elections for the ensuing year. It has been our aim to arrange amicably for the N.U.R. and ourselves to nominate candidates, so to avoid an election, and it had again been decided this year that we should nominate two and the N.U.R. one. On the notice being posted that nomination papers could be obtained, to be returned by a date arranged by the officials and the scrutineers, there seems to have been a stampede of unofficial N.U.R. members and a “non” for nomination papers. As there was no law against it, they were duly filled up, and returned in order, and an election took place to elect three members to clear the sand out of the machinery for redressing grievances. The result was that two of ours and one unofficial N.U. R. man were elected. Now, had our members decided to have done the same as the unofficial N.U.R. members, the result would have been three of ours elected, as we have a good majority in our union; but, probably, they will have learnt their lesson when the next election comes, as I understand that had their unofficial members wished they could have been nominated, and avoided an election, and the usual antagonism, that results from such methods. When will they learn that discipline is necessary to progress? You will be more surprised to hear that one of them is the adopted Labour candidate at the forthcoming General Election. It will not surprise me if some of his colleagues don’t give him some of his own medicine when the Election comes, although I hope they will remember that it is the principle, and not so much the man, they vote for. I think if he is asked, when he commences his Election campaign, to explain his action in regard to it, he will have some difficulty in giving a satisfactory reply, and he may probably learn that it necessary to have discipline even in a Trade Union Election, and that majority rule should be respected.



The last passenger service Wimbledon Merton & Tooting run on Saturday 2nd March 1929, seeing the line closing for passenger services. 

The line remained open for goods traffic until the 1st May 1972


On Sunday 3rd March 1929, the following lines were electrified to third rail.
Victoria to Beckenham Junction (via Balham and Crystal Palace Low Level), was converted to the D.C. third rail electrification and extended to Beckenham Junction.

A small Motorman’s depot was established at Beckenham Junction (Central) which also opened on Sunday 3rd March 1929. 

Victoria to Elephant and Castle. 

Sutton - Epsom - Leatherhead - Effingham Junction.

Epsom to Dorking. 

The old L.S.W.R. station was demolished and rebuilt and the arrival of electrification of the South Western line on the 12th July 1925. The old L.B.S.C.R station was closed to passengers on the 3rd March 1929 but was retain as a goods depot.

With the arrival of electrification from the Brighton side, a motorman’s depot was opened on the 3rd March 1929 to serve the Brighton suburban lines only.   

At Leatherhead there was two stations prior to 1925, one was the former L.S.W.R. terminus and one was the former L.B.S.C.R. 

Therefore after Grouping, the Southern Railway clearly had no requirement to maintain two stations at Leatherhead. A short spur was built and opened on the 10th July 1927. This spur then allowed trains from Epsom to continue on to Effingham Junction. With the closure of the former South Western terminal station closing, the L.B.S.C.R station was retained for passengers and the old South Western station was used as carriage sidings and a South Western Motorman’s depot was established there on the 12th July 1925.

Effingham Junction
Effingham Junction was the terminal point for the South Western electrification in 1925, when the South Western line was electrified on the 12th July 1925. A South Western Motorman’s depot was also opened on the 12th July 1925. 

On the 3rd March 1929 with the Brighton Section electrification being extended from Leatherhead to Effingham Junction a small Central Motorman’s depot was opened to serve the Brighton suburban lines. This depot was also opened on the 3rd March 1929.

Sutton to South Merton

The new Wimbledon to Sutton (via St Helier) line was opened as far as South Merton on the 7th July 1929. The South Eastern service from Holburn Viaduct to Wimbledon service being extended to South Merton. 


Dorking was the terminal point for the South Western electrification in 1925, when the South Western line was electrified on the 12th July 1925. A South Western Motorman’s depot was also opened on the 12th July 1925.

With the arrival of electrification from the Brighton side on the 3rd March 1929 a motorman’s depot was also opened on the 3rd March 1929 to serve the Brighton suburban lines only. The line from Dorking to Horsham line was not to be electrified until 1938.

Epsom had two stations prior to 1925, the former L.S.W.R. station and the former L.B.S.C.R. station. Modifications at Epsom was required with the arrival of electrification from London to Epsom


On the 3rd March 1929 a new electric service began between Wimbledon to Holborn Viaduct, with a new Southeastern motormen depot opening. On the day the passenger service between Wimbledon to Merton Abbey was with drawn. Merton Park station was only served on the line between Wimbledon to West Croydon. 

Epsom Town Locomotive Shed on 24 May 1926 with a D1 ClassPhotograph by HC Casserley

Epsom Locomotive Shed a few years before closure 


The Purley & Coulsdon Branch closes in May 1929 with the closure of the steam sheds at Coulsdon, Purley, Caterham & Tattenham Corner

Clarification on whether this branch or other branches were established or amalgamated to nearby branches 



With electrification being extended from Sutton to Epsom saw the closure of Epsom and Dorking steam sheds in March 1929. 

The Coulsdon Loco shed closed in June 1929 with third rail electrification starting in September 1929.

Motormen depots were established at Coulsdon (North) Epsom, Dorking, Caterham & Tattenham (these two depot were South Eastern depots)


MAY 1929


I would draw the attention of the “Bognor” members that our meeting night is Wednesday, at 7 p.m., every third week, at the Terminus Hotel. During the years 1927-8 the uncomfortable branch-room was the reason given for small attendances, but, I am prepared to wager that a room to surpass the above mentioned for comfort and homeliness cannot be found. Having, therefore, surmounted the difficulty of an uncomfortable room, I am at a loss to understand the reason for small attendances. During my annual holiday, I devoted three days to branch business by holding two special open meetings and attending to L.D.C. matters. The attendances were very poor. If I were neglectful I should expect such  meetings, but I defy anybody to bring that charge. Complaints, grievances, and suggestions, have all gone through their proper channels, almost as soon as receiving them. I’ve pretty well worn the carpet out in the “Loco.” Office, trotting in and out. Therefore, I repeat: “why such meagre attendances?”  Now, “Wake up,” Bognor, and let’s hear your voices raised in the branch-room a little more often, instead of in the “lobby,” for surely two hours devoted to branch matters is not a great sacrifice out of six weeks. A word of congratulation to the Littlehampton members on the splendid attendance at the last two monthly meetings.

W. LAWRENCE, Branch Sec.


JULY 1929



Brighton Branch deeply regret the death of Bro. L. Skinner after along illness. Many late 

workmates attended the funeral, six acting as bearers, and floral tributes were sent from the 

shed. Sympathy is extended to the widow and relatives in their bereavement.



The new Wimbledon to Sutton (via St Helier) line was opened as far as South Merton on the 7th July 1929, with. On the 5th January 1930 the line was extended to Wimbledon, with the Holborn Viaduct services running through via West Croydon via Wimbledon and Sutton.


22nd SEPTEMBER  1929


Coulsdon North Carriage Sidings 1929 

The Southern Railway transferring from AC multiple units 

to DC multiple units in September 1929

The last “Elevated” lines to be converted to the new third rail system of electrification was between Victoria to Sutton and Coulsdon North, these lines were last lines to be electrified using the old L.B.S.C.R. system. Victoria was opened for D.C. traction on Sunday 3rd June 1929, but some A.C. trains continued to run until sufficient new rolling stock was available .

This involved the “Elevated Trains” to run on the old L.B.S.C.R. overhead system which involved them to run over some third rail sections within the suburban area, whilst laying and connecting up whilst the third rail equipment was being installed. The new third rail was not switched on until it was ready to come into full use, thus providing a seamless changeover from one system to the other. 

The distinctive A.C. rolling stock was removed for conversion and replaced by standard Southern Railway three car electric units. These worked the line until May 1929, when the original motor coaches returned 

The last Elevated train left Victoria for Coulsdon North officially on Saturday 21st September 1929, but actually, at 12.30 a.m. on the Sunday morning, with the third rail electric service commencing on Sunday 22nd September 1929.

Between Battersea Park and Peckham Rye, the overhead wires were retained for some months after regular services ceased, so that rolling stock could be worked to Peckham Rye workshops foconversion.


The last overhead AC service from Victoria to Coulsdon North (via Streatham Common), 

22nd September 1929

 * note the DC third rail




An argument took place between A.S.L.E.& F. and the Southern Railway, regarding which footplate department drivers should work the Sentinal Steam Wagons, Petrol Cars, etc. This was brought about when that men other than loco-men were working on Sentinal Steam Wagons, Petrol Cars, etc. It was agreed in October 1929; that in future that only loco-men were to have this class of work within their depots. 

A letter was sent  from Head Office to all Branches in respect of men working on Sentinal Steam Wagons, Petrol Cars etc. It was pointed out that men other than Loco-men were being employed to drive these. But owing to our Head Office negotiations only Loco-men were to have this class of work in future

(NHVN 27.10.29).

Chris Leigh collection

Sentinel steam rail car




Brighton Driver W. Coughtry

The Evening Argus Archive

extracted & adapted

The Southern Belle celebrates it’s 21st anniversary, on Friday 1st November 1929, 
driven by Brighton Driver W. Coughtry who was fireman on first trip - celebrates her 
“coming of age”.  

The Southern Belle, was introduced on  the 8th November 1908 and was described as 
“the most luxurious train in the World.

Driver W. Coughtry started on the footplate 4th July 1893, and transferred to Brighton’s 
Motormen depot in 1932 when the depot was opened. 

He joined the Brighton Branch of A.S.L.E.F. in 1909, and died in 1938


Railway accidents on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section

Brighton 6th November 1929

Lewes 11th December 1929

Purley 16th December 1929 

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