Southern pre-cast concrete footbridges remembered

An interesting article in the Southern Railway’s Group Notebook just received today, reminded me that these structures, which were prefabricated to a standard design and such a feature of Southern Railway stations, were nearly coincidental with the formation of the company in 1923.

The first such example was designed by W.H Shortt M Inst CE, the L&SWR later SR Divisional Engineer at Exeter,  in whose patch the Exmouth Concrete Works, where they were made, had been established in 1913, and was erected in 1924. This first installation took 13 hours and the design was described thus by the designer in a report published in The Railway Engineer- “No bolts or tie rods are anywhere used to hold the various parts of the bridge together, all being designed to be mutually self-supporting when once fitted together; further, no reinforcement is anywhere exposed for the purpose of joint making..”

The design continued to be used well into British Railway days and spread far & wide, in many cases well beyond SR or BR(S) territory. I have seen one at Towyn (North Wales)- now demolished. Hornby Dublo produced a die-cast metal model version in OO which probably means there was one within easy travelling distance of the Meccano works in Binns Road, Liverpool 3!

There are plenty still around, which for a 94 year old design ain’t bad!

Southern van goes even further “South for the Sun”

From The Italian Railways Society research & an Italian website, the World War Two Railway Study Group has identified an SR  12t Ferry Van in a photo taken in Vibo Valentia.

Apparently the van, which had Italian State Railways Engineering Department markings, was made by the SR for the WD in 1942 and was kitted out as a mobile repair shop.

Obviously wanted to retire to a place with a lot more sun than Eastbourne or Bournemouth!


Hobby News – New ex L&SWR carriages from Hornby

I seem to have missed these in previous announcements

Kernow are indicating they are open for pre-orders 4 ex L&SWR 48’ compartment stock as rebuilt by  Maunsell as 58’ non corridor

R4717 3rd class

R4718  6 compt. Lav. Composite

R4719       ditto 3rd class

R4720   9 compt.  Lav. 3rd Class

These are good for SR ex L&SWR branch line and main line stopping trains Good for Axmouth & South Kensington layouts

During 2016 delivery £39.99 each

Not shown on Hattons site yet


Hornby have announced Southern loco S15, in addition to the Adams Radial announced at Warley and the Class 700 announced last year. The Class 71 announced at Warley is in fact a proposed 2016 introduction.
New livery/number options for the T-9, M7, WC and Schools classes are also planned. The 2-Hal and 2-Bil also appear in new livery &/or number versions. See Hornby site for full details