The End of Southern Steam

The End of Southern Steam

Despite extensive electrification, British Railway’s Southern Region remained a Mecca for steam enthusiasts right into the late 1960s, with some crack express workings surviving until the very end in July 1967, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

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Above: The Southern Region was the last to host express steam workings on the British railway network. On March 19 1967, four months before the end, 34013 Okehampton approaches Southampton Central under its distinctive gantry with the 2.25pm Bournemouth-Waterloo. David Rostance/Railphotoprints.co.uk.

In the late evening of July 9 1967 BR Standard ‘3MT’ 2-6-0 77014 shuffled off from Bournemouth with its usual load of mixed vans just as it had on many occasions before. Few were there to mark the occasion - but in fact the working was the very last movement of any steam train on the Southern Region, bringing to an end an era which had lasted for more than 130 years.

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