Railway History


Join us and delve into the archives to discover the stories of locomotive classes large and small, learn how the railway worked, and why it was built in this amalgamation of the popular Reality Check and Railway Realism sections from Hornby Magazine.

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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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Bulleid’s mixed traffic ‘Merchant Navy’

Born in wartime and constructed under false pretences, the ‘Merchant Navy’ 4-6-2s were one of the Southern Railway’s most groundbreaking designs. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into the story of these remarkable locomotives.

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Bulleid’s radical designs

Although best known for his controversial Southern Railway ‘Pacifics’ Oliver Bulleid was an innovator whose work, if carried to a logical conclusion, might have resulted in steam lasting longer than it did. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the life of this remarkable man.

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Bulleid’s ‘Merchant Navy’

The Southern Railway’s ‘Merchant Navy’ locomotives were some of the best looking steam engines ever built and amongst the most technologically advanced too - but they had some features which proved troublesome in service, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES relates.

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British Railways 4-VEP EMU

Electrification of Southern England's railway system extended progressively throughout the 20th Century and as it did so new electric trains were built to run on it. One of the most successful designs was the 4-VEP, introduced in 1967 as the network was extended to take in Bournemouth, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES found out.