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photograph: Mike Morant collection
|Following the Southern Railway's 1932
electrification of the line to Brighton, the all electric, all Pullman Southern
Belle was inaugurated on 1st January 1933 and three five car units, known as
5 Bel, were supplied for the service:
They were built by Metropolitan Cammell and equipped with four BTH 225hp traction motors and control equipment. From 1st January 1937 1000 was added to the unit numbers and they became 3051, 3052 and 3053 and these were retained until the final run of the "The Belle", on Sunday, 30th April 1972.
Originally the "Belle" was London based and three non-stop round trips per weekday were run:
Latterly the Belle units became Brighton
based which allowed an earlier departure from Brighton and a late night return
from London and were favoured by the acting fraternity (such as Laurence
Olivier - later Lord Brighton) and theatre-goers alike.
Trains were either 5-car or 10-car, depending on the demand, and one unit was held spare to cover for failures and repairs. However it was not unknown, at some times, for the service to be covered by a 5-Bel plus a 6-Pul or a 4-Buf/Res.
|Pullman Schedule Numbers
All Pullman cars were given a schedule number by the Pullman Car Co. and those for the Brighton Belle were:
Until their final overhaul, and repainting in BR "Corporate" blue and grey, the cars only carried the last two of their schedule numbers, as shown above. However, following these last overhauls they carried the numbers in full. For 3051 this was from February 1969, for 3052 from December 1968 and for 3053 from May 1969.
This page was last updated 1st May 2017