I’m afraid this refers to a train – one of the old Southern Electrics. I was raised in Sussex and the main lines had been electrified in the 1930s. By the time I was a train spotter in the late 1950s the electrified lines and trains were well established. We ‘experts’ knew, more or less, what we could expect to see when and where. We all had our favourite types. For me it was the style known as 6 PUL – a 6 coach unit with one of the six being a Pullman car. They had been built for the Brighton line electrification which fully opened in 1933. My best mate, always known as Boz, had a preference for the Portsmouth line electrics which were a little newer. By the time they were built the greater flexibility of four coach units had been realised and also they were gangwayed right through the train – they had a corridor right through and they were classed as 4 COR.

I grabbed a not very good photo of one of these units at my local Three Bridges station.


I think this was in 1969 and I used Kodachrome film which I never found as good as Agfachrome.

This is the back of the train – the red square in the destination indicator tells us this but the front would look otherwise identical. Some people referred to these units as Nelsons which may have been because they were built for Portsmouth services or it may have been in reference to only having one window for the driver – the other being replaced by the route indicator and being akin to the blind eye of the Admiral.

A lousy photos, but happy memories.

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