London, Brighton & South Coast Railway
Ian White

HistoryLBSCR train

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway was formed in 1846 by the amalgamation of the London & Croydon Railway and the London & Brighton Railway Companies, which had first operated trains in 1839 and 1840, respectively. The LB&SCR operated services from termini at London Bridge and later also Victoria, serving the south coast between Portsmouth in the west and Hastings to the east. They were a pioneer of commuter services to such an extent that in the 1860s they had more carriages per route mile of railway than any other, and by 1920 they were operating overhead electric services in the London area. By 1850 they had established locomotive and carriage works in Brighton. The locomotive works continued into the British Railways era, as did the carriage and wagon works which had been relocated to Lancing in 1912. The company also operated ferry services, notably between Newhaven and Dieppe, through which large volumes of perishable goods were transported from the continent to London.


Modelling4mm scale model of Belgravia Class loco

Model makers wishing to depict the LB&SCR are well catered for by several small suppliers many of whom are members of The Brighton Circle, the company line society. Those suppliers are able to respond to member’s interests to produce a range of locomotive, carriage and wagon kits in small batches. Details of kits and other models are available from the Brighton Circle’s own LB&SCR web site ( Photo: Stroudley Belgravia Class in “improved engine green” is a 4mm kit by E.B. Models (some parts by 5 and 9 Models); signals based on a mix of E.B. Models and Model Signal Engineering parts; brake Third is a Roxey Mouldings kit; layout is East Grinstead Town (


PreservationLBSCR 4 compartment first class coach

The Bluebell Railway, the Spa Valley Railway and the Lavender Line all operate along former LB&SCR metals. Both the Bluebell Railway and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway operate LB&SCR carriages, and LB&SCR locomotives can be found at several other heritage railways such as the Kent and East Sussex Railway. Both model makers and rolling stock restorers benefit from the HMRS Drawings collection. It is the largest indexed collection of LB&SCR drawings, and it includes many coloured parchment originals, with especially good coverage of carriages and wagons from the 1850s to the 1920s.


The company liveries are extensively described in our publication Southern Style Part Two.


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