One of the three primary constituents of the Southern Railway in 1923, the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway dominated the provision of railways through much of south central England. Apart from the company's main line linking the Metropolis with the coast at Brighton, an intricate network of lines sprang up to serve Sussex, West Kent and East Hampshire, making the company one of the most important providers of commuter services into London. Along with the neighbouring London & South Western, the LBSCR was one of the pioneers of electric traction, although its use of overhead catenary was not to be perpetuated by the SR after 1923. A railway company was always more than its locomotives and rolling stock, although these were very much the public face of the operation. It was also reflected in the architectural style that it adopted for its station buildings and signalboxes, and in terms of the uniforms worn by its staff. For railway modellers, keen to recreate the ambience of an individual railway company or location, photographic evidence is an essential source of information.
Whilst material relating to locomotives may be relatively common, details of the myriad facets that made a company individual may be harder to source. This is the beauty of the 'Miscellany' series in that, within the c250 illustrations incorporated, the whole range of the selected railway's activities are covered. In his latest contribution to the 'Miscellany' series, Kevin Robertson has scoured the archives for photographs portraying the LBSCR as it existed in the years before 1923. Whilst locomotives and rolling stock are not ignored, the book examines in detail the stations and other building of the railway, the pioneering use of electric traction, the infrastructure and much else. The 'Miscellany' series was always one of the most successful of those issued by OPC; this new addition to this popular series will be sought after by all those with an interest in the LBSCR and all those keen to recreate in miniature its lines.
Living close to Southampton, Kevin Robertson is one of the country's most prolific railway authors and historians. This is one of a number of volumes that he has contributed to the Ian Allan Publishing list over the years. He is also the author of the companion volume in the series covering the Southern Railway.