"Where the train will divide..." - Portion Working
The following table details locations where Southern Electric trains have attached and divided, along with services concerned and years of operation. It complements the first article on this subject published in Live Rail 237 (December 2010). This list is far from complete so additional information and corrections are welcomed - please e mail the Live Rail editor.
Ascot: There was a regular service from Waterloo to Reading and to Guildford via Aldershot from electrification, 3 July 1938. Dividing at Ascot ceased ???? when the service between Ascot and Guildford became a shuttle, not working through from London.
Ashford: Trains from Charing Cross to Ramsgate and Margate via Dover and via Canterbury respectively divided from the start of the full electric timetable in 1962. At present trains from Charing Cross divide for the Canterbury and Dover lines daily, as do peak services from St Pancras Mondays to Fridays.
Barnham: There was a regular service Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour and Bognor Regis from electrification, 3 July 1938. Division of trains moved to Horsham in December 2007, with very little attaching and dividing remaining at Barnham.
Basingstoke: A peak service Waterloo to Salisbury and Eastleigh or Southampton was noteworthy for comprising a class 33/1 and 4TC that ran in multiple with a 4Vep.
Bournemouth: The regular service Waterloo to Weymouth from 1967 detached 4Rep electric unit at Bournemouth and continued with a diesel locomotive. This ceased upon electrification to Weymouth, but ten-coach trains from Waterloo are reduced to a single five-coach unit at Bournemouth.
Brookwood: The regular service from Waterloo to Alton and Bournemouth divided at Brookwood from 10 July 1967 until 5 May 1968, when it was decided to undertake all dividing and attaching at Woking.
Eastbourne: From electrification in 1935, most trains between London and Ore divided at Eastbourne, with only part, usually a 6Pul, going forward to Hastings and Ore. This is now limited, as most Eastbourne trains are portions detached at Haywards Heath.
East Croydon: A peak hour train from Brighton to London Bridge and Victoria split at East Croydon from electrification, 1 January 1933. This is a rare example of an up service dividing and did not last for long. It was possible to fill complete trains for London Bridge or Victoria and dividing a train at East Croydon during the morning peak was not a good idea.
Eastleigh: Sunday services from Waterloo to Portsmouth and Bournemouth have divided at Eastleigh since 20??.
Faversham: Late evening services Victoria to Ramsgate and Dover split at Faversham from electrification, 15 June 1959. Ramsgate and Dover trains divided at Faversham all day from 10 July 1967. This continues.
Folkestone Central: Towards the end of boat train operations at Folkestone Harbour, some comprised a portion off regular services.
Gatwick Airport: From 28 May 1958, when the present station opened, a Gatwick portion was detached from the Bognor Regis via Horsham service. This allowed time for airport passengers to load and unload luggage, without delaying the main train. Initially the all-steel 2Hal units were used, but were replaced by Veps. Dividing ceased with introduction of the dedicated Gatwick Express service in 1984.
Gillingham: The regular service Victoria to Ramsgate and Dover split at Gillingham, except during the evening, from electrification, 15 June 1959, until 10 July 1967. The Ramsgate portion ran fast from Gillingham and the Dover portion semi-fast.
Haywards Heath: Peak hour and summer Saturday trains London Bridge or Victoria to Seaford and Brighton, also peak hour train from London Bridge to West Worthing and Ore, from 7 July 1935. Peak service to Littlehampton divided from 3 July 1938, the front portion running fast and the rear semi-fast. This was later extended to late evening services, where the front portion would run to Littlehampton and the rear to West Worthing, where it would stable. Combined trains were run off-peak to Portsmouth and Littlehampton from 19??. The present service pattern, Mondays to Fridays, is Victoria to Southampton and Eastbourne and Victoria to Littlehampton and Hastings, but with the opposite combination in the up direction.
Horley : In1938/39 there was some dividing and attaching of Horsham and Brighton portions during peak hours.
Hove : Following electrification to Littlehampton in 1938, trains from Victoria sometimes ran as 6Pul+6Pan to Hove, with the 6Pan detached there.
Lewes: Peak hour and summer Saturday trains London Bridge or Victoria to Seaford and Eastbourne or Ore from electrification, 7 July 1935. This continues during Monday to Friday peak hours.
Preston Park: A peak hour train from London Bridge to Brighton and West Worthing split at Preston Park from electrification, 1 January 1933. This stopped quite soon after, when all divisions were made at Haywards Heath.
Purley: Regular service Charing Cross or London Bridge to Caterham and Tattenham Corner from electrification, 25 March 1928. From 1967 Tattenham Corner was served off-peak by a shuttle from Purley, but this was only a short-term economy. There are now complete through trains to both branches, except during the peaks when some still divide at Purley. This is the longest-established combining and dividing operation on the Southern Electric system.
Redhill: Regular stopping service London Bridge or Victoria to Three Bridges (Brighton from 1933) and Reigate from electrification, 17 July 1932. Reigate was served by electric trains only during peak hours from 4 May 1970, some of which were a shuttle from Redhill. Currently, many Three Bridges or Horsham trains have a portion for Reigate or Tonbridge during peak hours
Southampton: Some peak services Waterloo to Bournemouth divided from electrification, 10 July 1967, the front portion running fast and the rear stopping. This continues, with trains dividing into Weymouth and Poole portions.
Staines: Regular service Waterloo to Windsor and Weybridge from electrification of the Chertsey Loop, 3 January 1937. This ceased ????.
Strood: Regular semi-fast service Charing Cross to Gillingham and Maidstone West, from electrification, 2 July 1939. Passengers on stopping trains had to change at Strood. Portions to Maidstone West were detached only during the peak from 10 July 1967. This ceased in 19??.
Swanley: Regular service Victoria to Gillingham and Maidstone East, from electrification, 2 July 1939. The last train of the day to Gillingham included a portion to Sevenoaks via Bat & Ball. Gillingham portion extended to Sheerness from 15 June 1959. Maidstone portion extended to Ashford from 9 October 1961. Some peak trains divided at Swanley, the front portion running semi-fast to Ashford and the rear portion stopping to Maidstone. From 3 May 1971 the off peak service comprised Victoria to Sheerness and Maidstone East and Victoria to Gillingham and to Margate via Canterbury West. Through services between London and Sheerness ceased in 1973 and from 7 May the only off-peak trains dividing at Swanley were Victoria to Canterbury East and Maidstone East. The Gillingham and Margate via Canterbury West services ran as separate trains. Dividing at Swanley ceased entirely in ????.
Three Bridges: Although an important junction, dividing at Three Bridges has always been relatively unusual. At present, just the 06:32 Victoria to Brighton and Chichester does so.
Tonbridge: From 1962 Charing Cross to Margate via Dover semi-fast trains detached a portion at Tonbridge that called at all stations to Ashford. This ceased in ????.
Tunbridge Wells: A few peak hour trains divide, the front portion running semi-fast to Hastings and the rear portion stopping.
Woking: Regular service Waterloo to Portsmouth & Southsea (stopping) and Alton from 4 July 1937. From 1954 the Portsmouth and Alton services had to be run as separate trains until mid-afternoon on summer Saturdays. From 1967 the portion to Alton was replaced by one to Basingstoke. From 6 May 1968 the trains to Bournemouth and Alton also divided at Woking. Under the current SWT timetable Alton and Basingstoke stopping trains combine and divide at Woking on Sundays only.
Worthing: Following electrification to Littlehampton in 1938, trains from Victoria sometimes ran as 6Pul+6Pan to Worthing, with the 6Pan detached there. In recent years Worthing has been used to a limited extent for attaching Littlehampton portions to trains from further west. Littlehampton and Portsmouth to London trains combine throughout the day at Worthing on Sundays.