|As with most railways, the Southern had a selection of
top link express trains that carried prestigious names. One of the earliest was
the LBSCR's "Southern Belle", in later years the electric express
"Brighton Belle", whilst probably the best known was the daytime
"Golden Arrow" for travellers from Victoria to Paris and Brussels.
There was also the famous "Night Ferry" where passengers went to bed
in England to awake on the other side of the Channel, their coaches having been
transported over the water by train ferry to Dunkirk. Nor was the western
section without its share with the 1931 "Bournemouth Belle", 1947
"Devon Belle" to Ilfracombe and the legendary "Atlantic Coast
Express", a masterpiece of imaginative PR! The "Devon Belle" had
its famous observation cars, turned at each end of their journey, whilst the
"ACE" had almost as many destinations as coaches! The last of the
"Belles" was the 1948 Saturdays only "Thanet Belle", from
Victoria to Ramsgate via Margate which, in 1951, became the "Kentish
In addition, there were a number of trains which ran solely for the benefit of the Ocean Liners that docked at Southampton from the USA, South Africa and other places. These trains ran until the 1960s saw air travel drive the last nail into the coffins of the great ocean liners.
Set out within this section are a few examples of these named trains.
ACE | Bournemouth Belle | Devon Belle | Golden Arrow | Man of Kent | Night Ferry | Royal Wessex | Southern/Brighton Belle | Thanet/Kentish Belle | Boat Train Specials
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This page was last updated 26 April 2005