"Locomotive and Train Working on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway"
From Locomotive and Train Working in the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century, Vol. Five, by E L Ahrons, originally published in the Railway Magazine in 1919, but collected and published by Heffer, Cambridge, in 1953
The first is a fish and meat train from Carlisle to London, and the other is the fastest and most wonderful of the Brighton expresses, first class only at rather dear fares. Moral: it is better to be a dead mackerel on the North-Western than a first-class passenger on the London Brighton and South Coast...
- London and North Western Railway, Tebay dep. 9.48, Preston arr. 10.55, 53 miles, speed 47.4 mph
- London Brighton and South Coast Railway, London dep. 5.0, Brighton arr. 6.05, 50.5 miles, speed 46.6 mph.
The Southern managers have no doubt been aware that it would be of very little use for them to attempt to rival the magnificent performances of the Great Northern and North-Western companies. Their rolling stock and the well-established traditions of their companies put it out of the question that they should try this with success. They have hit accordingly upon another method of distinguishing themselves more suited to their capacities. They have chosen frankly a very different form of distinction, and the struggle between them now is which of them can claim to have established the slowest, the most unpunctual, and the most inconvenient service of trains. The real rivals are the South Eastern and the London, Brighton and South Coast lines. And the performances of both are so singular, and their claims to the honour which they are seeking are so nearly balanced that there are good grounds for a difference of opinion as to their respective merits. Very bad as they both are, this at least the most severe critic must admit, difficult as he might find it, on a review of the evidence, to say with certainty which of the two has the right to call itself absolutely the worst line in the country. The Brighton had run an express from Banstead in Surrey to Victoria, a distance of 14 miles, I just 1 hr. 52 min., that is at the rate of exactly one mile in eight minutes. But this was explained away as a special performance for which the company could claim no praise, since their train had been delayed by a block on the line. Then it succeeded in running a train from Hastings to Victoria, 74 miles, in 200 minutes, and the train arrived nearly an hour behind time, giving proof of a good performance, but hardly good enough to stand against the fierce competition of the South-Eastern Railway.The Chairman of the South Eastern railway in 1893 stated that delays on the Joint Line were nearly always caused by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railways, which had many more trains over this portion of the line. This statement, coming from the South eastern Chairman, gives the impression thatqui s’excuse, s’accuse, and that the South Eastern was far from blameless.