About us




(15th May 2020)

As all members will be aware the United Kingdom remains in a state of alert during the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) emergency.  Whilst within England the first steps have been taken to return to a more normal way of life, they are very small steps and are only the beginning of a long road.  The Committee of the Southern Electric Group continues to offer all our members and their families our best wishes for your health and wellbeing during these times.

Circumstances have obliged us to curtail all outdoor activities and those where members gather together.  This is not expected to change for some time to come.  The SEG 50th Anniversary has been very much overshadowed by these events, but we are still here and still offering the usual membership benefits of “Live Rail”.  Where we can we shall continue to use our 50th Anniversary logo to draw attention to this milestone.

The Committee has to advise, however, that all meetings are cancelled until further notice and that no progress can currently be made on rescheduling the postponed Annual General Meeting.  Whilst arrangements could be made for later in the year it is felt prudent to await government advice being received to the effect that travel is more widely acceptable and that meetings may again take place.  Should this advice not be forthcoming then the Committee will – at the least – make arrangements to hold an electronic meeting of its members in order to review matters.  There will be an update in the August “Live Rail” and on our website and Facebook page.

It is also not possible to make any visits to our rolling stock which we are assured remains secure in Kent.  Once again we cannot advise when this will change and we are likely to require some form of changed working arrangements to allow safe socially-distanced work when it does.  Members must not travel to the East Kent Light Railway until further notice; the site remains closed and under security observation.

The Southern Electric Group receives much of its preservation funding from the sales stand.  Sales had been suspended but have now re-commenced on a postal basis.  All events which the sales stand was to visit have been cancelled for the foreseeable future but members with internet access are encouraged to browse the sales items offered on our Facebook and internet pages.  Links are https://www.facebook.com/SEG3142 and http://www.southernelectric.org.uk/sales-stand/ where full payment details can also be found.

Some organisations are offering the option to donate a sum of money you might have otherwise spent on sales or ticket prices.  We are always happy to accept donations for preservation of the 4-Cor carriages and we actively encourage members to support these efforts which are not funded by membership subscriptions.  Donations can be made directly into this bank account: Lloyds Bank PLC Croydon Branch sort code 30-92-45 for the credit of Southern Electric Heritage Limited account 03538381.  UK tax-payers are encouraged to take advantage of Gift Aid which allows the Group’s heritage company to reclaim the tax element of your gift.  Please use the form found at http://extra.southernelectric.org.uk/membership/standing-order-gift-aid-form.html where a standing order can also be set up.

Government advice on travel and outdoor activities will have some effect upon the content of “Live Rail”.  As most travel has been discouraged observations of unusual workings and other happenings around the (former) Southern Region will be limited.  The editor has decided that we shall not publish any images taken during the period of restricted movement unless captured by a rail professional on duty or supplied by the rail industry.  This applies for both “Live Rail” and our internet presence.  Any images intended for use must be suitably annotated.  The committee is aware that numerous very unusual workings have occurred and continue to occur but we stress that we do not wish members to place themselves or anyone else at risk by making unnecessary journeys.  If you can see the railway from home, reasonable exercise trips or a permitted workplace then your observations continue to be most welcome.

Those members due to renew their membership subscription should do so upon receipt of the form included with their copy of “Live Rail”.  Renewals can also be made electronically with details on the form so there is no need to leave home.  We encourage members to renew by either means.  For anyone reading this who is not a member please visit this link to join us: http://extra.southernelectric.org.uk/membership/membership-application-form.php

Members with current email addresses are invited to allow us to use these for communication of important information.  If you recently received an emailed notice about the AGM then we have your current address – if not then please send your preferred email address to membership@southernelectric.org.uk so that we may update our records and keep you fully informed of developments.

Your committee remains alert to any possible changes in government advice and Group circumstances and will publish any updates as required.  You may obtain further advice and information from the General Secretary whose contact details appear inside the rear cover.  Please use email if possible as this will reduce the need to visit postal facilities when replying.

Many thanks for your continued support.

Rick Squirrell – General Secretary

Chris Roffey – Chairman



Welcome to the Southern Electric Group Website.

The Southern Electric Group is the only group covering all aspects of the Southern Electric System past, present and future.

In April 1969 the letters page of Railway Magazine contained a letter suggesting that the historic rolling stock steadily disappearing on the Southern should be preserved for posterity. An initial meeting was organised. On 20th May 1970 the Southern Electric Group was officially founded. The group currently has over 800 members

Unlike many other preservation societies, the Group committee recognised immediately that it had a dual aim in life. Not only was preservation a clear aim but it was also considered important to reflect the current railway scene, initially through recording the workings of the stock which might be of preservation interest but also of other Southern Region activities. To report these events the Group started a magazine Live Rail  which initially appeared quarterly but is now published bi-monthly. Live Rail provides updates on rolling stock changes, and gives a commentary on the Southern’s operations, past, present and future. It contains articles and features and aims to be an interesting and comprehensive publication.

444 040. Photograph by Ashley Barras


The Southern Electric Group is recognised as the leading organisation for devotees of the UK “Southern Electric” system and is an authoritative source on the “Southern Electric” dc network.

For details of the benefits of joining The Southern Electric Group click here or look at the Join us page.


We welcome contributions of pictures and information about the past or present scene and preservation updates on Southern Electric units. Please email them to webmaster@southernelectric.org.uk