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Live Rail

Live rail 267 cover
The current Live Rail (267) was published in December 2015 and in addition to regular features it contains:
  • The North Kent Line - Part 3
  • The Highstead Electric Railway
  • More Winners and Losers in Kent
  • South Western Route Plans

Live Rail is the magazine of the Southern Electric Group issued six times each year to only to members.

Every Live Rail contains both topical and historical information about the development and operation of the third rail system. It is produced in a high quality A5 format with six issues each year, published in February, April, June, August, October and December. A one year subscription to the Southern Electric Group will bring six consecutive issues.

Every edition of Live Rail has:
Regional Review section comprised of six to eight pages devoted to day to day happenings, services, infrastructure and the trains themselves in the Southern Electric area under the following sections:

  • Stock Notes - A round up of changes in unit depot allocations and reformations, new deliveries and withdrawals, liveries, paint schemes and many other details concerning the Southern Electric trains of today.
  • Interesting Workings - Notable irregular workings such as diversions, oddly formed trains, etc.
  • Incidents - A summary of events affecting services and travel in the electrified area.
  • Track and Signalling - A look at infrastructure alterations, revised track layouts, new signals, etc.
  • Timetables and Diagrams - Reviews of changes to scheduled services and the booked train types.
  • Ticketing and Fares - News about fare changes, ticket types, etc.
  • Around the Region - News and information about anything that does not fit the above!

Other regular features in most, if not all, editions of Live Rail are:
Group News - Information for members activities, meetings, working party dates for unit 3142, feedback from the management committee and preservation company, etc.
Letters - Group members air their views on Group and Southern Electric matters.
Members Queries - Ranges from anything in the FAQ category through members seeking data for research through to those obscure details.
Meeting Reports - Resumés of Southern Electric Group meetings, seminars and presentations.
Modelling Update - Information, articles and news about modelling the Southern Electric System
Preservation Update - Reports of the work done by the Preservation Team restoring 4Cor 3142.






In February 2013, Live Rail No.250 was published. The first Live Rail was published in October 1970 and was six sides of A4 produced on a duplicator. Live Rail 16 in January 1974 was the first in the now familiar A5 printed format. This was introduced by the editor of the time Nicholas Owen, now better known as a presenter of BBC News. Under a succession of editors from its first edition Live Rail has continued to go from strength to strength.

Below is illustrated a selection of Live Rail covers at every 50th edition from the first to the 250th.

Live Rail 1st edition
Live Rail 1st Edition

Live Rail number 50
Live Rail 50th Edition

Live Rail number 100
Live Rail 100th Edition

Live Rail number 150
Live Rail 150th Edition

Live Rail 200th celebratory edition
Live Rail 200th Edition

Live Rail number 250
Live Rail 250th Edition