The Southern Region. was one of the six regions created on the formation of the nationalised British Railways (BR) and Served, Southern London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Eastern Dorset, Southern Wiltshire and Eastern Berkshire, most of which were either already electrified or at least proposed to be so. There was also an un electrified service to parts of Devon and North Eastern Cornwall, deep in what was Western Region territory.
The Western Region became a region of British Railways from 1948. The region ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980’s and was wound up at the end of 1992. The Region consisted principally of ex-Great Western Railway lines, minus certain lines west of Birmingham, which were transferred to the London Midland Region in 1963 and with the addition of all former Southern Railway routes west of Exeter, which were subsequently rationalised.
The London Midland Region (LMR) consisted of ex-London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) lines in England and Wales. The region was managed first from buildings adjacent to Euston Station and later from Stanier House in Birmingham. It existed from the creation of BR in 1948, ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound up at the end of 1992. At its inception, the LMR's territory consisted of ex-LMS lines in England and Wales. LMS lines in Scotland became part of the Scottish Region, whilst those of the Northern Counties Committee (NCC) in Northern Ireland became part of the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA). The Mersey Railway, which had avoided being "Grouped" with the LMS in 1923, also joined the LMR. The LMR's territory principally consisted of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and the Midland Main Line (MML) South of Carlisle and the ex-Midland Cross Country route from Bristol to Leeds.
During the time of the LMR's existence there were a number of transfers of territory to and from other regions.
The major changes were:
In 1949 the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, which was wholly surrounded by Eastern lines and almost completely cut off from the rest of the LMR network, was transferred to the Eastern.
- In 1958 a major re-drawing of the regional boundaries took place. LMR lines in South Wales and south-west of Birmingham were transferred to the Western; lines in Lincolnshire and the present-day South Yorkshire went to the Eastern Region and in the present-day West and North Yorkshire to the North Eastern Region. In return the London Midland gained the lines of the former Great Central Railway that lay outside Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
- In 1974, the Chiltern line from London Marylebone to Banbury and Birmingham Moor Street was transferred to the LMR from the Western Region.
The Eastern Region became a region of British Railways from 1948. Together with the North Eastern Region (which it absorbed in 1967), it covered most lines of the former London and North Eastern Railway, except in Scotland. By 1988 the Eastern Region had been divided again into the Eastern Region and the new Anglia Region, with the boundary points being between Peterborough and Whittlesea, and between Royston and Meldreth.[ The region ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound up at the end of 1992.
The region was formed in at nationalisation in 1948, mostly out of the former Great Northern, Great Eastern and Great Central lines that were merged into the LNER in 1923.
Of all the "Big Four" pre-nationalisation railway companies, the LNER was most in need of significant investment. In the immediate post-war period there was a need to rebuild the destroyed stations in London and along the busy East Coast Main Line and former Great Central Railway. Additionally, the LNER had begun a suburban electrification programme which the British Transport Commission was pledged to continue. It was partially for this reason that the former LNER in England was divided into Eastern and North Eastern regions to focus investment, unlike the other English and Welsh regions that wholly took over their respective former companies' lines. In 1967 this policy was reversed and North Eastern was merged with the Eastern region.
Over the years the region was recast to be geographical rather than being based upon pre-nationalisation ownership. In 1949 the Eastern Region gained the London Tilbury and Southend lines from the London Midland Region. In a major national boundary change in 1958 the former Great Central network except those lines in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire transferred to the London Midland Region; in return the Eastern gained the former LMS lines in Lincolnshire and the present-day South Yorkshire. In the 1960’s the Eastern became one of the regions most affected by the Beeching Axe, losing route miles in every county served and seeing the closure of previously important (but "duplicate") lines such as Harrogate to Northallerton via Ripon.
The North Eastern Region became a region of British Railways from 1948. It was merged with the Eastern Region in 1967. It was the near direct post-nationalisation descendant of the North Eastern Railway, that had merged with some other companies to form the LNER in 1923.
In 1958 in a major re-drawing of the region boundaries it gained those former LMS lines that lay in the present-day West and North Yorkshire. In 1967 it was disbanded and merged with the Eastern Region.
The Scottish Region (ScR) became one of the six regions created on British Railways (BR) and consisted of ex-London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and ex-London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) lines in Scotland. It existed from the creation of BR in 1948, ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound-up at the end of 1992.
The railways were nationalised on 1 January 1948 under the terms of the Transport Act 1947. Through the creation of the Scottish Region of British Railways, all Scotland's railways were brought under a unified system of management for the first time. The major change to passenger services became apparent in the late 1950's, with the introduction of diesel locomotives, diesel multiple units and - most of all - the electrification of the Glasgow area local services and the introduction of the "Blue trains", as well as the final withdrawal of steam locomotives in 1967. During the mid 1960's many routes were closed under the "Beeching Axe", plus some after the resignation of Dr Richard Beeching - most notoriously the Waverley Line from Edinburgh to Carlisle.
In 1974 cross-border electric Inter-City services from Glasgow Central to London Euston commenced, with the completion of the West Coast Main Line electrification project. In 1979 the Argyle Line project saw the reopening and electrification of the railway line through Glasgow Central Low Level station. The Glasgow Central to Ayr line was electrified in 1986. The one closure of this period was the Kilmacolm line in 1983.
The Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Queen Street service was operated by diesel multiple units from the late 1950's until 1970, when "push-pull" trains of Mark 2 carriages with a Class 27 diesel locomotive at each end were introduced. These were replaced by Class 47 locomotives and Mark 3 carriages in 1979. These were in turn replaced by Class 156 then Class 158 units in the early 1990’s.
In the mid 1980s, the "ScotRail" brand was introduced.